I must begin by confessing that I´m “Semi-apolitical.” A “Semi-apolitical” who lives in one of the most politicized capitals in the world, Washington DC, and works for the U.S. Government (as a contractor though).
Paradox? I do not think so. Democracy? I think this is exactly what it is, and I truly appreciate it. I have the freedom to think and speak, respectfully, but freely.
Being “Semi-apolitical” means that, while on the one hand, I enjoy reading about politic science, listening and debating with politic scientists and professors, and, in general, expanding my knowledge about the different politic doctrines, and their ups and downs from the standpoint of a curious citizen, on the other hand, I find it hard to believe a single word pronounced by politicians, particularly those in power, so I do NOT support any politician or political party.
That´s why I promote Humanism instead.
Why I find it hard to trust politicians?
I believe that, at the end of the day, as soon as a politician is in power, s/he is obliged to follow the rules imposed by higher authorities.
As Raul Baglini, a *UNIQUE Argentinian politician, stated in his famous theorem:
The closer a man gets to power, the more conservative his proposals will become.
*UNIQUE because he was Argentinian, and Politician, and still, he was quite honest…just joking!
Is the world of politics changing?
There are thousands of examples of politicians who, as soon as they got elected, completely forgot about the political promises they made to their voters during their campaigns.
These days there seems to be a growing sense of awareness about global issues endangering the destiny of humanity among our highest authorities.
Apparently some of the most influential politicians and prominent leaders from a wide variety of social sectors, are becoming more concerned about key issues affecting the future well-being of our societies and the sustainability of the planet.
Climate change, the wealth distribution gap, and potential resource shortages, among other critical issues, have been finally recognized by most world leaders, as key challenges threatening the future of the human race.
Consciousness and acceptance are the first steps to solving a problem, so the fact that more global leaders are now openly acknowledging the relevance of these critical issues, means good news to all of us.
Or this is just another collective hallucination
But the main dilemma our political leaders face now is:
Should we focus on the future well-being of the majority, or on the immediate economic interest of a few? what are the consequences in each case?
So, let’s look at our educational and socio-economic patterns for a second, as the major issues threatening our future existence, and intoxicating the true essence of politics, are rooted in these two fundamental pillars of our society:
# 1 Educational system: Instills a culture of competition, focus on individual performance and survival.
- Performance assessment based on individual grades.
- Success means outplaying your classmates.
- Inexistent focus on ethics or cardinal virtues.
- Poor focus on learning through experience – real wisdom.
- Poor focus on the classics, such as classic philosophy or history (understanding Human behavior, Heritage and Historic conflicts, causes, and mistakes)
# 2 Socio-economic model: Fosters a culture of competition, focus on individual well-being and survival.
- Organized in social classes.
- Extended belief that money can buy love, friendship, health, education, and happiness.
- Success is connected with individual wealth, title, and status.
- Poor sense of collectiveness. Technologic advancements do not help promote collectivism.
- Poor application of ethics or cardinal virtues. Political and business leaders do not serve as role models.
- Poor focus on the protection and promotion of human heritage.
Thus, You Reap What You Sow.
The global challenges we all face these days, are the consequence of decisions made by present and past politicians, starting with the application, and perpetuation for centuries, of an educational and socio-economic model merely focused on the pursuit of self-indulgence and the accumulation of individual wealth, as opposed to the effective management of collective wealth and seeking common good.
Solving global issues requires collective wisdom, and this is NOT precisely what political or corporate leaders indoctrinate and sponsor themselves.
We see how cardinal virtues are traded for material possessions. We are programmed to care primarily for our own survival, and survival in this world means money.
The monetization of all basic human needs, and universal rights, has allowed the wealthy, to become the highest authority in this world. Money has become an object of cult. Large corporations have become more powerful than any of the public representatives elected democratically by millions of voters.
As the saying goes: You can´t let the wolf guard the sheep
So, as a result of some incongruent, present and past, political decisions, we are all now slaves of money, including the politicians themselves. Thus, when it comes to decision-making and prioritizing interests, politicians must always benefit economic interest first.
The “Money Religion”, in its second commandment goes:
You will always put money before common good.
Let me give you an example:
On the one hand, the melting of the poles will cause the extinction of hundreds of animal species, among other disasters affecting millions of people living in coastal places, but on the other hand, it can help open faster commercial routes between US and China, and give access to additional oil and gas sources located in the Arctic. It should be a no-brainer, right? Well, I´m afraid for some politicians it is not so obvious what direction they should go.
That´s the sad true, and the reason all politicians follow the dictate of the economic powers. The reason most politicians, during decades, refuted climate change. The reason our politicians continuously try to justify a bunch of incongruent decisions, which clearly go against the public interest, and exclusively benefit the interests of a minority.
You Reap What You Sow.
Leadership wisdom is the ability to understand all elements affecting the well-being and safety of your group, the faculty to evaluate the risks, and the potential consequences of your choices, and ultimately the willingness to apply the correct decisions.
The problem is that the interpretation of the term “correct” tends to vary quite a lot depending on our distance to power. Correct is one of the most ambiguous terms in our language. Good or bad, correct or incorrect depend exclusively on education.
Change will only occur once we accept and assume that our current educational system and socioeconomic models, produce exactly what we get. A society ruled by a bunch of effervescent money devotees, focused on self-indulgence, and who do not care much about whether the world, including not just our future generations, but all the different species living on it, exist or extinct in 50 years from now. They will be the richest guys in the cemetery by then, and that seems to be all that matters for many. What they were taught at their homes and colleges.
The kids attending school today, are the politicians and corporate leaders of the future. So bear in mind “You Reap What You Sow”
I believe most politicians understand that something needs to change in terms of education and socioeconomics, the question becomes, are they courageous enough to implement the necessary changes?
Remember the Baglini´s theorem?
The closer a man gets to power, the more conservative his proposals will become.
I hope you enjoyed the reading. If so, please do not forget to click on “Like” and share it with others who may find it useful too.
I will love it if you take a minute to comment on this article. That´s the best encouragement to continue to write and share knowledge.
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- Education: The Most Powerful Weapon.
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Jordi Alemany is a creative, insightful, thoughtful and energetic business leader and management consultant, with a contagious passion for humanism which he instills in everyone around him. He has devoted the past 20+ years of his life to helping businesses and individuals reach their next level and exploit their full potential.
Jordi´s in-depth understanding of the most common leadership issues, combined with his broad international leadership experience, can help your organization accelerate growth and improve efficiency while aligning strategic, cultural and organizational needs.