Why employ a person? LO24545

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 05/03/00

Replying to LO24492 --

Dear Organlearners,

Roger Key <roger.key@onet.co.uk> writes:

>Have you read / listened to Alfie Kohn? He has some
>interesting thoughts on the damage wrought the replacement
>of intrinsic motivation with extrinsic motivation and I guess
>what you say indicates that this replacement is contagious.

Greetings Roger,


It can also be explained in a consistent manner by means of
"entropy production" by making use of the relationship
        /_\G - W < 0
I have done it before on the list, but I will do it any day again
if some fellow learner is really interested to get the hung of it.

>Returning to Schumacher - he quotes someone else but I have
>lent the book so do not have it at hand. Convergent solutions
>to divergent problems are just plain dumb! Yup the clock may
>be chiming.

I must take care not to let this topic to diverge into "Why employ a
concept". But perhaps we can learn something from such a diversion.

What may be dumb now, have been most attractive in the past. Thus what is
attractive now, may become dumb in future!

I myself finally realised how "dumb" Darwin's explanation of evolution
(divergence, one-to-many-mapping) was by means of natural slection
(convergence, many-to-one-mapping) after I have discovered the Digestor as
the model complementary to the Brussellator.

Not so long ago I read with joy how someone else explained independently
(in terms of similar tacit knowledge) how "dumb" Darwin's theory was.

>I like the phrase deep evolution and I here by steal it! I also
>like the phrase deep ecology rather than system thinking
>(stolen from Fritjof Capra) I think it holds a lot more for me,
>but may be more confusing for the lay person.

Yep, those bent on "dassein" creativity will think of it as stealing. But
in team learning such stealing is impossible, although corruption of the
original concept is still possible. Capra is not the first one to
articulate some profound aspect of tacit knowledge by putting a "deep"
before the concept (not the profound aspect) which finally gets
articulated. For example, can we forget "deep throat" who triggered the
Watergate scandal! I have traced this use of deep back very far. For
example, Jesus use it ("bathos") in Mat 13:5 in his patrable of the seed
(literally "...they had no deepness of earth"..) Even the Greek
phsilsopher Zeno some three centuries earlier who had such a great
influence on the golden era of the Roman civilization used it.

>Is employment an evolutionary stage? Most societies have
>passed through tribes to employment via slavery, and I know all
>system thinkers will agree, we have to see the employment unit
>as a whole, a hive, not a group of people employed by another.

No, all will never agree, not even on this issue.

What intrigues me here is your use of the words "unit" and "whole". See
for example the essentiality wholeness ("monadicity-assosiativity") It
looks much like Jan Smuts central thesis of holism, namely that the whole
is the power which drives evolution. As you know, his attempt was the
first radiacl divergence from the Lamarck-Darwin kind of thinking.
However, should we ascribe evolution to wholeness, then we will have to
offer very good reason why we exclude the other six essentilities
(liveness, sureness, fruitfulness, spareness, otherness and openness).

I personally think it rather has to do with the "dassein"/"mitsein"
distinction which Hegel first made us aware of.

To fulfill our "mitsein" destination by means of slavery is a very dumb
thing to do. But a couple of centuries ago it still seemed to be
attractive to many slave owners and even the well treated slaves. To
fulfill it by means of communism as Marx saw it, still seemed to be
attractive to many nations a couple of decades ago. In my own country,
formerly so viciously against communism during the apartheid era, it is
now more attractive than anywhere else in the world. To fulfill it by
means of employment certainly appears to be the most attractive mode
presently all over the world. However, what is attractive now, may become
dumb in future! What about the very concept of a LO. Many people think it
to be a dumb idea -- its attractiveness has yet to come.

>Have you read the novel, "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn?
>(isbn 0-553-37540-7) It takes an interesting look at the parasitism
>of the Earth by man. He also raises the interesting suggestion
>that famine is not caused by over population, over population is
>caused by famine! and as a well structured systemic argument
>it worked for me.

I skimmed through it in some book shop some while ago. By not having the
money to buy all the books which interest one, one must "steal" very fast
with the eyes in a couple of minutes in the book shop so as to make sure
to invest money in buying a book. I had a similar phase in my won
thinking when I still was doing research on soils, not actually knowing
how deep complexity goes, but already experiencing the incrdible
complexity of soils and all life which depends on it.

Another very powerful argument which I can offer in terms of "deep
creativity", is that it is our very lack of constructive creativity which
causes BOTH overpopulation AND famine AS WELL AS a myriad of other things
among which ignorance is perhaps the worst. I can certainly argue that
the present predicament of Africa is the lack of constructive creativity
among its peoples because of being subjected to such wide and deep going
destructive creativity through so many centuries by people from its
neigbouring continents.

Here in the New South Africa the post-apartheid ideology is to solve this
problem by affirmative action -- employment of workers in every
organisation bigger than 50 members through forcing it by law to reflect
the racial composition in that organisation. As you may guess, once again
the ruling party (ANC) considers itself above the rule of law and does not
apply affirmative action to its own organisation ;-) The point is,
reconcilliation by sidestepping the rule of law is as impossible as to
finding meat in a dog kennel. Duplicating a certain proportion wherever
possible so as to set up equivalence relationships of being in terms of
"=" is certainly still as attracttive to many people as it was during the
days of the French Revolution.

The hot question now is "Exactly what properties should law have
so as to have a sound rule of law?" Jan Smuts as statesman argued
that laws should be holistic to have a sound rule of law. But most
other thinkers on jurisprudence thought him to be crazy or to be
infatuated by his philosophy of holism -- wholeness as the key to
evolution and thus even solving problems as a kind of mental
They simply judged him to have gone overboard!

Well, after diverging so much away from our topic, it still feels to me
like a hot potato thrown from one to the other without examining it
thoroughly. I am really not so sure any more as to why we should employ
any person. By contrast, most speakers on Mayday here in South Africa have
been reported as saying that the employment of people is far more
important than making a profit. They seem to absolutely sure that
employing all people will solve all our problems. They are sending a
message to the rest of the world which is beginning to pop up in actions
everywhere. But they have not convinced me. In fact, the harder they
push, the more sure I become of my uncertainty and thus my need to find a
convincing answer.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> 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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