The Third Pillar: Why we need to strengthen communities

The Third Pillar: Why we need to strengthen communities

(light music) – Why is it that people are angry? Not just because they saw
the global financial crisis and they saw that the elite
looked after themselves, but also because they
feel that the future is less good for their children
than it was for them. This is a big change in the world because the history of the last 200 years has always been one of progress. We are now coming face to face with the possibility of regress. I think we need to think deeply about what is going wrong, why the system worked for 60 or 70 years and then stopped working, and how we set it back on track. And that requires fundamental change. It’s not about markets.
It’s not about government. It is about fundamentally restructuring the social contract that we have. How we get the services and the activity to the areas where they’re disappearing. So the three pillars are really the pillars that hold up society. One the hand, there’s the political pillar. There is the economic pillar. And then there is the
societal or sociological pillar: communities, people, democracy. And together these pillars, essentially, make our society what it is. What happens when one or two pillars get overly strong is that it creates an imbalance, and that imbalance has to be rectified, either by strengthening some other pillar or by weakening the existing pillars. And throughout history, we’ve had serious imbalances emerging, either because of dramatic calamity like the Black Death or because of scientific
or technological advances, such as the first or the
second Industrial Revolution. And I argue we’re going through something similar today: a technological revolution, which essentially is
strengthening markets tremendously but also strengthening
governments at the same time. And what is being left
behind is the third pillar, the community. (light music)

Comments (2)

  1. Unfortunately, our "strengthened" governments are no longer governments that work on behalf of the people, on behalf of communities, but instead are governments that work on behalf of the markets.

    I would argue, from the perspective of what is the ideal role for government, that our governments have in fact been weakened as markets have been strengthened, that the latter has been possible only as a result of the former.

    Our governments now are agents only of the markets and thus not even governments any more, in the true sense of the term.

    This is why communities have been left behind.

    In order to strengthen communities, we must first restore the role of government by weakening the influence of markets on it. The universe of markets and communities is a zero sum game.

    Mr. Rajan, like other believers in the primacy of markets, does not seem to recognize this paradigm.

    A true representation of the system is not three vertical pillars, but two vertical pillars (communities and markets) resting on a third horizontal pillar (government), much like a seesaw. At equilibrium, where communities are as strong as markets, the horizontal pillar (government) would be supporting the other two equally.

  2. How Management of a company get rich even if the company is making loses while a shop owner cannot do that. We need to stop this as this will increase banks profits and provide lower rates of borrowing.

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