The recent Goolag Memo invoked an opportunity to discuss its contents in a larger civilizational perspective, which means one where we look at interdependence of humans within an organization, namely a society or civilization.
Organizations require internal and external communications. During the past few decays, entropy ensured that external communications quickly devolved to Public Relations and internal communications were effectively ignored. This were observable in the many “whiste-blower” cases (such as Enron, WorldCom and the FBI) where corporations publicly encouraged employees to speak up, but when they did, they were quickly (privately) fired.
Whistle-blowers revealed issues that were too sensitive to be used in a normal grievance procedure, so management encouraged them to come forward, and the dismissed them while playing off the problems as if they were always personal, when in fact the issues at hand were company-oriented and not personal at all.
The conflict between organizational and personal issues becomes complex when we consider that enabling personalities to mesh is one of the basic duties of a manager. For example, the Biosphere 2 experiment involved more personal circumstances and technical survival skills than organizational proficiency, but what really transpired was a clash of personalities:
More serious management problems during a second human confinement in 1994 heralded the experiment’s early cancellation and this brought the world’s longest closed system human confinement project to an end.
The interdependency between team members were closely selected for, and monitored during the experiment, in line with similar ventures such as Antarctica and space missions. Their loyalty to the “cause” prevented them from an early exit but was “explained” via correlating to low oxygen atmospheres.
An organization, composed of interdependencies, finds that personalities can become incompatible over time or in certain contexts. These contexts occur in the overlap between organizational structure and the individuals expected to rely on each other to carry out those roles.
In the social organization known as civilization, an interdependency that we do not discuss openly is sex. Women play a massive role in society but it seems a bit underappreciated while their equality is widely touted, like praising the Party in the USSR. The Goolag Memo actually pointed this out, but some may have missed it.
With a hat tip to Rolf Degen, I happened on to Angela Saini’s book Inferior wherein she describes how women are being re-discovered. There is more to her thesis than that, but it reveals that if you re-discover women, you will inevitably re-discover men.
The one aspect jumping out at me was how older men preferred having sex with younger women. This applies to any man, anywhere, but because women are “inferior,” the topic is too sensitive for civilization’s “grievance procedure.” In part, this is because women are too vital to the emerging Family World Order.
Investigating women’s productive capacity includes by definition the ability to bear children. This led to the “Grandmother Hypothesis” where menopause focuses women on raising children and grandchildren. However, new thoughts on this blame man and before you complain, read the book The Patriarch Hypothesis with the following abstract:
Menopause is puzzling because life-history theory predicts there should be no selection for outliving one’s reproductive capacity. Adaptive explanations of menopause offered thus far turn on women’s long-term investment in offspring and grandoffspring, all variations on the grandmother hypothesis. Here, I offer a very different explanation. The patriarch hypothesis proposes that once males became capable of maintaining high status and reproductive access beyond their peak physical condition, selection favored the extension of maximum life span in males. Because the relevant genes were not on the Y chromosome, life span increased in females as well. However, the female reproductive span was constrained by the depletion of viable oocytes, which resulted in menopause.
A metaphor for this would be a lion male living longer because he has many lionesses, regardless of whether the original lioness goes into a menopause. She doesn’t mind because the younger lionesses are hunting for her too. This matriarchal thesis places the female in charge of the process, which allows her to select longer-living mates in exchange for tolerating polygyny.
We see how the interdependencies of human society are both personal and organizational. When we rediscover women, and through that learn more about men, we see how sex drives civilization alongside other influences. People depend on one another as individuals, and as roles in relation to one another, and separating the personal from the function becomes difficult.
From that, it becomes clear that humans are not just individuals, or functions, but personalities which need a place where they fit exactly in order to work with the interdependencies inherent to any organization. A person in the wrong place is toxic to the organization; an organization which excludes people from necessary dialogue is like the company with a whistle-blower, engaged in deception.
For this reason, it is possible to accept women as both not-equal and uniquely necessary. We underappreciate them by treating them as tokens of their sex, or using them for sex alone, forgetting that like the lions and lionesses, we are engaged in a strategic process of selecting behaviors that further the species so that our individual efforts endure and prosper.
In a Right future, we will look at reproduction not as a question of the biological act alone, but the context in which the child is raised and how this contributes to stability of the child. Whether we stay on Earth, or jet off to Mars to start again, the union between the personal and the organizational is found in complementary roles where each person has a vital and unique place.