A Critique of the Competitiveness Imperative and Current Globalisation

  • Riccardo Petrella
Part of the Einstein Meets Magritte: An Interdisciplinary Reflection on Science, Nature, Art, Human Action and Society book series (EMMA, volume 5)


The economy seems to have increasingly lost any sense of purpose. Gone is the goal of reconstruction that was the uppermost in the post-war period. Gone too is the goal of growth for its own sake, which has forfeited all credibility since the 1960s and is nowadays defended by nobody. It was replaced as of the 1970s and 1980s by the aim of ’qualitative growth’; but for hundreds and hundreds of millions of people it is a mere delusion, being regarded as the latest invention of the rich societies of the North in their own interests! The same goes for the goal of development. After these long years of crisis (seemingly in no hurry to go away), of large-scale unemployment (particularly among those under 25 and over 50 years of age), of growing poverty (over 80 million people affected in the 0 ECD countries), of cities crammed and jammed almost to choking point, of drug addiction and crime (including State crime), the soul-searching goes on everywhere. Development of what? Economic development? But of whom and by whom? Social development? But where is it? For that matter, are economists and industrialists equipped to talk about this and can they in fact do so?


Social Exclusion Social Contract Integrate Service Digital Network National Champion Rich Society 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riccardo Petrella
    • 1
  1. 1.Commission of the European CommunityBrusselsBelgium

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