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Category: History

Aurelio Peccei: strokes to a portrait



Rather recently a series of the publications "100 people who turned the course of history" was published. It is devoted to the outstanding persons who moved heaven and earth, those legendary people who had the greatest impact on policy, art, religion, the industry and other areas of a modern civilization.

Carried to such outstanding persons Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare, Peter I, Einstein, Freud and many others. Carried those people who really had considerable impact on development of the most various parties of human life and the world in general.

However the choice of the most outstanding persons from all those who lived and created during various eras of development of humanity always remains problematic as it is necessary to deal not with quantitative indices (capital assessment, say, of 100 richest people in the world), and with the qualitative factors demonstrating intellectual, sociocultural, moral, spiritual influence on development of humanity.

It is represented to me that, at least, within global studies the identity of the talented organizer knowing several languages, the eminent public figure and the first president of the Roman club Aurelio Peccei (1908 — 1984) is that sign figure which, undoubtedly, not only made the significant contribution to development of humanity of the second half of the XX century, but also visually showed what influence on thinking and acts of politicians, economists, financiers, industrialists, ecologists, scientists the extraordinary and purposeful person can render.

Briefly I will stop on biographic milestones of life of A. Pechchei that, I hope, will promote the best understanding that contribution which it made in formation and development of global studies.

A. Pechchei was born on July 4, 1908 in a northern part of Italy, in Turin. The liberal situation in family promoted formation of its independent relation to life. Assimilation of lessons of wisdom of the father (to be a person and to live the free person) defined his subsequent relation to the world and became a basis of belief in ample opportunities, courage and firmness of the human being. It helped it to survive in the period of students in fascist Italy and to join the ideas of the French thinkers of HUS of century during training at an extent of several months in Sorbonne (Paris).

Having graduated from economics department of the Turin university, A. Pechchei got a job in Fiat, over time achieved appointment to China where ra-

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botat from 1933 to 1938. Having returned to Europe, he adjoined a resistance movement, in 1944 was arrested by Nazis and spent eleven months in prison. Thanks to happy combination of circumstances at the beginning of 1945. A. Pechchei was released, having received lessons of human dignity and courage, indelible from memory, in the conditions of tortures and violation of the personality.

The subsequent work on restoration of production activity of the Fiat company in Italy, travel across Asia, Africa and Latin America, life and work for a number of years in Argentina where A. Pechchei founded the headquarters Fiat, the leadership in activity of the advisory "Italkon-sult" operating in more than fifty countries of the world, work on a post of the managing director of Olivetti - all this promoted understanding by it the fact that achievements in area of industrial department substantially depend on development and use of human resources.

Having returned to Europe and having located in Rome in 1957, A. Pechchei more often began to think of how to eradicate injustice and defects of human society which it had to face during the previous activity worldwide. Having come to the agreement with heads of the Fiat company on granting free time to it (provided that collateral activity will not be to the detriment of work in firm), it started public work.

At the beginning of the 60th. A. Pechchei responded to the invitation of two American senators to head the new company Adela ("The Atlantic development of Latin America") focused on mobilization of good will, scientific achievements and finance of a number of continents for the purpose of private sector development of Latin economy. The business pragmatism of the company was combined with consciousness of the international and social responsibility therefore the possibility of new ways of reorganization of functions and activity of private enterprise in the changing world was shown.

Since 1967 for six years A. Pechchei headed the Economic commission of the Atlantic institute of the international problems in Paris within which the research groups which are engaged in development of recommendations and assistance to the governments at adoption of the state decisions were created. Understanding that without joint efforts of scientists, businessmen and statesmen it is impossible to be realistic about the prospects of world development came to this period to it and that for the solution of this task it is necessary to use the system analysis.

Several years of organizational and diplomatic efforts, including the organization of a meeting of the former adviser to the U.S. President M. Bundy and the vice-chairman of the State committee on science and technology J. Gvishiani before thanks to personal contacts of A. Pechchei with prominent statesmen of various countries at the end of 1972 the International institute of the applied system analysis (IIASA) was created were required.

In April, 1968 on an initiative and of A. Pechchei's invitation about thirty European scientists gathered in Rome in National Academy of a dea Linchei. Though between participants of discussion there was no unanimity, nevertheless, the ends of a meeting which gathered later in A. Pechchei' house several enthusiasts created the committee which was an incitement to formation of new civil association.

The Roman club - the informal, independent, non-governmental organization which set two objects for itself was so created: to promote that people could realize those difficulties which the mankind faces and to use available knowledge for establishment of the new relations and political policies promoting an exit from a global crisis situation. A. Pechchei was elected the president of the Roman club.

In 1969 in the American publishing house Macmillan the book by A. Pechchei "Before a chasm" was published. In it fears expressed on the fact that macroproblems all more threaten mankind and, therefore, for its survival and preservation of the planet it is necessary to combine efforts for the purpose of research and joint planning of the future.

On the basis of these ideas within the Roman club "The project of difficulties of mankind" was developed. After discussion of different opportunities for implementation of this project it was recognized that the most long-term plan of achievement of the corresponding purposes consists in representation and the analysis of a world perspective by means of system use of global models. Thereby the new direction in study and judgment of the future which received the name of global modeling was open.

How it was possible to reach people of various professions and mentalities worldwide? To reach those who were lulled or blinded by a hope on scientific and technical progress and economic growth which were perceived as a panacea from all crisis processes?

A. Pechchei recognized that the mankind consists of the elements interconnected among themselves and in the conditions of globalization the greatest value is gained by those which depend on the person. To realize what parties of human behavior are responsible for global crisis and what changes it would be necessary to carry out, treatment by shock is necessary. Such treatment can be performed on the basis of quantitative arguments which are perceived by people more intelligibly, than reasonings of qualitative character. Therefore it was relied on the mathematical model based on a method of system dynamics and imitating development of a world system by means of such variables interconnected among themselves as the population, capital investments, use of not renewable natural resources, environmental pollution, production of food.

In 1972 the first report of the Roman club which was published in the form of the book "Growth Limits" was submitted to world community. The multinational group of young scientists headed by D. Meadows showed results of global modeling which came down to the fact that at preservation of the tendencies to growth taking place at that time in the conditions of limited resources of the planet at the beginning of HH1 the centuries are inevitable global crisis and crash. Global disaster can be prevented only in case measures for restriction and regulation of this growth, statement and realization of the new purposes directed to preservation of the planet are taken.

The work published almost in thirty languages with a general circulation about four million copies "Growth limits" not only caused discussions among scientists worldwide, but also drew attention of general public to those difficulties of mankind with which it was necessary to reckon.

Estimating results of modeling of world development, A. Pechchei with satisfaction noted that he if for conquest of Troy the achaeans needed ten years to guess a trick with a wooden horse, then the Roman club managed to find "Trojan Horse" for shorter term and to gain the first strategic victory in the begun historical battle for preservation of life on Earth. It was important as well the fact that as a result of a shock therapy earlier existing myth about growth began to vanish gradually in minds of many representatives of the human race.

For the next twelve years A. Pechchei actively participated in the organization and implementation of further projects of the Roman club, constantly meeting prominent representatives of business, policy, science, culture and generating the fruitful ideas concerning a possibility of formation of new strategy and the purposes of development of humanity. With its direct support within the Roman club thirteen reports in which not only the most important aspects of regional and global development were investigated were prepared and published, but also the corresponding recommendations submitted on change of the general provision of a human system were offered.

In 1977 the book by A. Pechchei "Human qualities" which showed the width and depth of thinking of the person concerned for the fate of mankind was published. While some researchers were fond of mathematical modeling, seeking to confirm or disprove the external limits of material growth revealed by the Roman club, he with all definiteness emphasized that these limits result from the internal limits relating to human development and connected mainly with culture. A. Pechchei stated strong belief that the possibility of prevention of global disaster directly corresponds to use of the main resource - human potential.

All efforts have to be concentrated, according to A. Pechchei, on development in the person of desire and ability to operate themselves and the world so that its vital forces were directed to the solution of humanistic tasks. In a word, the key to rescue of mankind is put in the person, in his own internal transformation on awareness of that responsibility which is conferred on it during an era of global changes in the world.

Without being a humanist or the philosopher by training, A. Pechchei came to a conclusion about need of formation and development of what he called "new humanity". This "new humanity" has to be characterized by feeling of globality, love for justice, intolerance to violence, a thought of unity of the world and integrity of mankind, need for cultural development of the person and improvement of human qualities of all inhabitants of the planet, aspiration to self-expression, disclosure of opportunities and abilities of the human person.

In other books, including "Hour of the truth" (1975), "Ahead an abyss" (1979), "Hundred steps to the future. Reflections of the president of the Roman club" (1981), A. Peccei not only warned about the global danger threatening to mankind, but also offered the vision of strategy of an exit from a catastrophic situation. In particular, he wrote about the new system of values of the person focused on to have no more, and to be the person responsible not only for itself, but also for the fate of other people and mankind in general. He also hoped

on the fact that the person will have enough wisdom to be guided in the life by the ideas and values of "new humanity".

the greatest desire of A. Pechchei was to bring, on his own expression, feasible (in that measure which is available to one person) a contribution "in revival of human spirit because without it all human system will appear in captivity of such concepts or extreme circumstances which will inevitably lead it to destruction".

Till last days of the life in a full measure of the forces and A. Pechchei's opportunities sought to realize the desire into particular cases. He died on March 14, 1984, being convinced that the most important is a human person. Own life, professional and public work he visually showed that this is true.

A. Pechchei's influence on minds of a number of businessmen, political figures and scientists was so considerable that actually predetermined further orientation of researches and transformations in many countries of the world. In particular, after his death a number of reports to the Roman club was published and new national associations of assistance to this club, including the Russian Association are created. "to think of the credo which is put forward at his life globally, to work locally" became an integral part of thinking and actions of those who stated concern about future development of humanity and proposed any given solutions promoting prevention of global disaster.

I did not happen to be close familiar with A. Pechchei. Nevertheless, the research of activity of the Roman club, judgment of the ideas which are contained in its works and a personal meeting with it left in me an indelible impression about this talented, bright, extraordinary person. Still I store his book "Hundred Steps to the Future" which he presented me with a dedicatory inscription one year prior to the death.

As for many years I not only researched in the field of global studies, but also carried out professional activity in the sphere of psychoanalysis, perhaps, will be expedient to introduce the following idea.

At the beginning of the 20th century, estimating the contribution to development of science, the founder of psychoanalysis Z. Freud said that three crushing blow were struck to mankind. I, cosmological, a blow was struck by Copernicus who proved that Earth is not the center of the Universe. The second, biological, a blow was struck by Darvin who made a hypothesis that the person occurred from a monkey. The third, most crushing, psychological blow is struck to narcissism of mankind to them, Freud who showed that the person considering himself a conscious being in fact is unconsciously conceiving and acting, and, therefore, it "I" am not an owner in own house.

Using this analogy, it would be possible to tell that A. Pechchei put the fourth, not less crushing, global blow on the self-satisfied, hoping for material growth mankind which representatives are guided in, focused on a manor, but not life of activity by the momentary mercantile reasons which are not correlated to the future of the planet.

I believe that professional and public work of A. Pechchei, undoubtedly, deserves that his name was entered in global studies history, and it is possible, and in mankind history along with those giants of a thought who are traditionally considered to be the outstanding persons who influenced the world.

Timothy Palmer
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