It is Saturday evening and snowing in New York. I have nowhere to go, I do have things to do (my book!) but my memories take over.
Like for example, the simple question of how is the world ruled. I think that lots of misunderstanding among people in the world comes from inability to visualize how organizations and countries are managed: people either overestimate their singularity of purpose and scheming, or try to convince themselves that there is a full freedom of action and that things are decided on merit. Neither is true. The truth is complex, elusive and lies somewhere (somewhere!) in the middle: it is what Nirad Chaudhury called in a broader context of human history “Libertas in imperio”.
I can describe it, I am afraid, best using the examples that I know well, from my life and long association with the World Bank.
Proposition 1. The world is ruled by a cabal.
Proposition 2. The world is ruled on merit.