One of the most questioning and innovative results of the Illuminism - eighteenth century - was to place man (the individual) as the center of the world. This antithesis to the absolute - God - represented by its supposed signifiers - the Church, the royalty - opened new perspectives for the human, being later developed in a movement, an ideology, a social and legal legacy: the French Revolution. From then on, the motto “freedom, equality, fraternity” became the fundamental summary that guides the trajectory of the Western man. Man is then equal to his fellow man, nothing differentiates them: neither appearance nor origin or social position, and this equality reflects itself in the laws and possibilities of life. When differences exist, they are determined by economic resources from which classifications of the poor and rich expose distinctions that are not intrinsic to the human being. These distinctions are circumstantial, generated by the accumulation of riches from earlier absolutism.
Being the center of the world made man realize that everything that happened to him depended on himself. This liberation from the shackles of obscurantist beliefs has imposed reason and knowledge as the key to opening new paths, to establishing progress. Without the Illuminism, it would have been difficult to achieve industrialization, the transformation of existing resources through knowledge of specific techniques.
To change, to transform, to open paths was now up to man, as he was left to himself. It was a radical change of model that enabled autonomy, similar to what happens in adulthood, when family patterns are transformed and questioned. Illuminism emphasized reason with consequent enlightenment, questioning, broadening of perspectives and horizons, which was felt in society in general, in artistic movements, and in religiosity. Access to God was no longer exclusive to religious people selling sacramentals such as scapulars and blessed items to attain divinity. Intermediates diminished, direct action was imposed, but other problems were created: the finding of fragility or strength in the ways to go.
Structures of a new form of power were established, bringing together scattered and institutionalized authorities. Being free is no longer enough; it is necessary to be strong to face obstacles determined by powerful institutions. Freedom unfolds, the motto “unity is strength” becomes emphatic. Communities are established, solidarity is exercised to keep man at the center of the world. In this trajectory, mutable consequences arise and in the form of democracy a great deal of imbalance is generated. Some polarizations and social and economic panoramas allow the return of absolute powers: dictatorships that replace man with ideas, ideals, and goals in the center, turning man into a maneuver mass for the maintenance of power structures aimed at perpetuating these dictatorships and political platforms that annihilate freedom and destroy individuality.
New configurations create new antitheses. Nevertheless, the recovery of the central and legitimate place of man is only possible through the exercise of autonomy regarding all aspects that alienate and enslave. What defines the human is the exercise of its possibilities or the submission to its needs (turning him into a merchandise, alienating). Succumbing to the exploitative foundations of the new systems sickens, neurotizes, despairs, hence it is necessary to confront problems, to question oneself and thus generate change. Understanding what happens is humanizing.