On May 1, we celebrate International Workers’ day. For many of the younger generation however, this holiday has no real meaning. It is a day celebrating work, but many people have either lost their job or have yet to find it.
To have never worked, or to be unemployed for long periods of time is a source of deep psychological pain. This pain has nothing to do with practical reasons, such as the limited income, but more with confidence and self-respect. Long-term unemployment can significantly erode our ability to achieve our aims in life.
These simple reflections should encourage us to adopt measures that can concretely promote growth.
One of these measures would be to eliminate all those hurdles hindering the development of a civil economy.
The first step would be to overcome all prejudices against civil economy and understand that starting an enterprise – hence becoming part of the economic system – is not in contrast with the pursuit of a better society. Public policies have yet to acknowledge this fact.
We must also abandon the widespread view of competition, which considers every economic exchange as a fighting arena with either winners or losers, and return to its original meaning: the word “compete” comes from the Latin cum petere, i.e. growing together.
A civil economy develops not by fighting against capitalistic enterprises but by promoting a pluralistic idea of market ethics. This is something that policies have yet to do, because currently there are two prevailing ideologies, the capitalistic business model and the anti-capitalistic, social one, which clash against each other.
A civil economy will only prosper if we abandon these models and adopt a non-ideological concept of the economy: in other words, a pluralistic, collaborative, reciprocating view.
A civil economy can create employment, by starting local projects promoting participation, cohesion, inclusion, local development, legality and interaction between different cultures. We need to grow up, nurture our human qualities by increasing the number of satisfactory jobs and our network of relationships.