Hello Michael and many others who contributed to the five digests that
"It seems that there is a determination among many to blind themselves to
the idea that values are anything to be concerned about. I'm not talking
about religion based values either, although that also comes into the mix.
"So if you adopt a set of values, it's ok if they quietly reside invisibly
in your head, but if they come out in the open where others can see them,
and they are in any way "different" from whatever it is that american
society at large believes, and you (brace yourself) dare to stand up for
your personal value, you can get seriously hurt. The one value that seems
to hold solidly is: if you have enough money, you can get, do or buy
enough legal support to make a successful stand, either that or if you are
poor, but can tell a satisfying sob story that the media can use to sell
newspapers with, then you can also make a stand."
Whether it is American Society, any other Society or most, perhaps any,
other form of organisation it does seem to be values [values in action
that is] that shape and fashion collective behaviour, ultimately by
We can discuss valid distinctions between values in theory and values in
We can discuss whether distinguishing beliefs, principles and values or
hierarchies of values deepens our understanding.
We can discuss whether there are any 'absolute values' or whether we as
people create them.
We can discuss whether and what any religion contributes to the mix.
We can discuss whether there is a difference between values, Self evident
truths, Categorigal Imperatives, Moral standards, Meaning Schemes or
little green distinction.
All are interesting topics from which much can be learnt but, if we take
the word values in the broadest way then values are the attractors around
which complex social systems organise. Your message Michael, and others
notably Ben Comptons on the Social futures thread, have highlighted the
dysfunctional side-effects of some of the current value schemes at work in
our society [ies].
I was recently listening to a radio talk programme discussing the
conflicts at work in the notion of 'rights' [animal, human, childrens,
etc. etc.]. An eminent lawyer [who was introduced as a past Chairman of
some august UK lawyer's body] offered hi opinion that it boiled down to
life, liberty, and property with "property as the most important". I don't
recall ever hearing such a neat encapuslation of a prevalent 'value in
action' nor such a neat damning inditement of current reality - yet he
spoke it as if he truly believed it.
I will shortly have to go off line for a while on a trip which may contain
the marine equivalent of some of the icewalls you have written about in
the past Michael. I would just like to thank you, all other contributers
to this thread and the, IMO, closely related discussion on Social Futures.
I look forward to being back.
As a parting thought, it is the building of communities and conversations
of different values that is my answer to Sam/Mariann's question aired on
another thread [LO8323]
"I'd want to hear about how to empower myself, despite
organizational inertia, bureaucracy, lack of consultation and so on. What
can individuals do to productively revolutionize the corner where they
are? How can one build "islands of autonomy" and cooperation in the teeth
of organizational norms and rules to the contrary? "
The Harrow Partnership
Pewley Fort Guildford UK
Dr Ilfryn Price <email@example.com>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>