The Will and Purpose of an Organisation LO28256

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 04/18/02

Replying to LO28209 --

Dear Organlearners,

Jan Lelie <> writes:

>Dear readers, phiLOsophers of the right life,

Greetings dear Jan,

It suddenly struck me that LO-sophers means those wise to the LO since
"sophos"=wise ;-) Jan, thank your very much for your reply. You are a

>I can hear the wind in the wiLLOw as i'm reminded
>of one of my favorite philosophers of my youth,
>Schopenhauer. I do not know the translation in
>English of "Die Welt als Wille und Darstellung",
>perhaps "The organisation as will and purpose".

Thank you very much for this introduction. It helps me to see the movie
clearer. We also have the word "daarstelling" in Afrikaans. But another
synonym for it is "uitbeelding" which is "Ausbildung" in German! I do not
know enough of German to say what "Darstellung" really means, but
"daarstelling" in Afrikaans would refer to the "mission"-part while
"uitbeelding" would refer to the "vision"-part of an organisation's future
intentions. Thus it would be interesting to know how much Afrikaans differ
from Dutch since you wrote:

>Substitute the Personal Darstellung with a Corporate
>Vision, and hey presto! People will work for you!

One of the reasons in my opinion why the European Civilization (EC) caused
so much demise in the African Civilisation (AC) is that the EC had been
too much individualised ("dassein") whereas the AC had been too much
socialised ("mitsein"). [This is also one of the reasons why communism had
such a rapid growth in the first half of the 20th century.]

Now coming back to will and purpose, most Europeans will admit that an
individual person has a will (the "dassein" coming through), but not that
an organisation can have a will. It is almost the opposite in Southern
Africa. Most Bantus will admit that an organisation (like a family,
village, tribe or a people) has a will (the "mitsein" coming through), but
not that an individual can have a will. In fact, in the tribal
"initiation" schools (to enter adulthood) this is one of main themes to be
instructed, perhaps to the limit of indoctrination.

Here is an example how this "mitsein" drips from language. I am reminded
to give an example since you wrote the following incredibly important

>There language seems to be a great help, once we're
>beginning to notice the effects language has on Darstellung.

The example comes from Setswana, one of the many Bantu languages. The
Setswana word for peace is "kagiso". The root is "aga" which means to
build alone ("dassein"). It is then altered by a regular suffix into
"agiso" which means to help someone else to build ("mitsein"). This is
then changed by a regular prefix into a metaphoric outcome "kagiso"=peace.
In other words, peace for the Tswana people, language-wise, is to help one
another to create constructively. The Twana people here in South Africa as
well as in Botswana (prefix "bo"=land) are indeed peace loving people,
always ready to do something constructively.

Can you imagine what happened in the years of colonisation when a Tswana
was told "You will do it my way or else ..."? Yes, you did imagine it by

>And we ran into a strange bias: there are two ways
>to convince another will of our purpose, the quality
>of your intentions, the vision of a queste: through
>argument and through murdering (physically, but also
>by removing the capability for learning as in brainwashing,
>training, etc) the other.

If only your wise warning

>But watch out for purposes that use violence or
>promote the end of critical thinking as a ways and
>means to conquer the hearths and minds of people.
>We've got to think for ourselves.

were heeded whenever people of two different cultures come
into contact. Here the dictum
"they have to think and do like us"
is a sure recipe for disaster. The mere fact that their language is
different points to the fact that they think differently.

Just last week I observed once again the body language of Tswanas,
dripping with culture when (in this case) one gives something to another.
Person A was merely greeting (and not actually giving something to) person
B. Person B put out his right arm, then swiftly moved his left arm with
open palm over the elbow of the right arm. It then ends up in clutching
the body over the stomach. It says "I have cut off my arm so that it now
belongs to you to be used for your own purposes." Just like body language
drips with culture, spoken language also drips with it.

Did Leo Minnigh not wrote long ago that for him
"dassein"&"mitsein" = wisdom
I belong to a certain culture and so does every fellow learner. This
is told by our body languages (which we cannot see on the screen)
and our spoken mother tongues (which we cannot write on the
screen for communication purposes). Beware us if we cannot
become aware of this telling in cyberworld. Beware us when I
cannot grow into the cultures of others with whom I have to
work with, we cannot develop a common will. We of different
peoples ("volke") cannot become one nation, respecting each
other's culture.

In a nation with one major culture and many minor cultures these
minorities usually suffer. Here in South Africa during colonisation the
Europeans born here (mostly of north European stock) were a small minority
whereas all the other Bantu, Xhoi and San tribes were all also minorities.
Those Europeans living at the outskirts knew it and lived up to it.

But those closer to the ports (Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban) were
assisted and were used by the colonial powers, first the Dutch up to the
18th century and then the British into the 20th century to act as the
major culture. No wonder that halfway in the 20th century these Europeans
(many from the tenth generation or later born here in South Africa)
overstepped themselves with apartheid, a strategy for one minority to rule
over many other minorities, a strategy born from history, a history of a
wrong done so far back as in the 9th century and never put right again, a
wrong of an empire trying to take completely away the culture of a tiny

We are trying to emerge into a just nation consisting of many minority
cultures and no major culture, but we have to do it alone. Those countries
who could have helped us, cannot do so because they each have one dominant
major culture. They do not understand our problems, except for knowing
that we have problems which they do not have. Thus nothing comes from
their promises to help us build a peaceful nation. They think they protect
their own interests, but they undo themselves from experiencing what
"kagiso"=peace means. And when they do get so far as take up their
promises, they qualify them with "you have to think and do like us"

We as a nation do not want such aid. We as a nation WILL find our peace,
even if we have to do it without the "kagiso" from those nations who could
have helped to build our future.

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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