Words are stones, they say! But they are not still and frequency of their use is proportional to the contingent phenomenon to which they relate. If we neglect the “okay”, abused by telephone operators and shop girls unaware of the “yes”, the most frequent word actually is “crisis”, spilling out from the newspapers to fruit shops, from the economists, that discussing, they wallow, to false needy petit bourgeoisies, to the real poor, who do not cover the expenses of one month. But no one explains what means or, better, what meant before its vulgarization. The etymon of “crisis” comes from Greek and it means judgment, but also separation. If we recover this meaning, which it is still valid, we realize that a crisis isn’t a cold that “if you treat it, it lasts seven days and if you don’t,  it lasts one week”. If only it was so easy! Crisis has a meaning so negative that if we add the adjective: “deep”, it becomes a tautology. Crisis is always deep for nature, and, from that, its meaning of “division”, because it designates a phenomenon different from the previous state, however more acute and dangerous than, if weathered, it will evolved in a new situation, “separate”

from that in act and even more from the one that has preceded.


After the diagnosis, however easy, because it only takes few statistic data to deduce it, economists debate about the “how” and the “when”, if it will go out.  It is expected the end of 2009 (the optimists) or delayed times (the pessimists). But the reader get the impression that, after the crisis, the economy will return how before, indeed on the growth and the time of the crisis will have been only a parenthesis. Lovers of dynamic economics,  and so, of business cycle, describe the phenomenon, generally related to the growing or declining trend of the GDP, as an irregular sinusoid, where ups and downs follow a horizontal trace, but it is a misleading representation, because it depends on the orientation of the curve: growing, decreasing or constant.  And here there is the crux  of the problem, because the correct question should concentrate on the level from which will start the new cycle and so which will be the trend of the next sinusoid, according to a reasonable prediction.

The correct answer would still be  hazardous  and to expect  it by economists could be  too much. However, we can propose a reflection: the cause of the current crisis is almost universally attributed to financiers, slave of their dreams of omnipotence, cult of personality, excess of self high opinion, that, according to a well-known pharmacologist, could be caused by growing use of cocaine found in Milan.

So a moral crisis before the one financial. But, apart from drug, the uniqueness of the cause is not correct. The cause of the crisis is financial, first of all, but it is the economy in general that made too many mistakes, that the crisis  has  made acute and manifest even if unmentioned. There are also mistakes of evaluation, forecast and planning from the entrepreneurs of the productive goods and services, associated with those of politics. At this point, we must be clear to prevent ideological confusions. Marx was never the great philosopher and economist that they wanted to confirm. But finding a proper, albeit lowered into a materialism enemy of man, we must recognize: the economy supremacy on other values. Like it or not, it is still a truth, even if political systems, that the story has broken down, are derived from here. The liberal opponents of contemporary and later generations have tried to demonstrate, quite rightly, that democracy and free market are inseparable.. But also these are not absolute concepts or at least they do not  admit that politic meant  like public business government, it does not play an important role. Of course, should not lead to a state-worship, with the state contractor, emerging danger at this time of crisis. But the state, or rather the state government, should dictate laws to prevent the wild performance of the business cycle. In other words, a few clear rules to protect the freedom of the market, jungle if you want anarchy.

This is not happened and the lack of vigilance, especially on the operations of the banks and on unscrupulous raiders, produced  or at least stressed the crisis in progress. We got to the point that civil services (specially municipalities) have been embroiled in speculations about toxic junk bonds, even poisonous. It could ask  to any elector if he casts one’s vote  to do these financial transactions and the answer should be obvious.

So the problem is economic, but before political and institutional, and the crisis, as well as economic, is of democracy. Because after every crisis  the world  cannot be the same as before, we must ask ourselves if we have to prepare ourselves to review  some basic concepts for the salvation of democracy itself, that we cannot think unchangeable like we will sclerose the one of Pericles, admitted that it was.

Democracy, like all human institutions, is a dynamic concept  and it should reflect the present needs.

Economy, finance, politics, institutions, parties and  the rest must be at the service of the man service and not vice versa. We must think and act  to realize a “new  humanism”.

The current crisis strikes a life model and if someone, for optimism or perspicacity, is able to sense the end, he must also warn us that it is not worth the philosophy of the “Gattopardo”: “if we want that all remains as it is, everything must change”; otherwise, the meaning of “division” from the suffered present would be lost and the field will be prepared for another more dangerous crisis.

(Translation by Giulia Bonazza)