'The New World Order': A Conversation
Similar questions may affect other countries. The American legislators are working hard to reduce public investment in health and education, based on a notion that those who make it, make it by their own enterprise, something that limits America's ability to compete in the future. In the UK, the health provisions are being privatised, in the hope that market mechanisms will deliver efficiency, just at the time when the limitations of market mechanism when most people lack the capability to pay are becoming obvious. All the theories we have built in the last hundred years about growth and prosperity, which was subtly and invisibly dependent on a certain way of creating wealth, are becoming open to questioning as the underlying mechanism is called into question.
From this perspective, it makes better sense to be ready about this kind of future than live wishing that it wouldn't happen. This has personal and political implications. Personally, this may mean, for many professionals, a re-examination of own capabilities and renewed commitment to learning and professional development. Politically, this will mean a range of things, from looking at the fundamental things such as what kind of society that we would want to build, to a range of practical policy considerations, such as renewed commitment to public investment and review of what kind of education (creative, entrepreneurial, continuous rather than process-oriented, bureaucratic and stage-based) and health (preventive rather than remedial) provisions we need to focus on. It may sound rather innocent, but each of these moves will threaten significant vested interests, and are not going to be easy. However, we are possibly reaching that threshold when not acting will be more disastrous than even the painful action. This essay makes a powerful case in an influential journal: We will do well to take note and start the conversation.