Taming the World

Let us imagine for a moment that someone very important—perhaps a prominent politician, a brilliant academic, or a wealthy businessman—yearning for humanity, has come to you asking for a favor: “I need you to help me to develop a program to make the world a better place.” Then he would probably have added something like this: “I already know that I’m asking for a complex, long-term task. At the beginning, nobody will listen to us, and we will face many difficulties. It is important that we work first in putting down solid foundations. It will be a multidisciplinary task, and we will have to rely on various experts from different backgrounds. And of course, we will need to listen to the citizens, to the people, to all of them—no matter the creed, ethnicity, or professional status.” This scenario may seem like pure fiction. The reality is that there are already many people who share that same concern. This World Congress of Families in Verona is proof of this. It is true: Our Western society is very sick. Sick of rampant individualism, materialism, hedonism. But these problems are not necessarily the result of the faults of a particular political regime or economic system. They are not, as we are now so often told, the consequence of erroneous assumptions, of hostile determination, or even of the Machiavellian interests of a few. No, what’s happening today is the lack of a true understanding of reality—of family, culture, and society. Making the World a Better Place The modern economist’s mind is habituated to beginning its analysis with the personal preferences of individuals. These preferences are considered to be completely autonomous, independent of our personal learning or the environment in which we move, because nobody has the right to judge; we are free agents who should be able to choose our own purpose, no matter what. But problems cannot be treated in a partial way because, as pointed out by the Spanish Philosopher Leonardo Po
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