Monday, December 16, 2019
Umair Haque: When I ask my European friends to describe us -- Americans, Brits, who I'll call Anglo-Americans in this essay -- they shake their heads gently. And over and over, three themes emerge. They say we're a little thoughtless. They say we're selfish and arrogant. And they say that we're cruel and brutal. I can't help but think there's more than a grain of truth. That they're being kind. Anglo-American society is now the world's preeminent example of willful self-destruction. It's jaw-dropping folly and stupidity is breathtaking to the rest of the world.
And yet what's even weirder and more grotesque than that is that ... well ... nobody much seems to have noticed. There's a deafening silence from pundits and elites and columnists and politicians on the joint self-destruction of the Anglo-American world. Nobody seems to have noticed: the only two rich societies in the world with falling life expectancies, incomes, savings, happiness, trust -- every single social indicator you can imagine -- are America and Britain. It's not one of history's most improbable coincidences that America and Britain are collapsing in eerily similar ways, at precisely the same time. It's a relationship. What connects the dots?
Umair Haque is a London-based consultant and author. He is also a contributor at the Harvard Business Review, where he focuses on capitalism and creating prosperity in the 21st century.
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