Francis asks young economists and entrepreneurs for a "pact" for a new economic model, because "we can't go on like this". Three days of discussion in Assisi.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - We are not condemned to economic models that focus their immediate interest on profits as a unit of measurement and indeed, "the time has come to take up the challenge of promoting and encouraging models of development, progress and sustainability in which people, especially the excluded "are protagonists. This is, in a nutshell, Pope Francis' invitation to the nearly three thousand economists and entrepreneurs - all under 35 years of age - from 115 countries who took part in "Economy of Francis” the online meeting which had its heart in Assisi and which ended last Saturday with a video message from the Pope.
Today there was a small echo in the audience given by Francis to a delegation from Fairtrade International, an organization that promotes the fair trade that is among the indications of Economy of Francis.
The Pope asks young people for a "pact" for a new economic model because "we cannot go forward in this way", "it is urgent to responsibly acknowledge the fact that the current world system is unsustainable" and "it affects our sister earth, so seriously mistreated and stripped, and together the poorest and the excluded. They go together: you deprive the earth and there are so many excluded poor. They are the first to be damaged ... and also the first to be forgotten. "The fact is that the current economic model provides the excluded, includes forms of unfair trade, accepts the wild exploitation of the land, is ultimately predatory.
"The gravity of the present situation, made all the more evident by the Covid pandemic, demands that a responsible stand be taken by all social actors, all of us, with yourselves in the forefront. The effects of our actions and decisions will affect you personally. Consequently, you cannot remain outside the centres that are shaping not only your future, but also, I am convinced, your present. You cannot absent yourselves from those places where the present and future are generated. You are either part of them or history will pass you by."
Building the desired alternative is faced with the lack of the necessary culture to build visions based on "a type of thought, politics, educational programs, and even spirituality that cannot be locked up by a single dominant logic". But "if it is urgent to find answers, it is essential to grow and support management groups capable of developing culture, starting processes", "blazing trails, broadening horizons, building common bonds ... Every effort to organize, care for and improve our common home, if it is to be meaningful, will also demand a change in “life-style, models of production and consumption, and established structures of power which today govern societies”. Without this, you will accomplish nothing.”.
The social and economic crisis “makes it intolerable for us to privilege sectorial interests to the detriment of the common good". This "encountering one another aside from all legitimate differences" , "is the first step towards any change that can help generate a new cultural and consequently economic, political and social mentality. For you will never be able to undertake great things solely from a theoretical or individual perspective, without a spirit that drives you, without meaningful interior motivations, without a sense of belonging and rootedness that can enhance personal and communal activities."
The goal is "to propose economic models that will benefit everyone, since their structural and decisional approaches will be determined by the integral human development clearly set forth by the Church’s social doctrine. Politics and economics must not “be subject to the dictates of an efficiency-driven paradigm of technocracy. Today, in view of the common good, there is an urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life”. Lacking such focus and direction, we would remain prisoners of an alienating circularity that would perpetuate only dynamics of degradation, exclusion, violence and polarization", while each program, developed to increase production, has its raison d'être in the service of the person. "Its function is to reduce inequalities, fight discrimination, free man from his servitude". "It is not enough to increase common wealth for it to be equally distributed".
As Paul VI said: “development cannot be restricted to economic growth alone. To be authentic, it must be well-rounded; it must foster the development of each person and of the whole person… We cannot allow economics to be separated from human realities, nor development from the civilization in which it takes place. What counts for us is man, each individual man and woman, each human group, and humanity as a whole". (FP)