Thursday, 30 July 2009

"Big questions" ... too hot to handle ?

The Renegade Economist posted an excellent blog (submitted by Sir John Whitmore) entitled the 'big questions are too hot to handle" ... this article chimed very well with many of my recent posts ... such as "Does Size Matter" (or more specifically "Does the size of the .... matter"!), "traditional economics is dead", "traditional education is failing", "BBC - journalism is failing" etc ... and it points to two questions / issues that have not been addressed ...

"In all the newspaper articles, in all the radio programmes and TV shows now exposing our MP’s expenses, and previously, our failed bankers’ bonuses, two core issues have been strikingly missed. One is to question the suitability of the type of people currently in both those roles to be there at all. The other is to question the wisdom of desperately propping up a failing, obsolete and unsustainable world economic system..."

The article then discusses them both in detail, and I would recommend reading the whole (as it's not long and it's very good) ... and here are a few of the main points below ... first of all question 1:

Let us start with the first issue. Individuals, tribes, cultures, nations and humanity all mature or evolve psychologically, psychosocially and psychospiritually over time in a broadly similar predictable sequence ... One of these models, a four stage one devised by Kohlberg and Gilligan, labels Egocentric as the lowest level, followed by Ethnocentric, then Worldcentric and finally Kosmocentric ... This model can be described as showing the size of the person’s consciousness or what the person includes in his or her field of care. A recent study suggested that some 77% of the world population is currently Ethnocentric or below.

This Ethnocentric stage is characterised by tribal orientation, nationalism, rivalries, adolescent behaviours, and the like. Let us consider now the responses made by the bankers and the politicians to media and public criticism. They were very similar.

* The claim that “Everything I did was within the rules.

* An inability to recognise that what they did was ethically or morally wrong.

* The excuse that “I made a mistake”, but the mistakes were all to their own benefit.

* An almost pathological inability to take responsibility, and to say “I am sorry”.

Anyone who has a teenage son will recognize these adolescent traits; however, when one is under 25 such behaviour is to be expected as an acceptable phase in growing up. Above 30 or so, and especially if one is a banker or a politician with power over many, such behaviours are not only unattractive, unacceptable, and inexcusable, they are positively dangerous. Why have the media not picked this up and pointed it out?..."

and went on to say ...

"... Introducing tighter regulations for bankers or politicians does not raise their level of maturity, morality or their ethics, it just limits what they can get away with. No, it is the type of people, the Ethnocentrics themselves, that have to go. Worldcentric people by definition and by their nature would not have abused the old regulations, let alone need new ones. Anyone below Worldcentric on the “chart” should not be selected or elected into positions of leadership in politics or big corporations, not just banks ..."

and progressing to the second point Sir John Whitmore went on to say ...

"... The second of the two issues was the failure of commentators to seriously question the capitalist economic system that has proved to be so fragile and unjust. It has brought wealth to half the world while the rest starve; it thrives on excess consumption and the inevitable emissions, and it seriously retards the evolutionary development of individuals and cultures. Bankers and politicians alike strive to prop up the old failing system which they abused, because they know no better.

It did not occur to them that this was a golden opportunity to start to create a viable, sustainable economic system in line with the requirements of emerging Worldcentric human consciousness stage. Putting off the inevitable only makes the next economic crisis bigger and sooner. Worldcentric observers are amazed, distraught by the primitive ethnocentric thinking of our politicians and bankers, but they are up against the power that they still exercise....

So why have these two core issues been bypassed? Because few can contemplate the demise of capitalism and so they retreat into a state of denial, and few so called leaders can face the fact that despite their profile and in some cases their cleverness, their behaviour is adolescent. They have no knowledge of the evolutionary imperative that determines our future and ultimately our survival, let alone any understanding of it, or are guided by it. Why not? Because our schooling has tragically failed many generations now by ducking evolution, in simple terms, it omits the development of emotional intelligence followed by wisdom ..."

This article provides more great insight (and there are other articles / blogs / interviews there too - hence I've added a link to the Renegade economist web site), as well as adding my comments to the article itself below:

"... This is a great article and for me it re-enforces the 'battle of the future', a 'battle that transcends nations' ... and a 'battle of values' ... I describe this battle as

Leanomics vs Poweromics & Ignoromics


* Leanomics = People taking responsibility for adding value and continuously improving the situation for others (e.g. customers, communities, overall environment), based upon fundamental values such as trust, honor, responsibility and respect.

* Ignoromics = People are either effectively ignorant of the situation (e.g. the overall environment) or not prepared to take responsibility to make sure it changes for the better.

* Poweromics = People using position and power for their own personal gain, based on poor moral values, self interest and greed.

Traditional 'economics' is too narrow in scope, out-of-date and effectively dead (nb Dr. W. Edwards Deming, a 'creative outsider' highlighted this over 20 years ago) ... and following up on his work, and the above definitions ... what prevails today is a lethal combination of Poweromics & Ignoromics (nb 'partners in crime'), which the growing groundswell of 'Worldcentric'/'Kosmocentric' people are starting to challenge - take a look at the following about the 'battle of values' too for instance ... and the wider blog for more examples of the application of Poweromics around us (including the failure of traditional establishments such as mainstream education and the media also referred to here).

A link there also points to this blog too, pointing to the great work being done here (and by others) - so keep up the good work ... as there's a long way to go in this crisis before we see any significant change ... e.g. in the 'behaviours' from those 'leaders' in 'power' (... because most of the 'current leaders' are unlikely to 'grow up' and/or will fight hard to avoid losing their 'positions of power' ...)

However, the internet will change everything eventually, including power, politics and economics ...!

David Clift, Future 500 Leader, UK ..."