a reply to: Serdgiam
I think that where I have used chaos, ‘chaotic’ would perhaps be more appropriate, but I largely agree, chaos is a state that is un-understood and
fundamentally based on our perception. I can leave it aside for something more akin to ‘seemingly disordered’?
We can certainly sure up on what we mean by the terms ‘myth’ and ‘story’, and that may be an interesting framing exercise and a means of
establishing where the boundaries of the two interact.
I am not saying that the reductionist approach does not ‘work’ or have a place (in the scheme of things), what I mean is that complexity cannot be
understood by reductionism alone
. It can obviously be used for studying components of systems, understanding the relationships between parts
of a system and be incorporated into models to assist in generating General Systems Theories. It can be part of our tool kit, no methodology should
be or need be excluded, but reductionism should not be the overall objective, a satisfying explanation should be and that has to be able to reflect
the diversity of any given situation or ‘wicked mess’ we find ourselves in. In my opinion.
Greed indeed is a tough one. I would define what I meant
in the given context as a withholding of open opportunity and choice, a lack of
awareness that your actions and drive to achieve ‘more’ is depriving others of their most basic needs. The vast majority of positions of
influence (not necessarily power) rest within a small, elite circle. NGOs, charity and awareness foundations (etc, etc, etc), lobbyists, activists,
media (etc, etc), corporations that retain a hiring policy that is unfair, that keeps the ‘best’ jobs within their own circle and is able to
direct policy in this way. I don’t even think that nepotism is entirely the problem, just that there is a facile lack of awareness of what poverty
actually is that no amount of education can compensate for. There is far too much talk and not nearly enough walk.
Taking from others, ‘stealing’ has many levels. Anthropologically speaking it seems that when we settled down into villages, wherever in the
globe and at what point in time we did that, our concept of territory and rivalry involved stealing whatever we could get away with stealing without
getting caught, as often as not, that seems to be women. It can therefore be assumed that it is our nature to take what we want from whomever has it,
but it is also in our nature, or has been since we started huddleing together in ever increasing groups, to set laws that prohibit such covetous
behaviour. Part and parcel of our developing consciousness and sapience, has been the need to assuage our empathic abilities from troubling us by
seeking preventative measures. We set rules in order to live alongside each other peaceably
. Rules with clear consequences, fairly applied,
has been the goal of all civilisation, but it is the fair application that fails us every time. When the example from the top is corrupt, when those
laws are seen to be unevenly applied based on percievable privilege, when the rich can literally
get away with mass murder, then the system is
bound to feed that down across all stratas of society and this is often when we start to comment on the ‘sickness’ inherent in the system, but
hidden within secret interactions ‘higher’ up, in board rooms and back rooms, is the actual disease of complicity in covering up their own
misdeeds and thefts.
So, I think firstly we need to understand what Donald Schon meant about the flow of ideas in good currency, and that there is often a vast lag between
cause and effect. Any changes that we make now towards sustainability will not be reaped in our life time, or even that of our children’s children.
We’re looking at long term sustainable futures, that are as changeable and adaptable as they need to be. That is all long term work, and it is
work that has to be carried out in awareness of the Whole System if it is the include everyone.
That is a given. That is what has been known
since at least 1972 and the Club of Rome. That some have worked to instead preserve their way of life and therefore have only acted to preserve
have acted in error of understanding. That approach will not protect them and it has set us back considerably, they do have the resources
though to get us back on track. We need them as much as they need us, unless we choose