Humanity Wins: A Strategy for Progress and Leadership in Times of Change

Reinhard Mohn, Author, Ricardo Diez Hochleitner, Foreword by, Uwe Moller, Foreword by
Reinhard Mohn, Author, Ricardo Diez Hochleitner, Foreword by, Uwe Moller, Foreword by Crown Publishers $20 (192p) ISBN 978-0-609-60806-7
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
Open Ebook - 102 pages - 978-0-307-81447-0
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How might government best respond to a world of ever-accelerating change? That's the question that Mohn, the German media magnate (and great-great-grandson of Carl Bertelsmann) considers in this slim volume. His answer? Governments should become more like businesses. First Mohn outlines the dilemma: corporations have responded to the demands of global competition by reinventing themselves; control from above has given way to the flexible decentralization of responsibility and function, and employees, overseen by capable and enlightened management, are motivated to innovate. Meanwhile, the democratic governments of the West, he charges, remain hierarchical monoliths incapable of rapid change. More concerned with popularity than progress, politicians promise much but deliver far less; they preside over a population alienated from government and devoid of a sense of community. Largely unaccountable, big government centrally rules to maintain the status quo. If, however, governments were to follow the lead of business, decentralizing and privatizing their functions and reporting to the public in a clear, coherent way so their efficiency could truly be judged, all the difficulties would be solved. Mohn seems to be offering a viable prescription for a humane re-creation of the modern state, but his confusing and convoluted writing makes it difficult for readers to draw conclusions. He often substitutes aphorisms for analysis--there is, for example, a ""deficit in development in many areas of life forces""--and fails to marshal the intellectual depth and rigor his ambitious undertaking requires. (Sept.)
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