Friday, November 26, 2010

Death of MIND in modern day human organizations


 The peril of Reason, and death of mind in modern day human organizations

Man would be able to use his Reason for any creative purpose only when he is free. A slave, or some one totally under any authority can use it only to work out the best way to please his master, an application of Reason to ensure one's survival.

After the fall of the authority of Church in history, the spirit of reason had a never before spurt in Europe. Modern Science was the result of this unusual period of freedom of mind in the modern history. But it was short lived. Science paved way for technology and industrial revolution. The authority of capitalists had replaced the old authority of church in human affairs, including governments. Economic power, or say,  'business acumen’ had replaced ‘physical strength’ for gaining mastery over men and society. A new cloud has set over man’s Reason again  - -of capitalistic control over human  affairs.. The spirit of inquiry and Reason had been bought over, and kept subdued by the new masters of society for increasing production, and to create a world of their choice.

How  Reason has been taken away from general public in (democratic) capitalistic societies?  Even after the inception of man’s own political system-Democracy-all over the world, how it has become a domain predominantly for the rich and powerful? Democracy was supposed to be the victory and embodiment of man’s Reason and wisdom. Despite it, how come it ended up again around the old myth of  power oriented establishment, power being the born enemy of  human Reason?

Free market does not mean freedom of mind for one and all!

How freemen and small-scale artisans of Europe were wooed to abandon their existing livelihood and join factories for ‘freedom’ was told many times in the communist literature.

The freedom of self-chosen job has given man his economic self reliability some how, but at the cost of losing a mind of his own. In modern corporate empires, an employee does not need his own mind. What he is expected to have is the ability to execute the mind and plans of the owner-entrepreneur. Every one gets specialized in one’s given field of activity so that he perform like the old time, specialist warriors under kings and emperors. Whether a lowly driver or a high end marketing wizard, the bottom line quality that would see him through his career  is this proven job efficiency.  He is never asked to incorporate any portion of his creativity in most cases - -the ability to internalize the likes and dislikes of the management by the worker is the most preferred attribute by any employer.

As said earlier, such grooming of oneself into a perfect tool for another man’s entrepreneurship skill naturally makes one’s individuality redundant. Capitalist entrepreneurs are yet to learn the value and advantage of making full use of his work man’s creativity, and keeping it free and vibrant.( of course rare exceptions are there !)

Yes…allowing the use of one’s free mind is anathema to ORDER of any sort, an obsession that no organization owner can free himself from. To maintain order, freedom must be curtailed. The old opinion of  Benjamin Franklin , one of the founding fathers US - - ‘those who desire to give up FREEDOM  in order to gain  security (ORDER) will not have, nor deserve, either one’ is an unknown value among majority of our corporate houses.  We, as a people, are yet to learn the high worth of the  natural ORDER that would emerge  automatically when man’s spirit is left free.

Obsession for  personal LOYALTY-  the infectious disease in Indian corporate

Another central quality of an employee that would be assessed in modern corporate houses is his LOYALTY towards the organization.  At many places, LOYALTY has more weightage  over EFFICIENCY.  Loyalty towards organization often would mean personal loyalty towards the key individuals at decision making level, NOT LOYALTY TOWARDS HIS GIVEN PROFESSIONAL WORK. Without this confidence over the loyalty of one’s subordinates, no organization can function as an efficient unit in any human organization, whether it is government or private. It helps to improve the confidence level of our corporate management force, though this is a dependency syndrome in close analysis that good managers have to do away with.

Though this obsession for loyalty may look harmless at first sight, it is  what compels an employee to kill his mind so that its freedom does not offend the mind of the one to whom he reports. Two independent minds can not go together unless both are free minded to explore the path of company’s progress together. But there exist very little scope for exploring  every one’s mind in our usual corporate set up. Barring a few at the top decision making level, the rest majority are expected to silently execute the decisions taken at top. Our management theories are yet to fully internalize the value of allowing the work-force to do the assigned duty using his own creativity too. It will irk the boss when the worker divert from the methods taught him.

In most of our modern corporate houses (there may definitely exist rare exceptions) knowing the art of maintaining the above loyalty level with the right person is the key for success. Speaking out own mind is anathema in such set-up. The key is knowing what the boss wants to hear. Emergence of truth and useful opinions from every mouth is the first casualty here. Every one  learns to kill own mind and creativity for ever, to make the task of survival at the job easy. Acting exactly as per order from above is the key for better survival.

There exist only very few in our corporate management class who are comfortable about the individuality of one’s subordinate ! The onus is with our innumerable business schools in the country to become aware of  the peril of Reason in the existing management value system and incorporate appropriate changes in the syllabus. Such a step would only enable our present generation to step into the next ladder in human civilization growth,with better mental health of our men.

Making effigies out of living entities in government offices.

The net result is serious, especially in our government offices. No one would dare to use own good judgment to handle a situation or a case, except  as per the mandate given from up. A deviation, if attempted would be at the cost of his chair. Hence our bureaucracy is notorious for inaction, passivity and red-tape. They are just blockades in the chain of country governance. It is a huge wastage  of  human creativity and free spirit. Men in our government offices are more effigies than living entities for this reason.

Making use of the fear factor

For gathering more power from situations and events, bosses often conceal total aspects of the issue delegated to his subordinates, tempting him to make mistakes so that he could draw more power out of the situation.

A driver is asked just to reach a destination in the given time frame - -a clerk is asked to complete a copying assignment, or an executive is arranged a meeting of signatories without sharing even essentials of the totality of the work.

Thus the work suffers from getting the natural common sense in put of the worker . He just performs a  mechanical completion of the assigned job as a stand alone event. Not providing full information on a delegated work is a usual diabolic strategy .  With these hidden inner dynamics of modern day organizations and its negative priorities, mind becomes a dreaded self botheration for the work force.

Fear is the most commonly used  strategy to ensure obedience. Indian bosses are infamous for their ability to terrorize the work force under them. Fear and excessive authority cripples mind and creativity. Reason would be last faculty expected of from such minds.

Annihilate one’s mind for ensuring survival

Ayn Rand says capitalism is the only system that ensures complete human free spirit and freedom. She is right as far as it applies to the entrepreneurs. Like poets and artists, they put to use all their free imagination and free spirit into his venture. He enjoys his creative freedom and its bliss! But a worker is free to choose his employer and the job, but what all his employers would prefer is he with out his mind. They prefer him with his mind castrated. It is the last item he is expected to possess for successful employment. What is important to run his business is people who could efficiently execute what he has planned. He prefers people who could easily abandon their selves and amalgamate it with his self and priorities.

In the political field, this predominant tendency of our organizations has resulted in keeping governmental formation and country administration into a very specialized dynamics of its own, always avoiding mind and it reasoning faculty. It is not Reason that rules the affairs of government, but the irrational, or the ill informed opinion of the key persons.  Here no one in the group would speak out  rational ways, or offer genuine solutions for the given problem, fearing displeasure of the boss, or the possible controversies it may cause for his department.

When one is engaged in a diplomatic discussion with a foreign country expressing frank opinion to end the crisis may even be branded as non-patriotic by the media, or interested stake holders! It may isolate him in the coteries.  Solution of the problem becomes no one’s priority, but ensuring one’s seat is. Keeping  one’s name in the book of loyal people of the boss is an unavoidable priority. Even during the sincere brain storming sessions of corporate and government meetings, objective analysis of the issue in question would be the first casualty with our dreaded norms of pleasing the boss. Hence, mind and Reason are not at all at work in our country at any level of its policy or decision making ! It is a dreaded plain truth!!.

When one has adopted this self-annihilation technique, he becomes victim of a sort, and will not stand any one around him who keeps the flame of mind intact. At every level, such mind annihilated men will  attempt to develop and keep his own group of similarly loyal men around him. A total blacking out of the mind and freedom of individuality would be the net result. 

Individuality and freedom of mind have no practical relevance in the scheme of things in the above narrated  corporate atmosphere. One’s successful existence is purely depend upon his top grading in the good books of the people who matters. Speaking out one’s mind is the most risky act in our bureaucratic and corporate atmosphere. Speaking in the tune of the ones who matters is the key for the success of the business, and one’s best tactics for survival.

No one down the ladder prefers to speak out, or act out. Silence and non-action without orders from up is the safest policy for survival. Such silence and abstinence from pro-active action definitely begets its reward from the top, whether it is from a private entrepreneur or top  bureaucrat in government - - such silent work force is the most sought after support system by any  government, or successful business house of today.

Like the castrated men the old Mughal emperors kept for guarding their harems of queens, work force in modern corporate and government organizations feel  safe in  castrating  their mind first, for ensuring successful existence. Mind becomes a burden. It is better not to have it. Or else one’s means of subsistence would cease.

Talks on freedom and individuality are waste exercise. If you are so particular about your individuality and freedom, you are free to choose sitting at home and enjoy your freedom!

If our business has to grow and contribute towards country’s GDP, you have to choose between your freedom and your daily bread - -this  is the stand of our corporate bosses It is a dead lock. Shutting your mind for the sake of your bread is what the system wants. No one has any escape from this system. Ayn Rand defines freedom as freedom from physical coercion in its fundamental term. Though there is seldom any physical coercion at work places, she could not observe the mental coercion that works equally effective  in our capitalistic  organizations. 

An ultimate  work place culture that involves using creativity of the entire work force, without suffocating no one’s sense of self-worth, would not only liberate man’s Reason but also contribute largely towards overall productivity. It is yet to evolve in the value system of the Indian corporate sector.

The phenomenon of self annihilated men getting possessed by living ‘spirits’

Such self annihilated men are a real public risk. We are familiar with psychic cases of men  possessed by spirit of dead people. But psychology is yet to become aware of the phenomenon of real world spirits possessing otherwise normal people in the modern day highly ‘collectivized’ society. The so called ‘lumpen’ elements who loot and kill in riot like situations are in fact psychically sick people possessed by the ‘spirit’ of the collective. He unknowingly internalize the spirit of the impersonal crowd around him and act like a non-person, a diabolic spirit. When one’s self is annihilated in the above described situations, his  rational faculties are also  lost, making him susceptible to possessing easily by such dangerous spirits. A crowd has real ghostly strength, impersonal in nature. Men who have lost own mind in the impersonal crowd, a very common syndrome of our age, often fall victim of this phenomenon.

A similar but very usual case is such self annihilated people get possessed by the spirit of  AUTHORITY, or the POWER of one’s master. Excess control, and the display of authority of the masters of men ( in governmental authority, and in corporate authority of the rich and the affluent) often turns many men under such situations 'self annihilated'.

We have already learned that authority often cripples and disfigure rational faculties of men under its spell. They often gets possessed by the spirit of their masters knowingly, and turn dangerous. Their natural faculties as an individuals are already lost.

They often inflict the same kind of humiliation they had suffered  from the hands of their  masters upon the victims who fall under them. The police men who turn torturous and cruel are the best example of this phenomenon. In the corporate atmosphere, the close aids of the person in  highest authority often fall victim to this phenomenon. They  often take pleasure in the power of the masters and act on their behalf, inflicting pain and cruelty upon the defenseless. The class of middle men, or the coterie around the most powerful man in the corporate houses are the best example of this psychic phenomenon. Number of these irrational class of men are getting increased day by day in our society today, reducing the quality of life as a whole on the planet.

Story of the role of the close aids of historical tyrants like Hitler etc. are best examples of this phenomenon. No powerful can exist and act with out the help of such close aids.  

The process of ‘indoctrination’ of  religious believers by  extremist elements will also come under similar psychic phenomenon. The spell of inciting speeches by political leaders unleashed upon hapless party workers and followers is also nothing different. Spirit of alien ideas behold them and equip them to spread mayhem and terror.

Laws of the land should come forward to safe-guard citizens from  such violation of the rights of mind by interested parties.  Our brilliant legal minds could format laws to curb this dangerous, but open norm of the day. Leaders of all kind, especially the political leaders  often sway the minds of the followers and instigate them to act according to their will.

Democracy, man’s own political system, must mature itself to understand and curb such tendencies of controlling minds of hapless people. Such step only would lead us to enter the next ladders in our civilizational progress.

Wisdom of the age in restoring and maintaining adequate self-esteem of citizens at all walks of life and creating social values and norms around such natural need of man is the way out from saving people from such psychic forces affecting their minds. 

Nation’s mental heath research centers, criminology research centers and universities may come forward to study more on the above phenomena. As Nobel prized author Albert Camus wrote, 'an age can truly be called civilized only when it starts sending its criminals to mental asylums instead of jails'.

The hidden class of middlemen in the establishment

The situation now is dangerously in the opposite direction, caused mainly, one should admit, with the existence of a middle men class who has made a profession, a creed, a value system of it around the glory of successful men in every field. To call this class of men mere sycophants may be an under-statement- -this class is the pillar of any society. They are smart, shrewd men who make the best of both the worlds, and are the real runners of the so called mainstream in every society at all the ages in history.

 They channel the power of the powerful to flow systematically and silently into the society. They fix every one to his/her pre-set place. They speak authoritatively as if they  represent the establishment. They help to make the powerful feel their power. They also make the power of the masters felt  by the victims. They make the common man  feel their helplessness, and the worthlessness to cross limits!  This class of men is the bed-rock of any society. They enjoy their closeness with the powerful and unleash  their wrath against the rebellious. They can brand any one as the enemy of the establishment, and direct the wrath of the master against him, a traditional job of this class, not only in the antiquity of the past but also in the modern day human organizations. Every tyrant in history had this class of middlemen around them, the real enemies of man’s freedom.

In our modern society also, fact of the existence of this middle-men class is a day light reality. One would be sad to accept that modern day’s Media perform the function of this middlemen class, directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly. They help the establishment at every age to spread their myths, values and idiosyncrasies into the mainstream society. They create realities of the age, though without any negative intention. It is their livelihood and presumed sacred profession and role in society!

In our modern societies, the banishment of Reason and freedom of mind in the mainstream is the direct result of their act of omission, an act of  media’s vicious passivity!

When the political leader class with all the enthusiasm has ended up as partners of the former n the name of democracy, the only one class who could have helped opening up the eyes of every one, the MEDIA, has ended up as the most obedient ushers and drummers for both the above groups, leaving our age truly orphaned. As seen above, their act is not intentional, but a part and parcel norm of their profession.

 This middle men class ensures that  the voice of the  successful only to be heard in the world. They do not benefit by making the voice of the lesser privileged heard. World is after the most successful, the ones who can keep the mouth of the majority shut but feed their bellies full. This shutting off the majority of people from the mainstream in this way is the net outcome of capitalistic system. World exists for these high end 15% of the population those who holds almost 85% world’s wealth. This ratio was said to be 25% and 75% few decades ago.

 A reviewing of the fundamentals of the role of the Media in carrying an age to its next ladder in civilization is, hence, a more urgent need of the day!

The neurotic fight among the vanquished for capturing some relevance

Such a mind blacked out atmosphere in capitalistic organizations has few dangerous side evils also other than the peril of human Reason. It is the tendency of ‘conning’ each other that develops naturally in such societies. Every one attempts to out -smart the other in daily life on the street, and at offices. India is one best example.

As no one experience  real freedom or dignity of self at work places or at government facilities, every one competes with each other for  some ‘importance’. As  only affluence or governmental authority ensures social acceptance and respect, a good amount of ‘pretense’ is enacted by every one to look important, (in affluence or authority)  or at least important than the other. This is very common an attribute of people with underdeveloped self esteem. They not only pretend to be relevant and important than the other in the daily act of life, but also will engage in leg pulling of the other at every opportunity.

 Every one is a competitor for some ‘space’ in life, hence they are forced to wear a protective expression of aggressiveness in the market, as well as work places. At the slightest provocation, these victims flare up and get ready for verbal, and or even physical aggression.

These self lost men are the ones who form the lumpen elements, who indulge in looting and even killing during riots and mass aggressions.

Shift of  relevance from human rights to economic rights

Belly is more relevant than a free mind! Ayn Rand, the most ardent supporter  of the capitalist system ( at the same time the most vicious opponent for mixed  economy) of the modern age has correctly  pointed out the reason for today’s lack of respect for mind by governments - -she says the predominance of economic freedom over mind’s freedom  has caused the diabolic shift. Modern day democratic governments that runs in close liaison with the corporate sector are aiming to keep its people reasonably fed, as if in refugee camps. The sole subject matter of country running is all about improving its GDP. Though providing citizen his individual dignity is also a top item in the constitution, the latter has, unfortunately, gained  predominance.

The central motivation behind all human behaviour- establishing one’s dignified entity- has been wrongfully ignored in the current political philosophy.  We have gone back to our savage time social system of  ‘might is right’. If it was physical strength that decided human affairs then, it is economic and political strength that sets rules of life now.

As seen above, the only ones who enjoy complete freedom in its metaphysical meaning is the entrepreneurs and the political leaders who are the active partners in the running of modern day capitalistic democracies. When the entrepreneur is the King at his business place, political leaders and bureaucrats are Kings on their seats.  Setting up the business was the victory of his high imagination, his free spirit and tactful use of resources at his disposal, whereas the ones whom he hires for running his business are required to be silent means of implementing his mind. He does not need their mind and free spirit, but only their silent obedience.

This tacit understanding between an entrepreneur and his workforce is the key factor that ensures the success of his business. A business house is  fundamentally a human organization, like a unit of soldiers in a war. Achieving the result , the target, is the sole purpose of the organization. Free minded individuals would be a liability than an asset in such scheme of things.

A capitalist country consist thousands and thousands of such small and big business houses and  similar number of government offices. A good percentage of citizens consists its work force.

Hence large scale blocked minds in such a country is a naked reality.

Does any one need any further explanation for all around conflicts and violence arising from all corners of  capitalistic and socialistic( communist) world?  Suppression of mind and freedom is, without doubt, the mother cause of violence and upheavals. 

There is a way out to free the minds

When capitalism provides freedom  for men to becomes winners in all fields, it definitely produce losers as well. As there is no alternative to Capitalism in the world, what such societies could bring forth is an appropriate scientific attitude to deal with fellow men of all sorts  who are often not part of the free market of mutual competition. Such attitude should not be the burdensome morality of ‘ALTRUISM’ as Ayn Rand accused.

We can take a lesson or two from the latest science of ECOLOGY to handle the issue.  While man feared and killed Tigers and snakes in the past, now they realized the folly of up setting the balance of nature by doing so. We have grown in wisdom and Reason now to take care of Tigers and thousands of such extinction threatened animals and plants on the planet.  

 This ecological wisdom can now be adopted towards one’s fellow being too.  He is the first and the closest in our environment. Treating him badly and violating his sense of freedom and self-hood can be compared to  polluting our  rivers and the ozone layer. When  one cause violation of the other man’s right to freedom and dignity, we are creating social pollution!

A new philosophy of life when built around the above common sense wisdom of man, it would be neither  true right ( capitalism) nor true left (Communism) but a straight path based on nature’s freshly understood law. Our age can confidently review Darwin’s old law of the survival of the fittest also for searching for an alternative energy system that moves life forward, as the science of ecology and the theory of the ‘struggle for survival’  does not match each other at many fundamentals.

Hence, not out of altruism that modern capitalist society must care for its fellow being  but from the sense of cause and effect, and as a result of his wisdom and Reason.

This third alternative is the need of  our time. Only our media are capable of realizing these fundamental in our age - -no other strata  can grasp its link with the rot of mind happening around us today. Liberating the mind is the sole course of action to prevent all future wars, and present day violence and terrorism.

Democracy has another famous definition from the same Abraham Lincoln but less heard-“As I would not be a slave, I won’t be a master too. This explains my idea of Democracy”.  When today’s men abandon their neurotic desire to be masters over fellow men, it will be the ultimate victory of  man’s Reason.

By: Abraham Joseph, Founder secretary, Conscience of the society- an NGO for philosophic initiatives into Causes of Reason, Fraternity and reinventing democracy.


Twitter: Voice of Philosophy@jopan1


Post script: Link to a paper from a management student from UK, that supplements the above theme on modern management theory and practice is given here: