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  • Writer's pictureHamid Rafizadeh

BALANCE or mutual destruction: LEARNING from Mr. Stein and not doing what he says

I had an opportunity to listen to Mr. Mark Stein, an eloquent and entertaining speaker. He said today’s society educates too many people for too long and as complementary evidence offered the fact that most of the audience was born into an America made by humans who at best were eighth graders. Then he warned of the danger of software and automation that in near future will make millions jobless. He added that the immigration of millions currently seeking to enter the country would lower the wages and the number of Americans willing to take the low paying jobs, thus producing high unemployment and a scattering of destroyed towns that no longer have the base for upward mobility, only experiencing the downward mobility all humans despise. Then he emphasized that none of these developments are noticed by society’s elite leaders, disconnected from the people, and that is why the people look elsewhere for leaders—thus the phenomenon of Mr. Trump.

Listening to Mr. Stein I made two observations. First, he excelled in delivering the “conservative” message—the view of those that wish the society would mostly stay the same as in the past. Second, and more important, Mr. Stein had no understanding of “manager-managed duality” and the “societal sharing system,” the concepts covered in my books. Given that at present there are many like Mr. Stein, here is a brief introduction to the societal sharing system and manager-managed duality. After reading it if you desire more information, you can find it in my book The Sucker Punch of Sharing.

So let’s start at the foundations.

Every society is made of humans that share their capabilities to serve the needs of all. Without exception “capability sharing” sustains us all. Every aspect of our individual lives comes from capabilities shared by millions of others. My car, my home, my food, my medicine, my security, my computer, and everything else originate at capabilities shared by millions of others. Without them I cannot exist. Mr. Stein misses the fact that human existence, well-being, and survival takes shape through the shared capabilities of uncounted many. But that is not where the story ends. The “sharing of capabilities” produce “accumulated shared capabilities” most visible in the form of buildings, roads, houses, and variety of knowledgebases like how to build an automobile, how to make computers, how to cure diseases, how to farm the land, AND the sacred texts and many more. All such “accumulated shared capabilities” are AMPLIFIERS of “currently shared capabilities.” The buildings, houses, computers, electricity, roads, and knowledgebases originating at capabilities shared in the past amplify everything I do—they AUTOMATE everything I do. The higher the amplification, the lower the current sharing of capabilities. As such, the human life, at the foundation, emerges from the challenge of “managing the mix” of current capabilities and accumulated capabilities shared in the past.

How do we manage the current capabilities and amplifiers?

Let us start with a thought experiment. Let us imagine an extreme when balancing the current capabilities and the amplifiers of those capabilities. Imagine a day—perhaps thousands of years from now—where the shared capabilities accumulated in the past have reached such a level—have automated life to a level—that there is no longer any need for sharing any current capabilities to provide for the needs of all. By itself the accumulated capabilities shared in the past provide for the daily needs of all. How can I describe the human life in this imagined yet real world? I cannot know exactly but it would probably be a world in which everyone lives life as if on vacation or an entrepreneur engaging in acts of knowledge processing or a philosopher in search of higher levels of knowledge. Everyone is getting the basics of daily life from accumulated shared capabilities of the past and everyone gets to live a life of developing one’s capabilities and sharing them above the level of providing for daily needs. AND this is where I stop imagining human life thousands of years from now BECAUSE I have made my point. The accumulation of shared capabilities alters the level of “current capabilities” humans allocate to serving the basic human needs in life like food, shelter, medicine, etc. This reality-based imagination is crucial to understanding and managing “capability sharing” in today’s world.

The capabilities shared in the past will amplify (or if you prefer, will automate) human capabilities and result in fewer current capabilities shared to provide for the needs of all. It is a process that would continually increase the number of “jobless”—those whose capabilities are not shared in providing for the needs of all. The suitcase word “jobless” is an ignorance-based view of the role that the “capabilities shared and accumulated in the past” play in human life. If Mr. Stein knew about “societal sharing system,” “accumulation of capabilities shared in the past,” and the “balance between current capabilities and accumulated shared capabilities,” as bright as he is, he would no longer moan the plight of the jobless and the specter of automation-destroyed towns, and instead would talk about development of human capabilities and applying human capabilities within the context of accumulated capabilities shared in the past in relation to daily needs of all. He would talk about the challenges that the society faces in “balancing the two.” Such conversation would not happen unless he has read The Sucker Punch of Sharing.

Then comes the knowledge of “manager-managed duality.”

In most of my books and especially in the first chapter of The First Rung I talk about the “manager-managed duality,” the society’s operational structure. Without exception, every society is built on manager-managed duality where a small group of “managers” manage the affairs of the masses of “managed.” Thus the CEO manages the business, the teacher manages the classroom, and the President manages the nation. Though having thousands of years of experience, humans know of no other way of managing the society. The prime purpose of such arrangement is to effectively serve the needs of the masses. And that would only happen if BOTH SIDES of the manager-managed duality are active in managing it. If the masses of managed lose the sense of duality’s purpose, the managers would often turn into self-serving tyrants. The knowledge of manager-managed duality is a “foundational knowledge,” yet many are not aware of it even though everyone is a participant in this societal arrangement. Human life and well-being—the societal sharing system—can only exist through the manager-managed duality.

When a “town”—a capability sharing unit—has no knowledge of “capability sharing” and no knowledge of “manager-managed duality,” and it becomes a “destroyed town,” namely a town in which the capabilities are no longer shared to provide for the needs of all, the only solution the town sees is finding the “right manager,” someone like Mr. Trump to FIX IT. Otherwise, everyone in the destroyed town and the society maintains what they are already doing. The result, always, is a dysfunctional and decaying society for two obvious reasons. First, capabilities are not developed and shared to serve the needs of all, and second, both sides of manager-managed duality are not actively involved in maintaining the societal sharing system to serve the needs of all. If Mr. Stein knew of manager-managed duality he would not extol Mr. Trump as an exceptional savior and instead moan that instead of focusing on functionality of manager-managed duality, the individuals and society, especially in “destroyed towns,” are wrongly focused on one manager taking care of all capability sharing problems in satisfying the needs of all.

We now arrive at the suitcase words “conservative” and “liberal” to which humans pledge their allegiance. Mr. Stein uses these words without an understanding of the foundation from which they emerge. To develop a foundational view one must read The Sucker Punch of Sharing to understand the few-agree, many-agree, and all-agree positions that humans create in their interactions. Every human comes into the world with his or her own “few-agree positions.” These are like personal opinions that each individual has about the world. For a society to exist, humans have to turn some few-agree positions into “many-agree positions” and then pick a number of many-agree positions and turn them into “all-agree positions.” The many-agree and all-agree positions would bound the vast ocean of few-agree positions and make societal interactions possible. Human life and more specifically “the market” has its foundation at the stable and functional interactions that happen in a well-designed matrix of many-agree and all-agree positions.

Every society needs an organizational structure for managing the society’s many-agree positions in order to decide which ones can be turned into all-agree positions. This is important because humans can achieve many-agree positions but NEVER an all-agree position. Human uniqueness and immense diversity of few-agree positions preclude that possibility. That is why every all-agree position has to be backed by societal force and FORCED on those that normally oppose it. It is the all-agree positions which we refer to as the “rule of law.” Anyone that does not align with an all-agree position—does not obey the law—would face the societal force in the form of police and armed forces.

In the United States the Congress is given the task of managing the society’s many-agree positions in deciding which ones should be turned into all-agree positions to be forced on everyone. Given the vast ocean of few-agree positions, the management of many-agree positions and the creation and maintenance of all-agree positions is most difficult. Many nations cannot manage it well and fall into the abyss of force-based confrontations, killing one other than sharing capabilities to produce and distribute goods and services for each other’s daily needs.

The suitcase words conservative and liberal designate societally important yet opposing many-agree positions, each vying to make itself the all-agree position to be forced on the other. The words conservative and liberal, by themselves, are like empty suitcases in which no knowledge has been placed. The empty suitcase only communicates ignorance. Thus, throwing the words conservative and liberal at each other, little knowledge-based communication takes place. So let me fill the suitcases. Conservative stands for those that want to MAINTAIN A TRADITIONAL WAY OF LIFE and change very little. Liberal depicts those that feel THE TRADITIONAL WAY OF LIFE HAS TO CHANGE in order to accommodate current human needs. Even after filling the suitcase of conservative and liberal with knowledge, unaware of societal many-agree positions, we would often miss the fact that conservative and liberal are natural features of human life and exist in every aspect of human life and not just politics. We would also miss the fact that the two must remain in balance, for otherwise, in opposition, they will destroy each other. To clarify, let me give you an example that every human should understand.

My wife and I bought a house. She wants to remodel the kitchen. She wants to change it in order to better accommodate her cooking needs. She is acting as a LIBERAL. I see the kitchen fine as it is with no need for remodeling. That makes me a CONSERVATIVE. Now imagine each of us trying to FORCE the other to accept his or her view as the law of the house instead of seeking a BALANCE between those two positions? How long do you think the marriage would last if the two see “fighting” as the only alternative to achieve the desired conservative or liberal outcome?

And here is the dilemma.

In Congress the people assigned with the task of “balancing the society’s many-agree positions” have become avid “balance destroyers.” They have broken into conservative and liberal camps. Each wants to destroy the other at the first chance it gets. Even though it is the most flimsy and a highly unstable arrangement, the two sides have agreed that the first to get to 51% can use societal force to destroy the one stuck at 49%. This is the narrowest margin for management of many-agree positions and an assured recipe for societal destruction. The next year when the 49-percenter manages to crawl back to 51%, it is its time to destroy the other side that has now dropped to 49%. Neither recognizes that they are destroying each other and in the process destroying the society. I am of the opinion that if people like Mr. Stein read The Sucker Punch of Sharing and learn about managing the many-agree positions toward a point of balance where the fewest are forced to comply, the message sent to conservatives and liberals would radically change.

The truth: the conservative and liberal are human-made things—human artifacts. We can make them and bring them to balance to serve the needs of everyone or we can make them confrontational to only serve select groups and undermine and destroy others. At the moment we have chosen to split the country into two fighting camps and are steadfast that one or the other must win if the society is to prosper. The alternating winner of 51% FORCING 49% will ultimately STAND ON THE RUINS of the society. There is no other outcome in a society built on confrontation of 51-percenters, out of balance with society’s many-agree and all-agree positions.

Would what I am telling you reach people like Mr. Stein? Would they read The Sucker Punch of Sharing so they learn the basics of managing the society’s many-agree positions? I don’t know. History has always sided with today’s Mr. Stein. Historically, every society on earth has been destroyed through out-of-balance, confrontational many-agree positions. I doubt that the United States will become the historical exception. That is not pessimism. It is realism based on ingrained human behavior.


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