What does institutional degradation and the decline of the West have to do with your mission?

This is a fabulous presentation at Stanford by public finance historian Niall Ferguson. He goes into a wide range of factors affecting the rise of the East and decline of the West. And behind much of that degradation, the failure of our systems and institutions to provide a suitable environment for growth, income and standard of living.

It will surprise you. And make you think.

In one section, he blames the rule of lawyers for creating ambiguous laws that people and businesses need more lawyers to understand and help them chat their course.

To some extent, that may be true. But I can also say that in the difficult and contentious political environment we live it, such ambiguities are made possible by inability to reach agreement and a clear path to solution. As a result, ambiguities are written in as a way to give the appearance of compromise and a way for each side to claim victory.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that the powers behind the throne benefit from such ambiguities, enabling them to continue on their merry way withou meaningful restraint.

I'm not suggesting anyone is wrong or anyone is right. Only that the culture of conflict has become endemic in our system, and the successful mission entrepreneur must weave his or her way through it to accomplish the desired objectives.

For myself, I'd like to see some evolution of consciousness allow us all to be more cognizant of the bigger picture rather than just our own affairs (or those who hold the reigns of power or lobby them for favors).

But that's not where we are now.

So, let's learn to live within this new environment. We can change the system. We can also prosper within it, as long as we understand how it works.

Anyway, here's the video.