Too big for our britches

An article from Time today suggests that historians will find fault with our leaders for not explaining sufficiently the economic woes we Americans are facing, and not making clear how their bailout plans will effectively address the problem.  The issues are complex indeed, and perhaps no one has a comprehensive explanation for the current crisis.

Sometimes it seems as though almost all our issues stem from the fact that there are simply too many of us.  We are continuing to use old systems and mores, ones that worked when the population was manageable; but since our numbers have exploded in the post WWII world, much of what we’ve held to be true simply doesn’t work anymore.

My much admired corporate spy, Hugh MacLeod, said a couple days ago: “I could also go on about how many good people I know are caught in oversupplied markets, and how every day they wake up, feeling chilled to the bone with dread and unease. Advertising and media folk are classic examples.”

In an oversupplied market, only the most cutthroat competition, the trickiest maneuvers, the whims of luck can advance the individual, and even then, only for a short time.  In an oversupplied market, we becomed preoccupied with show biz, and dangerously disconnected from real needs of real people.

How to avoid this trap?  As a nation, we’ve fallen straight into it, and will now be forced to claw our way out, one hopes with some grace and aplomb.  As individual business owners, we can be shrewd about avoiding oversupplied markets by seeking the creative core of our work and marketing with profound compassion.

Capitalism and competition both glory in human greed, and fundamentally depend on its continuous increase.  But the shadow side to this world view looms large today, and we are learning about its inherently destructive nature.  Perhaps appropriately for a nation beginning to move beyond adolescence, America must undertake a vision quest, seek effective ways of handling our growing population, and find new fulfillment through cooperation and profound individual creativity.


3 comments so far

  1. afrankangle on

    There’s no doubt in my mind that all levels of leadership failed to sell the legislation to the public … thus it was left up to politics.

  2. Joshua Smith on

    Right on! Some of these systems simply hold no relevance anymore and to use them just pays homage to a tired and dangerous existence. I think we’ll awake, after all of this chaos (economic, political , social, racial) to see that there are two people in the world. Those that are willing to work with one another and those that seek to exploit the other. We’re seeing the beginning stages in the way we market and pass along the things we enjoy through these remarkable online networks. Just a matter of time before we get our shit together and start realizing that together we all can be truly happy and healthy instead of a select few of us. Together is the only way we’re going to make it. Divided is the only way they’re going to make it.

    And they did fail in explaining the overall situation. Politics did prosper.

  3. […] Too big for our britches « Consider This … […]

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