Nel volumeIn his new book “Communione, le parole nuove dell’economia” (Communion, the new words of the economy), economist Luigino Bruni presents the Economy of Communion (EoC) with the help of a few keywords, such as “gratuity”, “work”, “business”, “cooperation”, “happiness”, “reciprocity”, “fraternity” and “poverty”. Taken together all these words suggest communion. They are age-old words that in the experience of the EoC take on different meaning.
In the introduction of the book the author states: “Communion is the deep tension of the economy and the basis of the Economy of Communion project that seeks to give rise to businesses that are run according to a new culture, the culture of giving.”
The EoC is an economic project that now involves hundreds of businesses, but it is also something more. In fact, the Economy of Communion also incorporates a humanism of sorts.
Companies associated with the EoC are private enterprises, fully integrated into the market that, while retaining private ownership of property, put the profits in common.
In the premise to his book, Bruni writes that he intends to state the significance of living communion in the economy today, but also to testify to the evolution of his understanding of the EoC as it was extricated in the early years of its existence. “I travelled in several countries and have had the opportunity of entering into the various dimensions of the project, which – it is always necessary to remember – was born of a spirituality and is therefore always finds itself between ‘heaven and earth’; that is, between prophecy and history. The chapters of this book are therefore like the stages on a journey, each distinct but all linked with each other. It is a personal and collective journey that still continues. It particularly gives witness to a new understanding of the dimensions of a business, the market and, above all, of poverty, a reality that gradually opened itself to me as I searched for it in several regions of the world.”
According to the author, “communion” is the new name for peace. In the 1960’s much was said about development and it was hoped that by spreading development to those countries that up until then had been marginalized would have resolved the reasons for war at their roots. Now, after decades of strong economic development we have to admit that this on its own is not enough for assuring peace. Economic growth can come at the expense of other important values for civil society, such as the environment, justice and solidarity.
For this reason the author is convinced that the prophetic words of Paul VI his the Encyclical Letter Popolorum Progressio: “Development is the new name for peace,” could be articulated today as: “Communion is the new name for peace.”
The fact is that without communion there is no real and sustainable development, not for the individual, not for the peoples and not for the planet.
By Gina Perkov
Source: EdC online