We need a National Mindset

The future is unknown.  No one knows what to do next.  Either individually or nationally.

Mindsets shape how we each make sense of the world.  They influence how we think, feel, and behave about the future.

The diversity of mindsets in modern life is interfering with our ability to know what to do.

Consider how things are now.  I have invented some mindsets to illustrate this diversity.

The surplus-energy mindset:  Those who believe that everything is energy-based.  This is how things “really” are:
Academics, writers, individuals with no vested interests and enlightened retired public servants.

This mindset sees a future of de-growth, declining prosperity and a shrinking UK economy.  An unplanned future in which bottom-up processes may be allowed, even encouraged, by the Government.  With widespread defaults on all kinds of debts, because hoped for financial growth fails to materialise.

The business-as-usual mindset:  Those who believe in financial growth and do not see that the economy is energy-based.  Who wish to be seen to be conventional:
Individuals employed by or dependent upon established organisations  (The voice of the herd) and have a financial or personal vested interest in them.

Economic growth will enable national debts to be repaid.

The green economy mindset:   Those who believe that the world can be saved by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy:
They support ideas, projects and products which are seen to be environmentally and socially worthwhile. 

Investment in renewable energy and government subsidies will enable climate change to be controlled.

The deep adaptation and extinction rebellion mindset: Those who believe that “Life on Earth” is in crisis, that we have entered a period of abrupt climate breakdown, and we are in the midst of mass extinction of our own making.
Including young people and others who demand early action to stop and reverse policies and projects, they see to be hastening the process.  

They would implement reductions in energy use.

The mindless ones:  Those who are content to move mindlessly with the herd.
Maybe the majority?

Concerning economic growth, Tim Watkins has pointed out that:

“Everyone who took out a mortgage or a loan, every commercial bank whose business model is designed around debt-based “bank credit” – which makes up 97 per cent of our “money” – and every government that borrowed by auctioning government bonds on the promise of future tax revenue, made the implicit assumption that the real economy will grow at a sufficient pace to repay the debt with interest. Indeed, one of the reasons why interest rates have fallen to medieval levels – and why productivity gains have all but disappeared – is that we no longer have the energy and resource growth to support the borrowing we have already engaged in.

Rising energy costs alone now threaten to unravel the global economy. Pull the rug out from what remains, via tax increases, interest rate hikes and the now inevitable rising cost of energy and everything in the economy which requires energy, and you have a recipe for a financial collapse on a scale that makes 2008 look like a cakewalk.”


A national mindset that overrides all other mindsets is needed for there is to be consensus about the way forward.  A mindset which in effect will lead the way.

The last time this existed was in the 1950s and 60s. Which I remember.  With hindsight it was tough.  On reflection, it was better than how things are now.

In 1960 the average weekly wage was about £9 (today it is over £500). Government food rationing ended in 1954 with only basic foods available afterwards.  There were Government “Civic Restaurants” a hangover from the wartime “British Restaurants”. There was little discretionary spending. Implicit rules of day-to-day behaviour were “second nature”. Individuals instinctively followed their parent’s behaviour.

All so difficult to describe.  Everyone had more or less the same mindset.  I suppose it was mindless!  We didn’t think then in abstract about our day-to-day life.  We had to live it to recover from the war.

James Lovelock has recently said that we now require mobilisation of resources on the scale of a war economy.

I agree.   Which will require a national mindset.

There is no possibility of a national mindset being agreed upon at present.  The four mindsets I have suggested are so different from each other, and there must be many more.

When the financial collapse suggested by Tim Watkins occurs it may then be realised that the business-as-usual and green economy mindsets are pipe-dreams.

In the end, a national mindset will prevail.