Thursday, January 08, 2009

"Organicism" - The Vital Constraint To Consider In Policy Analysis

I both develop and put my theories to the test primarily by doing samples of how various people who I listen to argue their own points.

As I make my rounds sampling both Black talk radio and "Right Wing" talk radio I have come to make note of certain patterns that various operatives make use of on both sides as a means of controlling their own narrative so that they look most favorable.

With this in mind the popular topic of discussion today among Black folks appears to be the Economy.....and how George W Bush and the Republicans have screwed it up during their years in power. Of course you know - "Bush was handed a surplus when he assumed office".

This blog is about cultural constructs rather than politics so I will stop right there.

What I do need to put forth is a reaffirmation of the vital importance of "ORGANIC" sources of development and prosperity as we consider the value of a given set of policy initiatives.

The competing constructs under debate relate to a people's "Standard of Living". These dual concepts focus upon how this standard is attained and retained.

On the one side there is what I call "Being In Receipt Of Benefit". On the other side I have "Organicism".

The theory of "Being In Receipt Of Benefit" focuses on the political and activist based struggle to align public resources for the benefit of a given group of people. They will point to "social justice" as the primary qualifying agent for these resources to be directed in such a manner. The person's membership in the nation and, in some cases a reference to "basic human dignity" are the grounds by which the intermediary force of the government should step in and redirect these resources according to this higher calling.

Let me be clear and say that I am not condemning this strategy outright. Indeed there are protected classes of people who need such protection from the elements lest they perish. Certainly young children, the elderly and the infirmed of any age qualify for this. It seems to me that the debate is about the boundaries there in. Some prefer an expansive boundary. Others want modest boundaries. There is a correlation between the net receivers of the benefit being for the expansion and the net contributors (via government fiat) preferring modesty.

At the other end is the concept of "organicism". This is the measure by which a group of people are able to produce the standard of living that they seek via their own organization and industry.

The often unspoken concept of value in this debate is the issue of competence and skill that is developed by a people who's fate rests in their own industriousness and/or their need to solve problems based on the management of the human resources that are before them.

In my experience in my professional career and as a manager of my home and finances - I've learned the importance of defining the domain within which I will operate and then applying certain problemsolving/troubleshooting methodologies so that the problem is chipped away at AND a more permanent fix to the problem is developed via the correction of my behavior so that the problem is resolved. Thus this corrective behavior becomes inculcated into my own actions in the future.

The primary flaw of "Contentment By Being In Receipt Of Benefit" is that the group effort becomes focused on DEMAND rather than SUPPLY (the ability to supply there in). Indeed the group might receive benefit from certain economic development programs, food sustenance programs or supplemental education that train them for some menial job. The greater truth, however, is that this group has only learned to demand OF and to operate WHEN the "supplier" has delivered that which the people has demanded of them.

It is when the domain gets parceled down to the point where the people in question must be their net own suppliers that the key flaw in the strategy of "contentment by being in receipt of benefit" is shown. This can be seen today with respect to the change in the operating assumptions of cities. The city was once formed from a plot of "unincorporated land". Upon the aggregation of enough human, land, industrial, natural and economic resources a band of leaders decided to petition the state for a city charter. The assumption back then was that this chartered plot of land acknowledged its relative self-sufficiency via its functioning order. The request for the charter expressly said "though we currently receive our municipal services from and pay our taxes to the county or the state - we now want to define a domain in which our resources are concentrated so that a certain synergy can be had by the people contained within". By definition the purpose of the city was to focus resources more locally rather than having them diluted among the span of many people.

Today's political theories could not be more different.

As cities become functionally insolvent - instead of formally "dis-incorporating" as would a company who is no longer viable would do - they instead demand that the state or the federal government RESUME the same funding relationship that was present prior to incorporation. The key difference being that they continue to pay their taxes to the local corporate entity. Their excess demands are paid by the states and the federal government.

There has been a growing abstraction between the need for the domain in question's living and consumption standards and their ability to produce in support of this standard. Thus I conclude that much of that which is seen as a failing of the poor is also true upon the broader hierarchy of government that all of us live under. The later only has more credit and/or the ability to print money to continue their exorbitant lifestyle.

In summary "contentment by being in receipt of benefit" can only ever be a temporary phenomenon. More than relying on "credit" it relies on the "confidence game" that someone else will honor the standard that they are asked to place value into - be it the worth of a human or the value of the dollar.

In both cases if the credit granter refuses this valuation - the credit seeking party is doomed for a collapse.


cnulan said...

warsocialism has driven national insolvency and is by its very nature entirely inorganic.

a fair and uniform application of your critical standard to the warsocialist enterprise would constitute a direct and devastating indictment on the unsustainable system of production in which you are embedded and on which you depend.

At the end of the day, while you can cut your grass and rake your leaves, I seriously doubt your ability to produce, procure, prepare and preserve your own food with anything even remotely approaching the efficiency of an illiterate, illegal Guatemalan immigrant peasant.

As an organic agent/actor - the peasant is exponentially more valuable than you are and your continued existence and resource consumption comprises a tumor as it were on the operation of the "organic" system of production.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]warsocialism has driven national insolvency and is by its very nature entirely inorganic. [/quote]

My good friend cnulan.
Why THANK YOU for contributing to my collection of thoughts.

You know some times I honestly do get frustrated because I at times see you as a "graffiti" artist against my works. Then I realize that I inject my share of levity upon your propaganda site.

I do have a question for you though Mr. Nulan.

If you say that WAR SOCIALISM is the cause for all of our ailments - how do you place this spending in the context of the OVERALL spending in the federal governmnet?

Did you notice that your boy Obama talked about cutting SOCIAL ENTITLEMENTS rather than MILITARY SPENDING?

With the big 3 entitlements up to $1 trillion per year and growing to $2 trillion every year in 10 years - do you REALLY think that it is "War Socialism"?

Or did Naomi Kline convince you of this?