Friday, October 23, 2009

A Moment of Truth

You can pay one person a lot more for being the singular leader and governor of a society, but you cannot pay everybody the same for doing nothing -- or as little as possible, and expect the same good results.

That's basically what the problem in Hawaii is accelerating to be. You can not reward everyone equally well, while denying that differences in compensation, should be determined by "merit," and not just "seniority," regardless of whether one is doing the job well, or poorly. Societies based on that model, will come crumbling down -- when it is realized that the persons responsible for laying that foundation, never did so -- no matter how well everybody else did their jobs. That which was most crucial, was overlooked -- because nobody would notice once everything else was built up.

And so the clock has been set in motion -- to when it must ultimately fail, because those seeds have been planted. While one can create more high paying jobs, it must be while reducing total jobs -- and not increasing them by not getting the job done so that there can be even more high paying jobs. Then the whole purpose and reason for being of that compensation and reward, undermines the success of that success rather than creating the foundations for its ultimate and enduring success.

Very few societies are such stories of remarkable success; most end in failures. There are many more Haitis than there are Singapores. Most island-states particularly, are doomed to failure rather than the success garnered by being closer to the resources every society has to consume. The breakthrough societies, create new technologies and resources, while those that fail, mine and eventually exhaust the advantages they once had.

There is a reason for the geography and location of the great centers of civilization in the world. They had a natural advantage, and not a natural disadvantage -- that for a brief time in history, could be made to seem like an advantage -- of its isolation. That was before the realization that while being away from the madding crowd was often desirable, the great survival value lay in being "connected" -- not just geographically, but psychologically also, which is greatly influenced by the topography.

People who live on islands, or in rural isolated communities, cultivate personalities of isolation rather than community -- preferring their solitude, even when it is not advantageous to do so. That is also the dynamic of contention and struggle in the present time -- the public life versus the private life, and how those tendencies are resolved in the personalities of the evolving new world.

That is what every issue and controversy are fundamentally all about -- the private life versus the public life, and where does one end and the other begin? What is one's responsibilities to everybody else -- and what are one's responsibilities to themselves, if any, anymore?

In Oregon, a great fuss was made because a mentally ill patient died of natural causes and his death was not realized and reported immediately -- even by his own roommates, and became a cause for concern when he missed two meals, which was otherwise the joy of his existence since he was confined indefinitely for crimes of violence. Meanwhile in Hawaii, people will observe murders being perpetrated over ten minutes, and think nothing of it, or think to report it.

Where does one draw the line?