Editoriale

Fragmented We Stand

di Maria Cristina Vannini

Fragmented We Stand

Rephrasing the famous quote can sketches the picture in which Western world has found itself recently, especially Europe and the Americas. Since the end of 2016, a wave of political and social fragmentation has been sweeping at least two of the most important continents in the world, giving way to a culture of populist nationalism. Often people are not aware of the multiple interconnections affecting their lives, impacting on our own happiness and wellbeing. Nor we realise the “butterfly effect” each of these interconnections has on the other around the world. In their restricted landscapes of the last three years, are the people of these continents happier, freer, richer than they used to be? Do they, do we, have a deep understanding of what make us happy or are we functionally illiterate even about it? Few, basic items contributing to our happiness and well-being are: freedom and respect of other people’s freedom, work, healthcare, the outcomes of good politics and the effects of stable and growing economics, the possibility of living in a friendly environment, both on a psychological point of view and where the effects of the climate change are limited. Social and societal interactions, safe and affordable mobility, broad and uncensured communication. To which, finally, it can be added what anyone considers to be good. In an individualistic culture as the Western one has transformed, declaring that anyone can decide what it is good for him/herself can be considered really the base of the fragmentation we are observing recently, the right anyone claims to have not to homologate or not to be submitted to the law and common rules: “one is one” is the claim that anticipate “first my people”. What kind of culture is generated by all this?

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Gestire cultura

Taxation and the Art Market

di Federico Solfaroli Camillocci

The Italian art market grows poorly and, in any case, more slowly than the world market. One of the reasons for this stagnation is undoubtedly the presence of an anachronistic tax legislation that seems to respond to mere revenue logics. By contrast, an equal and forward-looking tax system of the art market could be instrumental in making a significant contribution to circulating works of art and offering new growth opportunities. Tax policies may be an effective instrument to support the cultural activities of individuals or entities by means of incentives and a favorable tax regime. If the main purpose of a tax system is to earn revenues, this does not prevent the governments from lawfully pursuing objectives not having a strictly fiscal character but rather a social or an economic nature at the same time. The tax regime of the art market gives origin to different issues in accordance with the diversified nature of acts and situations (purchases, supplies or possession of the works of art) taken into consideration by the legislator as well as with the legal form of the interested parties (natural or legal persons, VAT taxpayers or not, and so on). The main issues concern VAT, inheritance tax and income taxation.

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Reti creative

Culture and Wellbeing

di Ginevra Are Cappiello

People’s happiness and wellbeing are undoubtedly at the center of today’s modern life – we could even dare to say that our generation is obsessed with the pursuit of happiness, with finding the perfect balance between our inner desires and the lives that we actually live. Nevertheless, we know very little about what truly makes a human being happy. We read tons of self-help books, we go to courses, and we talk to counselors. But the truth is – we very rarely dig deeper into the scientific causes behind human happiness and wellbeing. We may even be surprised to know that, in fact, there are very solid scientific causes. And among those causes, culture lists as one of the main ones. In order to better understand this, we need first to define what we mean by wellbeing and by culture. What is scientifically defined as psychological wellbeing – and more commonly referred as happiness – is a very complex, subjective feeling, made up by a series of multiple interactions and by a long list of factors: first of all, our physical and mental health, along our age, our yearly income, our profession, our education, the lifestyle that we have, our family life and many others. If we want to make sure that communities and populations thrive, we first need to make sure that the general level of wellbeing is high. To do so, we first need to understand how much every single factor named above contributes to the general wellbeing of individuals. To name a few, we can easily understand how lifestyle is one of the main contributors to psychological wellbeing, since unhealthy lifestyles can deeply influence the quality of our lives and therefore will influence our physical and mental health. Family life is also very important: we bring our own lives into our families, and when even one individual within a household is affected by stress, this can easily be transferred to other family members.  We can’t obviously forget about the social sphere – this is where everything converges. We can have happy populations or unhappy populations, with real waves of wellbeing affecting a specific population in a specific time. And what about culture?

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