Why Politics stops Creativity

The usual first response to any threat is a defensive posture. This is the prevailing style of today’s politicians and parties. 

But is that enough? Is this attitude not the beginning of the end? As if you want to win a World Cup by having all the players wall up in front of their own goal in the penalty area, without possessing an offense and midfield. 

We urgently need to free ourselves from all prejudices and old ideologies, because they impede creative thinking and building a better future. They are not just corsets, but cages in which progress is locked up. 

Future needs openness to innovation, progress and improvements through creative thinking serving as the fuel. This permits knowledge-based societies to grow and industrialised countries to prosper and maintain their global competitiveness as well as employment, prosperity and freedom. 

A Mission Future needs to break the prison of old thinking in politics and provide space and air for reflection, re- thinking and experimenting with fresh ideas. It paves the way for better politics. With concepts and concrete proposals de- signed to shape the future, instead of Sunday speeches. This is how we can make democracies viable. 

Why politics even rejects creativity: 

Today we know how iPhone, Mac Books, Tesla or Facebook are creatively designed and marketed. Hundreds of thousands of innovative designers, engineers and managers around the world are involved in digitization every day. Business, science and art are globally creative because they invest in research and seek innovative solutions. This is the core of the success of the free market economy throughout the world. It is only successful because free people can think creatively, experiment, act with an eye to the future and dare to do something new with courage and optimism. In an open and dynamic system without barriers of thought and ideology. With rewards for creative new thinkers and daring entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Ma. 

And in politics? Practically nothing – zero. 

Worldwide, with a few exceptions such as Singapore, Taiwan, Estonia, Denmark, New Zealand or the United Arab Emirates 

Our traditional policies are light years away from economic creativity.

At the core of the processes, it has remained as (un)creative as it was perhaps 30 years ago. It stands still and rots. Managed to death and over-regulated. Cloaked for years in a big cloud of many nice words without actions. Aloof and provincial. Slow as a snail. No desire for fantasy, imagination and new levels of thinking. No courage to shape the future. 

That is why democracies are weak. They are too slow and rot from within. They are then eaten up by the radicals from inside and outside. 

How democracies can be made ‘Fit For Future’ has already been described to some extent in Chapter A 5: The first elements are bottom-up decision-making. Less power machine and career lift. No subservience and more ability to criticise. An open dialogue. Radical reforms and qualified future leaders. No blinkers and more creativity. 

The base of creativity is openness. For new fresh impressions, ideas and influences. The new. The unknown. The opposite of this are ideological constraint in teaching and empty formulas. Imprisoned, antiquated thoughts impede innovative views of a vibrant future. 

In our political systems, everything new is usually rejected at first. 

One feverishly searches for possible mistakes, draw- backs and dangers. 

The political establishment is averse to creativity. It is afraid of change and the new. Fears experiments. Its political theory of relativity: I rule, so I know everything better and make no mistakes. Everything under control. No experiments. Because they could jeopardise my career and power and cannot be safely controlled. 

The opposite of the world of Albert Einstein. 

Always turning away from the future. 

Caught in an illusory world dominated by stubbornness, prejudices and inflexibility. Far away from reality. Grey theory of governance. 

Ultimately such a policy must fail. It lacks soul and fresh blood. It becomes unrealistic. Aloof. Incorrectly adjusted. Lack of pragmatism, realism and visions for actively shaping the future. 

If new proposals then come from outside and not from the ruling parties, from the rulers or from the administrative apparatus, everything is put on hold. The defensive mechanisms are perfectly rehearsed: rituals with the hundredfold calls for “prudence”, “unity”, “we have always done things differently”, “check carefully” or “do not rush things”. Speech bubbles of the comfortable and satiated enemies of progress. These are their perennial standard excuses. 

Anyone who dares to try something new is often accused by the ponderous political slugs of “profiling addiction. The future stands still, or more precisely: it is actively blocked. 

This perversion of the lack of creativity is further increased. Although Sunday speeches regularly call for reforms and proposals in general, a biting away effect immediately sets in when another politician or expert actually develops concrete proposals. 

But isn’t politics just the opposite, improvement by redesigning the future? 

Openness to people and change for the happiness of people? 

Most politicians regard creative proposals as an insult to their alleged (knowledge) domination, because they are not the inventors of the new. Those in power do not perceive other people’s creativity as strengthening their power, but as weakening it. As arrogant criticism of their previous style of government. Injured vanity plays a role here. That is why they regularly block, delay, criticise, stonewall the new proposals. 

Ideological thinking in terms of prejudices and beliefs further restricts the small thinking space of politicians, like a steel mask on their heads. Anything that does not fit into the parties’ traditional thinking patterns has no chance at all. 

Consequently, traditional politics is slowly abolishing it- self. It is saying goodbye to the future, only not yet knowing it with its dominating ignorance. The distance between the ideological claim to wisdom and the ever-changing reality on the globe is growing every day until the thread of the story breaks to the voters. Whoever loses the ability to criticise and no longer dares to do something new, will go offside. Then others take the helm, mostly radical, authoritarian, populist hopefuls. They then have an easy time of it and are perceived at the margins as refreshingly different. 

The need for creativity is further increased by professional speechwriters using beautiful sounding, newly invented standard formulas to cover intellectual gaps. Many of these political phrases sound good. But they are just empty words without a core. They cloud inaction. Because professional politicians can speak fluently about any topic – because they have been practising this art several times a day for years – their deep emptiness of content is not noticeable at first glance. They get away with it and can argue both for and against it in a polished way. The party people applaud enthusiastically. But they communicate in narrow party tubes. With little reference to the people and global reality. 

Einstein’s theory of creativity has no chance in our democracies yet, because it is obstructed and blocked from all sides of the traditional political space. 

The deep frustration with traditional politicians and the meteoric rise of radical populists is fed by these negative mechanisms of old politics. 

Where are the political Einstein’s who create the new, the better? Where are concrete answers and plans for today’s problems? Where is the will to make things better creatively? 

Where should new thinking come from? Hardly any politician has time to read and think. But without thinking and new knowledge there can be no progress. Moreover, the struggle of professional politicians focuses mainly on career positions and people. People do not live for, but from politics. Not free to think, say and do. The house has to be paid off with political income over years. Always in the spotlight of the public, the party and political opponents within one’s own ranks. Any gross mistake can ruin your career resulting in social relegation to irrelevance. That is why security instead of progress seems to be the order of the day. Who becomes what when? That absorbs almost all energy. Creative thinking is reserved for time in the shower. Politics quickly becomes un- imaginative, bloodless, a schematic sequence of sayings without substance, shell without core, boring, administration instead of fresh design, ultimately without a future. This is the perversion of politics today. No creativity and therefore a lack of capacity for the future. 

It is the Achilles’ heel of democracies. The system ossifies, becomes slower and slower, rigid and finally implodes. And this in the middle of a globalised world that is spinning ever faster. 

Our political systems are still predominantly hostile to innovation and far too slow. 

This weakens the democracies at home, produces frustration enabling the rise of various populists. They in turn exploit the weaknesses of the system with provocative theses and fake news. 

This standstill and the prayer mill-like repetition of the same standard phrases are an insolence of the powerful and the officials, an ignorance of the future. This practice gambles away progress in the legislative and executive branches of government, thereby wasting not only the future, but valuable time and taxpayers’ money as well. 


  • No more power to the uncreative and future-preventers.
  • Let us disempower brakemen, little minds as well as politicians focused on the past. 
  • Let us call on new and unconventional thinkers as well as innovative doers.

Creativity and the joy of innovation must finally move from ignorance and bureaucratic banishment to the very top of political decision-making. 

Without creativity there is no progress and without progress there is no good policy for a viable future. 

Let us now break through the meter-thick plug of political lack of creativity and ideas and think about the future in a completely new way.


If you want to learn more about Mission Future you can find our 600 pages book with 200 concrete reform propsals here.