Wellington’s Most Difficult Lesson Learned

Yesterday, I embedded a very interesting video about the Duke of Wellington’s political career after Waterloo.

The Iron Duke started that political career at a high point. He was, after all, a national hero. But things fell apart. And they fell apart because of who he was. Wellington was an aristocrat and a military man. As such, he had no interest in reform and no time for dissent. He believed, to the contrary, that his duty lay in maintaining order. Thus Wellington didn’t see that the changes brought on by the industrial revolution made political reform urgently needed and inevitable.  Wellington eventually did change — but only after he stepped aside from holding the reins of power.

This is relevant today. The changes brought on by the digital revolution will make political reform inevitable again.  Most important, government can no longer safely rely on the private sector to maintain the middle class.  In addition, government will have to take over and master digital tools to produce “smart regulation”. Politicians who do not see this will suffer a similar fate that Wellington did.

Stay tuned on this one.


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