Unrealistic policies

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Unrealistic policy-making
Government promotion of unrealistic perspectives
Political support for unsustainable policies
Political unreality
Political surrealism

The dispatch of USA marines to protect food supplies reaching starving Somalians in 1992 was a policy fraught with unfounded assumptions: that once delivery of the supplies to distribution points had been ensured, the food would get to the people needing it; that there was benefit in treating a limited and short-term aspect of the population's distress (starvation) which has its roots in drought, overpopulation and the social chaos arising from lack of any government authority, but that would not relieve these causal factors and had the potential to worsen them; that warranted foreign military intervention in a non-threatening situation; and was worth the expense of hundreds of millions of dollars at a time when essential US domestic needs were not being met for want of money and the USA government was deeply indebted.

In Russia in 1993 observers commented on the lack of any connection between government procedure (with meetings, signature of agreements, passage of legislation) and what was actually happening in the country, in relation to which such activities appeared surrealistically irrelevant.


Increasingly a style of politics and governance is emerging based on: avoiding (or minimizing) the communication of unwelcome news, accustoming people to inconsistent policies, ensuring that every problem is someone else's fault. The result is a form of paralysis of truth in which reality about most important issues of governance (budget deficits, use of military force, foreign trade, environmental impacts, corruption, etc.) is widely acknowledged but cannot be expressed by elected officials.


Counter Claim:

In any government there are gaps between command and execution, appearance and reality, memorandum and implementation.

Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Date of last update
21.12.2017 – 18:05 CET