Empathy, democracy and the economy | openDemocracy

At present, our economic systems afford us only the narrowest view of human potential. They deny us the ability to see people for what they truly are. We define others not by what they have but by what they lack. Rather than examine what they can offer, we categorize vast swaths of our society by what they need. And the harm that is done to others through poverty, inequality and pollution is dismissed as a trade-off against economic efficiency and growth. Ifempathy is the ability to understand the perspectives of others and use that understanding to guide one’s actions, then it’s safe to conclude that our current economies inculcate the opposite.

 

What would change if the economy was re-structured with empathy at the center?