Appeals to compassion have had little impact on attitudes to inequality, both internationally and domestically. Is it time to use fear as a catalyst for change?
In the mid 1970’s I heard a bureaucrat [Bob Lansdowne] argue that social change came from shifts in compassion or compulsion-he was discussing our relationship with Indonesia and argued that compassion was in short supply. He was suggesting that huge disparities in income and wealth in an increasingly open and global environment were a recipe for instability and conflict–and that we should be afraid of the consequences of failing to address it. His concern is even more relevant today.