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I asked a Mckinsey Consultant, as a Prime Minister how can you structurally ruin a country?

A few years ago, I decided to venture out with a McKinsey consultant for some drinks in New York City. Amidst his frustration and agony with PPTs - he kept raving about how much he was improving his “structured thinking” skills every day.

So out of curiosity, I asked him - as a Prime Minister/President how can you “structurally” ruin a country? And in true McKinsey style - he said - easy. It’s a three-step process.

1. Step 1: Create Economic Crisis - How do you do that?

Borrow a lot of money (there are so many countries to benchmark here). Blame the economic downturn on Putin, China, Supply Chain, oil & gas prices, etc. This economic downturn theory should then be followed by printing a lot of money. (because countries will have to repay their debts).

2. Step 2: Your step 1 will now instigate a social crisis. How? because a lot of new money will devalue the currency and raise inflation.

This inflation will benefit the Rich/Privileged class like ours. Why? Because we tend to invest in productive, high-quality assets. In fact, we can leverage inflation to make a fortune for ourselves - especially when we take data-driven asymmetric bets.

These asymmetric bets will lead to asymmetric wealth creation and will increase the chasm between the haves and have-nots.

3. Step 3: Politicians will take care of things from here on -

Asymmetric wealth creation will lead to a lot of internal conflicts between the rich, the poor, and different ethnic, religious, and racial groups. Most importantly, it will create room for entrepreneurial politicians to break down communities further for sectional votes.

Broken communities have broken priorities. They can be instigated (en masse) to blame religion, castes, their neighbors, and their neighbors' kids for all their miseries in life. In the age of YouTube and algorithm-driven content creation and consumption - the best political parties will use this data to manufacture thoughts, views, aspirations, and hate for a few extra votes.

The poor suffer and continues to suffer. Politicians/rich/privileged will continue to thrive at the expense of middle-class taxpayers.

And that is how you ruin a country.

It is a travesty that this phenomenon is happening across the globe, and still, there are 20-year-olds who think pride in being 'apolitical'.

Politics matter. It is extremely important that educated youth becomes part of the political and policy ecosystem.

As long as you take pride in being “apolitical”, you will always be governed by your inferiors.


Author - Naman Shrivastava, Cofounder Global Governance Initiative, Ex- United Nations, Former Government of India Advisor

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