(Reuters) Russia’s Putin says shrinking labor force to limit economic growth. Quoting,
“This trend will stay for the coming years and will become a serious limit to economic growth,” Putin told lawmakers. “
Vladimir Putin, you’re right. But why? Why does our disorderly society outperform one structured by a few “masterminds”, free to implement supposedly optimal policies without conflict?
Alienation, provoked by the sense of personal impotence, is the cause. You’ve tried to stem it with patriotism. It fails to stir Russia to growth because it works only for followers. It fails with anyone who has the human potential to participate, even to the minutest degree, in changing society in a positive way.
These people need something else to flourish. In a dynamic society, thinkers comprise a much larger slice than you might think. They are all over the place. It includes all those who contribute, in the minutest way, their personal visions of society. In Russia, these little seeds of thought scatter, without germinating, to the winds. Their alienated owners live stunted lives. In Russia, the soil of change is barren.
In Russia, bad things happen to the best people. No society can waste so much human potential and flourish. No society can idealize a dark past to become a model for the future, and flourish.
Grandeur is part of the problem, not the solution. Jeff Bezos uses a door as his desk. Visible displays of wealth occur everywhere. But particularly in Russia, pride of wealth has displaced pride of innovation. I suggest you introduce the door.
When you look at us, you see a disordered bunch, and wonder, how can a society with so much misdirection have created so much of the 20th century, and continue our dynamism into the present? What is our secret?
It’s hidden in plain view. There are so many of us, who are much less than leaders, yet so much more than followers. We each have our spheres, some tiny, some large. We have the opportunity to influence, if just minutely, everything we touch. And we use it. You see chaos in what is really our garden of change. That’s our secret.
Having replaced the destructive disorder of the Yeltsin years with sterile concentrations of power, your next challenge is to create the soil of change, replacing alienation with involvement. You can’t supply the seed of what is to grow, only the soil. Pick a few weeds, but use no poison.
All the good thing will follow.