19 julho 2011

Empathy and Humanity

These are preoccupying times. However, as the philosopher, José Gil, apparently said in an interview, it is impossible to forecast the future. Gillian Tett, anthropologist and columnist for the FT, said the same: it is very difficult to predict a future scenario, for so much is in the process of entering unchartered territory. Anything can happen!
Let us hope that humanity will gain greater force over purely numbers.

A post of July 14, 2011 in the Crooked Timber pointed to the protests of current times in Spain as being different from past protests.
“They are overwhelmingly young. They are self-consciously trying to create bonds of sympathy and solidarity between unemployed people, immigrants, people at risk of losing their houses through mortgage default. In other words, they are a broad coalition of those who feel themselves to be ‘outsiders’ in the present dispensation.”
It is worth reading.

The same has happened in Portugal – protests have been to denounce a present system with great fault-lines, but also to appeal to a hopeful future, with greater community solidarity.
While predominantly young, participants have been of all ages and parties.

Even Stéphane Hessel’s book, "Indignez-vous!" is hopeful.
For a piece by someone over 90, that is good!

In the economic sphere, it is time to focus on Adam Smith’s "The Theory of Moral Sentiments," now more than ever.

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