Part I of the article, titled Change conundrum of the world, is hereÂ
AÂ status quo has been continuing in the global order when deeper analysis shows that the urge to stick with the status quo is the fundamental reason behind much of the major problems of the world today. We can look at examples from global warming to currency war where the world has been looking for leadership from the U.S., in the form of aÂ constructive framework, that can lead to a sustainable solution.
However, there areÂ problems within the U.S. Stating that there are problems within the U.S. is an understatement. There are major problems within the U.S.; and the U.S has been struggling to solve its domestic issues, without much success so far. Matter of fact is the U.S. now needs external support to run its economy, rather than being in a position to provide support to the global economy. The sameÂ holds partly true for the EUÂ when we view EU as a common region, though parts within the EU look strong.Â
So it’s matter of beingÂ polyannish when nations around the world or global bodies like the IMF look for leadership fromÂ the U.S. in solving the major problems of the world.
Given this context, providing able leadership to the global challenges at this hour is beyond the resources of the U.S. This also leads to situations of conflict of interest as what’s apparently good for the world becomes bad for the U.S., keeping in mind the problems in which the U.S. has been (like reducing emission or having fiscal discipline).
It’s a unique situation when the world has been getting signals from all around that it needs to change, urgently and radically, with more power to the developing world; but the lack of any leader in bringing this changeÂ maintains the status quo in which we have been. The pace of change at most has been ornamental. The status quo suits a few who naturally oppose any such change, like that of the Wall Street; but works against the majority of the individuals of the world – be it within the U.S.Â or outside it.
Unfortunately, for President Obama or for Chairman of the Federal Reserves Ben Bernanke, finding a solution for the domestic problems (albeit for the short term) at the cost of creating more problems for the world and even for the U.S. in the longer term is a preferred one vis-a-vis one that can help the world in solving the problemÂ as it simultaneously creates moreÂ short-termÂ painÂ for the U.S.
And sadly the world knows it well but does not show the maturity to admit it and move forward. Moving forward essentially means for the betterment of the world and for the betterment of the U.S.
That’s the shortcoming of democracy in national contexts.Â Globally thisÂ leads to the mindset problems amongst nationsÂ as they try to maintain a status quo of the global order as the world takes a back-seat compared to the nation. For most democratically elected leaders of the world, theÂ global challenges matterÂ less and what matters most is the temptation to come back to power, again, in that nation by prioritizing the local issues.
It’s actually not the job of the rest of the nations individually to come forward and build the much neededÂ atmosphereÂ where the global problems can be discusessed and debated withÂ collective responsibility. Most of the nations and their respective leaders, more so in the democratic world, has enough domestic problems to keep their democratically elected members busy.
There’s fire fighting going on in most nations in the world, more to stay in power than to address or ponder about theÂ global problems.
Few genuinely realize that the problems indeed are global in nature and the ad hoc solutions that the nations have been trying to work out individually may not provide sustainable solution.
Eventually all these lead to a classic case when the world, the human civilization that we know today, needs a Business Process Re-engineering; but there’s no ownership about it.
It must be about fundamentals – asking questions like who, what, why, how, where, when. Can we ask a question today and get satisfactory answer on who benefits from the much talked about Quantitative Easing of the Federal Reserves, the root cause behind the currency war?
The obvious answer is the Wall Street, although no one else is sure about potential indirect benefits of the QEII. Do we at the same time worry about impact of inflation on the poor in India as Fed. drives to get inflation expectations back? Shouldn’t the U.S. take into account the concerns of the rest of the world?
Problem is, without a BPR the U.S. will do whatever it needs to do or can do to improve the U.S. against the interests of the other nations around the world. It is not the U.S. alone, China has been doing its part as well; be it through pegging yuan to dollar or thro’ high-handedness against the Nobel committee or the awardee for awarding Nobel peace prize to Liu Xiaobo.
We need to ask the fundamental question: at whose interest have we been doing this? That must apply equally for the U.S. Federal Reserves or for the Government of China.
Unfortunately none seem answerable to the world. Democratic leaders care for their nations, and the U.N., the IMF or the World Bank care for the U.S. more than they care for other nations.
WhereÂ would people from the world, facing global problems, look for solution? In the radarless world as we have today, there’s indeed very less hope that the world can go for the much needed BPR.
It is not out of pessimism. It isÂ out ofÂ practical concern of the context than being polyannish.