Economic crisis and eyes of Resurrection

In the economic system that we have produced this last century, there is something that is clearly dying, but there is also something new emerging on the horizon.

by Luigino Bruni

published in Città Nuova n.7/2012 from 10/4/2012

Ragazzi_al_lavoro_ridThe economy has extreme need of resurrection. Every resurrection is preceded and prepared by a crisis, by a passage or change: one does not resurrect if first, in some way, one does not die. In the economic system that we have produced in this last century there is, in fact, something that is clearly dying out, but there is also something new which is emerging on the horizon, even if we need “eyes of resurrection” to be able to see it, and then to recognize it for what it really is; that is, the dawn of a new day.

If we had eyes of resurrection we would see, for  example, that Italy and the world are moving ahead, despite the crisis and the deaths of our time, because the majority of people try to do good in the family, in their workplace, in public institutions, and continue to do it beyond everything. Evil and sneaky people do exist, but much less than what the dominant culture tells us every day because it sees the world wrongly.

Then we see many business people who appreciate and respect their employees,  and who, before considering them as part of the overhead cost, they see them as the most valuable resources and essential partners for the life and development of their business. And we will see a lot of people who work well, because they are convinced that work should be done well, firstly and independently from how much one earns, and that therefore one works well even when one is not monitored, or punished or praised.

As we will see a lot of civil, social, ethical and just economy, that of communion, which like salt gives flavour to the dough, and like leaven does not leave bread flat in our markets.  But in order to be able to see the good that already exists in civil and economic life, we need to look at and think from the viewpoint of a culture of resurrection, which knows how to see what today’s dying culture does not yet see.

Today there is great need for people who know how to see and indicate new signs of life really present in our daily lives (if seen well), and not just imagined or dreamed.  This is a high form of high civic charity and,  when it is missing, the world becomes a sad and gray place. In the time of night, the sentinels of the dawn are in fact needed, who announce the resurrection, that we all desire but that we do not recognize because perhaps we do not listen attentively the voice that is calling us by name in the gardens of our cities.

We need Easter at work, an epochal shift from work seen as a problem to work rediscovered as a responsibility and a part of life. Human work in the last decades was emarginated by an economic model centred on speculative financing, that promoted wealth without work and workers, and which therefore imploded. 

We will never get out of this crisis without a resurrection of the world of work and of workers. Above all of young people, who have the right to a culture of life, of hope, of trust: because, if there is no Easter for young people, there cannot be a true Easter for anyone.

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