Un giorno ricco di eventi.
17 luglio 1683. I turchi iniziano l’assedio di Vienna. Non ne cavano molto, ma a Vienna nasce una moda che durerà decenni e di cui godiamo ancora adesso, con il famoso Rondò alla turca di Mozart. Qui ne sentiamo una versione particolarmente virtuosistica (la parafrasi scritta da Arcadi Volodos, suonata da lui medesimo)
17 luglio 1790. Muore a Edinburgo Adam Smith. La sua metafora più famosa è quella della mano invisibile:
As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.
Ma la mia citazione preferita è questa:
But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and shew them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.
La ricchezza delle nazioni (The Wealth of Nations) è disponibile online.
Il 17 luglio 1936, con un’insurrezione lanciata da un segnale radiofonico, avviata dalla destra per scalzare il governo di sinistra democraticamente eletto, inizia la tragica guerra civile spagnola. Ne abbiamo parlato a proposito di Guernica. Soltanto nei primi giorni ci furono 50.000 esecuzioni sommarie (tra cui quella di Federico Garcia Lorca). I fascisti, dopo la vittoria (Barcellona cadde il 26 gennaio 1939), uccisero tra i 50.000 e i 200.000 repubblicani in quella che fu chiamata la feroz matanza.