Lessons from Panama Papers

With Panama papers, we got a clear demonstration how the human societies are spoilt worldwide by the obsession of top-down spheres for compulsive self-enrichement and nepotism. The huge work developed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists will undoubtedly mark our history and hopefully animate one for all the citizens to fight for a new economic model to rescue our societies. In that sense, science and scientific research- consensually considered as a motor for our economy- must rapidly find a suitable route escaping to this terrible destiny. Instead of providing new tools required for the common good and a better future with a long term perspective, it turns to short-termism looking for more profit. We might indeed worry about the large tendency that can be seen in the EU as well as in the rest of the world for public institutions to blindly support innovation at the expense of inspired bottom-up research. As the fruit of an inspired, bottom-up, cooperative investigation, the Panama papers have lead us to remind that in the EU tax evasion is close to two times the budget deficit . It turns to be definitively clear that part of the decision-making process supporting science policies is under the influence of an invisible offshore governance. The top-down community has been more preoccupied to let grow their offshore banking reserve than to directly reinvert profits issued from science to the common good, to better share them in education and health concerning everyday people and to reduce social inequalities.

The RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation) initiative will help to orientate the scientists and the science education according to the needs of our societies. The RMB-SSE (Social and Solidarity Economy) platform issued from the social economy model must contribute to stop the suicidal offshore attraction. Both are expected to share their views to strengthen our chance for a salutary bifurcation. Hopefully, the citizens are now ready to massively support these proposals and to vote for a global change: it is time to transcend La Boetie’s prophecy.

You are more than welcome to sign in our still relevant Open Letter: “They have chosen ignorance”.

Gilles Mirambeau

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One thought on “Lessons from Panama Papers”

  1. I am pleasantly surprised for finding a reference about the Discourse on Voluntary Servitude by Étienne de La Boétie. I think that no many people knows about it.
    One of the main drawbacks we have in Europe is the lack of control over the politicians, either in EU as a whole or in individual countries. The two main rules for controlling the political class and bind them for service to the citizens are mostly broken (time to read Montesquieu again):
    – We lack separation of the three powers of the state (legislature, executive and judiciary).
    – We have no real represensatives (they usually owe their position to the head of the party, not the citizens, so who will they obey?).
    Indeed, the Declaration of the rights of Man and of the Citizen by France’s National Constituent Assembly in 1789 states that “Any society in which the guarantee of rights is not assured, nor the separation of powers determined, has no Constitution (Article XVI)”.
    If we can’t control the politicians, we can’t control the economy, our resources, our society…, ultimately, our lives. I am a little bit pessimistic about it, but we need real deep changes in Europe, both in the EU political system and in most of the individual countries systems. If citizens do not have control over the institutions, then we lack the tools for controlling and deciding about anything.