A New Form of Social Cohesion

A New Form of Social Cohesion

The instant book “For a New Welfare. Proposals from Civil Society” has been presented and is available for free download. Below is the afterword signed by Professor Luigino Bruni.

In the midst of the pandemic, in an unusually empty and virus-stripped St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis referred to this challenging period for humanity, this “kronos,” as a storm that has engulfed all the people of the world. It’s a terrible storm, raging waters in which, as the pontiff said, “no one is saved alone.” The call for the Reconstruction of a Welfare system tailored to all individuals and territories appears as a genuine effort by women and men who are attempting to build an ark to weather the storm. An ark in which to try to rescue the most vulnerable and the least fortunate. Into this ark enter prisoners, the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed, bewildered youth, violated women, compulsive gamblers, children kept away from schools, mothers, fathers, sons, but also abandoned and violated lands, peacemakers, economists, doctors, nurses, all welfare workers.

What is new in this alliance? The attempt to respond to a unique call in history and the hope that the separations and inequalities of the “world before” will be at least partially swept away by the storm. In the 7 position papers, civil society attempts to outline new forms of social cohesion and integral ecology: changing territories starting from the least privileged, not for the least privileged, but by harnessing their extraordinary drive for change.

The welfare envisioned here is very different from the current one because, by personalizing itself within community bonds, it seeks to prioritize relationships over benefits, the vocations of each individual before the rigid structures in which we have boxed in the troubles of men and women.

It is the prisoners, in their deep desire to return to freedom and social life, who change and improve penal systems; it is individuals with disabilities and their families who humanize the economy, making it inclusive; it is marginalized communities that chart new horizons for the green economy in their dream of continuing to live in uninhabited lands. It is in the practices of widespread hospitality by municipalities that the generous spirit of Italy opens up to new futures of peace and progress. In this appeal, many small arks have come together in the hope of seizing a new kairos, a favorable time for change. Not a simple financial maneuver, but a possible conversion where money does not lead the recovery, but social capital does.



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