The tragedy is that industrial strategy problem is solvable – but only if you have three things. First, strategic certainty: what does the country want to be in the world; what industries does it favour? Second, a powerful economics ministry and a government investment bank. Third, private money looking for long-term projects backed by a government guarantee. Brexit and internal warfare in the Conservative party have combined to make these conditions impossible.
The real point about all of this is simply that we know fuck all about the future.
We don’t know what problems technology advancing will enable us to solve. We don’t know what problems people want solved among those that technology might enable. This is the most basic point about the market, not planned economy. We’ve not a scoobie, thus we must use the experimentation machine which is the market to find out. Try stuff, throw it at the wall, see what sticks. Who knew we all wanted to send cat pictures to each other?
We cannot plan the future because we know fuck all about the future.