Moral leadership will have to come from the very Top
Recently I renewed my acquaintance with ‘the mob’. It wasn’t a big mob. Just a few people. Remember once you have 3 people you can have a mob and a victim, as that is all a mob is, a majority and a minority. Oh, and you need some petty jealousy, malice, some motive, on the part of the mobbers. You then need those with the power to stop it to turn a blind eye to it, or worse, to assist it.
What motive could those in power have to ignore or even assist mobbing?
Let us consider how a pack of Chimpanzees will gang up upon a single Chimp, and savagely beat it to death. They have no apparent motive. They are not competing for mates, for food, or for territory. This has come ‘out of the blue’.
It is a typical Chimp-human ‘team building exercise’. We used to do the same thing. We’d go out on ‘raids’ on neighboring tribes. Then we had ‘war’. We still have war, but locally, we have replaced pack-murders with mobbing. It brings the community closer together. It gives them a shared objective, team spirit. It allows them, for a moment, to overlook their petty malices towards one another, as they project all their malice onto they prey. Please read my comparisons of Benopals, Chimps, and humans. It is enlightening.
There are a billion reasons for malice towards someone. The simplest. They are ‘better’ than you. Better? More attractive. Better educated. More ambitious. Harder working. More well traveled. More anything positive. Better anything. We hate it.
O.K, so at some level this emotional impulse is about competition. Anyone better than us is a threat to us in some way. Evolution is based on negative selection. Our ‘betters’ represent competition for acceptance, approval, status, wealth, power, love, sexual gratification, etc.
But it is so counter-productive that we evolved this thing called ‘society’ to counter this malice, this constant ‘war of all against all’.
What is society? ‘Soc‘ comes from the Greek for ‘Master’. Socrates means ‘master of life’. Society is the form that has evolved for keeping us from acting like those Chimps whenever we feel the urge. And urge we feel. And it is not just satisfying to act on those urges, it is politically convenient for our ‘leaders’.
Why? Well when we are busy butchering some hapless victim, our focus is on that gratification. For the meantime the rest of us are safe! It builds camaraderie. Builds feelings of belonging. It is a great team-building exercise for the tribal leaders. It brings people together. They stop bickering about each other and focus on just one person, or some small minority.
Now, ideally, we have invested people with the power to ‘manage’ us all. To prevent us acting on impulses we reject as counter-productive, mean, base, and just plain ugly. Most of us accept that others cannot be trusted to manage themselves. Further, those holistically enlightened of us realise we cannot be trusted to manage ourselves. We are opportunists by nature. We require regulation. And so we have government.
And so we invest a lot of our resources in this ‘government’. Resources we would rather invest in more directly pleasurable things, but which we sacrifice to secure the pleasures we do have, and to avoid the ‘war of all against all’. Policing. Courts. Regulation. Regulatory authorities. Deterrents. Punishments. All very expensive stuff. But we pay, out of fear. And rightfully so. For without these restraints, history shows, on a daily basis, what human interactions reduce to.
Perhaps no real laws against mobbing and workplace victimisation have ever been enforced because mobbing represents the very last opportunity we have to indulge in our Chimp natures. It is the last easy, no-training-needed, ‘team-building’ exercise available for the lazy manager. It is the last available opportunity to ‘excercise our claws’, to scratch and bite and wound and harm. To hurt, and damage. To vent all our envy, self-loathing, jealousy, and malice upon someone who we know cannot fight back.
Watch small children. See how readily they will bite and scratch. Look at the expression in their faces. Their eyes burn with seething malice. Someone is doing something they do not like, and they are going to annihilate them. And I am not even beginning with Oedipus and Sibling rivalry.
Does that child grow up, or just get bigger? More subtle in its methods of annihilation of its ‘rivals’?
So, the librarian finds her life dissatisfying. Anyone who appears to have anything like an interesting life is a hateful thing to her. How dare they appear to lead a satisfying life. She took the safest route. She takes no risks. And somehow she has been left on the sidelines with her safe boring job. She is plain and still expects to be treated like the beautiful princesses are by their handsome princes. She has a predisposition to hate me.
Then there is the fat girl. No handsome princes demanding she accept their ‘boon’. A nice looking guy asks her friend if he can use the computer she is using for some general surfing. The other computers are all free. He explains he needs this one as it is the only one set up for banking. He gently asks if he can use it when she is ready. She has no reason to use this particular computer, and she wasn’t doing anything really anyway, so she logs out so he can use it.
So the fat girl has to run to the Librarian to complain that the big bully just kicked her friend off the computer. She has no grounds for complaint, but that wasn’t the motive. She is just opportunistically exploiting the situation by ‘spinning’ it. The librarian comes out in a fury…’students have priority’… Our hapless victim, me, is left wondering what the hell ‘fat girl’ just told the librarian. He explains. Later that week the librarian once more falls into a violent rage after I leave the mens toilets door open as I found it. She chases after me to yell at me, and to slam the door shut. As if I had just committed some heinous, unspeakable crime. Again, just opportunism to vent.
So, we have two mobbers burning with malice towards me. No ‘reasonable’ grounds for this malice. Just the Chimp in them. Just human nature, unchecked by any external authority, deterrent, or incentive. They both know I am powerless. I am neither student nor employee. Easy prey.
But so far they must check their impulses. For I have some protection. Management have a motive to defend me, for now.
You see the university managed to wrangle a large EU grant for a project they only ‘made up’ precisely to get this money. They claimed to have a project which required 2 really really expensive Mac super-computers, at least two really expensive, professional level, sound recording and editing software packages, expensive studio monitors, expensive MIDI keyboards, and loads of mics, headphones, and stands.
Of course at the time they had no such project. But they saw the chance to get loads of money for cheating the system. So they did. There was nothing wrong so far, really. If they really DID have the intention of completing the project, no harm would have been done.
O.K, there is this other thing. Either to get kick-backs for themselves, or to ensure they had the paperwork rushed through in time, they paid some person who appeared to be legitimate, thousands of Euros to supply all this stuff. He signed the papers ‘as if’ he had already delivered the stuff, thus satisfying the EU grant people.
And so the University had these super-computers and really expensive software which no-one had ANY idea how to use. And they made absolutely NO effort to work out HOW to use them. They were too lazy for THAT. Lots of energy when it comes to fraudulently gaining EU grants. But too busy to open manuals and teach themselves how to use the software. They were, after all, only multi-media lecturers at a University! They teach a massive 16 hours a week? And when the salesguy comes and does a demonstration, not a single one of them bother to take any NOTES. ‘Oh, he did show us, but we forgot!’ Of course no lecturer expects any of THEIR students to take notes, do they?
So, first valid criticisms. They committed fraud. Acceptable if the intentions are good, and are eventually made good in fact. If they had pulled their fingers out of their arses and taught themselves how to use the software, and then fulfilled their obligations according to the grant conditions, no harm would have ultimately been done. But they did NOT do this.
They made the mistake of trusting someone not worthy of that trust. I will assume this was not to get ‘kickbacks’ from him. O.K. We all make mistakes. Teachers should teach by example. I made a mistake. The important thing is that nothing ever gets done unless you take some risk. No mistakes usually means nothing achieved. So you demonstrate by accepting your error, and going about correcting it. But NO. THEY do not HAVE to admit they made a mistake, or that they are lazy. No-one will hold them to account. They don’t have to do a thing. The thing is unpleasant. So they simply don’t do it. They even deny to themselves that they made a mistake.
You see the guy they paid has only delivered SOME of the things they already paid for. And he promised new goods. But the goods he delivered prove to be second hand. And faulty. And with no warranty. And the lecturers are even to lazy to drive one hour to pick up very expensive music instruments and other gear their dodgy guy supposedly has laying around his office. ??? So the money has been wasted on stuff no-one will gain any advantage from, simply as these lecturers are too lazy to teach themselves, and too conceited to admit they made a mistake. They have even bought stuff they will NEVER use, and which is also faulty. It will sit in its box and rot.
And you should have seen the ‘studio’. Cable salad! Old power points over-loaded. Everything left ON 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A real fire risk. Filthy. Left to sit idly consuming power for months on end. WASTE. No-one is benefiting from the massive taxpayers expense. The students don’t know or don’t care. After all, it is EUROPEAN UNION money, not THEIR money.
When I ask the computer guy there why they left all the monitors on all the time, in the whole university, he said ‘It’s not OUR money’. So even when it IS their own taxpayers money, it is still not THEIR personal money. So who cares. Leave the lights on! Someone ELSE is paying the electricity bill, so why should I bother going to the extreme of turning things off overnight? And then I have to go to all the bother of turning them on the next day. Whew. Barely time for a coffee break in-between! Where would we find the time to convene special ‘meetings’ to discuss the ‘problem’ of Markus?
What problem? Well, once I found out they had all this gear laying idle, I offered to learn how to use the stuff, from the manuals, and then to teach them. Finally they agreed. They had nothing to lose, and everything to gain. So I spent months teaching myself with extremely frustrating, often simply wrong, manuals.
During this process we discovered that the gear, sold as NEW, was old, and damaged, and NOT under any warranty. We determined with 100% certainty that the guy who sold the stuff had lied. We had no reason to believe his promises. But the lecturers were loathe to admit they had made a mistake, and kept making excuses for him.
I also discovered, from students, just how long this gear had lain idle, unused. Wasted. I also discovered just how lazy these lecturers were. Even when I offered to teach them how to use the stuff, the mere suggestion that it might take some effort on their part left them mumbling excuses.
In the end they ‘spun’ the situation in the following way. They would NOT learn how to use the software and hardware. They would ‘teach the students how to teach themselves!’ In other words they would force the students to do what I had done. This required ZERO effort on the part of the lecturers. Of course the students did not have months like I had, nor the background. And so they were dooming them to failure.
I suggested that they were demanding the students do what they themselves were too ‘scared’ to do, or too lazy to do. Of course they didn’t physically attack me then and there, but this is where I lost them as ‘allies’ to my ‘enemies’.
And so meetings were held to discuss the ‘problem of Markus’.
The ‘problem’ was that I was holding them to account. In fact all I was suggesting was that they re-negotiate with the dodgy salesman, give him back the stuff they would never use. The compressor because he never should have sold it to them in the first place, the software had all the effects they would ever need built-in. The expensive, professional software which was so complex they would never get around to teaching themselves how to use it, and which was so professional they never WOULD use it. They were multi-media lecturers. The project was meant to integrate into their existing programs. And they did NOT teach the sort of things this software was used for.
I was very, very soft and gentle. I had learned how to use the ‘Garage Band’ software they had on dozens of Macs already, and had noted that it was much much more than they would ever need for their programs. I suggested they return the really un-usuable stuff, and get lots of things they COULD use. Rather than have one really expensive studio almost no-one would ever be able to use, and then only a few at a time, they could buy lots of audio interfaces to use with Garage Band. They could then teach entire classes, with a computer and software for each student. Perfect ‘recovery’ from a mistake. But of course they didn’t HAVE to even admit they HAD made a mistake, so they didn’t. They didn’t care about the students or EU taxpayers. All they cared about was not having to admit they had made a mistake. Let alone admit they had committed fraud.
So THAT was the problem. I was the only one who understood the whole situation. The remedy was simple. Get rid of Markus. That way ‘there WAS no mistake, no fraud, no lazy lecturers, no PROBLEM!’
Now this is the point at which, in an ideal world, management would have shown some leadership, and earned their status and pay level.
I was called to a ‘meeting’, without any warning. Now if the meeting had been to resolve problems, they would have given me time to consider the ‘problems’ they had identified, and to seek some ‘solutions’. But it was all ‘spin’. It was just a ‘witch-hunt’, a ‘kangaroo court’. There was no genuine interest in solving any problem. It was just show. They expected that somehow by being nasty politely, it was NOT nasty. They wanted to imagine that if you murder someone with a smile, that is harmless and friendly. That is what is worse about these things. The masks, the smiles, the pretence. They all sit around imagining they are civilised and nice people as they fall upon your, stripping the flesh from your bones. Then they get up, imagining they have done nothing wrong, and go home to their loving families.
So I was told there had been some complaints, and that I was interrupting people from their work. All vague. Irrelevant. They had nothing to do with the purposes of this meeting. It was simply to ‘kill the messenger’. I was not a student nor staff member, so I had no power. But I was not going to let them pretend this was all nice and reasonable.
I tried to convince the ‘director’ to, well, DIRECT. I explained that it is natural for people to mob. The mob mobs. But the role of authority was to counter this mobs inclinations and impulses. That was their moral role, to provide a counter to the mob. But if they failed in this, they failed. And society ultimately failed. She now had the chance to fulfill her potential as manager, by showing moral leadership, and NOT allowing the mob to have its way. But of course it was easier just to get rid of me.
That way they could deny there WERE any problems. Of course EVERYONE missed out on a great opportunity. Massive resources were WASTED. WASTED opportunities. That is the cost of poor management.
So now I have invested months of hard work and sacrificed months of my time and effort, in learning software I have no access to. And I KNOW for a fact that NO-ONE will EVER use that software, let alone the hardware. Given that the lecturer took most of the microphones and stands HOME, I think it a fair bet that IF they ever get the really expensive keyboard actually delivered, that it will spend most of ITS time at his home as well ! Go on, visit the university. I can prove ALL of this. Prove me wrong. Of course no-one ever bothers to do that. They just dismiss me or ignore me.
I went to the newspapers about this story, and the other, even worse one, but they kept making excuses as soon as they found out that I WAS RIGHT! At first they checked things out, hoping I was wrong, and they could write a story about MARKUS. But when they found out I was right in all my allegations, they suddenly had NO TIME to report what they had found.
What else was going on? Well, my landlady and the body corporate had stolen money from me. I payed them. They act as if I didn’t. But I have all the bank receipts. They keep charging me for water I don’t use. This has been going on for 15 months. They first accuse me of trying to cheat them. Then they claim my water meter is faulty. They check it. It isn’t. I waste hours of frustration calculating the correct bills, and paying them. I invite strangers into my flat to check the meters and read them for themselves. I show them all the facts and figures. They simply ignore all the facts. They even charge me 25% interest because I finally refuse to pay any bill other than one I had calculated myself, based on the facts. The landlady kicks me out. She tells stories around town. Not a single agent will rent me anything in the entire town. I collate proof of discrimination. I inquire as a local, and get immediate offers of rental agreements. Yes, they will meet me today. Yes, of course they will change the appointment time. Yes, of course, just bring your I.D card and you can move in today. YES, when I am applying as a local. But when I enquired, just minutes before, as Markus, the foreigner, they demand to know all sorts of intimate details about my private life, and then tell me the owners do not want to rent to me. The only explanation I could get out of one was ‘The owner says his life is already interesting enough, and he doesn’t want to make it any more interesting’.
The mayor tells me that he doesn’t care. If people want to discriminate against me, then that is their right, according to him. He tries to bully me out of the building.
The real estate agents in town expect you to buy something without first seeing a copy of the body corporate annual report. This means without knowing what you are buying. Most buildings had debts, planned required repairs, and so on, that you buy when you buy the flat. They act like you are asking for a pound of flesh when you ask for a copy of the report. All they have to do is ask the owner to ask the body corporate. It is free. It takes a few minutes. But none ever showed me that report.
When I first arrived in town I asked one agent to show me a flat. When I came back the next day asking to see another different one, he acted like I was demanding more than he could possibly ever do. ‘But I showed you one yesterday?’ He implied I was wasting his time. Some sort of ‘flat tourist?’. It was clear he expected clients to just walk in and hand over commissions, without him having to do ANYTHING. So arrogant. Later he would not even pass on offers I made to his clients. I told people about this but they refused to believe me. So I tracked down some of his clients, and got proof, from them, that they had never been shown my offers. In fact I had offered to pay the exact price they had advertised at. They had NOT been told about my offer. I had insisted that the agent tell them, several times. He had NOT. Instead he threatened to call the police, and told people that ‘this was a police matter’, when they asked why he would not rent or sell me a flat.
He actually told the mayor’s office that ‘Markus wanted to rent the flat, but it is for sale’. So we had PROOF that he was lieing to people about me. He had lied to THEM. They could no longer dismiss my claims that strange things were going on. That I was being discriminated against. And so now that it was clear that they could not dismiss my claims, they just dismissed ME!
I didn’t want to waste more time writing about the same old things, but I did so as it has clarified some things in my mind, which I will write about later.
I hate having to devote time to these bloggs, when I have at least 3 book-film ideas to work on. But I find that it is best to EX-press everything that is IM-pressed in this, the most productive and positive of ways available to me. I hate the idea of being like most of the ‘sheep’ who complain about OTHER people, about the world in general, but do nothing to improve THEIR world.
In these examples, I offered solutions. But the solutions required that people first admit they had made a mistake. And people are loathe to do that unless they are forced to. Then of course they act as if they are ‘big’, making a virtue of necessity, and a big show of how they made a mistake but learned from it, like everyone ELSE should, when THEY make mistakes. They will praise themselves for having rescued the situation, for having turned a mistake into an opportunity, simply by being willing to accept they were human, and then addressing the situation productively and positively. But they didn’t HAVE to. Their director didn’t MAKE them. And so all my energies were wasted. My migraines, my pain, was in vain. Nothing good came of any of it. All I learned?
O.K. So this is the productive and positive part of the blogg. Sure, you all know that people who make no mistakes make nothing. The key is addressing your errors, learning from them, and moving forward. That is the only way we evolve and progress. Denial never leads to progress.
But what I have learned over decades of confrontation, is that people have to be FORCED to do the wise, noble, RIGHT thing. And we cannot rely on managers to meet their obligations as moral leaders.
What I have learned from history, and from my own life, is that we need strong federal authorities that are active and empowered to force people to behave ‘as if’ they cared about others, ‘as-if’ they cared about right and wrong, ‘as-if’ they valued OTHER people’s money as much as their own, ‘as-if’ they had good-will for others, ‘as-if’ they were, in fact ‘noble savages’.
What I have learned is the irony of that concept of ‘noble savage’. For what is noble in humans only emerges under SOCIETY. The exact reverse of the concept of noble savage. The savage must be disciplined by a powerful authority. One that has the power to punish it, to deter it from ‘wrong-doing’. THAT is the only reliable motive for ‘nobility’. We ARE savages. At heart. There are so few among us who are holistically enlightened enough to optimalise the human condition. These few need to have the power and authority to discipline the rest.
This might be obvious to most people at or above my level of intelligence. I guess what makes it an ‘epiphany’ for me is that I grew up poor, underprivileged, and yet full of good-will for everyone and everything. I was bullied and so on, and deprived and abused, but still I felt all humans were equal, and at heart GOOD! I thought all you had to do was find solutions, and people would readily adopt them. I thought everyone was like me. Or, maybe more precisely, I wanted to think I was good. Being poor, it was easy to imagine I believed in equality. Being the underdog, it was easy to imagine I believed things should be fair. Being completely unloved it was easy to imagine I loved everyone and everything.
The hardest struggle anyone will ever have in coming to understand and optimally relate to TROONATNOOR, is in coming to accept the reality of their OWN natures. We are more chimp than Benopal. But we need to look to the Benopal, and use them as our role models. We need to be honest with ourselves about our natures. Deceiving ourselves will not help us manage OURSELVES. And that is the first, and hardest step. Only when we acknowledge what we all are, will we be willing to put the measures in place to manage our natures, and so get the most ‘bang for our buck’ out of the ‘experience engines’ we inherit when we are born human.
And for the mean-time, I can only desperately hope for greater federal and international regulation. Greater enforcement. Not just blah blah blah wasted resources on ‘policy papers’ and ‘procedures manuals’. Actual investigative work. Sending people into organisations to observe how things REALLY work. Yes it means ‘spying’ on people. You have no choice. It takes millenia of ‘whistle-blowers’ to achieve what you could achieve in a few years if you sent out spies, in their many forms.
You probably have no idea what is going on. What ways your tax money is being wasted. The risks others take with your life and wellbeing, out of sheer arrogance and laziness. Please read my books. The compile more wisdom than you would get from reading 100s of the most famous books of all time. Ask me for a pdf. You are part of the world I have to live in. I want you to be holistically enlightened. Pure self-interest. Or should I just enjoy my superiority over most of you, and seek to benefit from your ignorance, from your weaker holistic inheritance? Is that what YOU would do? Is that what you WANT me to do?