History is…a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.
The Corona-virus has intensified the lack of trust in our current global leadership.
The US administration takes the palm of shame with its deceits, refusal to face the facts and its resolute prioritization of the private aspirations of the White House over the National and Global duties of the Presidency. In desperation it has sunk to blaming any and every one as a means of distracting attention from its own 5 months of failure.
Successful leadership is all about trust. Trust is the glue that holds societies together, and it has to be earned. We have to believe our values are shared with our leaders and that means consistent and valid action . In terms of the Corona-virus only action that places people’s health at its center will prove this and enable economic recovery. In terms of international politics only action that reaches across peoples, races, and territories to create a better world for all will work.
Here are two straws in the wind of trust and leadership – one promising, the other dishearteningly sterile.
Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron have proposed delivering $500bn of EU funds to help cope with the pending economic carnage in the South and East of the continent. The richer states to the North need success in the South which comprise significant markets and supply much needed labor. The wonder has been the inability of all 27 member states to see the importance of this till now and to work towards the obvious overall common good. This is a real start though even now massive internal little nation politics can derail the proposal. But there is hope. Germany takes over the Presidency on July 1. If the fund can be implemented then trust will improve and there might be a hope for the Community after all.
Less stimulating has been the emerging record of China’s reinvention of the Silk Road. The dream was a fabulous one – to echo the thousand year old trade routes that once bound China to Eurasia. China would facilitate its own exports whilst providing expert skills and long term funding. Client nations, many facing desperate economic hardship would be given a life line of immediate work, the prospect of longer term trade and mutually beneficial funding. Alas agreements have not been signed, funding rates have been high, and China has pushed back aggressively against established and new partners.
Voltaire’s cynical view of history may well have survived but it is sobering to think that with all the new powers of communications we cannot at least move from the mistrust of 250 years ago to a summer high ground of growing trust and pragmatic mutual help founded on steady steps and honored positive action.
Have a good day, James