Roberto Mangabeira Unger, The System Cannot Hold: Having Left the EU, the United Kingdom Must Embark on a National Programme of Self-Renewal, New Statesman, Mar. 19, 2021, at 23.
Abstract: The fundamental reason for the productivity slowdown in the richest part of the world is that science and technology-intensive production devoted to permanent innovation - which we call the knowledge or innovation economy - remains confined in every sector; from product design and advanced manufacturing to precision agriculture, to fringes that exclude the overwhelming maj ority of workers and businesses. The timehonoured shortcut to economic growth - conventional industry: the mass production of standardised goods and services, on the basis of rigid machines, semi-skilled labour, and extreme job specialisation, as in an oldfashioned automobile plant or steel mill - has stopped working, as one country after another has deindustrialised. Some European countries, especially Germany and Switzerland, retain a large and vital manufacturing base, which they are now struggling to convert into its more advanced knowledge-intensive equivalent. The vast majority of activity in the UK’s service economy, meanwhile, remains confined to personal care, bricks-and-mortar retail, or iqth-century-style professions and trades, such as the plumbing, electrical, and building trades, disconnected from the front line of production.