The EoC in the press
The Christian Churches of Europe convened in Brussels to discuss the challenges of social market economy, and to address major themes, namely, a highly competitive European economy in a globalized world, which at the same time is open to solidarity and social justice. The meeting took place in December 14. It was promoted by the European Commission, by the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and by COMECE, the Commission representing the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community. One of the central themes of the works was also youth unemployment, which was defined by the Churches as “an impending challenge i which involves all of Europe”.
by Luigino Bruni
editorial published on Mondo e Missione n.5/2011
The global economy is a very powerful machine yet it is fragile and unstable. This is one of the messages of the crisis we find ourselves in. Specifically, the globalized economy creates enormous opportunities of wealth but also produces new costs. Among them is the radical uncertainty of the financial systems and stronger social imbalances. Oftentimes the consequences of these crises are borne not by the social sector that caused it and normally the much poorer ones. This is why the theme of social justice today is also the dominant theme of the new economy. We are witnessing it in the mid-Orient (we should not forget that the revolution these months were triggered by issues relating to economic justice). I believe we will continue to see this in the coming years not only in the Arab countries but also in China and in India. When individual freedom and democracy takes over, the enormous inequality we find in these new giants will no longer be tolerated.
Published on Zenit.org on 27/01/2011
NAIROBI, Kenya, JAN. 27, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Entrepreneurs who embrace the "Economy of Communion" are changing the paradigms of economic behavior. They harness the strength of a "culture of giving" and see the poor as a resource. Now this economy is being presented as a new paradigm for Africa.
Published in the Roman Observer on 28/01/2011
Nairobi, January 27 - "An authentic African development should bring with it the "spirituality of communion", concern for others and solidarity towards those in need. This conference is a great opportunity to introduce a new dimension in the study program on economic and human development.
By Luigino Bruni
Published on Avvenire on 23/09/2010
The topic of gratuitousness is (finally!) being talked about again, even in public debate, in politics – and even in economy and economic science.
This renewed interest by the economy should not surprise people if we remember that the Latin word charitas (note the letter “h”, as it was written in the first Christian codes) – which was chosen by Christians to translate the Greek word agape, gratuitous love – had economic origins and uses. It means that which was expensive, that which costs on the market. This renewed interest, however, is accompanied by usage which is not always attentive and faithful to the great philosophical, spiritual and especially human reflection (only humans know about it) on gratuitousness. In my opinion, there are two errors that frequently appear when people talk about gratuitousness. First of all, they identify it with free, as in free of charge, a price of zero. “Frank works gratuitously”, meaning he works for free, therefore, his stipend is zero. Instead, from the great Franciscan tradition, we know that gratuitousness in a certain way means to have infinite value.
By Luigino Bruni
Published on Repubblica, Florence section on 18/09/2010
There is a bizarre aspect in the debates that have followed the crisis of these last two years: everything is
questioned, but nobody talks seriously about questioning the only thing that is truly important: the capitalistic economic system. Besides Pasolini or Don Milani, it seems that the moral stature is missing in our intellects; there is no talk about going beyond capitalism without using worn out words of ideologies, of right and left, lay or Catholic. And so, we all limit ourselves to talking harmlessly about the need of a more ethical economy (one day, someone will explain to us what this phrase actually means: is it the ethics of the wolf or that of the lamb? The ethics of state bond holders or those of the homeless?), of responsible business, of nonprofit and philanthropy. In a closer look, not only do these phenomenon not question our economic system, but they are functional and necessary to it. We need to be more daring, and we need the intellects, economists and the social scientists to return to their trade as critics of society, even our society.
By Pietro Saccò
Published on Avvenire on 16/09/2010
"Today, there are too many ideologies. Many want to divide the world into two groups: those who adore capitalism and those who hate it. And, instead, there are other roads to take." This is how Luigino Bruni began to explain the meaning of the first LoppianoLab, four days of events (it begins tomorrow and finishes September 19) that will make the Tuscan city, founded by Chiara Lubich and cradle of the Focolare Movement, the center of debate on a different approach to the economy, culture and formation.
The other road of which Bruni - professor of political economy at the University of Milano-Bicocca - speaks is the Economy of Communion, arisen from an inspiration that Lubich had when she saw the disarming poverty of the Brazilian favelas in '91. Almost twenty years have passed since then, and the Economy of Communion has become an important reality lived today by about a thousand businesses throughout the world. "The basic principle that businesses of the Economy of Communion live is that the profits of the economic activity are not something bad. Rather, they find meaning in being placed in communion."
Can the social entrepreneur, remembered in Benedict XVI´s Caritas in Veritate, be a model for how to go beyond the economic crisis? On ONE-O-FIVE LIVE, Vatican Radio´s live program, Prof. Luigino Bruni gives his reflections. Bruni is professor of political economy at the University of Milano-Bicocca, professor at Sophia University Institute of the Focolare Movement in Loppiano (Florence, Italy) and coordinator of the International Commission of the "Economy of Communion". Tomorrow, in Incisa Valdarno (Florence), the Preparatory Seminar for the 46th Social Week of Italian Catholics will be held on these topics.
Social enterprise is one of the great innovations of the last twenty years in Italy because it arises from an intuition that, to me, is fundamental: that is, a business is truly social when it includes those who are outside of it, when it is capable of making protagonists out of marginal or excluded realities, for mutual benefit. After all, when the social enterprise arises in the 1990s, it does this: subjects that are excluded from the productive system, with hardships or forms of handicap, are then included, and this inclusion leads to development. Today the term "social enterprise", or social business, is meant in the widest sense. It is not used only to describe a social cooperative, but any kind of business that is truly constructive of the common good, because it places the person at the center.
A conversation with Luigino Bruni, political economist
By Gino Dato
Published in La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno (The Midday Gazette) on 3/05/2010
"In the last two centuries, it has reached extraordinary economic, technological and civil results...but today it has become obsolete." We´re talking with Luigino Bruni, professor of political economy at the University of Milano-Bicocca, about capitalism and it´s present and future fate. In fact, in the past, it made us freer individuals and more equal amongst one another, but it no longer raises peoples´well-being along with the increments in goods production. Where the "scarce good" marks the relationship with others and the environment, the god of goods no longer deserves to be adored and is affecting society. Bruni´s courageous writing, The Ethos of the Market (Bruno Modadori, ed.), covers the relationship between capitalism and ethics.
You say that capitalism has made us freer and more equal. What does that mean?
"It´s enough to look at Medieval civilization to realize the difference (and therefore the inequality) between the life expectations of a serf´s son and the son of a feudal lord. They were not equal in these expectations. This happens in a feudal society, with a very low level of civilization, in which the relationships between persons were "relationships of power". It was the same in the market, in politics, in culture...".