The Economy has to find its place among the human sciences. It is not good to lock ourselves in our specialized and many times incomprehensible world. For that reason I think that the Economy does not have to be at odds with Literature. Neither does it have to be confronted with History, Psychology, Politics, Law, Ethics or Philosophy.
We can see an example in the following quote from a story by Jorge Luis Borges. He writes in “The Zahir»: “Tennyson said that if we could understand a single flower we would know who we are and what the world is.” Perhaps he meant that there is not a single thing, however humble, that does not involve universal history and its infinite linking of cause and effect. Perhaps he meant that the visible world is seen completely in each representation, in the same way that the will, according to Schopenhauer, is seen completely in each object. The intriguers understood that man is a microcosm, a symbolic mirror of the universe; everything according to Tennyson, would be so.»
I have not found a better description of the interdependence, completion and universal coordination of the entire physical and spiritual, past, present and future world that is based on the impossibility of control and full human understanding of the Economy. I would dare to say that we are, each and every one, an eternity that wanders absent-mindedly along the daily roads of today without soaking up the deep significance of each insignificance, those billion daily personal actions are completely impossible to know and uncontrollable. Colloquially we could say that an inopportune sneeze two centuries ago changed the history of the universe. In the Economy everything is interdependent.
For that reason, in this introduction, I prefer not to speak directly about the Economy, leaving to one side the so widespread economic pragmatism and highlighting the usefulness and importance that regular reading and writing have for personal growth. Writing, at any time, allows us to develop and strengthen educational activity as well as diffusion of the investigating activity. Maybe due to my optimistic background, I trust in the goodness of diffusion and massive transparency of intuition and personal discoveries although the possible monetary benefits of copyright disappear immediately.
By writing it is possible to record on paper and broadcast the communication of a personal reflection that can remain alive in the human current of history. By writing, a creative instant attempts to perpetuate a sad, cheerful or vibrant inspiration and an ephemeral light of the world of ideas. It is a privilege reserved only for the human species. People write little because they read little and they read little because they write even less. It is necessary to resolve, to dare, to write. Although we know that only our unconditional ones, our children and maybe, although I doubt it, the children of our children, will read it. Possibly many times only we shall read these foolishnesses, but it is still worthwhile. That which is written orders the disordered and even chaotic thought and, in turn, it introduces a healthy disorder in our manias and rigid obsessions.
These luminous but ephemeral moments can appear in the most disparate circumstances, for example, in a taxi driver’s comment or fellow traveller’s conversation in a suburban train. Or perhaps when overhearing a political, economic or cultural comment while changing channels suddenly on the radio or television; when hastily eyeing or perhaps browsing idly through the opinion pages in a morning newspaper or the comments at the foot of the page of an economic essay. Or maybe when remembering the brilliant review of an advanced student or the silly comment of a prestigious professor; in the personal confusion for ridicule when faced with an easy question that many times you didn’t know how to answer or in the silent excitement that is produced when discovering something that, mistakenly, you believed was novel and important…in a matrimonial enchantment or the conciliatory reflection after an argument; in a serious but impertinent criticism made by a seven year-old whippersnapper or in a casual remark by the Prince of Asturias prize-winner… or as a result of the death of a loved one such as your father, which sadly happened and for that reason I dedicate the last article to him.
Miscellany is like a coil of intellectual sparks that appear in the most varied circumstances. I trust that among so much barren ash the reader can find in these articles some mono-coloured spark of the unreachable majestic splendour of serene multicoloured truth.
I do not know if by reading and writing we shall be able to increase institutional freedom, but I am sure that through culture, education, training and ethics we shall achieve more personal freedom and better capacity of flexible self-determination. In this way we shall gain in flexibility, tolerance and love of wisdom and the always new truth.
Once this introduction is complete, I have to make a confession: I am sure that everything written here is copied, nothing is original. I have the open conception of copyright that Leonardo Pole also has whereby the idea does not only belong to the one who discovers it but to everyone who is able to understand it. In my writing, I always try to quote and give clues as to who inspired me to write this or that. But I cannot mention the taxi driver or the plumber; or whoever sneezed inopportunely two centuries ago or quote the neighbour from the fifth floor; or whoever inspired Karl Marx’s thinking or those that inspired Smith, Ricardo, Marshall or Menger. I cannot quote all of them. It is impossible for me to write a brief account in a few pages about whoever edited a piece of news that I read in a corner or to the cameraman that took an interesting shot of the politician of the time or the stranger that selected the news of a TV news bulletin. I repeat: nothing is original. For that reason I beg that everyone considers themselves quoted. As I am convinced that all that I write is copied neither will I claim royalties in my case. Personally, I prefer others to copy me, although with one condition that is easily fulfilled: that the copy always improves on the original in an endless expansive chain.
However, it is also as well to say that everything is new and different if we consider the time and the concrete space of every living human bulb that illuminates with different intensity each special moment of life with an idea. As Gilson said “No intelligible relationship between two terms belongs to the past forever; each time that it is understood, it is in the present.” To emphasize what I am trying to explain right now, some verses of the poem “East Coker” by Eliot spring to mind:
You say that I am repeating
something that I have said before.
I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again?
Reading these words you can guess what I thought some days ago, the 24th of January 1994 at 19 hours and six minutes to be precise, when I was developing and writing these words. However, what I do not know is what these same words suggest to you, neither can you know now what I am thinking now and in what way. Everything is new and nothing seems old. But in turn everything is old and nothing seems new, even the Economy that, fortunately or unfortunately, has been spoken about so much for more than two centuries.
But not everything is chance, disorder and chaos. There is a universal goblin that makes plans for lefts and rights; for economic models or theories; for scientific or political ideologies; for sexes, races, ages and origins; attracting toward its magic principles all that glimpses it in its solitary intimacy. With my professional economic mentality, I wanted to become, blindly and without pretensions, that universal goblin’s daily and stubborn spokesman that attracts the developments of the different human sciences towards his truth.
The content of these articles was published in different newspapers and more specialized economic newspapers, fundamentally Diario 16 which has now disappeared, Business Gazette and Mediterranean by inverse chronological order, except for the last one for obvious reasons since it is the one dedicated to my father. More specialised reading is also included from different reports and papers from congresses.
I would like to thank all those who trusted in the viability of this editorial project of personal Miscellany. Also to all those accountable for the opinion of the media where I have published for having the audacity, and committing the folly, of publishing them. In addition, to my son José Juan who efficiently ordered all the computerized disorder; to Rocío as always, and to the countless ones who, like I said before, should have been mentioned. And thank you once and for all to those who, from the beginning and with rare strength, instilled a blast of spirit and life in the deepest depths of the matter. Thank you to everyone.