venerdì 11 luglio 2008

The Fast Food Economy

There are many ways through which the referring values of a local community can be more or less evidently eroded: there is not only TV with its millionaire quiz shows, commercials, soubrettes, gossip-news programs, etc. to devastate us everyday but also the diffusion of the “Fast Food” economy. I use this term to identify a certain kind of philosophy underlying well-defined development forms and strategies which however may show very devastating collateral effects under the ethic and cultural point of view. A fast food restaurant is in fact a good example because it surely represents, in technical-engineering terms, a progress for its efficiency when compared to the traditional family meal at home. Nonetheless, a family meal is not a mere technical operation directed to nourish the family members because it detains a non material value connected to a context for example the confirmation of the family’s unity. The same happens when confronting a supermarket with a village shop: the former materializes a maximization of purchase functions tout court while the latter, together with shopping actions, involves also direct relations between clients and shop owners and often the village shop is a sort of meeting point for the whole community. In the same way, many development approaches (even at local level) surely imply technical/technological practical advantages and advancements compared to traditional procedures and praxes, but the generalization of such a principle may drive to deprivations in everyday life. The absolute total dominance of the fast food economy drives to a value’s decay and deprivation in human relations while only good’s possession, management and control have the core importance. In this way a community’s nature, its relations with the environment, its referring values, etc. are completely altered implying in the same time that the development paths and strategies for a given community are unavoidably locked in a “conceptual jail”. It is important to pay great attention when some politicians and managers use terms like efficiency or optimization because these terms often imply that the value of persons and communities is thrown away, interpersonal links and those with the territory destroyed, cultures and traditions forgotten for the advantage of those are working to transform us into mere consumers/users.

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