You are here

Varieties of Confidence Essential to Sustainability

Surrogates and tokens obscuring the existential gold standard (Part #1)


Introduction
Commentary
Musical metaphor

[Parts: Next | Last | All ] [Links: To-K | From-K | From-Kx ]


Introduction

Much has been made of the challenge of restoring confidence in the financial system. The erosion of confidence is seen more generally as an erosion in the credibility of many structures and processes in society, from interpersonal relationships to the global level, as previously explored (Credibility Crunch engendered by Hope-mongering: "Credit crunch" focus as symptom of a dangerous mindset, 2008; Abuse of Faith in Governance: Mystery of the Unasked Question, 2009). However the challenge to confidence is also only too evident in individual experience, whether as an existential sense of uncertainty, a loss of self-esteem, or some form of loss of faith. The increasing concern with depression and the widespread use of mood-altering substances offers a measure of the dimensions of the challenge. Economically these substances are now recognized to represent a market of a magnititude similar to that for oil and for arms.

Confidence is essentially intangible and it is therefore somewhat extraordinary that it should be so fundamental to what might otherwise be considered the most tangible aspects of the material world -- as evident in the economic world of business. "Confidence" is supposedly not even a matter of consideration in any evaluation of the financial condition of a commercial enterprise or a national economy. This supposition is in fact quite incorrect as the financial crisis of 2008-9 has demonstrated.

Just as "confidence" has been disguised and seemingly marginalized within the economic system, it also underlies a range of other preoccupations with which "confidence" is not necessarily associated. The purpose here is to draw attention to a variety of what might be termed surrogates of confidence in order to point to confidence as a common intangible. The nature of this intangible -- as an existential, subjective experience -- is arguably a special challenge to individual and collective engagement with any common global reality. This challenge defies simplistic assumptions and calls for careful consideration as the cognitive "glue" that ensures the connectivity and coherence presumably essential to global governance and viable strategies for the future.

Confidence and its Surrogates
indicative configuration of the variety of expressions and tokens of confidence
Confidence and its Surrogates

Confidence

Confidence is trust or faith in a person or thing. Having confidence in oneself (self-confidence) can grant one more courage, and thus confidence is often viewed as a key to happiness and inner fulfillment. However, although confidence is often encouraged and celebrated, it is not vital to success. People who are cautious and analytical can achieve as much success as bold and impulsive people. Extroverts are not always confident, and introverts are not necessarily lacking in confidence. Yet, confidence, especially self .

nt, and introverts are not necessarily lacking in confidence. Yet, confidence, especially self .


[Parts: Next | Last | All ] [Links: To-K | From-K | From-Kx ]