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Is Civil Unrest Growing?

Written by on 18 October 2011

With recent protests taking place in the US, the UK, Greece, Italy and Japan to name but a few places, we ask whether we are in fact witnessing a growth in the willingness for societies across the globe to protest.

Society under stress

BoardroomWhen our economy is booming, very few people pay much attention to the activities of their economic leaders, but recent events have shown that a few were engaged with the political succession of scandals enough to get involved in direct action. Much of recent Western social history indicates a passive acceptance of 'self-interest' behaviour - but is this now changing?

Time of crisis brings behaviours into sharp focus.

When society becomes as pressurised as it is now, with soaring inflation, rising costs, reduced incomes and rapidly rising unemployment, individuals are witnessing a very real drop in living standards and long-term social expectations for the first time in several generations. Having said that, this dilemma is not shared equally across society.

Some sections within society are witnessing unprecedented wealth accumulation. You may think these are entrepreneurs or innovative individuals, but you'd be wrong. They are a new breed of super-rich employees - economic managers of other people's wealth, many of who are unelected and in real terms unaccountable.

Performance under pressure

FTSEMany of these individuals claim to possess expert business skills that deliver greater returns for their employers/shareholders, yet under closer examination, the vast majority of the FTSE Index has flat-lined or announced reduced revenue expectations whilst these people have increased their own remunerations exponentially. These unjustifiable self-remuneration packages of the city have began to cause concern. Politicians are beginning to turn their attention to this growing source of social unrest as a number of civil protests are springing up across the world claiming corporate greed as a major contribution to their cause.

Accountability and responsibility

Although the path will be rocky with many unforeseen bumps, our society must navigate itself back to an economic model where individuals are rewarded but also held accountable. With great reward should come great responsibility!

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