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May
23

Leadership in precarious times

Post By gaia1 in Climate crisis

We live in not only unstable, but precarious times. One of the best articulations of that fact is the statement of veteran investor quoted by Thomas Friedman in his column on Sunday May 23, 2010. Mohamed El-Erian, who runs Pimco and has lived through many a financial crisis, recently described it like this: “The world is on a journey to an unstable destination, through unfamiliar territory, on an uneven road and, critically, having already used its spare tire.”

What is needed in such precarious times is leadership, not only of government and business, as Friedman believes, but also of civil society. Societies are to be guided by leaders who are able to articulate a clear vision of the future, based upon a coherent set of values and upon the political wisdom of building practical solutions. It is their intense desire to work together that such leadership can be effective.

A first requirement of such common leadership is the recognition of the need of agreement of the past and present social and ecological problems. Facts have to be established upon which to build a new edifice. These facts have to be established within as wide and diverse ways of participatory decision-making as possible.

A second requirement is boldness in choosing the proper policies and in carrying them out. International systems do not work and no national policies will work without functioning of international systems of which they are an integral part. Again these policies have to chosen within as wide and diverse ways of participatory decision-making as possible.

A third requirement for leadership in these precarious times is to deal with the most basic system in international relations, i.e. the monetary system. Its overhaul is to be wedded with the most pressing challenge of these precarious times, i.e. the climate crisis. Thus, a UN Commission on Monetary Transformation and the Climate Crisis seems to be a good start to restructure the international machinery, so that it serves humanity rather than humanity serving it. What humans make, human can unmake. The precarious times demand that a creative destruction of present systems take place.