Tuesday, May 17, 2005

God is Dead, or Not?

Some days ago, it happened to me to read an old article of The Economist. It was an article taken from the Millenium issue, the one that was in newsstand at the end of December 1999. It was in the Obituary section of the magazine; The Economist has an obituary section every week with the obituary for an important person who recently died. In the Millenium issue, something like five years ago, the obituary was for God. The article is interesting as it pictures in what ways the Almighty recently passed into history (or not so recently, do you remember Nietzsche?) even if in the end this article underlines the fact that remarkably few people deny the possibility of a supreme being. So what?
About one month ago, everybody heard in the news that a new Pope was elected: Joseph Ratzinger succeeded to Karol Woytila with the name of Benedict XVI. The same Joseph Ratzinger that in the Mass Pro eligendo romano pontifice had warned the humankind against the dictatorship of the relativism, that doesn’t see nothing as definitive and leave the ego and its desires as the ultimate measure. I think these are quite powerful words in a moment of the human history when there are so few certainties and so many doubts, even about the survival of the Almighty. However, this is the way the story goes.
In three weeks time in Italy there will be a referendum with some questions about artificial insemination, embryo’s rights and scientific research on stem cells. These are important questions and I think that they concern the private sphere of decision of everyone. The Italian Church has immediately clarified that all the Catholics must abstain from going to the referendum, making it useless because of the lack of the majority of the possible voters. In the same days, the Spanish Parliament has approved a bill in favor of the marriage between homosexuals or lesbians, in contrast with the Spanish Church (as with the Vatican) that consider this like something against the normal concept of family. And this is the point that put together these three paragraphs!
Like in the past, I ask you: what is NORMAL? What is right or wrong about thinking that God is dead or not? What is good or evil in the relativism of present days? What?As usual, a lot of questions with so few answers.

China, a red hot economy

A great interest for China is in the air.
This week the CNN will broadcast a series of specials about China, including the documentary Navigating the new China with Stan Grant and the report from the Fortune Global Forum in Beijing with Jim Clancy.
This month two books with the same name has been released: the first one, The Chinese Century, is by Oded Shenkar, a management professor with a long interest in China; the second one, The Chinese Century, is by Federico Rampini, a journalist of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica who has been living in China for almost a year.
This year the global financial markets have been waiting for Chinese government to loose the existing peg between the yuan renminbi and the US dollar.
The rising of this red hot economy is changing the global balances of power and soon (in less than 15 years time, according to CIA) this 1.3 billion country will be the first economic (and maybe political) power in the world.
In my intention this would be only a bookmark, remembering you that outside your own country, a giant is becoming bigger and bigger day after day. I think that, at least, we have to know something about it and to think about what will happen in the near future.