From Sao Paulo to the world: Young people speak up

From Sao Paulo to the world: Young people speak up

May the economy in 2031 be of communion

from the "Economy of Communion - A New Culture" n.33 – editorial insert attached to Città Nuova n.13/14 - 2011 - July 2011

Giovani

The EoC proposes that economies and businesses should adopt, along with the principles of liberty and equality, the principle of fraternity. In so doing, business and economic activity can contribute to the fulfillment of every human person, responding to our deep-seeded desire for happiness and a sense of purpose. 

At the end of the Economy of Communion (EoC) in Freedom Assembly 2011 held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the youth participating in the assembly launched a message to all those who believe in, desire, and commit themselves to building a more just and solidarity-based economy. Their convictions are as follows. They wanted us to know:

WE BELIEVE
We believe it is possible to build an economy based on the principle of fraternity.  Such an economy can be called one of ‘communion’ and is possible for at least four reasons:

  1. We already see a fraternal economy in the daily choice to live the communion of goods by millions of people who in some way share the same spirituality of unity, a culture of giving, and reciprocity. 110529_SPaolo_Giovani01_rid
  2. We see that a fraternal economy is a reality in the experiences of hundreds of EoC businesses which, despite difficulties and failures, remain faithful to the EoC’s values.  These businesses allocate profits for brothers and sisters in need, create jobs, spread a culture of giving and infuse their management decisions with the EOC’s values, influencing relationships with clients, workers, suppliers, and society at large.
  3. We can see a trend toward an effort to live fraternity in various social, civil, and solidarity-based economies around the world – a movement that is growing and that expresses in many languages that another post-capitalistic alternative to the market economy is possible. 
  4. Finally, we believe that an economy of communion is possible because every person on Earth has “inscribed in the depth of his or her being, whether believer or non-believer, the vocation to communion and love,” as Chiara Lubich told us. Only an economy of this kind can fully satisfy our search for individual and societal happiness.

WE ASK

We, the youth of the EoC, representing thousands of young people and adults of various cultures, countries, religions, and economic and social conditions, ask for concrete changes. In recent years, economic development has been drugged with ethically questionable behavior that has put our world economy at risk.  The Western economic and financial system remains structurally fragile, and requires new rules able to bring it back to its precious function of serving the common good. That is why we ask governments to:

  • Involve civil society in the development of policies that value part-time work, including those responsible for childcare and assistance to the elderly or disabled
  • Encourage employed work by providing tax relief; support work opportunities for families with dependent children; ensure environmental protection
  • Discourage highly speculative financial transactions
  • Combat tax evasion and reduce military spending to solely protect populations
  • Abolish customs barriers for products from countries that respect labor and the environment

110529_SPaolo_Giovani02_ridThat is why we ask all citizens of the world, beginning with us present here today in Sao Paolo, to employ the co-essential values of liberty and equality with new conviction and commitment, even on the political, juridical, institutional levels, and also provide a concrete avenue for the need of fraternity among persons and peoples, favoring their own choices of consumption and savings, those enterprises that are ethically oriented and those that invest a significant part of their profits for the common good. The EoC tells us, in fact, that business profits have a social nature and vocation.

Since the beginning, the EoC has attributed great importance to the formation of “new men and women.” That is why we ask:

  • That primary and secondary school curricula include courses in care for the environment, legality, education to global fraternity, favoring integration, peace, communion, unity among peoples, and therefore reduce the risk of future wars and destruction on the planet.
  • That efforts by universities in countries with great financial and cultural resources give life, with reciprocal respect, to professor exchanges with other universities in the world, since there is no future for the youth without a high level or quality formation.
  • That in economics, political, and social sciences departments, may it be a recognized right of citizens to learn about economic visions and theories which are different than those that are dominant today.

CONCLUSION

We young people are aware of being the first generation in the history of humanity that faces the serious risk of  having a future that is worse than that of our parents due to the deep wounds that have been inflicted on the environment, air, water, and non-renewable energy over the last century. Moreover, a growing individualistic solidarity ideology is on the horizon of our post-modern civilization. 

At the same time, we trust and are certain that Providence exists and is at work in our history, and that we too can have a future that is better than the past. We believe that the EoC began on Earth, here in Brazil twenty years ago, to nourish and to be a concrete answer that gives us hope.

We young people here in Sao Paulo believe that if our convictions, hopes and commitments are shared by many people on all continents, and if our everyday behavior reflects these beliefs, the aspiration for an economy that is not only efficient and just, but also fraternal will not be a simple utopia; it will become a reality.

We solemnly commit ourselves to this task, confident that many others will join us.  We are convinced that communion is the most profound calling of every person, enterprise and community.

“That all may be one.”

Sao Paulo, May 29, 2011

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