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Strategy and our common future

Published by under Articles,Politics / Management categories on April 25, 2011

Human figure walking on a strip that diverges in different pathsThroughout History nations and groups of interests have layed down designs for their immediate and distant future so as to evolve. That is why today’s societies are far more developed than past ones and precisely why our descendants will (or should) reach higher levels of civilization. However, the concept of Strategy is ever changing and conditions the way progress is distributed, how it will affect our fellow man, and even nature itself. By Joaquim Duarte.

One common feature in western societies used to be the implied notion that society’s goal was to better everyone’s life over time, gradually, even if at different rates (even slavery was the object of discussion and evolution, eventually being put aside as inhuman). Such Strategy brought the world to a height of evolution that culminated in the nineties. And observing human interaction one can plainly see that States (and their governments) were an important part in the progress of welfare and prosperity by collecting taxes and redistributing them as part of the paradigm that sought to balance the inequalities derived of fast progress.

That paradigm is now changing rapidly in face of the recent economic crisis which caused its political follow up. Indeed, it is now being debated whether some peoples haven’t been living above their possibilities and should accept a voluntary regression, whilst recognising the maintenance of unimaginable wealth for an elite and, more dramatic, relinquishing their hold on key sectors of the State in favour of private interests. Although some details of the present situation have already taken place in History, mainly in the United Kingdom during the XIX century, we had never witnessed such changes at so great a scale.

Globalisation forces unanimity and the power of money is rising well above the cries for political redefinition of international strategy. Welfare states are abhorred as causers of even greater spendages when national debts are presented to us as virtually unsolvable but for reajustments in economies with the supervision of liberal intitutions of the likes of IMF, OECD, World Bank and so forth, to the ghost of a project called the EU.

It is not anarchy that we’re going for, though, because private economic interests are powerful and the individual seems to drown in a world of intricacies and unrevealed agreements between self appointed leaders and elected ones. The Strategy that is being put forward is that of an era in which inequalities will be viewed as natural and regression a panacea for economic blunders, being those of a speculative or productive nature.

What, then, does History has to offer in way of comparison? What morals can we derive from past examples and how can we design new Strategies for our common future? Although unprecedented, globalisation has similar features to the liberal era of the 1800’s (and its extension into the XX century) and it is becoming visible to all. The obvious paralel is with the rise of extreme right parties which reason in very much the same way as those of the early 1900’s, blaming immigration and the meddling of foreign powers in national interests.

On the other side of this rainbow there lies the far left, stirring people’s indignation against the austerity measures imposed on them so as to bailout banks and pay the years of political recklessness when money was being thrown round as if there was no tomorrow on public foundations and institutes that people know nothing about. In between, a shrinking middle class barely keeps the strenght of said moderate parties while hoping to maintain their status. In this turmoil it is easy to anticipate the growing tension and the dislocation of popular interests to areas of declared confrontationism, somewhat unpredictable. We have witnessed Cyprus electing a communist president and more recently Finland has seen the True Finns party grow dramatically. We know of the rising support anarchism has been receiving in countries such as Greece and Italy.

Yes, it’s still early to be certain of anything whatsoever, but that this has happened before and that the political Strategy we have chosen for our near future is proving wrong – that we are begining to understand. The challenge, now, is to prevent our despair from blinding us, to avoid succumbing to finantial manipulation, to choose a different path and defining new innovative Strategies that will lead us into the future without loss in quality of life.

One thing History demonstrates is that when in crisis we must be creative and leave the classic recipes for the meek and the weak. If we abandon our fear of the unknown and work together for our common destiny, if we take responsibilities upon our own shoulders instead of leaving them to others, the future will not cease to be bright, even when initially foggy…

By Joaquim Duarte. Writer expert in History.


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