The International Writers
Magazine: Life Choices
I was a boy my relatives kept asking me what I wanted to do when
I grew up. Well, being nine or ten at the time, I had little notion
of what I wanted to do. I had little concept of ever being grown
up. Now Im physically grown up, I still dont know
what I want to be when (or if) I ever grow up. I kind of knew
what people expected me to be but I didnt want to be it.
when did people become human capital and the world become a competitive
But no matter how
much I try to resist conforming to other peoples expectations,
I cant escape them. I want to live my life according to my criteria.
But thats not so easy these days. Someone, somewhere is always
trying to rewrite the script.
I once thought that I was a unique individual but now I am looked on
as just piece of data on a spreadsheet. I used to belong to a community
but have become part of a specified target group. And I used to live
in a neighbourhood where closeness and interdependence mattered. But
now I encounter professional detachment from service-providers who cover
my area in order to provide for my needs. I dont want
to have needs. I want to have rights. Im not a client. I want
to be a citizen. I dont want to interface I want to talk.
Who made the market god and the technocrats kings? The language of the
age is now one of performance indicators, targets, corporate objectives,
market segments and best practice. I thought value for people was what
mattered not value for money. I speak English, the world appears to
talk gibberish with its leverage, benchmarks, competitive advantage,
core competences, learning curves, synergy, inputs and outcomes.
When I began to write this article I was having negative start up synergy,
but then I became incentivised, began visioning and brainstorming. Or
was it just a simple case of writers block, which was overcome
by inspiration and thinking? Then, when finished I didnt merely
edit the article I downsized it to an appropriate length and
delayered it in order to make my points more concise. In fact, at one
point I had even thought about giving a power point presentation but
decided to be boring and just write it.
Since when did people become human capital and the world become a competitive
landscape? When did high performance corporate culture begin to prevail
and when did we stop doing jobs and begin to engage in proactive functionality?
When did people and communities cease to exist and service-users and
client groups begin to count? And when did citizens become reincarnated
This type of language originated in the private sector and seeped menacingly
into the public sector, so much so that many politicians often slip
into using it with ease. Every time I look at and listen to image conscious
Tony Blair and his ministers I cant help thinking that they were
cloned in some global corporate boardroom, had a jargon-chip inserted
into the brain and were then let loose on the world.
Consider this: only 500,000 people in the UK own shares. But the TV
news now seems obsessed with providing constant reports on how many
points have been lost or gained on the Dow Jones or FTSE index. And
I wont even mention India and the Sensex. Tens of millions in
the UK go to work and dont own shares, yet industrial relations
correspondents who once reported on workers pay, conditions and rights
have almost disappeared from view. Their voices have been drowned out
by the grating sound of management speak.
The script has been rewritten. Welcome to the nightmare.
© colin todhunter January 2007
Colin has been a
contributor for nearly seven years now and reguarly travels between
India and the UK
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