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Always Betting on God

Always Betting on God

Forever interacting with a world where both he and the things around him are beyond his reach, man longs for infinity. Although his powers of action are limited by the constraints of time and space, man clings to his reason not only to order the reality of scarcity, but also to probe the mysteries of the beyond. He has only one life ahead to understand what awaits “beyond” and his only guilt is that of not being aware enough of the full importance of this “before”. We were endowed with reason from the very beginning and we use it to productively take part in the social metabolism, otherwise the animal instinct activated by implacable bio-physical-chemical laws would have sufficed. Reason is also the source for the understanding of the world as it is (to us) and of the world as it should be (to us). This assumption leads to the idea that reason is not only the best means to detect temptation but more often than not, the biggest temptation itself. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


The Genesis of a President and the Four Horsemen of the Establishment's Trumpocalypse

The Genesis of a President and the Four Horsemen of the Establishment's Trumpocalypse

Donald Trump’s stunning electoral upset presages a new political realignment within the United States’ two-party system. Hopefully, the end of such a process will be a more competitive system, in which the preferences of the large and increasingly heterogenous American population are better aggregated and reflected in the resulting public policies. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


The Triangle of Terror

The Triangle of Terror

A lorry crashes into a crowd of people gathered at the Berlin Christmas fair, killing 12 and injuring 56. At an art exhibition in Ankara, Turkey, Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov is shot dead by a young police officer who shouts Allah’s name and vindictive slogans against military actions in Syria before being gunned down himself by the Turkish police. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Turkey – in a State of Emergency. What’s Next?

Turkey – in a State of Emergency. What’s Next?

A terrorist attack at the airport, a failed coup, the assassination of the Russian Ambassador in Ankara or the New Year’s Eve massacre, are just some of the events that marked a bloody 2016 for Turkey. At the same time, excluding Syria, Turkey is the state that has witnessed the most terrorist attacks coming from Daesh in the previous year. Moreover, due to the dynamics of regional geopolitical, tensions between Ankara and Washington are growing, the Turks being dissatisfied with the support of the USA for the Kurds in Syria, which has made Fikri Ișık, the defense minister in Ankara, to announce that his country could close the Incirlik Air Base. Obviously, these escalating tensions raise questions about Turkey's future relationship with the West. But beyond foreign policy, Turkey risks sinking internally into a socio-political crisis, coordinated with a possible recession and a possible retry for the army to orchestrate a coup whose effects would throw the country in total chaos. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Henderson’s Last Warning – in Victory, Possible Defeat

Henderson’s Last Warning – in Victory, Possible Defeat

The death of Dr. Donald Henderson in August 2016 went largely unremarked by the wider world. Instead of the evening news, I learned of it from an Economist obituary but, by rights, the event should have been a global opportunity to meditate on his life’s work, which involved saving at least a hundred million people from death by smallpox and another three hundred million from the disfiguring effects of infection. In 1966, the World Health Organization (WHO) was given the task of getting rid of smallpox. Donald Henderson had already been studying the disease in over 50 countries. By 1977, Henderson was observing the last natural recorded case of smallpox and, by 1980, the WHO had announced the success of the Smallpox Eradication Program (SEP), something previously thought unachievable. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Obama’s Last Hurrahs

Obama’s Last Hurrahs

With just a few weeks to go until the inauguration of President-Elect Trump’s Administration and his destined-to-be-controversial cabinet, President-Eject Obama (as political pundit Steve Sailer put it) has been and is challenging notions of what a “lame duck” President should do with his time. He has been extraordinarily active in taking actions which Donald Trump would not entertain so lightly. In this, he is hoping to either buttress a lackluster political legacy or to force Trump’s hand with a series of “fait accompli”. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Technocracy and Millenarism: (Bad) Ideas Never Die

Technocracy and Millenarism: (Bad) Ideas Never Die

As the U. S. President John F. Kennedy once stated, “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.” Maybe paradoxically, this is especially the case of bad ideas. The fact that some honest social scientists live with the impression that they succeed in evaporating a bad idea or argument usually ends with the condensation of such an idea into another form or recipe. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Innovation’s Feet of Clay

Innovation’s Feet of Clay

Constant technological improvement is the fixed idea of the modern world, spoken of as a self-evident truth or an axiom in what has become the closest thing to religious revelation that many people get to experience. Not only is technology improving but, in many ways, it is also accelerating, leading to concepts such as Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity “within our lifetimes”, when computers become smarter than people and technological development becomes unmoored from human inspiration or effort. This might be the case and, in truth, ideas to the contrary have been proven wrong ever since the apocryphal episode of the Commissioner of the US Patent Office, Charles Duell, suggesting its closure on account of everything having already been invented by 1899. However, evidence is mounting that the rate of true scientific and technological advancement has only been maintained through the allocation of greater and greater resources, both financial and human. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Trump’s Transatlantic Impaired Partnership

Trump’s Transatlantic Impaired Partnership

The two shores, and lands, of the North Atlantic – the Eastern and the Western ones – are subject to a movement where, metaphorically speaking, the economy tries to beat the geography, while politics seem to team up either with the first one or with the second. The name of the game is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – TTIP –, the famously hard-to-get deal between the US and EU, whose first official round of talks began in 2013, with the intention to bring about lower trade tariffs and to reduce regulatory barriers that make exchanges between the US and the EU more costly than they should. Geophysics literally distances America from Europe, the orogenesis of the Mid-Atlantic ridge pushing aside the tectonic plates where “the new world” and “the old continent” sit. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Failed Acts of Speech, a Challenge for Democracy

Failed Acts of Speech, a Challenge for Democracy

“Each electoral cycle is a new opportunity to identify failed acts of speech, both inter- and intra-generational, and communication can have deep connotations”, believe a number of Romanian academics, journalists and experts from various NGOs and think-tanks, gathered recently at the Dignitas Foundation in Bucharest to analyse the latest global and local events. Juxtapositions are always made in the Romanian public space, which is very well informed and connected to the West, through the extensive international cooperation in both public and private sectors, and through the Romanians studying in Western Universities, who then return with a more critical eye on society. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Trump’s Infrastructure Blues

Trump’s Infrastructure Blues

There is a phenomenon jokingly associated with Steve Jobs, called a “reality distortion field”, whereby he did not just happen to be right very often with regards to his products, but the Universe itself conspired to make him right, regardless of what he said when it comes to what the consumers want or need. A similar phenomenon has been observed with Donald Trump, ever since he announced his candidacy for the US Presidency. Some pundits have taken to calling it “Trump’s luck” and, were there any possible means for him to do so, the coincidences have been so “fortuitous” that one expects him to have arranged them himself. His announcement speech spoke about illegal immigrant criminals and was widely derided by the media for not bearing any relation to their preferred reality. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


The Belt and Road Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative

Amid an accelerated economic growth, China has become one of the most important players on the global scene in the 21st century and a central element of the regional and world economy. China has experienced a rapid economic development, which has propelled it among the strongest economies in the world, and this trend was due to both economic reforms implemented since the 1980s and a change of perspective in its relations with other states. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016