Collapse of public servant role of the professional
Disparagement of public service
In the past, specialists have been called upon to play a particular role as keepers of a community's exclusive skills and in manifesting the representational dynamic in special services to that community. The marks of this role have been reduced to status in the form of economic success. The concept of "servant of the public" has been largely rendered meaningless.
The best graduates of academic institutions tend to be attracted to a limited range of professions in which the average salaries are disproportionately higher than those in institutions, notably public service bodies, on which society relies to deal with the problem it faces. In addition to the relative advantages of higher salaries and the associated prestige, graduates are discouraged from undertaking public service careers by the constant disparagement of public service (and notably teaching) by the media. This disparagement has the further consequence of raising public resistance to any effort to increase the salaries of such positions to make them more attractive. There is therefore a tendency for people of relatively mediocre ability to accumulate in institutions from which remedial action to social challenges is expected.
The best minds are diverted from the needs and opportunities of public service in response to societal problems.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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