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A New Business Model
The discussion of needed business changes is structured to follow Father Vincent's 14 new commandments. Only a few of the commandments have most of the key business changes. Those are summarized or discussed here.
In this discussion, Nanook ( italics) is talking with Father Vincent ( + cross symbol), George ( % yin yang symbol), and Ben ( & ).
People as the social focus
+ "The most fundamental change to the basic business model will be a major shift in business fulfillment goals. The whole concept of business in our society is based on the primitive model of barter between individuals in a primitive agricultural world. It was a ‘dog eat dog’ predatory system. For an organized civilization, the shift should be AWAY from the importance of optimizing the business itself, to a focus on the importance of achieving the basic principles of the society and the importance of individuals who work for that business. The goal of optimizing business market share and profit will become third priority. Ben. Want to expand on that?”
& "Sure. First off, by BASIC BUSINESS MODEL, we’re talking about the fundamental concepts of how businesses operate in the world. The new business model would be taught by business schools and codified into law. But with this change in focus, almost everything we know about businesses would change. By business, we’re talking about any commercial enterprise. It would include all institutions set up to provide goods or services to the society that are not government agencies. However, most of the principles of business will also apply to the government agencies.
By fulfillment, we’re talking about the role a job plays in a person’s overall life situation. So, in short, a completely new structure for business must be created based on promoting the welfare of the workers and the community they work in. For example, as the economic climate moves up and down, or the market shifts, the impact on each employee must take precedence over the impact on the business as a whole. This priority also extends to individuals outside the business in the entire society.”
"This sounds a lot like socialism to me.”
& "So this is where you have to get rid of your Single Sentence Logic model and start understanding the details. The problem with labels like socialism is that they are used so broadly, they are meaningless. So, be specific. What’s your beef?”
"Well, I mean, saying that a company is responsible for impacts to people in the entire society.”
& "See how brainwashed you are. Single Sentence Logic. But I guess you aren’t old enough to have gone through the depression. When the economy went south in ‘29, almost every company in the country was expected to take special actions to minimize the personal tragedy due to job losses. When the country went to war in ’39, again, every company was expected to respond and support the war effort.”
"Hmmm… OK. I’m an idiot. I know that.”
& "The difference in the new approach is that these kind of adjustments are expected to be the new standard.
People are not equal
The second major change is starting from the basic assumption that ALL men are NOT created equal.”
"WHAT?? No business ever starts from the assumption that all men are created equal.”
& "Again, you are so brainwashed. Have you ever heard of a LABOR UNION?”
& "One of the major failures of the unions is that they force companies to deal with people as if they are all the same. The only two factors that are important is that the members belong to the union and how much seniority they have. This is killing the country, especially in education. So, that’s got to be stopped. That’s the legacy that the unions have taken from socialism. In the new society, we start by acknowledging that everyone is DIFFERENT. They each have special skills and weaknesses. They can each improve through education. AND they will each, TO THE LAST PERSON, get different rewards based very closely on what they produce.
The free ride is over for the elite business owners who have replaced the royalty of the old world at the expense of those who just didn’t get the lucky breaks. In the new society, everyone willing to work will get the breaks, and be rewarded in proportion to what they contribute.
Failure of Socialism, Centralization, sloth, limits to corporate size
The failure of socialism has shown that centralization and lack of incentives are just as crippling in institutions as they are in society. So, for the benefit of society, institutions would be strictly limited in size to cap the centralization problem. Individual incentives would be used in all institutions to motivate people. This is especially important in non-profit organizations and government agencies.
Failure of Capitalism, concentration of power and capital, predatory competition
Capitalism fails because, without regulation, greed creates extreme concentrations of money and power. Unbridled greed leads to corruption and hording. Hoarding leads to boom and bust economies. These are devastating to those at the bottom and middle of the social structure. Economists and the wealthy try to defend greed as a function of a free market. But ‘free markets’ are a myth due to insufficient flow of information to consumers, which businesses support to maximize their own control of the market. The result is that accumulation of wealth is related more to luck and market manipulation than true supplied value or human performance. So, the justifications given for capitalism are myths. To combat these faults, a number of limitation need to be established. Some of these include: risk, business size, employee benefits and executive compensation.
One of the largest changes in the new society would be a very different structure for education. To understand this, you really have to clear your mind. The greed and competition in our society has screwed education up beyond all recognition. So we really have to build it back up from square one.
We would start with the fact that the new basis of society will be the individual. Individual fulfillment will then become a MAJOR objective of social institutions. Fulfillment is nurtured by education. So this sets the new foundation for education.
Education - primary and secondary
Element one is that the primary and secondary schools of a community will become fully functional COMMUNITY CENTERS. They will be open from early morning to late in the evening. They will include classes for all known subjects. They will include extended athletic centers. They will include new government supported health and legal centers. They will include major libraries. They will also be a full educational system for hobbies and personal development interests.
Curriculum change for healthcare, accounting and law.
There will be major changes in the curriculum. For example, at the secondary level, they will educate ALL citizens in basic HEALTHCARE, ACCOUNTING and LAW. All three institutions in the new society will be extensively streamlined. Most citizens will be able to manage most of their own health, accounting and legal concerns either from home or at their local community centers, without the involvement of doctors, accountants or lawyers.
Education - community colleges
Each community will also have one or more local community colleges which will provide basic workforce education as well as continuing education for ALL members of the society. Social growth through education will become a PRIMARY objective of society, with work and career roles a SECONDARY objective.
Education - major colleges - 3 systems
The undergraduate and graduate colleges shall be divided into three separate systems. One is for Advanced Specialty Training. The second is for Basic Scientific Research. The third is for Applied Social Research. The Advanced Specialty Training colleges are for professions like the Arts, engineering, medicine and law. The Scientific Research colleges are for basic research in things like physics, chemistry and biology. But they also cover all the other fields such as philosophy and law where new principles are sought. The Applied Social Research colleges are research colleges that focus specifically on social issues such as development of the social contract, study of the Seven Deadly Sins, and optimization of the National Opinion Collection system. But they also work with industry to develop programs that are needed to meet legal rules.
The entire educational system would be run as PRIVATE enterprises under a COOPERATIVE COMPETITION structure. They will be under the supervision of the office of the National Provost. The laws defining these institutions would not look like current laws. The laws would be required to show how the institutions address the goal of being primarily for the benefit of society, and each member in society individually. Let me read an example from Goodman, in Compulsory Mis-education, and the Community of Scholars,”
- “Finally, to fill a bad gap in our present framework of higher education, we need colleges for the altogether non-bookish, who nevertheless want to be informed and cultured citizens and to share in the experience of a college community. A model is the remarkable Danish Folk-Schools, where youngsters who have left school to go to work can return between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, to learn oral history, current events, practical science and the politics of science, and to act plays and play music.“
Education - integration into work life
& "Broadening Goodman’s concept leads into a picture of how education would merge with work and career. All of society would change to resemble a university. Work would be like going to the lab to do research. The idea of labor laws to keep children from working until they reach some age need to be revised. Most work environments would be designed to support life-long education. That education could occur at one of the schools or at the workplace itself. In this model, people flow smoothly between the shop floor and the school. So, children may start work very early in life if it fits their development goals. The primary guideline is that the employment must be aimed at the development of the individual, not on production of a product. For example, by 8 years old, students might want to try photography, or acting, or music. So, they can do that. But it’s not just a subject at school. It’s real life work. And they can move to other things as they find it meets their interests. The same concept will follow people their entire life and extend into every part of life. If you want to go mountain climbing, there would be a class for that and a club for that.”
Education - the problems of Youth
The problem of the ‘next’ generation% " Integration of the whole of our lives is the key point here. It’s the key to civilization. But there is one group that I’m most concerned about: YOUTH. Father. Do you have Richard Dawkins handy?”
+ "In fact, I do.”
% "Let’s see. It’s near the middle… Ah! You’ve got it marked. Page 174.”
Religious Indoctrination of Children
- “My specific hypothesis is about children. More than any other species, we survive by the accumulated experience of previous generations, and that experience needs to be passed on to children for their protection and well-being. Theoretically, children might learn from personal experience not to go too near a cliff edge, not to eat untried red berries, not to swim in crocodile-infested waters. But, to say the least, there will be a selective advantage to child brains that possess the rule of thumb: believe, without question, whatever your grown-ups tell you. Obey your parents; obey the tribal elders, especially when they adopt a solemn, minatory tone. Trust your elders without question. This is a generally valuable rule for a child.”
% "He then goes on to explain where the rule falls apart – which, in our society, is all over the place. He uses the moth as an example, explaining how an instinct for flying towards the moon became a catastrophe when humans introduced candles with flames. And that’s my fear. What happens as society starts to unravel? The youth will see the lies and incompetence. They will abandon their heritage.”
+ "But who says that’s bad? I know the section you are reading. Let me pick up where you left off.”
- “Natural selection builds child brains with a tendency to believe whatever their parents and tribal elders tell them. Such trusting obedience is valuable for survival: the analogue of steering by the moon for a moth. But the flip side of trusting obedience is slavish gullibility. The inevitable by-product is vulnerability to infection by mind viruses. For excellent reasons related to Darwinian survival, child brains need to trust parents, and elders whom parents tell them to trust. An automatic consequence is that the truster has no way of distinguishing good advice from bad. The child cannot know that 'Don't paddle in the crocodile-infested Limpopo' is good advice but 'You must sacrifice a goat at the time of the full moon, otherwise the rains will fail' is at best, a WASTE of time AND GOATS. Both admonitions sound equally trustworthy. Both come from a respected source and are delivered with a solemn earnestness that commands respect and demands obedience. The same goes for propositions about the world, about the cosmos, about morality and about human nature.”
% "And your point is?”
+ "My point is, it may be a tough haul for a few generations. But FINALLY, the new society may be able to break the logjam of superstitions from the thousands of different religions. When the youth see that their elders don’t have a clue what they’re doing, the youth will revolt. I’m sure of that.”
% "Yeah, MAYBE! But what if it goes the way of the Lord of the Flies? Hand the book back.”
- “Religious leaders are well aware of the vulnerability of the child brain, and the importance of getting the indoctrination in early. The Jesuit boast, 'Give me the child for his first seven years, and I'll give you the man,' is no less accurate (or sinister) for being hackneyed. In more recent times, James Dobson, founder of today's infamous 'Focus on the Family' movement, ':. is equally acquainted with the principle: 'Those who control what young people are taught, and what they experience - what they see, hear, think, and believe - will determine the future course for the nation.' “
+ "Yes. And that approach could easily lead us back to the Christian Dark Ages.”
Education - no graduation
"OK. You’ve said a whole lot of things. Let me ask a question here. If I understand this model right, there would be no set graduation time tables, right? Would that mean there wouldn’t be a need for grades either?”
& "Generally, that’s right about graduation. There could still be grade levels for specific subjects like English 1, 2, 3 etc. But students wouldn’t march through age related grade stages like they do now like armies in lockstep. A person would stay in English 1 until they learned the requirements to graduate from English 1. Each student would move through the system at their own pace. There would be NO time tables for graduations, because there would be no end to formal education. Sure, a person with the same engineering skills as a current college graduate might get a BS degree in mechanical engineering. But that would only get them a degree like BS ME 0, for example. After 5 more years of part time training, along with work training, that person might advance to level BS ME 5.”
Education – need for grades
+ "But the answer to your question about grades is no. Just as you told me during our first meeting, for someone who really sees education as a benefit, grades can be your friend. They tell you how well you are moving on your path. Well, they do the same for instructors who are trying to help you move along your path. So, subject grading would be an important part of the new educational system. Only, they wouldn’t be tied to grade levels like they are today.”
& "OFFICIAL SOCIAL STATUS will be renewed as an important element of society. It will determine salary and many special privileges. The most important feature of social status, however, is that it will be TOTALLY based on merit. It will have no connection to birth right and will not depend entirely on time. Secondly, it will be very narrow. A PhD Math 20 may be a highly regarded accomplishment by society, for example, but that wouldn’t give that person much standing in a football stadium.
Social status will be indicated by CREDENTIALS. Credentials would be determined both by history and current skills. Each credential would be expected to change over time and be indicated that way - PhD10, for example, or MD20. But these numerical values are NOT related to time. They are tied to experience and RETENTION in knowledge. An MD20, for example, might drop back to MD18 if skills are lost.”