Habib was recently interviewed by Breakfast.rs. Here’s an excerpt of this very personal, insightful, enlightened and moving exchange:
In a nutshell, too much of what we do is not exactly conscious of the context in which it is being done; e.g. the banker that gives out unmanageable loans to her customers, the oil engineer that decides to drill next to a reef, the doctor that prescribes prescription drugs that are harmful in the long run – when in fact we are dependent on the continuous and successful survival and development of our environment, be that ecological, social or otherwise!
Due to the total economisation of our lives through capitalist & consumerist processes, we have come to believe that “turning a profit” is equal to creating value and “having a full belly” is equal to living well. More even – we have come to assume that this form of materialist maximisation is the sole rational raison d’être of human productive activity, business and even life!
This, in my view, is completely wrong and misled – a cultural crisis! Human life alone is much bigger and more complex than modern economics and materialism would want you to believe, not to mention life on our planet as a whole. Business needs to address this! After all, it is meant to serve us, not destroy us! This sounds simple, but in fact this simple insight requires a major shift in paradigm and consequently also in action. Business, in essence, is about creating value for one another and not about profit! Aristotle already recognised and taught this: He called the pursuit of wealth and its accumulation to gain social prestige “chrematistics” and effectively labelled it an abuse of the productive capacities of society! The word “Oikonomia” (from which the word “economics” is derived) was reserved exclusively for the process of fashioning wealth creation (i.e. the creation of well-being!) around human needs!
Please do take the time to read and enjoy the full interview here: http://breakfast.rs/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/BREAKFAST-People-Habib-Lešević.pdf