Humans are hard-wired for community, but our political and economic systems have encouraged and rewarded extreme individualism for far too long. How can we rethink how we do things to put collective purpose back at the centre?
Modern economics has for many years been driven by a belief which is no longer tenable: that ‘greed is good’. This mode of thinking has contributed to environmental destruction and vast inequality, and caused us to lose sight of an important truth about ourselves and each other: that we are cooperative, communal beings.
Economics professors Paul Collier and John Kay, joining us in conversation with Bloomberg’s Head of Economics Stephanie Flanders, tell us we have reached a point of ‘peak greed’, where our politics have become centred around the idea of the self. How can we maintain the conviction and self-belief we need to address our most urgent challenges, whilst healing divisions and acting as part of something bigger than ourselves?
Putting mutuality and common purpose back at the heart of our societies, they tell us, will mean strengthening our ‘politics of place’, and returning power to communities.
As the world faces the critical issues of Covid-19, climate emergency and political disquiet, what are the novel democratic approaches we can deploy to tackle these acute and existential challenges?