Why Our Society Needs Balance

I was struck by an interesting if somewhat sideways observation from Ceasar Milan… ‘The Dog Whisperer’ when reading Scott Gould’s blog on Productivity vs Creativity

“Mother Nature always wants to be balanced. So there’s no age where they don’t want to return back to normal. I have worked with dogs that are 11 years old, 13 years old, which you witness in the show. I worked with a dog that was 13 years old that was extremely territorial to her food. And I was able to accomplish a calm, submissive state, which is allowing for you to create rules, boundaries and limitations. The mind backs away from the food. So in their world, they are always ready to balance. It’s the human who fights it.”

Finding Balance
It is in our nature to find balance, but our social conditioning has made us seek social reward, which is given for adhering to the norm. The ‘Overworked’ – work hard – play hard attitude prevails. Although there are nuances, based on social groupings, in the Western Capitalist societies this is the norm.

Social Conditioning
The nature of corporate driven consumer based capitalism, sucks value into monopolies and rewards hoarding. Capitalism needs balance. Democracy and the judicial system alone have failed to provide that balance, since political parties and judicial review is blinded by the status quo.

The very measure of success being more money = more rewarding is causing the problem.

The Hoarding of Value
The act of making money alone isn’t the problem. The systemic ability to hoard, capture, and suck that money up the wealth chain is. There has to be a reward for building, maintaining & improving. However, the current economic system needs to sell a consumable product, in order to improve next quarters revenue figures also has to socially condition you with advertising to want to buy that product.

Punishing sustainability
We don’t build sustainable products because they generate less reward in our current economic system.  That mechanism is the flaw, not the idea of capitalism all together.

Instead of rewarding quality, we reward the ability to make money.

I don’t believe for a second there was ever a master plan to get to this point, it just happened because we believed making money could only come from quality. Time has proven this naive.

Real Growth you can believe in ;)
The problem is, growth alone has been attributed to improved living standards. Growth = better life has been the economist’s, politician’s and business man’s Modus Operandi for decades, without clear evidence of that being the case. Growth = Better life FOR SOME.

The Right Kind of Rewards
Growth needs balance. Human’s are a creative species and will invent. This invention needs reward. A well timed reward reinforces good behavior. Yet our rewards system is geared towards hoarding finance. You can earn twice as much by knowing how others will do, than by doing.

Our Academic education system, has produced adults who have not been rewarded for doing regularly enough. Our social reward system (pay) is geared towards hoarding that pay towards those who can predict and engineer business reality.

How can you help?
The recent ‘Start Up Britain’ initiative is nice, but what we really need to do is re-dress this imbalance in society. I’d argue Game Theory and rewards in education have a role to play here, as well as rewards outside of money.

Your thoughts

  1. What other measurements of success can we bring?
  2. Can we bring balance to capitalism?
  3. What role does education play?
  4. Are you striving for what you need, or what you want?