Part III The Changing World Economy
Chapter 13 It's the Society, Stupid
Chapter 14 On Civilizing the City
America puts the economy as its prime objective. American, perhaps not all, often assume that other nations also put the economy as their first priority. In fact, it is wrong. Drucker discusses the case of Japan to prove it. He states that there are five assumptions usually taken by American scholars and executives about Japan. First, the government bureaucracy as ruling a lead is unique in Japan. Second, reducing the bureaucracy's power would be easy. Third, bureaucracy as ruling a lead in Japan is unnecessary and undesirable. Fourth, the buying time of bureaucracy to remain in power by delaying deregulation in the financial sector will put Japan in danger. Finally, Japanese are intelligent people and put the economy as the prime objective. Drucker proclaims that these assumptions are deadly wrong.
The right assumptions, according to Drucker, are the following. First, bureaucracy as ruling a lead is the practice in most developed countries. America and a few English-speaking countries are the exceptions. Japan is the rule. Second, the bureaucracy in Japan is proven resilience despite scandals. There is no inside replacement as the new ruling a lead, either from military or professions. Third, without bureaucracy as ruling a lead, the society will be disintegrated, and democracy will collapse. Fourth, Japan's experiences show that no active policy as it would be prescribed by Washington and no action are the best strategy. No action was proven effective to solve Japan's social problems, such as its inefficient distribution system, in the past. Actions taken in the case of Japan's economic recession were proven not effective. Finally, Japan's bureaucracy put the society as the country's prime objective, not the economy.
Indeed, America also put society first after 1929's crisis. The New Deal (promoted by FTR Administration - Y Pan) was introduced to solve social problems at the time and prevent social unrest (there is a sign nowadays as written by Paul Krugman that America once again has to correct its current policy to lessen the increasing pressure of a two-tier economy of the middle class and the super rich - Y Pan). Developed countries in Europe, particularly France, also have similar policies as Japan's. The truth is that America is the exception. Japan is the rule. Mocking the silly argument from Washington that Japan's bureaucracy is easy to replace as the ruling a lead, Drucker illustrates that the society's dependence on civil servants is not Japan's monopoly. This phenomenon is universal in developed countries. Without bureaucracy as the ruling a lead, society will break down as well as democracy despite the facts that bureaucracy tends to cling to power, commits scandals, and is often proven incompetence. This seemingly ugly fact is inevitable since there is no better replacement of bureaucracy as the ruling a lead. In America, the practice of 'decent from heaven' - a term used to illustrate how retiring civil servants are recruited by businesses - is no nonsense too.
After proving that society should comes first, Drucker discusses the increasing number of cities and city life in the world, not only in developed but also emerging countries. This is because of the attractiveness of city life to people. City gives people a chance to be a free man, a citizen. City gives people opportunities to escape from traditional, coercive community of rural land. However, people do need communities. If no good community is available, people will join bad, destructive ones. Consequently, social problems potentially increase in number. To overcome social problems in cities, as the main dwelling place in the future, a city needs communities of its own, but not coercive and traditional ones. To offer freely chosen communities in cities, governments long before tried to implement social programs to no avail. According to Drucker, profit-oriented businesses also have no capacity to facilitate community lives. Again, at this point, Drucker shows the importance of the social sector in providing values to the society through providing freely chosen communities for everyone interested.
Jumat, 18 April 2008
Part III The Changing World Economy