With so much conflict in the world, it’s hard to diagnose what’s really happening. As much as one could argue that ‘rich’ versus ‘poor’ (or secular vs faith) is the underlying cause of this shift from open to closed systems, I see much opportunism of leaders hell-bent on riding a wave of extremism across political, religious and economic spectrums.
Many world leaders who were elected in the last 10 years are under siege for pushing open systems which foster things like immigration, free trade, the sharing economy, religious tolerance, democratic freedoms and universal education.
A new generation of malcontents are taking advantage of dire circumstances and pushing nationalism, fanaticism, racism and violence. Closed societies and systems have created greater problems since the birth of humanity. Populism, terrorism and nationalism have become rallying cries for career-minded anarchists. They believe in some kind of parochial utopia and are able to find desperate followers.
The paradigm shift towards ‘closed-minded’ leadership makes difficult circumstances much worse as ‘closed’ societies and systems increase poverty, crime and corruption. Once promising societies are ruined by opportunistic dictators, religious fanatics and uneducated gladiators.
I believe there’s a third way and it requires better education and governance in managing open systems. Open systems without checks and balances results in benefits for the few. Free trade should empower all workers and be more egalitarian. Immigration should be skills-driven. Entrepreneurial education needs to be rolled out globally and replace the nonsense being taught to children at-risk.
We cannot afford open minds to be switched off. Closed-minded leadership will run amok at the expense of the civilized world if we don’t fix our open systems.