Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Balancing public/government/technocrats

12 June 2012: George Friedman on Spain, Debt, &  Sovereignty is a valuable analysis of the problem of democracy being balanced by technocracy - which is not just a European but a worldwide problem.

In the UK the Iraq war was approved by a democratically elected parliament against the wishes of a large majority of the people - and in the UK today the parliament looks likely to approve a redefinition of marriage against the wishes of, it seems, a 70% majority of the public. At the same time, though, there is apparently a large majority right now in favour of the UK leaving the European Union by referendum - which could well be against the (real) wishes of a majority of members of  parliament, as well as business interests, and nearly all the "technocrats" (economists, financial experts etc).

In sum - popular majorities can be extremely dangerous to national, even world, interests, but oon occasion they can be wiser than their elected representatives. And technocrats - supposedly able to prevent disastrous expressions of the popular will - can be gravely mistaken, just like the public and politicians.

Finding a balance between the public, elected representatives, and the "technocrats" in a manner best to ensure avoiding calamity urgently deserves careful study.

One important factor - catastrophic mistakes are more likely when the political, business and popular mood is depressed and pessimistic - all parties then reach out clutching straws. This negative mood can be dispelled if there is a sense of direction giving real hope.

In the present economic and fiscal circumstances Rahm Emmanuel, ex-Obama Chief of Staff, now mayor of Chicago appears to have it right: "cut and invest" - cut out the enormous waste in our societies (government and private), but at the same time invest in what is needed for growth and prosperity in the new era now beginning. Cutting waste is what is needed to supplement the Keysian imperative against austerity in a time of recession/depression.

John Pedler  JP Diplomatic Consultancy, France  dipconsult@hotmail.com. dipconsult.blogspot.com


No comments: