Full Italian review translation

In: Daniel In The News

24 Jul 2010

There follows a full translation of the review of Ferraris for All in the Sunday culture section of Il Sole 24 Ore (Italy’s business daily) on 11 July. Many thanks to Martha Halford for translating the text.

Wednesday 14 July Ferraris for All: In Defence of Economic Progress by Daniel Ben-Ami will be launched in the USA. I wonder if its coinciding with the great anti-feudal French revolutions is accidental. The theme is economic progress, dreamed for centuries by the poor and the enlightened, then the banner of the left of the Industrial Revolution, and today loathed by everybody.

The radicals only see it as a cause of pollution; its symbol, the BP catastrophe. The moderates are sceptical that growth should still be possible outside China, India and Brazil, and are happy with a mediocre status quo.

The conservatives (often born and brought up among wealth, and indifferent to other people’s plea) warn that without any rigour we get derailed and who has missed the “wealth train” should “grin and bear it”.

Dreaming jokingly of a Ferrari in every garage, Ben-Ami sets off with optimism and trust, these two attitudes have contributed to build the best in our world. Both the cynical right and the ineffective left have forgotten about them.

Ben-Ami is aware that all growth must be sustainable, but also – a simple truth always ignored – only development can put an end to poverty and ignorance.

It doesn’t help that the West and its intellectuals are prey to aphasia and to the dark pessimism that followed the Cold War. The masses without any hope of improving their situation, as teaches Nobel laureate [Paul] Krugman, hypnotised in front of the TV; the wise sages as much discouraged but only able to complain about “how bad things are”, sitting in front of their blog.

Polaris is the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor, and it has always shown the way to all those with strong ideas and a strong heart, towards new worlds, new dreams, without misery, pessimism, credulity, and predictable snobbery of the few dyspeptic acolytes of the past. It is the star of joyful hope, bold, brave and happy which will lead the way in Ben-Ami’s book: a most welcome contribution.