'Politically Incorrect Humanism': The Work of Martine Dodds-Taljaard
Dallas, July 4th, 2001
Martine Dodds-Taljaard died in a hospital near Stellenbosch, South Africa on June 4th, 2001 from the complications of cancer. She was in her early fifties and had an enduring passion for ‘systems thinking’ and the role it could play in bringing about a common understanding of the systemic origins of social-environmental ‘dissonance’ and in orchestrating a return to socio-ecological harmony.
As a friend and colleague, I became well familiar with her compassion for those who fell victim to the dysfunction of our social systems (her personal circumstances made this more poignant) and how it contributed to the motivational base for her ‘politically incorrect humanism'.
By ‘politically incorrect humanism’, I am referring to the fact that her profound and intuitive understanding of ‘systems’ often put her in the position of ‘critiquing’ ‘popularly acclaimed’ humanist enterprises intended as ‘solutions’ to socio-environmental dysfunction but which, from her ‘deep systems’ point of view, embodied ‘design flaws.’ For example, her criticism of ‘Church’ was in no way a criticism of the effort to capture and share the legacy of the exemplary life and lessons of ‘prophets’ such as Jesus, … but was instead a criticism of the distorting effects of, for example, doctrinal committee interpretations and the imposed machinery of ‘Church as a System’ on the ‘system’ of ‘society’.
As she said in an email message a few months ago;
“I am not surreptitious or devious - I am very straightforward, which is probably why I am often blackballed.”
As Martine noted, our western culture tends to organize itself around judgments of ‘what’s right’ and ‘what’s wrong’ and go through endless successions of ‘kicking the bad guys out of office’ and replacing them with ‘good guys’ who terminate the ‘bad practices’ and implement new ‘best practices’, … all of this without ever examining or revising the implicit ‘system design principle’ of empowering representatives to implement approaches ‘judged to be good’, … a ‘one-to-many’, central control-based method of organization commonly referred to as ‘representative governance’ (or ‘representative democracy’). In Martine’s view, we need to subsume ‘representative governance’, the current ‘organizational-paradigm-of –choice’, with the ‘many-to-one’, collaborative organizational paradigm of ‘participative governance’. In ‘The Challenge of Governance in an Interdependent World’, she says;
“The systemic challenge for any model of governance lies in the extent to which it can create and promote order, social cohesion and alignment of purpose at system level, whilst simultaneously allowing for high levels of individual freedom, spontaneity and creativity within its parts and subsystems. . . . both the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ qualities of the system and its context, are critical in defining the required mode of governance and leadership. It will be shown that the current model of representative democracy cannot address the challenges of the new realities incumbent upon a globalized world, and that participative democracy offers the greatest hope for transcending the conflicts and disparities incurred by a redundant set of relationships between parts of the global system.”
[To view ‘The Challenge of Governance in an Interdependent World’ in the abridged form Martine presented it at the World Congress of Systems Sciences in Toronto, July, 2000, go to www.goodshare.org/martine.htm ]
The problem that Martine and the systems sciences have been struggling with is that systems of organizations are commonly designed in a ‘logical’ or ‘rational’ manner and have NOT been designed for ‘coresonance’ and ‘coevolution’ with their enveloping fellow systems. Meanwhile systems must function within a ‘global commons’, a finite space with finite resources that is a seething, interfering mixture of old and new systems where new systems emerge and old ones ‘subduct’ on a continuing basis.
How, then, to design a system which will not only ‘do its intended job well’ but which will have the capacity to adaptively coresonate and coevolve with the enveloping network of interdependent systems in which it must ‘live’? If coresonance and coevolution capabilities are not ‘designed in’, … new systems will simply add to the escalating dissonance and dysfunction coming from growing contention and interdependencies in the finite space of our biosphere.
The acuity of Martine’s ‘systems vision’, in dealing with this problem of ‘interference’ amongst multiple systems referencing to ‘common ground’, seems to have benefited from the ‘intersecting’ of several influences; --- the legacy from having had a geology professor for father who shared with her his keen interest in the ontogenetic workings of natural systems; --- systems insights coming from Russell Ackoff and Jamshid Gharajedaghi through her ‘Interact’ association, and; --- living in a place and time of dramatic change in the dynamical balance between different cultural traditions, the ‘western way’ and the ‘way of the indigenous peoples’. Each of these intersecting ‘contexts’ is undoubtedly in her mind when she says;
“…both the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ qualities of the system and its context, are critical in defining the required mode of governance and leadership.”
While her father shared with her how the constituent systems of nature are encoded in the dynamics of the environment (how the inner relates to the outer) and Russell Ackoff shared with her how ‘down-and-back-up-again’ analytical systems inquiry must always be dynamically balanced by ‘up-and-back-down-again’ synthesizing systems inquiry [to add ‘realism’, one can substitute ‘out’ for ‘up’ and ‘in’ for ‘down’ in Ackoff’s expressions], there also appeared to be a adaptive coevolution going on between individual South Africans and the enveloping land, and vice versa, in the manner of a quote by Jan Smuts, philosopher and first Prime Minister of South Africa whose book ‘Holism and Evolution’ Martine cited from. Smuts captured the essence of this natural inner-outer dynamic as follows;
“The individual is going to be universalized, the universe is going to be individualized, and thus from both directions the whole is going to be enriched.”
Martine therefore looked at systems in this bi-directional inner-outer manner wherein a system was inevitably ‘systematizing’, in some harmonious or dissonant way, its enveloping configuration of fellow systems, at the same time as it was systematically acting in pursuit of its own particular intent. In my own ‘relativity’ based examples of ‘complex systems’ such as the game of pool, the same geometrical considerations came into play; i.e. when the constituent ‘moved’, it simultaneously, reciprocally transformed the geometry of its containing space, and the geometry of its containing space governed its ‘opportunity-to-move’. Martine was very much ‘in tune’ with this ‘relativistic’ notion that the actions of the constituents co-creatively transform their own opportunity-to-act. In terms of ‘relativity’; ‘the reference ground for the dynamics of individual systems is the enveloping multi-system codynamic’, it is NOT, as the analytical sciences would have it, ‘empty, infinite, non-participating Euclidian space’.
Thus, in Martine’s systems view, the ‘one-to-many’ approach of ‘representative governance’ was a one-sided view of systems that contrasted with the ‘many-to-one’ approach of ‘participative governance’. The state of inner-outer dynamical balance (‘community-constituent-coresonance’), as experienced for example, when driving within a ‘friendly’ group of drivers on a crowded freeway, while it could be achieved by ‘participative governance’ was beyond the capability of ‘representative governance’. The essential ingredient in ‘participative governance’, missing in ‘representative governance’, is the awareness on the part of the immersed constituent, of the simultaneous reciprocity between his action (relative to his fellows) and the geometry of his containing space constituting his ‘opportunity-to-act’. In other words, in the immersed reality of our experience, the individual ‘references’ directly (‘relativistically’) to the enveloping geometry of space in which he is immersed.
Analytical science approximates systems designs by referencing the dynamics of the constituents to Euclidian space and absolute time. This gives an ‘observer-excluding’ ‘voyeur’, ‘descriptive’ view of the system which is not capable of monitoring the ‘relational information’ between the immersed constituent (system) and its enveloping systems. This ‘relational information’ is, meanwhile, purely ‘implicit’ or ‘imaginary’ so there is no substitute for the ‘aware’ PARTICIPATION of the immersed, included constituent.
While Martine’s systems views seemed to be largely intuitive, one can also ‘get to the same place’ by reasoning in the manner of complex systems; i.e. if one puts a triangular prism on the table and pours salt around the three apexes then removes the prism, … the three well-defined ‘notches’ in the salt piles will clearly ‘define’ a triangle, but the sides of the triangle do not exist, … i.e. the triangle does not exist but is merely ‘imagined’ by the observer on the basis of the relational geometry. From this example, one can move on to an immersed, participative example such as the airforce aerobatics team where three jets flying at constant altitude towards their collision point (they will squeeze by each other) form an imaginary shrinking triangle which will invert and expand as they pass by the collision point. A fourth jet flying at a lower altitude beneath the collision point stands his jet on its tail and flies vertically upwards through the collision point, ‘threading the needle’ just before the three ‘triangle jets’ reach the collision point and invert the triangle. The geometry of this exercise is that of an inverting triangular prismoid which recalls the molecular structural dynamics of a quartz clock. The pilots are the dynamic geometry they are co-creating; i.e. they reference directly and relativistically to the system dynamic they are co-creating and they are guided by purely implicit (‘imaginary’) relational information which is unavailable to the ‘voyeur’ descriptive views of analytical science.
While analytical science can fully describe the actions of the jets, it does not have the wherewithal to re-create the ‘community-constituent-coresonance’ wherein the constituents (systems) act so as to co-create their own enveloping harmonious and sustainable ‘opportunity-to-act’. If the same aerobatic exercise were ‘programmed analytically’, based on the observed trajectories of the jets (i.e. using Euclidian space and absolute, globally synchronous time as an imposed intermediate reference frame), it would be highly ‘fault intolerant’ and prone to dissonance because of ever-present external ‘noise’ (e.g. ‘wind’). The ‘computers’ on board would be doing their best to replicate the pre-programmed trajectories in a recursive (recalculated sequentially in globally synchronous time) fashion but would not have the capability, like the aware pilots, of ‘imagining’ and ‘referencing directly to’ the volumetric form they were co-creating. Thus, if the winds were severe, instead of ‘fighting the wind’ as the task of keeping to the specified trajectories forced them to, the aware, immersed participants have the option to use the ‘creativity’ and ‘spontaneity’ characteristic of the participative system, which Martine refers to, to key to the imagined, co-created geometric form, letting go of the analytics and ‘drifting with the wind’ in a ‘timely’ fashion relative to the space-time geometry rather than ‘anxiously obeying’ an external clock reference with its absolute, globally synchronous time signals. The shared imagining of the participating pilots, in this case, constitutes the reference frame for their individual systems dynamics.
In the above ‘participative governance’ model, where the constituents reference ‘relativistically’ to the dynamic, relational geometry they are co-creating, the question of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ on the part of the actions of the individual constituents does not arise because the actions are not seen ‘in their own right’. In order to ‘detach’ the individual actions ‘for quality assessment in their own right’ from the overall ‘participative’ (co-created) system dynamic, one has to impose an artificial reference frame, commonly Euclidian space and absolute time. That is, in a relativistic participative system, the overall system dynamic is the basic entity and the constituent dynamics are simply features of that entity so that one has to ‘reduce’ this integral view to a ‘parts-oriented view’ by projection of the system dynamic onto an abstract reference frame. This is the inverse of thinking in terms of the system dynamic forming out of the ‘sum of the parts’ in some manner. On the overall scale of course, ‘nature is the overall system dynamic’ and all local phenomena are features of nature.
Martine’s persistent critique of ‘optimization’ and the search for ‘best practices’ reflects the fact that such judgments of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ on the part of the constituent systems or subsystems is innately tied to ‘representative governance’ organizational forms rather than to ‘participative governance’ organizational forms. In the above ‘aerobatics’ example, one would ‘capture’ the ‘best practice’ of a nicely executed aerobatic pattern in terms of the individual ‘trajectories’ or ‘actions’ of the constituents. This analytical information would then be converted to ‘one-to-many’ action instructions issued from a central coordinating location (‘representative governance’). If the wind conditions were bad, or one of the jets fell behind ‘the schedule’ and had trouble ‘catching up’, the relative ‘goodness’ of their individual performances would be assessed. Meanwhile, the original team acting in ‘participative governance’ mode did not ‘reference their actions’ to an imposed, abstract Euclidian frame but instead referenced directly and relativistically to the single dynamic form they were co-creating and thus had no basis for assessing the relative ‘goodness’ of their individual performance, … an approach which would put them on the trail of the deadly ‘optimization of the parts’ trail, mentioned often by Martine and also by Ackoff in the context of the need to visualize systems as interdependent wholes. Ackoff says in this regard;
"If each part of a system, considered separately, is made to operate as efficiently as possible, the system as a whole will not operate as effectively as possible."
The problem is, as the aerobatics team example shows, there is always interference coming from the enveloping environment and if the ‘team’ or ‘system’ can reference ‘relativistically’ to a common relational geometry rather than having to reference each component to an imposed artificial reference frame (Euclidian space and absolute time), this approach will allow the system to ‘drift’, ‘float’, ‘resonate’ and respond to many other interferential dynamics originating in its enveloping environmental space while continuing to pursue its own intended actions. It was not just an ‘offhand’ remark by Einstein that ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge’; i.e. there is no amount of analytical scientific knowledge which can take the place of ‘imagination’ in this ‘participative governance’ system since any movement of any system, not to mention any growth of any system or any emergence or subduction of existing systems simultaneously, reciprocally transforms the ‘environmental interference’ patterns which the immersed system must ‘deal with’.
That the ‘beyond good and evil’ view was embraced by Martine was also no accident since Nietzsche was Martine’s preferred philosopher and a central focus of her academic work. As Nietzsche said in 'Beyond Good and Evil';
“The falseness of a judgment is for us not necessarily an objection to a judgment; in this respect our new language may sound strangest. The question is to what extent it is life-promoting, life serving, species-preserving, perhaps even species-cultivating. And we are fundamentally inclined to claim that the falsest judgments (which include the synthetic judgments a priori) are the most indispensable for us; that without accepting the fictions of logic, without measuring reality against the purely invented world of the unconditional and self-identical, without a constant falsification of the world by means of numbers, man could not live - that renouncing false judgments would mean renouncing life and a denial of life. To recognize untruth as a condition of life - that certainly means resisting accustomed value feelings in a dangerous, way; and a philosophy that risks this would by that token alone place itself beyond good and evil.”
If we envisage our actions taking place in empty, infinite and non-participating Euclidian space, as analytical science does, then we have no extenuating circumstance excuses about being interfered with by being ‘blown by the wind’ or something of that ilk, and when we design systems analytically, that’s the way it is, … the designs are diagrammed and blue-printed and then constructed as if we are forgetting the fact that when we start to use them, they are going to be immersed in the seething interfering mass of systems vying for space and resources in the ‘global commons’, … a spherical space which, like the pool table, instantly reflects back one’s every action in terms of a transformed opportunity outlook. So when the four aerobatics pilots ‘do their stuff’ how do we give them ‘competitive marks’?, … how do we assess ‘good’ and ‘bad’ performance on an individual basis? Their actions are mediated within the continuum of space time, … a glitsch here and then cannot be isolated from the dynamical relational interference earlier on in the ontogenetic development of the system behaviour. If the constituents are co-responsible for the ground their individual actions referencing to, we cannot ‘judge’ the goodness of the individual actions ‘in their own right’, without addressing, at the same time, the ‘reference ground’ (the space-time continuum of nature which we engage with ‘interferentially’). Once again, we come back to the problem of systems designs based on assessments of ‘good performance’ or ‘best practices’ of the parts (sub-optimization), such as ‘representative governance’, since to encourage improvement in the performance of the part conflicts directly with the ‘letting go’ of the model of individual perfection needed for the ‘team’ to ‘float like a butterfly’ in the enveloping interferential currents while retaining the capacity to ‘sting like a bee’ (as Muhammed Ali was wont to say).
Martine was very much in the ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’ mold and her ‘straightforwardness’ allowed the spontaneous emergence of strong critical statements to, for example, groups of ‘good guys’ (including her own ‘systems sciences colleagues’), as they were gathering the ‘forces of goodness’ together, simply because they were organizing at the level of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ (i.e. because they were ‘organizing’ on the basis of flawed systems designs principles), and were thus setting themselves up for yet another ‘operation successful, patient dies’ exercise. That is, the systems scientist, in declaring ‘my way is better’ runs into contradiction with himself by detaching his own performance from the group (social) performance. The pilot on the aerobatics team can never say ‘my performance is better’ since there is only one system performance and it is decidedly ‘not’ the sum of the performances. He can only speak in terms of the individual constituent improving their ‘community-constituent-coresonating’ skills and this involves immersed relativistic space-time-phasing dynamics where the dynamics of the constituent are, at the same time, the containing dynamics.
Martine was thus highly sensitive to the ‘folly’ of thinking in terms of ‘systems sciences EXPERT’ since this implies ‘good/bad’ judgment of performance and the detaching of the individual’s performance (e.g. at ‘teaching’ others how to organize in a ‘knowledge-transfer’ sense). Instead, the systems scientist has to be, in Martine’s view, someone who can inspirationally catalyze the beyond-good-and-evil attitude in the minds of others. In an email exchange on ‘the challenge of governance’ in the ‘inclusionality’ sharing circle, Martine says;
“… argh!!!! please do not call me an 'expert', that is a curse in my vocabulary. …So tell me, where is it written, that change is easy?... Since we do not control others, and do not wish to either - ability to INFLUENCE them, becomes critical - and letting them know of other possibilities of seeing and doing - … the thing is, that the only time that people change, is when the need is FELT by them, and they WANT to change things because they SEE things differently and WANT DIFFERENT THINGS. You can no more force others to accept it than change the course of the planets. … It has to come from inside, it cannot be imposed - and if it could, it would not be what we wanted anyway - people have a choice - so best you can do, is influence them. But even then, they need to know HOW to operationalize their new understanding. … embrace the values … Making others excited about it, and inspiring them, is the way to go, whether they be in business or community or government. “
Neither dignified intellectual groups, nor mobs, when in the heat of self-righteous judgmental revolt, want to be told that they are ‘missing their own point’. That is, the attempted suppression and removal of ‘bad’ practice and the attempt to impose ‘best practice’ by organizing a group which has ‘the power to do it’, a ‘representative governance’ approach, is deeply imbued in our western culture, and conflicts with the ‘beyond good-and-evil’ nature of ‘participative governance’ a la Martine. In the ‘participative governance’ of the indigenous tradition, much admired by Martine, the ‘sharing circle’ is used as a device to induce a common vision (analogous to the aerobatics team vision) of the enveloping dynamical geometry of space to which each constituent can reference their individual dynamic. This inductive approach allows people to ‘feel’ and evolve their worldview, bringing it into coresonance with the community view. In the same manner that Russell Ackoff’s ‘up-and-back-down-again’ inquiry provides a flexible reference ground for the evolving ‘down-and-back-up-again’ definition of the explicit systems dynamics, … the ‘sharing circle’ does the same for ‘community’ (the evolving dynamical reference ground) and the constituent (the evolving dynamical system which is referencing to the enveloping community). Clearly, the ‘outer-inner’ flexing dynamical balance in this ‘community-constituent’ geometry allows not only for ‘coresonance’ between the dynamics of community and constituent, but also for ‘coevolution’ of community and constituent.
In these ‘participative governance’ terms, the ‘activist group’ must see themselves not in ‘contenders for the seat of power’, a concept associated with ‘representative democracy’, but instead, as being ‘of the community’ and ‘of the environment’ (these system levels nest inclusionally in an inner-outer manner). That is, the ‘participative governance’ activist group is not ‘contending’ against others in the community, and neither is it seeking to ‘improve’ the central management of the community. It is, like the native system of elders (appointed spontaneously by the people) and sharing circles, intended as an inductive system that can inspire a common dynamical view of the community and induce relativistic coresonance between the community dynamic and the constituent dynamics; i.e. induce an ‘awareness’ that the actions of the constituents of community co-creative transform their opportunity-to-act.
Martine’s insistence on being ‘straightforward’ in a ‘beyond good and evil way’ within a culture that values and rewards ‘compliance’ (i.e. ‘submission’ to representative governance) with ‘humanist activism’ based on the judgment of ‘what is good or bad’ explains her persisting poverty and why her name has not been written into the annals of the ‘systems sciences’. The systems sciences, in their ‘popular implementation’, are for the most part still in the mode of cultivating ‘experts’ in systems design and teaching people ‘better ways to do things’ (better ‘action management’) rather than inductively demonstrating how to get into a relativistic community-constituent-codynamic (how to balance outer-inner dynamics or ‘manage opportunity’). The difference is that the former is a one-to-many ‘handoff’ of systems knowledge (telling people ‘what to do’ as in representative governance) while the latter is a ‘many-to-one’ participative induction which brings into being an understanding of the system from an immersed viewpoint.).
The subtlety inherent in ‘participative governance’ which she was trying to bring out, which underpins her embrace of Native American traditions of ‘participative governance’ and her critique of ‘Church as a system’ is that there is a flaw in the systems process wherein there is a forced agreement (by majority vote or by those with a ‘hundred ton vote’) on the judgment of the relative ‘goodness’ of a practice followed by a ‘representational governance’ implementation of the selected ‘best practice’ based on centralized one-to-many push-outs of information and instructions.
The subtle flaw, and the awareness thereof, is what ‘connects’ Martine’s work on systems and philosophy with my own physics-oriented independent research, and our work with the work of biologists who have moved beyond Darwinian ‘selection’ theory into the experientially validated model wherein ‘the organism is the environment’, .. a common dynamic geometry based philosophy which visualizes things from an immersed perspective (rather than a stasis and empty space based philosophy which visualizes things from an observer-excluding ‘voyeur’ view) which we are calling ‘inclusionality’.
This essay seeks to inductively ‘bring out’ a ‘feel’ for the systems design ‘subtlety’ which permeates Martine’s works, … a subtlety that underpins her following proposition in ‘‘The Challenge of Governance in an Interdependent World’;
“…It will be shown that the current model of representative democracy cannot address the challenges of the new realities incumbent upon a globalized world, and that participative democracy offers the greatest hope for transcending the conflicts and disparities incurred by a redundant set of relationships between parts of the global system.”
The last email she wrote, which gives a systems overview of what is going on in the world today is appended in unedited form as the last item in this essay. Being written to the small ‘sharing circle’ on ‘inclusionality’, it is in Martine’s ‘straightforward’ ‘beyond good and evil’ terms (i.e. the ‘good’ and ‘evil’ judgments in the text are merely descriptive and not to be interpreted literally, as if for ‘system implementation’ purposes) Her ‘systems overview’ in the email was;
“…the 'Western Way' is a [hegemonic] 'SYSTEM of ideas (science), models of governance (state) and belief system (church) and market (big business), using very familiar and well known knowledge generation and production, strategies and practices, which mutually REINFORCE one another.”
Martine’s ‘subtle point’ is that ‘representative governance’ is the child of ‘analytical science’ and is only capable of a degenerate ‘mechanical management’ type of ‘collaboration’ which, like the poor pool player, leaves the relational geometry of ‘opportunity-to-act’ ‘flapping in the breeze’ (and thus ‘snookers’ the constituents of the system). That is, ‘representative governance’ is incapable of true community-constituent collaboration as in the example of the ‘friendly freeway drivers’ who awarely by their actions co-creatively manage their enveloping ‘opportunity-to-act’ and thus the benefits of sustainably managing balanced opportunity for the overall constituency, available in ‘participative governance’ is innately beyond the scope of ‘representative governance’.
One of Martine’s favorite ways of thinking about ‘participative governance systems design’, developed largely through her association with co-mentors Ackoff and Gharajedaghi at Interact where she was an Associate, was as follows (as extracted from one of her last year’s emails);
“… existing system was destroyed last night, what would we put in its place, if we could put ANYTHING in its place that we wanted,? subject to only three constraints, namely, it must be technologically feasible (i.e.eg. not 'telepathy' instead of telephones) - operationally viable (not against the law) and capable of rapid and continuous learning. (flexible, adaptable, constantly re-examining own assumptions and mode of doing things) Those things have to be designed INTO what you put in place - and it is not a rigid structure, but a modular and flexible form of organization. Actually, it is just a set of guiding principles, it doesn't even have to be relected in a 'model' or structure, but that can help you get going. And this is a design process: i.e. Specifying the desired properties of the system (whatever it is) and finding or designing ways of bringing them into being. PARTICIPATIVELY - you do not use 'experts' - you only call them in on specific types of problems of eg. technical nature - Those who are IN the system (eg. community) KNOW what they want (or if they do not know, you elicit that from them through the conversation process and by CHALLENGING them.... disturb and provoke them a little......) - they must specify the nature of the system they want to have, and then do what is needed to bring it about. And NEVER, do you think in terms of existing 'constraints' - that is why you assume, "system was destroyed last night" - you see? there is a process to doing this. It does not happen by itself. But it works, because those who are participating and therefore OWN the 'system' , are doing what THEY want to do, not what some smuck is telling them they SHOULD be doing, you understand? (only role for somebody like me, for eg. is that of 'facilitator', who questions, and challenges, and steers a little to remind them what and why they are doing this... (which is NOT what an 'expert' does - who gives them 'best practices' and that kind of guff - you do not need that - anybody can participate - in Philly, they ask KIDS (pre-school) to design their own schoolyards and school .!! Not 'expert' planners who do it FOR and TO other people, you see? Your role if that of 'midwife' - you help them do what THEY want to do, not what YOU want them to do.”
Again, the design subtlety comes to the
fore, that ‘experts’ and ‘best practices’ are commonly used as the tools
for ‘representative governance’ and cannot be imposed on the constituents of
the system in a ‘participative governance’ design since, if this is done, it
will preclude the ‘management of opportunity-to-act’ which requires that the
constituents ‘reference to’ the enveloping dynamical geometry which they are
The systems exemplars of 'friendly freeway drivers' who must subordinate their ‘expert driving skills’ and ‘best driving practices’ to the systems process of ‘co-creating their own enveloping opportunity-to-move’ and 'pool players' who must subordinate their ‘expert shooting skills’ and ‘best shooting practices’ to the ‘systems process of having the constituents ‘co-create their own enveloping opportunity-to-move’ illustrate the problem with putting ‘experts’ and ‘best practices’ in the primacy (rather than in supporting roles).
Neither analytical science, nor ‘representative governance’ oriented systems can ‘see’ the simultaneous, reciprocal transformation of the enveloping ‘opportunity-to-act’ in order to manage it, and thus systems based on analytical science and ‘representative governance’ will, like the poor pool player, debalance the constituents’ ‘opportunity-to-act and infuse dissonance and dysfunction into the system. Only in systems that are ‘purely mechanical’ do the precepts of analytical science and ‘representative governance’, used as the basis for systems design, ‘work out’, and by ‘purely mechanical’ this means that everything in the overall system must be by deliberate design and explicit imposition of order. This ‘purely mechanical’ condition is not met when multiple mechanical designs are immersed within the evolving, relativistic containing space of nature. Meanwhile, without an understanding of the ‘subtle design flaw’ in ‘representative governance’, the natural tendency (which is manifest today) is to extend the breadth and depth of ‘one-to-many’ information and instruction flows on a global basis (i.e. convert the globe into one big machine).
Martine recognized that Ackoff and Gharajedaghi’s work spoke to this ‘subtle design flaw’ issue in ‘representative governance’. As touched on above, Ackoff noted that one cannot simply start building one’s understanding of a system at the level of the ‘system’ as analytical science does, since all natural systems ‘emerge’ from their containing environment according to the evolving need and opportunity in the containing environment. Ackoff’s example of designing a ‘university’ noted the inadequacy of the ‘analytical science’ ‘down-and-back-up-again’ inquiry which would limit the view of ‘university’ to being a ‘thing in its own right’ and force one to make a priori assumptions as to the functions, faculties and structures of ‘university’. By starting instead from ‘up-and-back-down-again’ inquiry, and reconciling the two in an ‘up-and-down’ (‘out-and-in’) systems view, Ackoff makes it clear that ‘things’ in general are not fixed in their identity or ‘in their own right’, but emerge from the evolving ‘feminine’ opportunity receptacle constituted by the enveloping dynamical geometry of space in its engagement with the ‘masculine’ assertive dynamics of the constituent ensemble. Of course, in the social sphere, the capacity for a group of individual constituents ‘acting as a system’ to ‘co-creatively’ shape their own ‘opportunity receptacle’ seems to have been overtaken by analytical science’s notion of ‘independent causal agent’ and ‘competition’ in the degenerate mechanical sense of ‘selection’ and ‘survival of the fittest’ (i.e. the ‘Darwinian’ case where constituents are seen be ‘in their own right’ and immersed in empty, infinite, non-Euclidian space, rather than being immersed in the self-referential space of the biosphere, as visualized by the game of pool etc. where dynamical interference effects play an over-riding role.).
Of course, the visualization ‘problem’ is that the relational dynamics of the enveloping space, … the ‘shape of opportunity’ which gives the ‘system’ its outer identity which induced it to emerge and which is inducing it to evolve, is purely relational and implicit; i.e. ‘imaginary’. While our experience quickly validates that physical behaviours are commonly induced by ‘imagination’, it also validates the ‘convenience’ of inquiring into ‘the way the world works’ on the basis of ‘systems’ seen in terms of the actions of tangible objects. Thus the outside observer will interpret the actions of the aerobatic pilots solely in terms of their action trajectories, ignoring the fact, that the ‘goodness’ of their performance was not coming from an optimization of the dynamics of the parts (the separate trajectories), but from an optimization of the simultaneous community-constituent harmony. In fact, the notion of separately definable trajectories is simply ‘analytical backfill’ precipitated in real coordinate terms by imposing the notion of Euclidian space and absolute time, … abstractions that do not exist in nature nor in the minds of the pilots as they put their actions in the service of the geometric shape they are co-creating. Clearly, there are in direct relativistic referencing mode, and it is this mode, dependent on implicit relationships (the ‘imaginary’) that makes resonant community-constituent relationships possible, whether we are speaking of air force aerobatics teams or ‘universities’.
The inference that natural systems ‘are’ the dynamical balance between the outer and the inner, as implied by Ackoff’s work, was also felt by Martine to be well captured in the philosophy of Jan Smuts, philosopher, author (‘Holism and Evolution’) and first Prime Minister of South Africa. Martine had for this reason included a ‘Smuts Symposium’ in the ISSS ‘International Systems Thinking & Development Conference’ slated for Stellenbosch (near Capetown, SA), July 2-5, 2001. In a recent email, Martine cited Smuts as follows (Martine’s comments are in italics following the “’s};
"In the analytical pursuit of the parts, science has missed the whole, and thus tended to reduce the world to dead aggregations rather than to the real living wholes which make up nature." Smuts says that the most fundamental characteristic of life, is its tendency to whole-making . . . holes, wholes, holons - - - what are wholes but the manifested 'image' encoded in the holes? i ask myself....
Martine’s ‘manifested ‘image’ encoded in the holes’ can be visualized by returning to Ackoff’s example of the ‘university’ that can be regarded in the ‘down-and-back-up-again’ sense as a ‘thing’ with constituent parts to it, and at the same time, it can be regarded in the ‘up-and-back-down-again’ sense of its implicit ‘meaning’ in terms of the dynamical geometry of the enveloping community (similarly, the moving billiard ball has two identities, one in terms of its being an agent of action, and another in terms of simultaneous encoding of its interferential geometrical influence on ‘opportunity-to-act’). Thus, there is an ‘implicit image’ of the ‘university’ encoded in the enveloping ‘dynamical web-of-holes’ (i.e. ‘community’) into which the ‘university’ asserts. In general, the influence of the presence and assertive dynamics of the constituent (e.g. friendly freeway drivers or billiard balls) is encoded in the dynamical geometry of the enveloping ‘community’ and this view ‘transcends’, in an informational context, the analytical science view based solely on ‘agents of action’ ‘in their own right’, acting and transacting in non-participative Euclidian space. There is no way to understand, in a systems sense, even the ‘evolutionary history’ of a game of pool if one confines one’s system inquiry to that deliverable by analytical science.
The ‘evolutionary systems view’ is thus a ‘bigger view’ of the ‘system’ which ‘includes’ the ‘constituent action based view’ of analytical science but goes well beyond it, … in the same manner that the view of a man’s life portrayed by Jimmy Stewart in Frank Capra’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ goes beyond the ‘constituent action based view’ of Jimmy Stewart seen ‘in his own right’. That is, the view of the constituent’s co-transformative influence on the harmonious (or dissonant’ evolution of his enveloping community, is ‘more important’ informationally than the abstracted view of the constituents actions and transactions as if ‘in their own right’. An identical action/transaction profile (e.g. the trajectory and transactions of billiard ball) can be associated with harmonious or dissonant evolution depending on its space-time phase relationships within the enveloping constituency of ‘community’. That is, the information concerning the geometrical relationships which are simultaneously transforming, well beyond the trajectory of the constituent one is focusing on, is essential information with respect to the evolutionary development of the system since ‘other constituents’ are also in motion and their opportunities are modulated by the relative dynamics of all of their fellow constituents via the mediating ‘opportunity-to-act’ giving character of space.
Similarly, the ‘action trajectory’ of a freeway driver who is co-creating sustained opportunity-to-act for his enveloping fellow drivers does not ‘in itself’ speak to whether it is inducing harmony or dissonance in its enveloping community, such influence being encoded, instead, in the dynamics of the enveloping community. The systemic ‘meaning’ of the constituent based on its influence as encoded relativistically in the enveloping, evolving community dynamic informs one not only as to what the constituent ‘did’, but also the measure to which the constituent’s dynamics ‘coresonated’ with the enveloping constituency of ‘community’. It follows that one cannot ‘manage community-constituent-coresonance’ (harmonious collaboration) solely on the basis of the actions of the constituents ‘in their own right’, and this brings us back, full circle, to Martine’s point on the ‘design flaw’ in ‘representative governance’ since it is based on the ‘excluded observer’ ‘voyeur’ view of analytical science and is innately lacking in the ‘immersed constituent’ based relational information necessary for ‘system evolution management’. Representative governance assumes the system is purely mechanical.
The ‘outer-inner dynamical balance’ or ‘community-constituent dynamical balance’ systems view, as validated by everyday experience, applies in a multilevel inner-outer nesting fashion from super-supersystem through to sub-subsystem level; i.e. from nature through global society through community through constituent (organism) through organs, cells, molecules etc. Martine recognized its application at the ‘national’ level in terms of the relationships between ‘world-community’ and ‘nation-constituent’; i.e. she recognized the need to use ‘participative governance’ and avoid using ‘representative governance’ on the world scale to sustain the overall system in a ‘community-constituent-coresonance’ and allow for ‘community-constituent-coevolution’.
In this regard, one of Martine’s great disappoints in the months prior to her death was the cancellation of the scheduled ISSS (International Society of Systems Sciences) Conference to be held for the first time in South Africa. As the Conference plans began to give form and shape to the proceedings (Martine was the organizing committee coordinator), the ‘image’ also began to emerge of the implicit ‘systems thinking’ of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki (both greatly revered and respected by Martine) which was very much congruent with Martine’s own brand of ‘systems thinking’. That is, the ‘design flaw’ in representative world governance began to emerge from the conference context. Martine felt that the reason why the conference was cancelled by the US based executive of the ISSS was because this ‘design flaw’ had become manifest in the evolving context of the conference, and that it conflicted with some people’s view that representative governance was necessary to maintain world order rather than participative governance. The point being that the system of ‘representative governance’ preserves the right of a controlling majority to manage on the basis of ‘actions’ regardless of how much ‘dissonance’ is being infused into the overall common containing system as a result, … dissonance experienced in the form of ‘disopportunizing’ (‘snookering’) of the less powerful constituents. ‘Participative democracy, on the other hand, accounts for the fact that the constituent’s action simultaneously, reciprocally transforms the geometry of ‘opportunity-to-act’ in the enveloping ‘global commons’ and thus allows the constituents to put ‘opportunity management’ into its natural precedence over ‘action management’. In other words, when one starts to view ‘the life of the nation’ in its larger ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ terms of how its influence is encoded on the dynamical geometry of the global community, … in terms of how a nation ‘opportunizes’ its fellow nations, one garners a deeper contextual understanding of the ‘nation-system’.
Martine’s following quotes in regard to the perverse ‘persistence’ of ‘representative governance’ over ‘participative governance’, excerpted from email exchanges with the internet-based ‘inclusionality’ ‘sharing circle’ are in the ‘colourful’ vernacular of her ‘politically incorrect humanism’ and one will have to take it on the advice of myself and others who knew her well, that the ‘impatience’ in her words emanates, first and foremost, from her concern over the setback in bringing ‘systems thinking based relief’ to the ‘disopportunized’ of the world. In other words, while Martine may have been cynical as to some people’s intentions and honesty, her primary goal was not to ‘kick out the bad guys’ and replace them with ‘good guys’ but simply to start getting ‘open and honest’ about the real nature of ‘systems’ so that the fundamental systemic design flaw issues could be recognized and dealt with by the full global populace;
“Why do you think that ‘xxx’, pulled out of their conference here next year? because he saw the tone of the views from third world. . . .. One can say, yes, all constituencies in the global commons are just pursuing the welfare of the world in their own way, and nobody is trying to pull off a grand larceny or fraud on mankind and nature - but I will tell you now, that is a foolish and naive view to take. Endemic LYING is the modus operandi - There is a level of cynicism underlying this pretense and 'defense' proffered in defense of the rape of the world, that just staggers me. . . . When I was working with corporate teams, I saw the extent to which they just knowingly pull the wool over people's eyes and try to fool communities, employees and the public at large, and themselves, alike. Like an ugly secret that everybody knows but nobody talks about. It's not 'nice' - it is not 'polite' to say such things. Bullllllllll SHIT. . . . They do not CARE. It is pretense, window-dressing, it is a game, just like those same corporate greedheads are the board members of WWF and all those institutions. The gullible are only too ready to swallow their supposed 'good intentions' - well, I do not. I grew up in a country where the same lying and sanctimonious pretense, even to the point of issuing it directly under the cloak of religion, was proffered in the name of Apartheid, and in fact ANY dissent (whether against church or state, and then later also corporations) is undermined by vilification - you are a 'neo-communist' or an 'anarchist' or 'conspiracy theorist' or something else equally disgusting, if you question the defaults of the western way. “
As is evident, entrenched systems do not change unless there is a ‘felt’ need for change, and part of Martine’s interest in the Native American ‘participative governance’ tradition provided insights as to the absence of a ‘felt’ need for change amongst those in the seats of power. In line with her above comments, she felt, for example, that the Canadian Government’s treatment of indigenous peoples was more hypocritical than most, and certainly more hypocritical than Apartheid had been. That is, while the resources of Canada’s territorial ‘share’ of the global commons were effectively ‘seized’ and held in escrow by the colonizing culture and continue to reside under the monopoly control of the federal government, what has been ‘taken’ is being offered back to the indigenous peoples, not without ‘strings attached’, but in the form of support for community development programs which ‘integrate’ the native peoples and give them ‘voice’ and participative rights within the ‘Canadian culture’ and governance system. While the program of Apartheid in South Africa was based on the notion that the cultures ‘could not mix’, the Canadian government approach is based on inviting the natives ‘inside the colonial system’ with the net effect that they become an ‘impotent’ minority within the more populous ‘colonizing culture’. This ‘offer the natives can’t refuse’ (at least not without starving) is one which stealthily co-opts them as they participate and seeks to solve the cultural conflict by inducing the extinction of the native culture (i.e. the proposals of minorities are not ‘respected’ by the elected majority in representative governance systems).
In Martine’s view, ‘participative governance’ cannot exist within the ‘representative governance’ tradition of the ‘western way’ for the same reason that ‘management of opportunity-to-act’ in the game of pool cannot exist within an ‘action management’ framework (though the inverse situation is both possible and natural).
[In the parlance of pool, the management of ‘shots’ can be in the service of the management of ‘shape’ but the reverse is not possible since ‘shape’ is the reciprocal influence of ‘shots’ as encoded in the overall geometry of the configuration whereas, ‘shots’ are considered only in the selective context of what is moved and fails to consider the simultaneous, transformation of the geometry of the full enveloping community].
Since the majority in power does not ‘feel’ the need for change, whether at the scale of the nation and its constituents or the global community of nations and its nation-constituents, change may be slow in coming. ‘Where we are right now’, as Martine has implied in commenting on ‘change’ in our email sharing circle, in the metaphor of the game of pool, is that we are playing the game in ‘shots-over-shape’ mode where ‘players’ are rewarded on the basis the effectiveness of their ‘shots’ and it is the ‘best shot-makers’ to whom the ‘game’ gives the stewardship over the rules. ‘Shape’ or ‘opportunity’, being based on purely relational geometry (‘imaginary’), are outside of the analytical science based management tradition (i.e. ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’) and one thus ‘does not talk about it’, and those that get ‘snookered’ or ‘disopportunized’ are seen as being ‘less performant’ in the shot-making sense. In general, since analytical science sees all things as being the result of ‘cause’, where effects are induced self-referentially, the analytical sciences search for ‘phantom cause’ since ‘cause’ is the only available mechanism. In this manner, analytical science does research to ‘find the violence gene’ (the ‘phantom cause’) while ignoring the fact that ‘violent crime’ seems to be induced by rising dissonance and dysfunction in the social environment. In the deeper ‘relativistic’ systems view implicit in Martine’s work and views, the over-riding ‘currency’ of the game is ‘opportunity’; i.e. if one is disopportunized the quality of one’s ‘shots’ is a moot point.
The ‘game’ pretends to be fair and to respect the ‘equality’ of the players in the same sense that the US Constitution declares; “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men [and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The design flaw emerges here in the sense that this ‘equality’ applies to how we regard the constituent of community ‘seen in his own right’ and says nothing about the response ‘encoded’ in the enveloping configuration of constituents which keys to his/her colour, ethnicity, age, social history, club memberships, networks of friends and relatives etc. In other words it says, … ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that everyone is free to pursue their ‘shooting game’ and that shots will be scored in the same manner for all’. But this ‘right’ does not cover the situation where we are ‘snookered’ by our enveloping constituency and no doors or windows open up for us onto the resources of the global commons to give us something to ‘shoot for’. That is, it is the standard ‘Euclidian space’ assumption wherein ‘action’ or ‘freedom to act’ is seen ‘in its own right’ as if space were empty, infinite and non-participating, though we know full well that our actions are subject to ‘opportunity-to-act’ and cannot be seen ‘in their own right’ but must instead be seen ‘relative to’ the finite resources of the global commons which are coming increasingly under monopoly ownership and opened up for ‘shooting rights’ only for those who are willing to forego their right to seek changes in the rules. The rules of ‘representative governance’ thus tend to ‘lock themselves in’ and prevent movement towards ‘participative governance’.
This is how Martine characterized the conditions presented to Native Americans particularly by the Canadian government; i.e. to be given greater access to the resources of the global commons by agreeing to play according to the current rules. That is, as those who have won their power on the basis of the effectiveness of their ‘shooting’ (modulated by the geometry of opportunity which has been opened up for them ‘by their friends’) hear complaints from those who have been ‘disopportunized’, the response is not to shift to the ‘management of opportunity’ as in ‘participative governance’ but is instead to ‘defuse’ protest ‘redistribution of material resources’ rather than ‘revising the rules of the game’. In practice, the squeakiest wheel amongst the disopportunized is given a larger share of the opportunity to ‘play’ in a game that runs on the common legacy of resources of the global commons, held in escrow by a hegemonic system Martine describes in her following email. The system design flaw would thus have compel one to relinquish one’s control over the ‘form’ of one’s opportunity as ransom to secure access to one’s natural inheritance. The situation is similar at the global scale, amongst ‘opportunized’ and ‘disopportunized’ nations.
In Martine’s ‘unholy trinity systems view’ as presented in the following unedited note, analytical science plays the keystone role in preserving the unnatural primacy of ‘representative governance’ over ‘participative governance’. The ‘war in science’ she is referring to is the much-discussed suppression of scientific views (such as relativistic views) which transcend those of purely ‘analytical science’ (for example, as discussed by in ISIS (Institute of Science in Society) No 7/8 February 2001, The New Thought Police Suppressing Dissent in Science. --- Mae-Wan Ho and Jonathan Mathews report on the seamless way in which the corporations, the state and the scientific establishment are co-ordinating their efforts to suppress scientific dissent and force feed the world with GM crops.http://www.i-sis.org/i-sisnews7-17.shtml
To conclude, Martine Dodds-Taljaard had the courage to persist in her ‘politically incorrect humanism’, … a humanism that dared to disturb the popular organizational ‘good-and-evil’ icons of the times in the interests of ‘re-opportunizing’ those who have been systemically ‘disopportunized’ by the ‘Western Way’. It was evident to those of us around her that she paid a heavy price for her humanism over the course of her too-brief lifetime, but clearly she would have had paid whatever price was necessary to pursue her mission of 're-opportunizing' the 'disopportunized on both local and global fronts..
As she says in her closing sentence below with respect to the ‘war in science’ wherein analytical science, through the systemic agencies of the ‘unholy trinity’ is waging war on dissenters such as herself;
"Why don't I just fall on my sword now and spare them the trouble!!
Hell, I like living... so I guess it ain't over yet!”
No, it ‘ain’t over yet’, as sustaining force of her own systems views continue to show, … the dynamics of her life have not dissipated into empty, infinite Euclidian space but are instead ‘encoded’ in the dynamics of her enveloping community, myself and you the reader, included.
* * *
"Martine M E Dodds" <MDODDS@AKAD.SUN.AC.ZA>
Organization: Stellenbosch University
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2001 16:04:09 +200
Subject: the war in science - comments to you and the group - please forward
X-mailer: Pegasus Mail for Win32 (v3.12c)
Hello tedemile and everybody in the [‘inclusionality’] group
( do not have all their addresses, you can send it out to the group
please?) - as is.
this thing that you all are writing about now - in this book I just
edited - Shifting Identities in Africa - all the papers are about the
effects of colonization in Africa etc. and this one writer talks in
there, about the unholy (my word) "trinity" (his word) of state, big
business, and church - as the triumvirate that work in collusion to
do what they do - a very apt and telling insight.
So to your discussion, I wish to add the following:
- in the Western way of thinking and doing, they (business, state
and church )are a mutually reinforcing system with several 'legs' -
obviously - it is all about power and control, of course, and the
exclusive access to decision-making and resources which give
them freedom, and everybody else, slavery and obedience to a
system not of their making.
ALL of which employ the discretist paradigm in their work, which is
the FOURTH member of the oligarchy - the invisible one - the
'Architecture of THOUGHT' represented by 'SCIENCE' (analytical
science) - so you can add number FOUR to the list, called
SCIENCE - and whose collective fundamental leitmotif is DIVIDE
ET IMPERA - divide and rule.
We (in the West) learned these things from:
- Athens (science/philosophy),
- Rome (governance)
- and Jerusalem (religion coupled with binary logic and analytical
divisions) ...... think about it.
1) in analysis - break system/problem into parts, then know/solve
parts separately) -
2) in governance - break government into functional parts acting
independently and separately optimized, and system into
'governing' and 'the governed' - with separation of also authority and
responsiblity. Also, separate cultures into nation-states with
closed borders of the physical and cultural kind.
3) in colonization - break the existing community patterns of
harmonic equilibrium maintenance within indigenous cultures,
forbid practising of their own spirituality, teachings, values,
practices, traditions, types of relationships - and impose foreign
cultural structures and institutions (the 'faceless and 'objective'
version' of direct control) on the indigenous culture; eradicate inate
knowledge and values via schooling, and religion, respectively -
Change the 'exchange system' to market principles, of few 'haves',
many 'have-nothings' who form docile labour force doing the work of
extracting and selling them to the rich world, thereby facilitating
dependence on the agent of colonization, and hence control by the
4) via church - break world into earth/people (evil) and heaven/god
(the good) - break actions, behaviors, peoples, cultures, nations,
whatever exists, into 'inherently' evil or good. Priest has 'the Ear of
God', and is the only valid conduit/intermediary, of his grace and
mercy - All those that do not subscribe to the above (1 - 3) are
'primitive' and 'evil', since 'development' and 'civilization' have
already been pre-defined as linear progression (a 'gift idea' from
science) from primitive, to barbaric, to modern 'civilization'. Hence,
everything they believe or think or act in accordance with, is
backward, primitive, evil, disgusting, and 'worthy of eradication' in
the 'noble' process of 'salvation' for their 'souls and destinies as
people.' ('doing God's work');
So, it all works together so beautifully, not so? - - - -
- teaching them how to be 'modern' economically (structural
adjustment, a la World Bank, IMF rules of lending);
- bringing the 'salvation' of democracy (representative government,
which is 'divide et impera' par excellence - choose the ones who wil
colonize you according to Western game-rules) - on the same
model as discussed in my paper for Toronto - the 'best system
there is' (sure...).
- and schooling (eradicating 'primitive myths' and 'false beliefs'
through 'best system of knowledge there is, i.e. 'science' of the
-and religion - need I even continue.. the picture is very clear.
and VOILA people!! We see the tapestry of history before us in all
its ugly splendor.
Each 'version' of this (oh so 'successful') equation, is just the
same 'song', with different 'instrument' employed by different faction
(state, church, business, science/ 'academia'). They all use 'divide
and rule' as most basic strategy - and the 'correctness' of
discretism as 'rationale' for their entire effort, is of course presented
as 'proven' by the very 'Science' in question - and fear of earthly
deprivation and eternal punishment in hell, as carrot and stick
through which to urge compliance and induce obedience to state
and church. Business enforces it too: extract the minerals and
other resources which 'they' are 'too dumb' to extract for
themselves ('lacking' science and technology based upon it) and
taken to 'do them a favour' - 'adding value' to the 'raw materials' in
industrialized nations, to sell back to them and the rest of the
global market at even higher profit - and paying them almost
nothing, essentially in hush money, to continue the game, thereby
corrupting the 'local' leadership elite which has in fact already been
corrupted by the inherent nature of the model of governance,
'spirituality' and economics and schooling imposed on them for
The "battle of science", is the 'battle of civilizations' which Samuel
Huntington has 'forecast' for our delight - as the prospect for the
Next US (G7) Challenge - neutralizing 'rogue nations', rogue belief
systems, rogue ideas, rogue individuals, rogue cultures....rogue
gods. Ah yes..... we know all about those 'rogues', don't we.
So, the 'Western Way' is a 'SYSTEM of ideas (science), models of
governance (state) and belief system (church) and market (big
business), using very familiar and well known knowledge generation
and production, strategies and practices, which mutually
REINFORCE one another.
IF you fight this monster in one domain separately (e.g. science)
you are already setting yourself up for losing, by attacking a 'part'
only- they will isolate you, cut off your funds, brand you as pariah
and a laughing stock, and the 'peer review' system will ensure that
nothing you say is published where it 'matters' - you cannot teach
of course, because you are by definition excluded from the ivory
towers that maintain the status quo in science.
If you object in the other 'separate' domains of economics/politics,
you are kept OUT of the system, via job market and power
hierarchy, and have to demonstrate in Seattle and Davos, where
you will be clubbed, sprayed with water canons with cow dung in
them, called 'neo-communist' or 'anarchist', or 'terrorist' by the
'objective' global media (CNN) and thereby silenced as the great
'unwashed low-lives' out to spoil 'the good' that the men in suits do.
The 'currencies' that keeps the game intact, is money, and access
to decision-making - which together, mean 'POWER'.
so there we are.
And SCIENCE, is the great 'RECIPE' for all these 'manifest
bounties' which the Hamburger Hegemony shall force down the
throat of every nation, culture, group, 'for their own good', of course.
Why don't I just fall on my sword now and spare them the trouble!!
Hell, I like living... so I guess it ain't over yet!
c/o Dept. Sociology
University of Stellenbosch