Overseeing and Managing Complex Adaptive Systems
To govern a complex system, you must first have knowledge of the system in the strictest of senses. You must recognize that you are intrinsically apart of that system as a node in the network, which then influences and effects all other networks around you, and that anything you do to it, ultimately is something that you do to your own small self.
So much for having absolute power, because you’re always going to be bound by circumstance and consequence and the biology of your brain. Only those who don’t get how limited they are, in fact, get corrupted by the illusion of absolute power, absolutely. This is most of the human population, as we are, I think, not presently able to fully grasp the significance or the span and breadth of the entire set of complex systems that is our universe. Literally, many of us don’t have the biology, in terms of hardware, to make it work. Those who have a chance at getting these concepts still need the relevant software to influence and effect their hardware in order to produce the desired results.
Human civilization begins with sunlight and water, which then produces nourishment for our bodies and, more specifically, our brains. This then fuels the production of goods and services that we use to provide nourishment and sustenance first, and then physical and psychological comforts second (although we frequently get the two mixed up, thanks again to the primacy of our brains in most cases).
Larger groups of humans tend to produce larger economies. However, there comes a need to organize and provide order within those larger societies; to ensure in the words of Hammurabi in the preamble of his Code of Laws: “to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, so that the strong do not harm the weak.” This then enforces social behavior amongst humans while penalizing and excluding anti-social and/or free-loading behavior of some humans (which, again, stems from their brains and their brains’ functions). These anti-social behaviors can come from on high (in the case of the corporate Capitalists and power elites of the societ(ies) who seek to rule over, put down, exploit and enforce unnatural laws upon the rest of human society) to down below in the masses of society (in the form of pick-pockets, con-artists and healthy beggars). Both are criminal and detrimental to the well being of human society. However, unless the brain states of these individuals is corrected, they will both continue in our social worlds at all of our expenses. All of this social stuff is nested within the environment of the planet on which we are on. We are in it, and we influence it through our individual and collective chosen actions (which, again, links back to our brains).
The government is simply an organ within the society that provides the order, direction and conditions needed to conduct business, grow and adapt society to changes in the environment or social conditions. There are many tools in the tool box of government. More research needs to be done to develop policy tools in order to produce positive results within the society. The purpose of these tools, however, if the government is going to survive within the context of the environment and the society (which then depend on the government’s actions and decisions for their own well being) always needs to be for the sake of the well being of the society within the context of the environment. All other purposes, however positively or malevolently intended, will only bring about weaknesses in the society and the environment, and thus, contribute to weaknesses within the government itself and the possible elimination of the particular governmental body in favor of a different one. From this starting point of seeking positive effects, we can then set about designing and testing the various mechanisms, tools and regimens that governments can produce for the societies in order to produce the best possible economic outcomes for all of the citizenry who work in the economy as well as for those who honestly cannot work due to a real condition that they have and are unable to overcome for whatever reason.
The key for the government and its members, is to be proactively conscious of the conditions within the social and environmental conditions, both internally and externally with regards to other planets and other possible species living in this universe with us and to be proactively adaptive to new conditions and situations as they present themselves. The only constant that’s going to be with us is change. That is all the conservatives can carry with them. Failure to abide by these natural laws and conditions will result in deterioration and death, in spite of the value which we individually and collectively may or may not place upon a given concept or thing in our social world. In the end, the only reason why anything has any real value, other than that which we need to survive and be well, is because society has assigned it value. Therefore, all things that are non-essential to survival have no intrinsic value, and the only reason why that which does enable us to survive have value, is because society placed a value on survival.
The government is merely another body within the larger social body. Its fate is intimately tied in with the fate of the environment and the larger social body that is around it. It is the brain; both influencer of and influenced by the rest of the body that is society, which is then effected by the environment and the other societies of sentient beings that are around it. It is neither higher nor lower than the rest of the social systems, it just has its own distinctive traits and nothing else.
Those who think in terms of hierarchy within the social systems, as far as power and authority is concerned, are not accurately perceiving the limits of that power and authority; the natural checks and balances that exist in any relationship. To begin with, the first level of natural checks and balances is the development of the brain and the rest of the body within the environment. You did not choose the brain that you have, nor did you influence the critical moments of development that helped produce you to be the ways that you are you. In that sense, the society and your environment checks your individual growth and your individual power over society.
The second layer of checks and balances comes with the consequences of your actions. Regardless of whatever you might think or feel or believe, your actions lead to other actions in the environment and the society, which then come back around to effect your own small-individual self and your own personhood. There is no such thing as a distinction between the collective of society and the environment and the individual living within that social and ecological collective. This is not so much a mystical belief that you have to take on faith, but an empirical fact about our world that many don’t seem to care or care to care about. That is partially how there is so much misery and suffering in this plane of existence: because so few people are actually paying attention to their actions and the consequences of those actions in an accurate and self-preservationist sense (in the largest sense of that self, which includes the environment and the society in which they are living).
Thirdly, there are the circumstances that bind your actions and check the individual’s perception, available actions and chosen actions, again, limiting the individual on this plane of existence. Your position in the world, within organizations and in general, defines in part, your interests and your perception of the world. I am only seeing the world like this because of how my brain was developed, raised and grew on its own and where I am presently in the universe, physically and by social station. This will change accordingly, as I change position and station in life and continue to grow and develop within the social and ecological environment in which I find myself. However, the natural limits of my abilities will always exist, nevertheless. The circumstances will still be binding on my perspective and demeanor, which then determine my perceived and chosen courses of action. Therefore, it circumstance makes the third check and balance upon the individual self, along with the consequences of our actions and biological condition.
As we are checked, as individuals, by these three natural phenomenon, so too are organizations, governments and banks included. There is no such thing as an all powerful organization, because all powerful does not exist on this plane of existence. An organization is bound by the brains of the people who compose it, the consequences of its own actions upon the environment and the society and the circumstances and perceptions that define its world and its chosen courses of action. Notice how the bankers and government officials are brewing up a storm, not only in the societies in which they’re found, but also in the environment in which we all live. They’re going to die with us, unless they change course significantly, sincerely and consistently with regards to their attitudes, perceptions, and actions upon the world. It’s not so much as that they have power, but that they’re renting it while failing to pay the rent back to the society and to the environment. That is how the universe deals with those who cannot and will not perceive their own self interests in the grand scheme of things, who climb too high in our social ladders and, thus, eliminate everything for themselves as a result of their actions. The sad part, being, is that they will neither understand nor accept the truths of the matter which led to their undoing; no lessons learned, nothing gained.
It’s a diseased brain which thinks and honestly believes that it can act with impunity without having the sincerely given and generously furnished authority from the other that is subject to their actions. There has to be a two way street, between the society and the environment, and the government which produces the laws which shape the environment and the society.
Active listening, positive communication, empirically grounded and tested techniques, and constant vigilance and adaptation are the bases for the government’s tool kit.
And it is only these tools which will ultimately serve the government’s members, in the grand scheme of things.
And, think about it.