“Governments all over the world have reached a point where they can do nothing at all for the society,” opened Henry Mintzberg, celebrated academician, author and faculty at the McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. In town for a talk at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) on Tuesday, the author also said that it was time people stopped looking at their respective governments for solutions.
Mintzberg, who was invited as a part of the Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (EPGP) seminar series, also quite emphatically said, “Governments can no longer take their own initiatives seriously.”
He continued, “When you take the American government for example, there are powerful lobbies which are actually legal, that are allowed to push their own agendas. People pay obscene amounts of money to get their own way and that is considered legal too! The same can be said for governments all over the world."
"They are simply not able to move anywhere. Political parties, when they come into power, have the need to negate the work done by the previous party. Governments are simply paralysed in many countries,” he declared summing up the political situation across the globe.
He also said that most governments do not take initiatives like global warming seriously enough. Quoting an example, he added, “Last year there was a big international seminar on climate change in Qatar — a place with a huge unignorable carbon footprint. These events are obviously being treated like a joke by their respective governments. In fact, it seems like governments are happy to just send people on planes to attend these things and add to global warming without actually achieving anything.”
The solution, as Mintzberg claims, is in, ‘community-ship’.
“Community-ship is the only way out. There is leadership and citizenship but there should also be a community-ship which lies somewhere in between. Where communities come together and solve our problems through social initiatives,” he explained. He also said that when communities put enough pressure on the government, the government will have no choice but to listen to them. “Right now nearly every country and every area seem to have a social movement of their own and these movements are important because they all add up. So, if you want a change, you have to make the change happen,” he concluded.