Even though I know precious little about the formation of mass psychology, I am certain that how the citizens of a nation collectively view the world must have a causal relationship with the fortunes of a nation.
As individuals we are singularly powerless to alter the environment we grow up in. We have to take that as a given, outside our control, exogenous. How we view the world is not of our choosing. Our mental models are formed largely unconsciously, and shaped contingently. It is an enormous intellectual challenge for us to critically examine our conditioning — and in most cases plain old-fashioned brainwashing by state institutions — and change our perception of the world.
Most critically, how people perceive government and governance matters. The what, why, and how of government differs from nation to nation, and those differences are consequential. To change how the collective’s conception of government and governance is to change its destiny.
This line of thinking is motivated by an email that my colleague Rajesh Jain received, and forwarded to me. I include the full text of the email and my response, for the record. Continue reading