One of my favorite activities is browsing Youtube on my TV looking for some interesting content. To do this, I choose two keywords that I believe hold meanings with a lot of potential. Last Friday night those chosen were “form” and “economy” and that’s how I found almost two hours of Joan Melé’s lecture, (he is the deputy general director of Triodos Bank (Ethical banking)).
I would like to base my comments on his insightful reflections as it is his words that have inspired the title and content of this brief rambling.
If the title begins with economics, Adam Smith takes the floor, whose maxim that “individual interest will maximize the collective good” has been a reference for all who have studied economics. However, I must admit that lately I’m beginning to find a conflict in the fact that life takes the floor (which cannot be separated from the economy) is governed by such individualistic principles.
The interesting thing seems to be changing the focus from individuality to the collectivity, “stop discovering what our needs are to find out what our capabilities are”. At the end of the day, our only legacy to the world, through developing these capabilities, is our job. This is the motivating idea, which although it seems forgotten and distorted, is behind “being a productive citizen”.
With Adam Smith, the economy only grows as science, but as a social science, and had already been formed previously to establish forms of relationship. First there was barter, then money, and at some point, science overtook consciousness to reach the present day, where 95% of money is already electronic.
Thus, we find that consciousness is no longer up to what science has created. The more that is formulated about it, the further away it goes from man, and from his life. And this is very easy to check… How many people are really conscious about what is spent? Conscious of their consumption, of what, why and for what in a broader sense. And above all, of how we affect others with our decisions.
I understand that it is reflections like these that underlie ethical projects as laudable as that of Triodos Bank and the one carried out by BBVA through Momentum Project.
For me, they serve as a reminder that, although so far few participate in this, man is still the center of some initiatives. Even though it seemed that we had forgotten about them, they are there. They came later than science, but are economy in its purest social state as they emerge from consciousness.
We are integrating the economy again as part of our life. Remember that it is much more than a science, it is a form of relation when serving man, an activity in which we all participate. And we continue to move forward in science. But don’t forget, on the path to this progress, our faithless and lethargic companion: consciousness.