Magnifying Glass and Binoculars: The Details and the Whole
Argentina was suffocating long before COVID-19. A rope that hangs her is selfishness; another cord that strangles her is the lack of confidence; and the bag on her head that extinguishes it is not seeing the potential of the whole country, the common good
Even a person caught in a downward vicious cycle is capable of change, improvement, and renewal. A selfish subject, who hoards and does not share, who “has a toad in his belly” can exchange, enlarge and move. Someone violent and fierce will know how to evolve, improve and amend himself. A corpulent, corrupt, and voracious individual will be able to sharpen, become honest and more frugal. The particularity always was, is and will be perfectible. The characteristic of the human being is wanting to prosper.
Now, collectively, an impoverished society where 6 out of 10 children are poor, 51% of the employed are informal and the equivalent of workers do not make contributions can also change, improve and renew itself. Entrepreneurs who generate jobs and money by selling products and/or services will become instruments of equanimity, as Enrique Shaw (The Smiling Boss Who Didn’t Want to Fire Anyone) taught. Trade unionists will be able to collaborate to achieve dignity, equality and social justice. The State will welcome innovation, development and agility (Mariana Mazzucato’s dixit). This is possible to achieve!
Everyone can change, everything can vary. It is necessary to listen, participate and take action generating a virtuous cycle to promote the common good and build social trust as stated in the XXIV ACDE Annual Meeting, on the centenary of the birth of its founder.
The specific question we must ask ourselves is: How should capitalism evolve in order to generate prosperity and development for all and mitigate the economic and social damages that have been accentuated by the pandemic?
The precise answer lies in the common systemic effort of the set of actors because “the whole is superior to the parts.” A joint effort will allow us to build a present and a future with development opportunities for all members of our society. It is not with selfishness but with altruism that this impossible can be conquered, and it is not by leaving others behind that we will progress; we all have something to contribute.
The most humane capitalism is traversed by concerns about how to generate investment and work and what we must do better or differently to move forward. The virtuous cycle proposed by ACDE seeks to simultaneously link the promotion of the Common Good and the construction of Social Trust. This virtuous cycle will allow us to develop more robust institutions and a fairer social fabric. Systemic change requires at least these two essential components.
Common Good and Social Trust
People, if they wish, will be able to mobilize themselves to mobilize others. They have a moral duty to do something for those who suffer and need help. Likewise, the institutions have a moral duty to coordinate to remedy the social problems that exist, whether they are businessmen, trade unionists, lawyers or bureaucrats. Argentina is suffocating, we must act. The diagnosis is clear, individual and institutionalized selfishness, the multidimensionality of that narcissism, the transversality of greed and ‘me, myself and I’ isms led the patient to this critical situation, with an increase in inequality and poverty. There is less and less air in the lungs, and in addition, COVID-19 has arrived!
The patient carries an insane inertia of bad solutions, repeated endlessly without being able to recover. The cure, the diagnosis and the doctors fail. It is infuriating to see how the sick country has deteriorated. The state seems terminal. The mourner is evicted, condemned, dying. With a bastion of voice, whispering, some hopeful words are heard such as those of Candelaria Fernández (Generation 2040), Marysol Rodríguez (UIA Joven) and Cristian Jerónimo (National Union Youth) who propose, work and seek to build the virtuous cycle of promotion of the Common Good and the construction of Social Trust.
To paraphrase Marysol Rodríguez, “As Argentines we get used to seeing the everyday, the urgent, and the tool we use the most is the magnifying glass. But we also have to use binoculars (long-range glasses) to see beyond the conjuncture”. Then Candelaria Fernández recalls that when the three of them began to work together, they were surprised by “The obviousness of common sense. How obvious are some unsolved problems that do not need science or technology, but the simplest and most basic common sense”. And this unusual sense depends more than anything on trust, and on everyone giving up a part for the benefit of society. If this does not happen, nothing will change. But it will happen. The downcast and groaning country will heal. Less and less is missing.