gripped by fear and desperation, even in the so-
called rich countries. The joy of living frequent-
ly fades, lack of respect for others and violence
are on the rise, and inequality is increasingly ev-
ident. It is a struggle to live and, often, to live
with precious little dignity. This epochal change
has been set in motion by the enormous qualita-
tive, quantitative, rapid and cumulative advances
occuring in the sciences and in technology, and
by their instant application in different areas of
nature and of life. We are in an age of knowl-
edge and information, which has led to new and
often anonymous kinds of power.
No to an economy of exclusion
53. Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not
kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the
value of human life, today we also have to say
“thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and
inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be
that it is not a news item when an elderly home-
less person dies of exposure, but it is news when
the stock market loses two points? This is a case
of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when
food is thrown away while people are starving?
This is a case of inequality. Today everything
comes under the laws of competition and the sur-
vival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon
the powerless. As a consequence, masses of peo-
ple find themselves excluded and marginalized:
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