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제목 [기타소식] Altruism 'only solution against pandemic' [The Korea Times 2020-06-09]
글쓴이 webmaster 조회 78 등록일 2020.06.09

French economist/futurologist Jacques Attali spoke about the post-pandemic era. Capture from YouTube account of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korea

French economist/futurologist Jacques Attali spoke about the post-pandemic era. Capture from YouTube account of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korea

By Dong Sun-hwa

Altruism is the sole solution to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) sweeping the planet, according to French economist/futurologist Jacques Attali. 

"The only way to fight against the pandemic is to act altruistically. By protecting others, you can protect yourself," Attali said during a video interview released on the YouTube channel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Monday. 

Professor Choi Jung-wha, of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and president of the Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI), was the interviewer. 

The talk was part of the ministry's online interview series, which aims to discuss the post-pandemic era with high-profile intellectuals from around the globe. 

Attali elaborated on his point, saying, "Many people thought isolating and closing doors were the solutions to protect themselves, but this is not appropriate because the world today is very interdependent. Practicing altruism is beneficial because once you protect others, they will eventually protect you." 

The economist cited wearing a face mask as an example. 

"If I wear a mask, I protect the others and those wearing masks also protect me," he said. "I call this 'self-interested altruism' because it's in my own interest to be altruistic. When we reach this point, we move towards 'disinterested altruism.'"

Saying there would be more pandemics, Attali also shared his perspective on how to cope with them.

"As Korea has done, preparations should be done based on the lessons learned from past experiences," he said. "It is a good idea to secure enough masks and test kits and have tracking methods. Speeding up the analysis of viruses and genomes and preparing medications are also good plans."

But he warned that avoiding the cause of the problem and hiding could lead to a catastrophe.

Attali also pointed out all means should be used to develop the health industry, adding that medical companies should boast the greatest sales in the world. He underscored the significance of education too.

"Health and education are key sectors for the future," he said. "But the automobile, aviation, and tourism industries need to go through great change if they wish to become industries of the future."

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