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2 comments, In Series: Alternative Economics 101: Tax Your Imagination!

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13. The Anatomy of Hierarchy, from Alternative Economics 101 - TAX Your Imagination!

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Progress is change in a single direction, not the cyclical madness of boom and bust. Progress requires both personal virtue and organizational participation. "The Good' must be defined correctly and refined going forward. "Changing with the times' can be good or ill. An institution that was liberating yesterday could be enslaving today, and even worse tomorrow. Change is good when we are expanding our recognition of virtue. Only virtue can bring the one and the many into balance.

Every individual is a part of a family, business, religion and government. We are all laborers within a division of labor system. The more we battle, the less we produce. The more we cooperate, the more we succeed.

Certain principles should inform all our choices. We need intellectual, social and physical order to survive. Yet, many organizations exist to blunt the ill effects of other organizations. The righting of wrongs drives as much activity as the creation of wrongs drives inefficiency. Hypocrisy is the result of contradictory principles and false perspectives. For society to advance, it is necessary for individuals and all types of organizations to find the right balance. We are creating problems for one another, rather than cooperating. All organizations, because of the monetized and competitive hierarchal structure that exists, can fall prey to hypocrisy and corruption.

Common Patterns

Hierarchy has an anatomy, regardless of its purpose. Virtue and prejudice are the result of indoctrination. To contain dissonance, we need to analyze the tools of conformity. Substance is more important than process.

Leaders share a common expectation of followers, and followers have a common expectation of leaders. Everyone is expected to abide by the groups' definitions (abstract), values (social), and behavior (physical). Each organization has its own Big History model of ethics that it follows, just as we do as individuals. 

 Both virtue and prejudice are taught the same way. We can do a great job of teaching the wrong things. The same food nourishes the sane and the insane within ourselves. A new government is formed after the overthrow of an old government. A new religion is born that overthrows an old religion. There is an attempt to replace dissonance with something new. The new thing may be, or become, a new dissonance. There is no systemic way to ensure that only the white wolf is fed. Courage, reason and compassion must be in balance. We all must set a better example for one another today. We cannot live on yesterday's accomplishments. Tradition can inform us, but not guide us. Yet, every hierarchy exists because of tradition.

False Language Distinctions

Organizations are structurally similar. There is a leader, administrators, workers, followers/clients, and outsiders. What is needed and expected are the same, but they get described differently. For example, the revenue streams in the non-profit realm (a church or university) are described as donations. The government's revenues are called taxes. A business' revenues are called sales. A bank's revenues are interest and fees. For an individual, revenues are wages. For an investor, revenues might be described as capital gains; for a gambler, winnings.

The process of collecting revenue is described differently, too. The church collects tithes, whereas a civic organization has dues. A magazine or newspaper charges a subscription. An insurance company has a policy premium. Once collected, the retained wealth after expenses can have a new name, too. In an non-profit, wealth is called an endowment; in a government, it is a stabilization fund; in a business, it is cash reserves; for an individual, it is their retirement savings. All these different names imply something different is occurring, but the behavior for all is the same.

Language of Organization-Money by Steve Consilvio

The Cost of Living within a monetized economy requires a revenue stream. No entity is exempt. It is a peculiar thing to use so many words to describe the same thing. The eskimos have many words to describe the texture of snow, but in this case, it is all just money. Money is money is money, and therein lies the problem. Money is being handled the same way (buy-low sell-high) by everyone. The labels imply a special circumstance, and imply a certain gravitas of the group, but these titles falsely mask the nature of common behaviors. Every organization must have a revenue stream, a collection receipt, cash holdings and expenses. Similar naming patterns occur with other organization-centric terminology regarding ideas, feelings and actions

The leader's title changes based on the organization. In America, the terms president and chief are common. There is the President of the United States, the President of the Senate (the Vice-President), the Commander-in-Chief, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The same terms occur in lower levels of government. The state supreme court has a Chief Justice. States have Governors who are the Chief Executive of their state. Cities and towns have a police chief and a fire chief. Businesses and non-profits have Presidents and Chief Executive Officers. Within religion, the terms Pope, Rabbi, Spiritual Leader, Mullah and Reverend are used. In all cases, the terms are used to describe the top of some hierarchy, and that person is expected to act in a certain way in regard to the established ethos of the organization. The title reflects the broadness of authority. A district manager, or middle manager, oversees other managers and supervisors, and so on down the line. A big brother is in charge of a little brother.

Much like the chicken or the egg question, it is difficult to separate which came first: the person, the title or the organization? They spontaneously appear together. Once an organization is established, an individual can only rise to the top by accepting the indoctrination of the organization. This helps to explain why each empire and all organizations remain locked in a perpetual struggle. The individual can change roles, but the roles and expectations within the organizations are difficult to change.

Every organization has a desire for maximum revenue, maximum loyalty, maximum participation and maximum identification. Eric Hoffer, in his book "True Believers: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements," wrote that the purpose of propaganda was not to convince others, but to convince oneself. Language and titles are a form of propaganda. Propaganda is considered to be a modern phenomenon, but it actually follows the ancient format of religious identification. Brand loyalty, nationalism, ethnicity and party identification are all held as dearly as any religious belief. We may change what we worship, but nature of worship is unchanged.

Language of Organization-Identity by Steve Consilvio

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Steve grew up in a family business, was a history major in college, and has owned a small business for 25 years. Practical experience (mistakes) have led him to recognize that political rhetoric and educated analysis often falls short of reality. (more...)
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YAY!!! Another great installment of worthy teachin... by Daniel Penisten on Thursday, Oct 24, 2013 at 12:49:07 PM
There are some great insights in this article, but... by Derryl Hermanutz on Thursday, Oct 24, 2013 at 5:12:32 PM