This thesis examines, from a holistic perspective, the desperate need for an absolute recognition of the variety o/interdependencies within the Australian economy in drawing together groups and interests in common purpose. Such analysis is paramount to our economic survival. The era when serious self-examination was a bore has past. Stakes are high when human capacities and aspirations are being questioned - so, as the 'lucky country' begins to stir under the enveloping blanket of self-imposed apathy - such a study thus becomes timely and indicative.
It is the belief of the candidate that a society that has no coherent image of its future or believes it has no influence over it, loses its ability to act in the present. Failure to act without taking full account of pervasive interdependencies within the economy does little to improve the situation - it is like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.
The principal focus is to bring to the fore the view that for reasons of complacency, or misunderstanding, or underestimation of the gravity of the problem, Australia's governments, its industry, and its people, have failed to channel their energies towards the fundamental problems that have affected our competitive position. The dichotomy between opportunity and performance is profoundly disturbing. The theme of the thesis is thus a potent one in that it reveals a latent insecurity about how to define and integrate the contradiction of being a Western democracy in an Asian-Pacific region of great diversities. The candidate thus seeks to analyse the question why the policy environment is wrong, the incentives are wrong, and the perspectives of the people are wrong, while recognising that to subside into doom and pessimism is the worst option. Pessimism can all too easily become fatalism.