Philosophes rois contre philosophes présidents

LONDRES – Récemment, j’ai eu l’occasion de rencontrer le président irlandais Michael Higgins – nous participions à une conférence au cours de laquelle il établissait un lien entre sa toute nouvelle « Initiative éthique » et un livre que j’avais co-écrit avec mon fils, How Much is Enough? Money and the Good Life– et j’ai été frappé par le grand intérêt qu’il porte à la réflexion intellectuelle. Le débat d’idée est en effet une passion pour le président-poète irlandais – une passion que bien des chefs d’état feraient bien de partager.

En mai dernier, Higgins expliquait à des étudiants en économie de l’université de Chicago  qu’ils exploraient une discipline déformée, arrachée à ses racines éthiques et philosophiques. « Les récents séismes économiques et financiers, » a-t-il déclaré, « ont tristement révélé les travers des outils intellectuels utilisés par la théorie économique fondamentale et ses principales hypothèses sur la durabilité des marchés auto-régulateurs, » et surtout « dans les marché financiers globaux profondément dérégulés. » Il avait alors proposé « un examen critique de certaines des hypothèses essentielles en économie telle qu’elle est pensée dans les départements universitaires d’économie partout dans le monde. »

Quel autre chef d’état serait en mesure de pointer du doigt ces déficiences économiques avec autant de précision, étayant ses arguments par des citations non seulement d’Adam Smith, mais aussi de Max Weber, Thorstein Veblen, et Jürgen Habermas?

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