|USA Edition||Today Is Thursday December 12th, 2013|
|We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob - Franklin Delano Roosevelt|
|Browsing Materials Tagged MBA think||Organized In Date Order||[ 33 items ]|
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… we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, November 19, 1863
Our forefathers conceived and consecrated a three-dimensional nation — one intentionally made to accommodate different aspirations, disparate views, shared purpose. Democracy, the kind paid for in blood by this nation’s founding generation, and renewed with the blood of each ensuing generation, is a rational, consensus-driven way to deal with complex issues.
Mr. Lincoln might have described our era as government of the ignorant, by the affluent, and for the self-appointed.
America prospered when notions of we were stronger than yearnings for easy money.
The pluralist notions that underlay American values were articulated by a troubled president seeking to mend a deeply divided nation. It was one hundred fifty years ago today that Abraham Lincoln spoke of his nation and its pain at the blood-stained battlefield at Gettysburg.
What he spoke about that day is the stuff of legend: Government of the people, by the people, for the people.
Lincoln’s America, as is the one we have so damaged today, is not a nation of singularity, but one of multiple dimensions and viewpoints.
Democracy works best when people share widely divergent viewpoints and perspectives yet have to work with one another to reach agreement.
Negotiating toward consensus is the essence of democracy in action.
Near the end of the 19th Century, education philosopher John Dewey, a newly arrived education scholar at the University Of Chicago, set in place the foundations for the Chicago Lab School. Dewey’s experimentalist attitudes led him to make democracy, both theory and practice, part of the childhood education process.
Democracy works best when people share widely divergent viewpoints and perspectives yet have to work with one another to reach agreement. Negotiating toward consensus is the essence of democracy in action.
By the time Dewey landed at Columbia University’s Teachers College, he and other education philosophers, including Calvinist-inspired Boyd Bode at Ohio State, formalized their thinking on early education’s critically important role in training democracy’s future power source: schooled, informed and patriotic citizen-electors.
What came out of Dewey’s work was the progressive era in American public schools that knowingly and intentionally taught millions of Americans how to live, work and prosper in a democratic society. For seven decades American school children learned how to live and participate in a nation of the people, by the people, for the people.
During that seven decades America rose from a nation with immense potential to one of immense power, influence and wealth. There were many reasons for America’s rise to prominence. From the election of Theodore Roosevelt, to the onset of the Ronald Reagan administration in 1981, American democracy worked, government worked, and there arose in every state a prosperous middle-class.
Two eyed, three-dimensional America prospered. It became the most respected and trusted of all nations. Americans agreed on little, but government worked — sometimes poorly, but most times very well.
Political parties had liberal and conservative wings. Ideas mattered more than beliefs. Knowledge was respected, wisdom cultivated, and democracy practiced at all levels of government border-to-border. While not flawless, democracy worked well enough to give ordinary Americans confidence in themselves and their country.
Science, knowledge, education and metrics ( measurement and polling ) spread through American colleges and universities. Singular thinking took root in science and engineering. Next were business schools who shifted their philosophical perspective from stakeholder-driven management that favored long-term survival to what was cheapest, fastest and most efficient. Being efficient, managing the bottom line, and quarterly earning growth became mainstream.
Managing a business that served many stakeholders and interests became passé. By the time baby-boomers reached college, specialization — based on a single goal and incentives became the mantra of the nation’s business schools.
Where once America’s success was measured in three-dimensions, across many disciplines and interests, some social, some political, and some cultural, the new American model for nearly everything was singular.
Our country has not taught democracy since the Lyndon Johnson administration. The Boomer generation now approaching retirement had little or no schooling on democratic theory or experience at consensus building — let alone practical deal-making.
What was a successful multiparous democracy thus evolved into One Eyed America — a nation single minded and, absent consideration of side effects and unintended consequences, simple-minded: Deal making is seen as failure when it is the foundation of national survival and success.
Boomers, and their children, appear to believe that only their point of view has merit. Do whatever you must, no matter any other consideration, good or bad, lawful or not, to optimize profitability and warrant incentive rewards for the doers.
The consequences are now at hand.
A nation of criminal banks, institutions and corporations who openly and lawfully purchase seats in the Congress for their supporters and agents.
News and journalism whose prime mission is profitability and only profitability.
Athletic institutions that have abandoned sportsmanship and joyful competition in favor of television programs whose purpose is to convert eyeball counts into bottom line results.
A healthcare system predicated on fee-for-service opportunities no matter the ultimate cost to society.
A political system that once produced solutions to complex problems — turned single-minded, dysfunctional and angry.
One-eyed America cannot pass a national budget. Or fashion policies supportive of honesty, integrity or middle-class survival.
American politics have taken on the trappings of terrorist progenitors who proffer the stupidest and loudest voices in the name of idealistic purity.
Mr. Lincoln might wonder how our era turned government of the people, by the people, for the people into government of the ignorant, by the affluent, and for the self-appointed.
As do I. May it soon perish from the earth.
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