CONFIDENCE, n. A quality, similar to religious belief but grounded on much shakier evidence, that tends to be high when it should be low and low when it should be high. Periods of high confidence are pernicious; the better investors feel today, the more likely they are to be sorry later. Almost no one can acknowledge that at the time, however.
In Kelly’s future, there is no Organisation, there are merely fluid overlays and groups of people, everyone trying to do their own thing, to find their own audience, cobbling together a living.
This is particularly the case in the prosperous South East, where 25 million people will feel they shouldn’t have to accommodate 5 million, and will correctly be inclined to say “go.”
Underlying these attitudes, Maitland argues, is the central driver of fear — fear of those radically different from us, who make choices we don’t necessarily understand. This drives us, in turn, to project our fright onto others, often in the form of anger — a manifestation, at once sad, mad, and bad, of Anaïs Nin’s memorable observation that “it is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar.”
Too many of out leaders are these people.
Second, the past three decades have seen the emergence of a globalised economic and financial elite that has become ever more detached from the countries that produced them. In the process, the glue that binds democracy—the notion of citizenship—has weakened. The narrow distribution of the gains of economic growth risks exacerbating this development.
» But citizens of what? The increasing (inevitable) obsolescence in an Information Age of nation states as the primary political unit is surely a key underlying factor…