08 Sep 2/3 – Crisis? We apply ourselves to producing it everyday!
Since when is unemployment a permanent feature of our lives? Since when did growth evaporate? Why can’t we find any solution?
Do we want to not find it, or do we not know how to find it?
The answer is, both.
Our economy is essentially managed on the basis of the financial productivity. This is defined as the ratio between the value of produced goods and labour cost; it is production productivity. Production requires four elements to be activated: a process, a supervisor, those who carry out the task, and automats. To be profitable, the logic of productivity is to decrease labour costs and improve processes. The consequence is that automation is on its way to replacing supervisors and those who carry out the task. We end up with a contradiction; financial productivity encourages the production of goods for consumers, but at the same time is destroying those consumers. Human beings involved in the production chain are then in constant competition with not only robots, but also with their fellows offering cheaper and therefore more profitable labour. Since nobody is really exempt from this threat, anxiety and mistrust are now part of our daily environment, where politics loses its credibility. It is what we call “crisis”.
Shareholders, benefiting from the margins generated by the current system, have no interest in seeing it changing: “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.” Despite the fact that they are aware of the inherent contradiction, and of the stagnation in growth that show we have reached the limits of the current system, their vision remains short term and their strategy one of immediate revenues.
Meanwhile, as a result of this system, our schooling also follows this unique thought model generated by financial productivity, training specialised producers without giving them an overall understanding of their environment nor any education on how to manage change. You who are reading this article, were you ever initiated at school about the corporate world which is consuming most of your time, or about the financial system which governs the funding of your life?
Nevertheless, our environment is continuously changing and we need to know how to adapt to this shift, whether as an individual, an organisation or a state. This evolution has neither frontier nor specialisation, and therefore poses a problem of global understanding and vision. We are now entering another realm, which is different from the production one; it is the realm of creation, since the solutions to the new problems and needs have yet to be invented.
Creativity, and collaboration between different competences, that is to say between individuals, are mandatory to first understand and then diagnose, in a reliable way, the new situation and then come up with the solutions. But school does not prepare us for this, with its constant cry of “do what you are told”, and by introducing the “other” as a dangerous competitor. In the meantime, no model of the productivity of creation exists to stimulate change and counterbalance the hegemony of financial productivity.
Since we are not trained for this creative world, we put our efforts – whether shareholders, supervisors, those who carry out the task, teachers, state employees, entrepreneurs, elected representatives, or parents – into reproducing this crisis situation on a daily basis, and which is not likely to disappear if we do not reassess the foundations of our model of society and of our approach to schooling.
I leave you with Darwin’s assertion: “The species that survive are not the strongest, nor the smartest, but the ones which best adapt to change.”
From the same author:
- Essay “Tomahawk or Non-Evolution, Towards a New Vision”
- Article “3/3 – Crisis? How can we make a society evolve, when its model does not allow for evolution?”