23 julio 2009

Arthur Erickson, discurso a los banqueros.

No es común que los banqueros den oportunidad de escuchar discursos de personas que no estén en el medio financiero y mucho menos de ramas relacionadas con la cultura y las artes como la arquitectura. Un caso curioso es el de Arthur Erickson, arquitecto y urbanista canadiense, que tuvo la oportunidad de realizar un discurso ante banqueros de Canadá el 16 de octubre de 1972. Por la fecha del discurso, parecería viejo, pero su contenido es actualmente vigente, ya que los problemas que el mencionaba en ese momento no se han superado. Fundamentalmente, la visión egocéntrica “norteamericana” que quiere implantar su modelo (cultural y económico) en todas partes y que cree que la naturaleza existe para servirle como mejor le convenga, sin entender que el seguir por este camino tiene consecuencias terribles de largo plazo: destrucción de culturas, daños ecológicos irreversibles, horizontes de corto plazo, etc.

Dejo unos fragmentos del discurso más adelante y recomiendo mucho leerlo.

“But what is the thread of western civilization that distinguished its course in history? It is difficult to illuminate briefly, but it has to do with the preoccupation of western man with his outward command and effect on physical matter; it has to do with his sense of superiority in the natural order of things - his egocentricity, in fact, resulting in his most persistent myth: that the universe was created for his own exclusive use. Thus western man has never accepted the inferior role of vassal or agent to a greater design or fate over which he had no control, but rather, believing he could be captain of his destiny, he has determined to find out what made the whole thing work in order to take over the helm. With his strong sense of ego, he reads his history as being the effect of what he has caused. The difference between the outlook of western civilization and medieval or oriental civilization is like the difference between unicellular and multi-cellular organisms, for they, on the other hand, saw man as but a small part of a much larger pattern into which he was inextricably bound. With that concept of complex interdependency, western individualism could not have existed.



I have come to plead, also, for the comprehensive approach as the most urgent issue facing us today. We can no longer afford the short term and limited view of things because of the broad impact of the consequences of our decisions. You, as bankers, cannot afford to be concerned with only the economic aspects of projects that you finance. There may be serious implications on the natural environment, on the urban environment, on human culture, which at some future time may even be considered crimes against mankind.”


El resto del discurso lo pueden encontrar en la página electrónica de Arthur Erickson, recientemente fallecido.

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