Wednesday, October 1, 2008

An Anthropological Crisis

Our friend Giorgio Vittadini, a Statistics Professor at the University of Milan, has an editorial in Il Sussidiario.Net on the economic crisis. With mostly the Google translator and a bit of fudging, here is an English version of the concluding paragraph.
The point is to admit that this is not only an economic crisis but an anthropological crisis which calls into question this reduced notion of human rationality, which aims to maximize profits in the short term, but is heedless toward the conditions needed to create real and lasting wealth. So it withdraws from reality to build a virtual world that is destined to crumble. For the long term, we need a rationality that is already bringing to light the fact that this "homo oeconomicus" also has other motives much larger than quarterly profit divorced from the human context. We need a healthy realism that permanently connects finance, which is and must be only a tool, to the real economy. From this point of view, after having demonized many aspects of our economic system, perhaps this territory should be radically reassessed, to give attention to the real wealth that has not yet been extinguished. Whether we are talking about the micro-or macrocosm, a new realism and rationality are essential for any future development.

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