…to speed up the process of de-institutionalising.
Today I came across a blog by Umair Haque on HBR Blog Network (http://bit.ly/on7eEo) about the question if America is giving up on its future. As he states:
“Washington’s bogged down in games of brinksmanship instead of practicing the art of leadership. Hell-bent on running each other into the ground — instead of running the nation — America’s so-called leaders are sending us into what wonks are calling a “policy-induced recession.””, Mr Haque continues and quotes Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (http://read.bi/nP5JvF).
In his Liberty Medal acceptance speech at the National Constitution Center on September 22, 2011, Dr Gates says:
“I do believe that we are now in uncharted waters when it comes to the dysfunction in our political system — and it is no longer a joking matter…we have lost the ability to execute even the basic functions of government, much less solve the most difficult and divisive problems facing the country. Thus, I am more concerned than I have ever been about the state of American governance.” (you can read the entire speech at http://bit.ly/nBH4ig)
To me that is spot on and I’m pleasantly surprised in a way to hear this from a leader from the establishment. And this process of political leaders being hell-bent running each other down is not only taking place in the USA of course. In many countries around the world that have some kind of democratically chosen government the same process takes place. Whether it’s Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, UK, France, just to name a few. Polarisation seems to be the only possible way forward, obviously not for the nations the politicians are supposed to serve but at least for the contenders for political leadership functions themselves. Political discourse has degenerated in a superficial and course debate with the sole aim of slandering the opponents. A different view is not only different; it is bad as is the person expressing that view and all those who agree to that. And yes indeed, I covered the theme in my novel The Glass Dome as well. I choose to believe that the challenges we are facing are from a different order. To me it seems as if something rather large is happening and is inviting us to take a step back, try to see what wants to manifest and gain a different understanding. Indeed: finding solutions on a different level than where the current problems have been created. And yes, sure, that will lead to a radically different outcome. It looks to me as if the political system as we know it in our democracies is starting to come apart. (For dictators there’s even less hope as the Arab Spring has demonstrated.) I do not know exactly how the new leadership will look like but I would imagine it being non-hierarchical and distributed with those individuals meaningfully contributing to that based on the temporary match between what any given situation requires and the talents they have. And that would be a radical change from where we are now.
But it also seems that pressure needs to rise more on us before a critical mass wakes up and has the courage to start living that in-radix change, which in my view will be a step in the direction of the destiny of mankind. From our current political leaders no such thing can be expected, trapped as they are in their fixed scenarios. Focused on trying to keep the current system in tact, while at the same time accelerating its decline. Victims of their own roleplay which should make all of us careful not to become victims of that as well. I don’t hold all the answers and I choose to believe that no single person does. We’re past that era. Collectively we do, however and I’m very interested in seeing how we can connect and mobilise that hidden, yet unmanifest intelligence and wisdom we all carry, while ensuring each individual’s freedom.
Let’s wake up to a meaningful way forward! There’s interesting work to do.