Archive for the 'Europe' Category

Towards a new economic paradigm

Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz made the case for creating a new economic paradigm in a 2010 letter to the Financial Times. “Today, not only is our economy in a shambles,” Stiglitz writes, “but so too is the economic paradigm that predominated in the years before the crisis – or at least it should be.”

“Changing paradigms is not easy. Too many have invested too much in the wrong models. Like the Ptolemaic attempts to preserve earth-centric views of the universe, there will be heroic efforts to add complexities and refinements to the standard paradigm. The resulting models will be an improvement and policies based on them may do better, but they too are likely to fail. Nothing less than a paradigm shift will do.”

He goes on to note deficiencies in the current economic paradigm and models, and ends the letter with “a new paradigm, I believe, is within our grasp…”

From September 18-20, we are co-organising the first christian Economic Summit in Amsterdam.

I will be leading an afternoon discussion on “New Economic Paradigms” and we have a very impressive line-up of International contributors.  For us, as Christians, it is not a matter of ‘thinking up’  a new paradigm, but of seeing why God is revealing to us. It is said in the Bible, “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing 
without revealing his plan
    to his servants the prophets.”  (Amos 3:7). To believers in exile in babylon, Jeremiah wrote these encouraging words, ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  

Join us in Amsterdam for these inspiring days! 

Nationalism < > patriotism

Last month, I participated in the “State of Europe Forum”  in Athens, organised by the Schuman Centre, and the European Christian Political Movement.

One of the fabulous quotes was from a Polish priest Father Piotr who said, ‘Nationalism is a pathological overemphasis on the nation, and patriotism correctly understood is the antithesis of nationalism. Characteristic of nationalism is the fact that it recognizes only the good of its own people and seeks only its own fulfilment, neglecting the rights of others. Patriotism, however, as love of one’s own country, recognises the same rights of every nation, and is therefore a good tool to set social love in order. It seems that the difference between patriotism and nationalism can be clarified by recalling the difference between self-love and selfishness.’

This reflects Jesus’ words to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’.

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