SIMPOL is not a typo. It means Simultaneous Policy.
And this is the solution to the world problems offered by two brilliant minds: John Bunzle and Nick Duffell.
If you read their original and provocative book “Our world is in a mess. Here is the SIMPOL solution“, then come to discuss it with me, we are going to have epic conversations!
I will tell you two of the reasons which made me love this book and read it in one breath.
The first reason is the clarity in identifìying the n.1 public enemy we face when it comes to managing world economy – how useless it appears nowadays targeting growth, shared prosperity and equality when everything seems to push us in the opposite direction.
This enemy is competition. Not the (almost) healthy competition we can see inside a legal order, among competitors who respect the same sets of rules – tax rules, labor rules, bureaucracy and foremost antitrust rules – but in the global arena, outside any rule.
Where nobody can be punished for unfair competition.
Where it is pretty normal that big multinational company move towards tax havens or countries who become tax havens just for them.
Where it is considered acceptable to invest in countries where labor standards are incredibly low and poverty will push people of any age – even children – to work in terrible conditions and to work for almost nothing.
Where these big competitors can easily wipe out the small ones, who cannot move so easily, don’t get special tax deals and struggle while states complacently behave like reverse Robin Hoods: taking from the poor to benefit the rich.
Why so? Because they have to remain competitive or they will lose in the big game of world economy and – if the big ones go away – they will face even more unemployment and even fewer tax revenues.
Because this is the paradox of destructive global competition: states are the victims, they are in a trap and do not know how to get out of it. This trap made them weaken the welfare systems, struggle with public debt and here and there get close to failure. Simply put, states are just too small to manage this alone.
Before we jump to the conclusions – and I don’t want to spoil too much – I will tell you the second reason which made me love this book: psychology. It doesn’t happen often that a psychotherapist and a businessman join forces to explain us the problems of the world.
As I feel and know for sure – and if you have read some of my posts you know that too – the solutions have to be bigger than states, possibly matching the dimension of problems.
There is an entire cultural shift needed, from the nation-centric to the world-centric approach. This wouldn’t be the first time in history that we, the humanity, move from a political and dimensional paradigm to another: from the tribes to the Westphalian order we took a step or two. Still, we are stuck in the mourning of a system which doesn’t work anymore. We just cannot let go the myth of sovereign nation.
And here comes the psychotherapist, explaining to us that this is just normal: most of the humanity can be observed living – collectively – in one of the 5 stages of the mourning process: 1. denial and isolation; 2. anger; 3. bargaining; 4. depression; 5. acceptance.
Reading what happens nowadays through these lenses make it easier to understand current politics. Even the worst of it. It makes us even feel compassion for those grieving the loss of a myth.
The book doesn’t stop here, it offers practical steps to get out of this trap.
What is even better, it encourages us to feel responsible for the state of the world and take a personal stance to push politicians to bring our states out of the game of competition at any price, adopting simultaneous political choices agreed with other states when it comes to facing global issues.
The book is filled with brilliant insights and provided me the definition of what I am: a “late world-centric”, meaning a person who sees the whole world as a dynamic organism, looks for global solutions with a holistic approach, accepting and respecting all cultures in their own context.
This envisaged cultural shift made me think of the integral theory by Ken Wilber and of the “human colossus” represented in a sketch of Tim Urban’s brilliant post “Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future.
We can’t walk this path alone, we – the early world-centric – need to spread the word because only a critical mass and an active one, pushing political elites, can help humanity move to the final stage of grievance: acceptance. Then, the cultural shift will occur: embracing a new model.
Thank you, John and Nick, for your clarity, your explanations and to make me feel that I’m in good company.