Monday, January 12, 2015

2015: A World Ruled by Hubris, Willful Blindness and Desperation - Washington's Blog

Issuing lies and pursuing willful blindness is not leadership: it’s failure on a grand scale.

Rather than issue predictions for 2015, this week I’ll cover themes that I believe will be consequential in the year ahead.

The first theme is the dominant psychological dynamic of global leadership, which can be distilled down to a toxic brew of Hubris, Willful Blindness and Desperation.

Examples of leadership hubris abound, and they all arise from the false confidence that the same playbook and tools that rescued the Status Quo from well-deserved oblivion for the past six years will continue working splendidly in the years ahead.

Prime examples include the Federal Reserve, which clearly believes its own PR (we are omnipotent and the markets rise at our command) and China’s leadership, which clearly believes that the strategies and tools that rescued China from implosion in 2008-09 can be applied to the entirely different problem of deflating the world’s greatest quadruple-bubble in shadow banking, real estate, commodities and state-owned enterprises (SEOs).

The two problem-states could not be more different, and hence the Chinese leadership’s bravado is classic hubris.

The legal definition of willful blindness is when someone attempts to evade responsibility by claiming ignorance of conditions that they should have known.One classic example is the drug mule who claims “I didn’t know there was cocaine in this diaper bag, officer.” The courts take a dim view of this bogus defense, and the public should take an equally dim view of leadership’s claims that they couldn’t possibly have foreseen the coming crisis in pensions and unfunded liabilities.

Our leaders’ claims of ignorance are even more absurd than those of a drug mule, for leadership means grasping the nettle of what is obvious to everyone who glances at the basic facts. I have chosen pensions and unfunded liabilities as a prime example, but there are many other equally visible examples of our leadership’s willful blindness.

Complete story at - 2015: A World Ruled by Hubris, Willful Blindness and Desperation Washington's Blog

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If you're seeking more information about how the world really works, and not how the media would want you to believe it works, these books are a good start. These are all highly recommended.

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1. The Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein
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3. Manufacturing Consent - Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky
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5. Profit Over People - Noam Chomsky
6. Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives - Stephen Cohen
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