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Blog 2: The solution
After writting the blog about our entrapment in our own vulnerability we need to apply the law of opposites to show that breaking free is a serious option, applied by many around the world. It is not easy but once done a new world shows itself in which we can explore and develop ourselves to the full.
We just need to accept reality as it is, not just the vulnerable part of greed and destruction but also the powerful part of awareness and creation.
A human being is free, a citizen is not
When we look at ourselves as a biological member of our human species we are a single complete genetic entity, a symbiotic composition of billions of species that interact to keep that unique human being aliveand alert. At biological level we eat, drink, breath, mate and procreate, and finally die within the cyclic event of life. Such human being is born absolutely free. Free to make our own choices for survival, safety and comfort within our habitat, planet Earth, and how we organize ourselves effectively. In the natural living space there is no debt, no ownership, just usage of resources and an adaptive interaction with other species based on equality and respect. In nature everything is always strong and healthy, the unhealthy and weak disappear to give back the resources to nature for another life cycle. This we call evolution and we as individuals and community are part of that.
As citizen we are not free, we are part of a (formal) human group process. We have the ability to make arrangements in such group processes that help us live and survive, with safety and comfort, better than when we need to deal with this alone. In group processes we contribute as a member and interact with the group for best community performance. Communities tend to have unique characteristics that develop over time and may get into competition with each other for the protection of the group’s interest. Communities also tend to behave like individual species with the same type of living complexity expressed in terms of growth (greed), chaos (crisis), awareness (learning) and harmony (balans). Within such communities a set of rules determine the interaction between the members. When such community serves its members than the citizenship is never questioned. When however the community starts serving itself as an institution, at the expense of its members, than an invisible line of tension is crossed and citizens can revert back to their human freedom of choice. They stop being citizen in THAT community. No other person can oblige any one to remain member of a community as active civilian if that person does not want to. Unfortunately it is done continuously with law enforcement or empowerment of governance. Still, in absolute sense, even when put in prison, one remains always free at human level.
There are various ways to deal with the freedom of choice as human being and the obvious advantages of being member of a community. Of course this community needs to serve its members properly. The first option one has when stepping out as a citizen is to choose a new community which has a set of rules and behaviour that fits better one’s self aware judgments and desires.
I myself had this option when I became aware that the Dutch society had outgrown its human community characteristics and became a money driven institution at the expense of humankind, essentially totally absorbed in the list of vulnerability described in the previous blog. But where would I go? Holland, at institutional and governance level had a reached a point of self destruction. But at humanitarian level we had gone through an evolution too. Equality between men and women for instance was a socially accepted truth. In the mind of certain analysts such equality was created to get women to enter the labor force and contribute to capitalist economics with all the negative side effects. This may be partially true but at the same time, from a human and universal complexity point of view the acceptance that men and women are the equal but not the same is key to understand universal ethics and dynamic clustering of life.
In this duality of excessive institutionalized, money driven vulnerability and well balanced social equality, the Netherlands tends to offer a better evolutionary perspective than other communities where the money driven greed is not compensated by a minimum of gender equality. Another key element that motivates the stay in Holland is the freedom of speech and choice. The “system” may impose itself but when one turns its back to it there is an “isolation from the system” but not from the human part of society. In essence this too makes the Netherlands a vertile ground for the evolution of our species and experimentation with new structures of governance, culture and behavior.
So leaving Holland was not an option. Only very few places in the world would give me the level of freedom to evolve into something new rather than revolve in a fight against the old.
The second option one has is to create a community of one’s own, according one’s own insights and understanding. In a globalized political economic human world, fixated in its vulnerability but explained as a strength, such choice is extremely difficult. When I had to deal with this I made a distinction between the status of human being and freedom with that of citizen and community compliance. When looking at Holland, consisting of nearly 17 million inhabitants we can see 17 million human beings and nearly 17 million “compliant” citizens. Most of those citizens don’t realize their universal right to be free as human being. They take our community and its rules for granted.
In such universal freedom there is no debt, no property, no human legal system, no religion, no guilt. There is a right to determine or create community membership and citizenship. So when I address the fellow human being inmy surroundings then the conversation differs fundamentally from the address to the citizen. Even at professionalized level in the citizen’s world the so called “leaders” are also human beings. Often they are slave of the same system with the only difference that they are rewarded to make other people comply. I can address them also as human beings and challenge them to look at their citizen’s role in the community from a human perspective. Awareness is an awakening process which is best realized by taking people out of their mental or physical comfort zone.
Awareness driven human and citizenship
When I see the Dutch community as 17 million human beings that in potential can determine the characteristics of a totally new society, even though they are mostly actively and unaware involved in their old citizenship, then I can communicate with them as such. It does not matter in what role they operate in society, when they are invited to understand their human freedom we can openly reflect about change. When I started to do so in 2005 I found resonance with a very limited audience. Most people and structures were still confident that society as it was would remain. My own awareness had broken through in 2001 when I was taken out of my own mental and physical comfort zone and had to make my own decisions as human being, not as citizen. But the mental and physical comfort of the mayority of the Dutch back in 2005 was still happy with themselves. Only some resonance was gained in the field of entrepreneurship. Business people were encountering severe competition and needed to find ways to strengthen their proposition rather than continuously follow the decline of cost optimization in order to try to grown.
In 2008 this all changed when the creditcrisis threw many people off their comfortable throne with a mental wake up effect. Suddenly all executives as well as people in general were in crisis. The first reaction is to try to get back to the old and safe status quo. The second reaction was to see if change was an option. Most people acted in this on professional level, using the known instruments for that particular function and old societal context trying to make the best of it. No one had ever considered looking at it from their human perspective until I started inviting them to do so.
5 human core values
As human being I defined 5 core human values that are critical for our sustainable human evolution: Health, safety, regional self sufficiency, self awareness and fullfillment of our daily basic needs (1 kg of food, 3 kg of drinking water, 30 kg of healthy unpolluted air). each of these values is at jeopardy today and the lack of them causes the tremendous vulnerability described in the previous blog. From a human perspective it does not matter how rich you are and with how much power, the biological vulnerability is equal for all people. From a citizen’s perspective the awareness and related choices are critical as it determines the way one remains part of the problem or the solution. Some professionals get into a moral dillema when the difference between the realities displays itself to them. They have to make a decision:
- I neglect the awareness out of self preservation in the old reality
- I try to use my professional authority to make a difference by taking account of the core values
- I quit my job and make myself useful elsewhere using my newly acquired awareness
A new look at reality
Once we have been through the process of relativation of our human and citizen’s choices we start looking at reality in a totally different way. The vulnerability described before becomes an innovative challenge and the core human values a guideline. We cannot change 5000 years of city development over night but we can start with small steps. Some cities and regions are more difficult to transform from a quality of life perspective. Some even impossible. Knowing this we can even anticipate creating totally new living environments for the millions of people that otherwise would remain in a vulnerable situation. In the old reality of money driven citizenship this would be seen as a tremendous cost. In our new reality of core values driven cocreation it is seen as the engagement to make a difference between death and life. New techniques, visions, ideologies and methods can be experimented with to generate public engagement with the proper reward. Life is a great reward but when alive we need to have a house, food and other needs that we need to cocreate together too. Recently we looked for instance at the potential of the Pyramide City as self built, 100% self sufficient solution for all our unemployed and refugees. We can house over 6000 people on 1 km2 using local materials and building a totally circular economy.
It is a totally different way of organizing ourselves in which no political or economic parameters rule, nor a democratic hierarchy of self interests, but a cocreative mentality of everyone involved based on developing and maintaining our core values. We even defined this as Sustainocracy, a new type of democracy that respects authorities and professional specilizations but connects them in a new way around core challenges. The individual choice is hence not just in distinction between human and civilian realities but also in the way we contribute to progress with our professional responsibility and authority.
When individuals become aware of their human freedom of choice and the ability to redefine their conribution to sustainable human progress two realities get organized in parallel, the old vulnerable one that produced old securities and wellness but got us into trouble, and the new one that creates new securities by addressing the vulnerability through the leadership of core human rather than financial values.
While in the money based reality the relationships are built around financial transactions we see that the reality around core human values is built around project based cocreation and sharing of values. In money based city the citizen is a consumer of the city’s consumables (health care, housing, roads, parking, shops, theaters, events, etc) while in a core human values based community every person is a partner and participant sharing the progress and value creation. This means that a totally new value system is introduced, based on cocreation effort and sharing. This is not a relationship based on individual greed and dependence but of sharing and freedom.
Traditional infrastructural functions of governance are still needed but they are facilitating this participatory awareness driven eco-system based on harmonization instead of economic growth. This gives a significant different meaning to government and others in the field of cocreation. Technologies feed cocreation and awareness, not control and regulation. Governance, lawsystems, innovation, education and entrepreneurship get a totally new meaning and organization.
With appearance of two realities in one community one can live up to one or the other. Much better is to place both into perspective of eachother and relate them functionally. Suddenly we find that a large part of the old functional reality may remain alive and working blindly in the part that is claimed to produce vulnerability. Key is that the emphasys of our community direction is not anymore based on blind economic growth yet positioned at the side of values driven change. This does not mean that the economic growth parties are eliminate, not at all and on the contrary. Economic growth is good as long as it contributes to the solution rather than producing the problems. Economic growth will never challenge itself out of self interest. We need to have something beside which we call the Transformation Economy. Such economy keeps a look at the core human values and determines when the cocreative change is needed because the Growth economy crossed the line and started to produce measureable problems. Rather than raising taxes the Transformation economy raises royalties over the innovations that produce and enhance the core values while penalizing those old growth elements that measurably started to contribute to the problem. Like that the Transformation economy garantees the involvement of the specialized organization while redefining solutions through open innovation as these organizations are the ones that fragment the solutions into new products and services for the world market.
A simple choice
We have arrived at the conclusion that all our problems are solved instantly if we make our simplest choice. As human being we are free and responsible for our sustainable human progress. Once aware of that we can embrase the 5 core values and position ourselves at the side of sustainable leadership and the transformation economy. Our vulnerability is our challenge not our burden and our creativity and cocreation is our security for a safe future. Money is a means that may conditionally grow as long as it remains contributing to the global core values else we voluntarily change its content to something new. We don’t depend on banks, politicians or whatever to make this decision. When we do at our own human level we can invite others to join. As the consequences of our vulnerability grow there are more and more who are willing to chose the side of sustainable leadership and help restructure a society putting growth in balans with harmony. The cities, our places to live, our productivity and learning through awareness will then produce an evolutionary step for humankind. Life on Earth has evolved like this for 4.5 billion years. Now humankind can benefit from this unique awareness breakthrough and change our vulnerability in our strength. We don’t need to die, we need to learn how to live and act accordingly. We can only confirm what Snoopy and Charly Brown conversed and take the positive way.
This mini analysis is based on the evolutionary situation in Holland (1945 – 2020) using the drawing of human and societal complexities. The law of opposites cause rhythmic changes in emphasis that have to do with our inner conflicts and awareness too:
- Fears versus Dreams
- Greed versus Moral justice
The changing energies between the To Be and To Do show a sinus wave over time with periods of 7,7 and 54 years in a life time. The way we deal with this is meaningful for progress.
The natural society rhythms are consequence of these opposites that have become the kernel of the diversity of life on Earth but also the learning battle that our human species fights with itself. Every cycle through chaos of our species is exponentially more intense that the ones before. With a global population now of 7 billion, three times the population when world war II ended, the fear for new violent encounters is as high as our dreams for sustainable progress. These two opposites interact in a powerful awareness struggle without precedence. The next few years will be decisive to answer the following:
- Will humankind enter in a destructive, self inflicted (and assisted by nature) chaos that exceeds every war ever before? The eternal battle between greed and moral awareness?
- Or will we overcome chaos permanently by introducing and accepting the law of opposites and learning how to deal with it for progression without chaos? The battle between fear and dreams, the quantum leap when awareness overcomes fear?
Cyclic evolution and awareness
Our understanding today of the cyclic nature of our behavior is enhanced by the mini analysis of the period between 1945 (end of WW II) and 2020 (new collapse) in the Netherlands (equivalent to the rest of the world in similar phases).
1945: When world war II ended in 1945 in the Netherlands, leadership was needed to co-create a stable society (co-create symbiosis). Leading in the argumentation was the destructive force of the war, the reasons behind its development and what could be done to avoid it? The conclusions were that we need to build social securities that moderate the natural potential of aggression of desperate people by giving them a minimum to survive, sufficient to avoid them to follow immoral impulses.
Note: 1945 – 1970 is a 3 x 7,7 year cycle.
1970: The creative social systems (pensions, social security, unemployment funds, etc) are now in place. The “State of social care” had become a fact and should stand model for lasting wellness and peaceful progress. At the same time fear arises in the 1970’s present and at the horizon for the cost of social care. The postwar reconstruction phase is behind us, labor from industrial processes evaporate due to the exodus to low wage regions and first demand on the securities system show inefficiencies. A management culture replaces the leadership culture. The discussion changes from “change for stability” into ” the need for financial growth and controls”.
Wellness and financial abundance had a positive effect on longevity. Economic growth became the keyword to sustain wellness. The taxable potential of circulating money was important with the foresight of increasing costs to sustain social security. The aging population, statistics on decrease of child birth and expected costs of health care and social securities, showed an unbalance in the future financial stability. Wanting to keep wellness as a norm cannot be seen as greed, the human psychology to sustain it can. We have the tendency of wanting more of the same. This produces the downfall along the axes of moral awareness. Not that we did not learn from the painful episodes in our history, we did. But they grow away from memory as new generation grow up in abundance and peace. Other emotional priorities take the overhand, such as apathy, reluctance, fear, greed, etc. People tend to think now of wellness as a human right and consider the system responsible for maintaining it. The management system develops a structure of hierarchy and power to introduce efficiencies and measures of control. Some important measures were:
- Reduction of the work week from 40 to 38 and 36 hours. This should spread the workload over more (taxable) salaries. Taxed labor was and is one of the mayor sources of income of the government.
- The liberation of money emission from its gold reserve collateral. This should boost the circulation of money, the second largest tax income through VAT development.
- The focus on value added logistics for goods distribution from low wage countries (China, India and Brasil) to the EU, due to our geographical location and trade expertise (a third key source of tax income).
Money became the goal, as a growing means to finance wellness. Tax became the most important instrument for the management of the country. People are slave to the system. “Care” and “Greed” developed into a dual economy of growth: the need for massive consumption of goods and the attention to the consequences of this over consumption, referred to as “wellness deceases”.
1995: The tension in the system builds up but awareness is at lowest level. Apathy, blindness and reluctance reigns. The economy still grows but by unnatural forces. The consequences of the 1970’s measures lead to a management culture of greed. Bankers took the lead, together with real estate brokers that speculate with shortages of houses. The influx of cheap labor for the supply chain focus increases the demand. The price evolution of a house had become the collateral for money circulation and debt creation. Stones, debt and speculation had become more important than the human being or its capacity to create productive communities. Economy of growth and tax had become dominant with impressive constructions of personal wealth development of heartless speculants. Government had itself tied up in an negative spiral of taxation needs that also captured the greed of state officials who could build personal security, hierarchy and income through the bureaucratic network. The exponential costs of society, that had been expected in 1970, did occur with the unexpected particular emphases on greed rather than need. The credit crisis in 2008 brought the immorality and system’s vulnerability to the daylight. The explosive amount of tensions around the world had not triggered awareness but the bank affairs did, especially that of fear. The instant counter measures were based on massive capital injections out of fear for total system collapse.
The management culture is kept in place by the hierarchical lobbies, legal criminality and fragmented overall money dependence. Everything seems to be done to swim against the stream of progress out of fear for chaos, collapse and loss of authority. This causes multiple tensions to build up further as social securities evaporate, pollution destroys our habitat, greed evolves further, morality is at its deepest point and the system cracks up despite capital injections and increased management through bureaucracy of controls and reluctance to change.
2008 is halfway between greed and fear when the credit crisis struck, showing the face of both. Instantly there was a wake up call. The management culture is dominant and seeks measures to sustain itself. Large capital injection, increased control systems and further focus on economic growth are measures of all the fragmented individual self interests that work together.
But 2008 also opened up room for the first initiatives in the field of leadership and change. A new leadership cycle breaks through. STIR Foundation is pioneer and started its co-creative platforms, inviting all those who panicked to join forces. A very first impulse was achieved to connect management of future growth with leadership of change. We achieved temporary progress and showed the way beyond chaos and even avoiding collapse. It was a precedent that collapsed again when management measures thought to have produced positive results. That is natural too. The green line of leadership is still fragile and unsupported. As stated in the previous blog there is only a small time frame when management and leadership can interact together. That is when the expectation of pain and collapse is big enough and a consensus can be reached on the fear eliminating dream (where value creation ends and money making begins).
2020: Even though we live now in 2014 the dot on the horizon does not go much further than 2020. We now stand on the edge of the total collapse that capitalist measures tried to avoid since 2009. From a management perspective, what has changed to date? Nothing! The greedy still benefit in their personal financial growth patterns while social securities evaporate. Leadership is emerging challenging greed, our financial slavery and the system that supports it. STIR is actively developing its precedents. Pope Francis is using very sharp words to condemn the system of growth and calls for responsibility. Leaders occupying management positions open up for co-creation.
Two cyclic battles
From the above we can distinguish two interwoven battles of human development:
- 1945 – 1995: The leadership battle for human wellness through co-creation
- 1970 – 2020: The management battle for sustained material greed through fragmented self interest
Since about 2000 (7 * 7.7 years since 1945) a new leadership battle emerges, this time around “sustainable human progress”. It does not support the management battle. New age 21st century leafership bases itselves on value creation rather than consumption. The law of opposites helps management towards collapse. 2008 was just the beginning. Towards 2020 more of it becomes visible, but can total collapse be avoided?
The 1970 versus 2020 battle
The real battle now is between the 1970 belief and system’s reality that “money solves it all” and the new 2000 leadership belief that “sustainable value is created together”. The latter is based on feeding our awareness with the need to transform the system’s complexity and performance. In history we see that collapse has never been avoided due to the powerful resistance of management forces. The biggest question is now: “Does history repeat itself? Or do we create a new episode and turning point in human history?
My personal choice and daily efforts are for the turning point through persistence, belief in my views of the human complexity and reassured by the precedents achieved so far with Sustainocracy. This can only expand and enhance itself throughout the world. Dream A (money solves it all) can only prosper with Dream B (co-creation through awareness) when they unite in value creation and expansion.