Above everything else, man is a social creature. Deprived of contact with others, a man will become demented in four days. All organisations — in government, business, religions and interest-groups — become saturated with what can be called modern-day hunter-gatherer groups. There’s always a pecking order within them, sometimes unobtrusively, sometimes very obviously. In very large, pyramidal-type organisations all the groups that comprise them also tend to be layered in terms of influence and power.
The big problem in organisations with many layers is that the leaders of every group — the managers — tends to seek the survival and prosperity of his own group rather than the organisation as a whole. He therefore will tend to manipulate or even falsify information that’s flowing up or down the pyramid in the interest of his group. The organisation soon starts to become badly inefficient.
In the last 50 years, many of the largest businesses have learned to cope with this by lateralising as many of its groups as possible and making them largely self-managing. This is something that the National Health Service will have to do sooner or later or otherwise maintain its present heading for disaster.
After over a month’s stay in hospital I am now back at home, looked after my partner Jan and also two home carers selected each day from a long list of trained home carers supervised by Care South. Each carer spends 45 minutes here either in the morning or at bedtime, keeping me clean and dealing with some intimate aspects of body care I can no longer physically manage — and will not mention in detail here!
In age — most of them are women — they range from younger than 18 year-olds to some approaching their 60s. In size between skinny and the well-endowed, they are all fit and sturdy enough to hold me when I’m in danger of falling. There is one characteristic of all of them which I have never met before. They all love their jobs — and they say this with an exuberance which cannot be doubted.
One of them searched for me on the net and discovered All is Status. I am now told that several of my home carers now read my blog every day and, what’s more, say they enjoy doing so. So saying, I raise my afternoon cup of tea to the wonderful body of home carers who genuinely care for their customers.
Overnight, the Clinton-Trump saga unwound further with only 11 days to go. The FBI have reason to be suspicious of “criminal” emails emanating from the Clinton election team and her own private computer server. If reinforced, this evidence could, legally, amount to treason and her impeachment.
This further investigation is probably unlikely to affect the Election but it will probably throw up more mud that will stick to Hillary Clinton. When elected, she’ll get no honeymoon period and we’ll be straight into the nasty side of politics — one aspect of government that played a large part in the rise of Trump in the first place.
An item in my paper today says that “Britain, the maritime nation, turns its back on sailing.” The evidence for this? Apparently, regular yachters have declined by 20% from 10 years ago.
Verdict? Rubbish !
The reality these days is that the number of specialisations is growing from month to month — whether in the number of professions at work or in leisure pursuits. The upper middle-class are chasing many more different sorts of animals down holes than ever before.
My economic theory — to be published on this blog-site soon — has some strong implications about the next 50 years or so. The main one is that the total manufacturing output of the world wll be roughly the same as it is now/ It may slide a little due to the automatic gain in energy efficiency — the Law of Least Effort — or it may gain somewhat as China finally sells consumer goods to the remaining middle-class markets dotted around the world.
What about some individual countries? China will continue to develop until its economy stabilises at an average middle-class standard of living. America and this country will continue to grow modestly as they both feel their way into the sophisticated services of the new post-industrial era. Germany will continue to do well until China starts building its own more advanced engineering goods which it presently imports from Germany.
What about the rest? This is mainly about 180 undeveloped countries. These will be joined by about a dozen that aspire to be developed but will fail and about a dozen more that we already consider to be advanced but will also subsequently fail because they don’t create the necessary new ideas for the new era.
The standard of living of the people of all the above countries will gradually increase only if they learn to reduce their birth-rates steeply. Some of them could do very well indeed if they are also able to develop specialised ecological tourist sites for holiday makers in the advanced countries.
What I forgot to add to my previous blog is that, once the monster high street banks were split into smaller regional and city groups, each group should then be treated as a separate business, subject to company law — as they were in this country in the 19th century. This means that, at a time of a financial crisis, the incipient collapse of the whole system as in 2008 is not threatened. Instead, a much smaller numbers of banks — perhaps only individual ones in some cases — would be forced into bankruptcy and doesn’t seriously shock the whole national or world economy as 2008 did.
High street banks are finding it increasingly tough going so we are informed in today’s papers. One of the reasons is that the bank regulators in all the advanced countries are forcing banks to raise their reserves ratios from about 0% (as in 2008) to 8% (pre-2008 requirement) and through further to 12 – 15%. Before the 1914-18 war, most banks had reserves between about 15% and 30% of their liabilities [credit issued] and some even higher. Regulators might want to re-adopt these ratios in the years to come.
Besides this, the other highly desirable reform that was much talked about in the early years of the 2008 Crisis, but neglected now, is to split up over-large-banks into regional or city-based ones — as they were before the 1914-18 war. If this had been in place in 2008 the Crisis would never have developed so rapidly.
The Darwinian and Wallacian principle that the fittest of every generation tend to survive and have fit offspring over the longer term compared with the weakest of the generation is sill important. However, it has been more recently realized that evolution can much more quickly adjust to changing circumstances in the environment — which includes the economy as well as the natural environment.
This is achieved by sexual selection in addition to general selection. By this, the females of a species, including ourselves, choose males from as high up the ability range as possible as being more likely to be a dependable father to her children. Social status, generally, is a good guide to this natural quality control of our genes from generation to generation.
Also, all social species need clear individual leadership. This is most efficiently achieved by the emergence of a single person at the most senior social level in every organisation — political, business or religious. This usually occurs after years of a mutual sifting process throughout boyhood, adolescence and young adulthood.
The income and wealth differential (I&W) between Chinese Emperor Qin in 200BC and the farm worker of his time was probably several million to one. The I&W of an English aristocrat and his farm worker of the 18th century was probably of the order of 5,000 to 1 — that of a Victorian industrialist and a steel worker probably about 1,000 to 1 — that of the CEO of a modern major corporation to its lowest employees prior to the 2008 Crisis about 150 to 1.
Since the 2008 Crisis, the I&W has been declining and, without the crisis, would probably now be of the order of about 20 to 1 — roughly what is now the I&W between the head of the civil service and the lowest paid clerk. If another monetary crisis came along then a countrywide I&W of no more than 20 to 1 would have to be imposed by the government to prevent social breakdown.
If the EU Commission continues its aggressive approach to Britain leaving then it’s rather more likely that it will cause its own premature monetary collapse than be of any hindrance to Britain’s longer term future.
According to the poet, C. S. Lewis, each one of us “contains a zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fears, a harem of fondled hatreds” and predicts what will happen when millions of these messy bundles of contradictory neuroses bump up against one another in society.”
Lewis’s “neuroses” are, in fact. automatic instincts that are individually provoked by specific circumstances. All of these are laid down in ‘old brain’ deep in our heads long before our rational frontal lobes evolved. One important product of the latter, only recently discovered by biological science, includes the notion of ‘fair play’ or justice. Although this is a ‘still small voice’ most of the time, it is permanent — always with us — and can, increasingly with experience, overcome an instinct that may become disruptive. As historians generally report, and despite any current gloom, mankind is gradually becoming more peaceful as time goes on.
All our bodily perceptions of the outside world were catered for a very long time ago by leaders of hunter-gatherer groups, or by emperors and kings or by the aristocracy or by most ordinary folk since the full playing out of the industrial revolution — approximately 1780s to the 1980s. Since then, there have been no uniquely new consumer goods. There have been hundreds of thousands of derivative consumer goods and also many improvements.
However, in recent decades it has been the case that all improvements of relatively high market value have been the products of deep scientific research — whether intentional or serendipitous. In terms of Nobel prizes, almost all this research is carried out by no more than half a dozen governments and major multinational corporations. As the trading of consumer goods is the largest component of financial activity this means the 180 countries in the world will be confined to importing and exporting low value goods and thus permanently excluded from raising their living standard until they’ve reduced their populations enormously — by 2200AD perhaps?
To my great surprise, I’ve actually been in hospital for over a month. Considering that governments, central banks, high street banks, the financial sector generally and, of course, the large mass of economists around the world are still in a state of almost complete befuddlement as to the condition we’re in and where we’re going. If you’ll forgive my trumpet blowing, the present condition and very possibly the next 20 to 30 years is almost en passant. when diagnosed by my theory. But more later in a week or two.