Corporate code of conduct LO24082

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 02/28/00

Replying to LO24044 --

Dear Organlearners,

Robert Bacal < > writes:

>I have to admit I find the slant of this text very disturbing and
>counter to my experiences, and the way things work with real
>people in real situations.

with regard to my:

>>Humane conduct is something which can only emerge from
>>within a human. It can be codified so that others can recognise
>>it. But it can never be transfered.

and continued it with:

>I find this tremendously scary. First ALL societies rely to a
>great degree on codification in law, and many of those lays
>relate to what is considered humane conduct.

Greetings Robert,

Thank you for pointing out your experiences. It seems to be heaven where
you live. That is why several million South Africans have emigrated to
countries like yours the past ten years.

Living in the USA like you do involves real people in real situations.
Living in Africa like I do does not involve less real people in less real
situations. It is scary living here because of what I have written above.

[Host's Note: I believe Robert is an Canada. ..Rick]

Here is some more slant. Official figures released by the US department of
foreign affairs indicate that the city in which I live in has the third
highest murder rate in the world. When in need of a cellphone or a car,
kill the nearest person having one. Sixty-eight percent of new cars sold
here have to replace stolen ones. Look up a picture of the US embassy in
Pretoria -- it is a formidable fortress. Go north of South Africa into
Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda, Unganda, etc., for even quicker hair raising

Why? "Its all the legacy of apartheid" people are crying out.


Do road signs not codify some conduct required for save driving? Here
these signs are ignored like the young, innocent children brutally slain
next to their schools while crossing a road. The result is the worst road
carnage in the world according to the AA. Not a week goes by without me
having to sympathise with somebody who lost a family member in a road


You yourself conclude with:

>Most of us have heard the expression "walk the talk". That has
>TWO parts. Walking (DOING) and talking (codifying).
>Why is that do you think?

Is it merely my thinking? Before 1990 the world TALKED promises that
corporate investments will deluge South African should the nation give up
the apartheid laws. (By the way, those laws intended to codify a racially
segregated society -- and failed dismally.) Now South Africa has a
constitution and many new codified laws envied by the rest of the world.
But DOING investments has become a trickle because according to the
corporate mind many South Africans do not walk the talk. So why should the
corporate mind walk its own talk? Why should they adhere to their own

>Second, the "codes" if you will have a profound effect on
>transfering the norms of the society with respect to humane
>conduct. I'll stretch the notion of humane conduct to include
>avoiding conduct that is dangerous or damaging to others.

Codes on their own have no effect at all in transferring the norms of
society. It is rather the specific knowledge that "codes" signify some
information vitally important to constructive humane conduct. This
specific knowledge on the conducive sense of codes can even be codified,
but can never be transfered. It can only emerge from within. Even this
emerge can never be conducted by codes. It needs the careful "midwifery"
of compassionate fellow humans to succeed.

>If we are to believe that codification is not part of transfering
>(or creating norms for humane treatment, then we'd have to
>turf out every major religion, crack the tablet with the ten
>commandments, etc.
>> Codifying humane conduct so as to transfer it is a foolish
>> practice which dehumanise people.
>Are the ten commandments dehumanizing?
>The Bible
>The Torah
>Laws against murder?

Three major religions and innumerous varaints on them have developed out
of the Torah (Old Testament): Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Most
Christian Protestants believe that it is one of the messages in the Bible
that the Law of God has to be written in the heart of a believer with the
Holy Spirit acting as the "midwife" before it becomes effective.

I believe it too.

But I differ from classical Protestantism in an important aspect. For me
it is not merely a belief. It is also a sure knowledge that "codes of
humane conduct" are worthless unless backed up with the emergent knowledge
from within through which the conducive sense in such codes are
recognised. This knowledge emerges by doing and not by codifying.

I do not ask anybody to believe it as an article of some faith. But I do
expect people to make sure for themselves wether it is knowledge or not.
If happens to be sure knowledge and furthermore to be disturbing, we
should ask ourselves why it is disturbing.

How much has it to do with the tacit<=>formal knowledge issue?

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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