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UCD-STAFFORDBEER  December 2008

UCD-STAFFORDBEER December 2008

Subject:

Re: VSM and morals - CHOICE

From:

BARRY A CLEMSON <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 8 Dec 2008 23:42:58 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (338 lines)

Javier,

The people, when they get tired enough, create a Chavez or a King....

Barry
On Dec 8, 2008, at 10:17 PM, Javier Livas wrote:

> Barry:
>
> What is clear to me is that things just don't happen by themselves.  
> Change has a name and surname. As you say, it takes a Chavez or a  
> King.
>
> My best,
>
> Javier Livas
>
> On Dec 8, 2008, at 7:53 PM, BARRY A CLEMSON wrote:
>
>> Javier,
>>
>> Sorry to be so slow in responding to your very important point  
>> about workers. I think there are two lessons we can take from the  
>> literature of nonviolence and also from Naomi Klein's Shock  
>> Treatment. The message is very explicit in Naomi's work, but I  
>> think the history of nonviolent movements also reinforces the point.
>>
>> Naomi says:
>> 1) shock treatment, defined to be numerous traumatic changes in a  
>> short period of time, leaves people in shock and therefore unable  
>> to defend or stand up for themselves.
>> 2) eventually the shock wears off and they assert themselves.
>>
>> One of her examples is Pinochet's brutalization of Chile and his  
>> overthrow 17 years later.
>>
>> I think it is generally true that when people are traumatized they  
>> will, for a while, accept almost any crumbs that allow them to  
>> survive. But we are an ornery and stubborn people. Eventually we  
>> get tired of being brutalized and exploited and say "no more". We  
>> saw that is South Africa and we saw it in Mississippi in the early  
>> 1960s. I met people in Mississippi who the Klan had done their  
>> worst to to try to frighten them and they just went about trying  
>> change the racist system -- and eventually did.
>>
>> Naomi also says that when a people have lived thru a shock once, it  
>> is much harder to do it to them again. I don't know if this is  
>> true, but I hope so.
>>
>> So there is hope for those workers who are being exploited.  
>> Eventually they will get tired and another Cesar Chavez or Martin  
>> Luther King will come along and the exploiters will wonder what  
>> happened.
>>
>> Barry
>> On Dec 4, 2008, at 9:58 PM, Javier Livas wrote:
>>
>>> Roger, Barry, Allenna and all:
>>>
>>> I seem to remember that Stafford mentioned or produced a letter  
>>> with an oath were scientists plegded not to accept being used for  
>>> ignoble purposes. Am I correct? Can we find this letter?
>>>
>>> The bad use of the VSM has been a source of reflection for me for  
>>> some time. One of the assumptions that the VSM makes which is a  
>>> little off is that workers themselves have at least some notion of  
>>> dignity to defend. I am not so sure, at least in Mexico, that this  
>>> is true. Here you will find people willing to accept so much  
>>> mistreatment it is terrifying. So given this working environment,  
>>> where workers expect nothing but a meager salary (think tens of  
>>> thousands of maquiladora jobs in the border town) it would be  
>>> extremely simple for owner-bosses to abuse the VSM.
>>>
>>> So then the ethical problem turns very nasty when confronted when  
>>> you are confronted with the following choice: should I create a  
>>> maquiladora and USE and exploit ignorant workers and improve their  
>>> condition marginally while I make a profit, or should I let them  
>>> to continue to make a living by mugging or narcotraficking?  
>>> Sometimes the only moral choice is between bad and worse. What then?
>>>
>>> Something practical to think a bit about,
>>>
>>> Javier Livas
>>>
>>>
>>> On Dec 4, 2008, at 1:00 PM, Wright, Steve wrote:
>>>
>>>> Ha its a real question sure enough but it crosses two interlocking
>>>> issues, ethics and efficacy. None of us would I hope be willing to
>>>> enforce a totalitarian model of control since we have a moral  
>>>> imperative
>>>> to build only systems as if people mattered.
>>>>
>>>> Nevertheless, the organised knowledge to create the Guantanam  
>>>> techniques
>>>> was absed on this premise and came from the UK, specifically  
>>>> Northern
>>>> ireland where methods were evolved to attempt to break selected
>>>> internees within a few days. The hooding, white noise, dogs, being
>>>> dropped out of hovering heliocpters five feet above the ground,  
>>>> mocj
>>>> executions, use of drugs, beating to soften up, stoika positions,  
>>>> sleep
>>>> deprivation and boiler suit and goggles our ours - the techniques  
>>>> were
>>>> designed to mimic sensory deprivation...
>>>>
>>>> But the holy grail of interrogation - confession without tell  
>>>> tale marks
>>>> to reveal how much prisoners were abused was not reached even  
>>>> though
>>>> most of these priosners were permanently damaged. But even if it  
>>>> had, we
>>>> were not dealing with a closed system here - information leaked  
>>>> out,
>>>> violence increased, more people had to be interred...So purely  
>>>> from a
>>>> mechamistic amoral perspective metaphorum members would not touch  
>>>> it
>>>> because the system was dysfunctional in bringing about the  
>>>> opposite of
>>>> its intended functionality. Put the two feedback loops together on
>>>> ethics and efficacy and we would/should whistleblow....
>>>>
>>>> In the wider world however, we can anticipate little learning  
>>>> about such
>>>> factors has been achieved and when the next security crisis/  
>>>> crackdown
>>>> emerges - anticipate more of the same via information exchange and
>>>> training exchanges through security assistance programmes...say in
>>>> India/Pakistan or both.....
>>>>
>>>> Steve
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer
>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of BARRY A
>>>> CLEMSON
>>>> Sent: 04 December 2008 17:02
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: Re: VSM and morals - CHOICE
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I certainly hope the members of this community would not accept  
>>>> that
>>>> job. If they did, I would immediately remove myself.
>>>>
>>>> Barry
>>>> On Dec 4, 2008, at 11:11 AM, Roger Harnden wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> This follows an interaction with Allenna,
>>>>>
>>>>> Models may well be neutral, but social systems aren't. Some are
>>>>> geared to torture individuals prior to any legal process in places
>>>>> like Guatanamo Bay; others are geared to support the vulnerable.
>>>>> These two social forms are DIFFERENT and loaded with VALUES.
>>>>>
>>>>> From the standpoint of the US administration (as is made clear  
>>>>> from
>>>>> the very recent confessions of the ex-interrogator), a 'more
>>>>> effective' Guatanamo Bay would process the captives in  way that
>>>>> helps deliver to the US administration its requirement to justify
>>>>> the rape a sovereign country n the pursuit of its own economic and
>>>>> political advantage. And, should one of us have been so 'lucky' as
>>>>> to be approached by the then US administration, i am sure we could
>>>>> readily apply the VSM to achieve that goal.
>>>>>
>>>>> Therefore, might we not ask 'Is there any reason why the members  
>>>>> of
>>>>> this community (Metaphorum) would not accept that job?'
>>>>>
>>>>> Well, is there?????
>>>>>
>>>>> Roger
>>>>>
>>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>>> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>>>>>
>>>>> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to:
>>>>> www.platformforchange.org
>>>>>
>>>>> METAPHORUM eList Archive available at -
>>>>> https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html
>>>>>
>>>>> Archive of CYBCOM eList available at -
>>>>> http://hermes.circ.gwu.edu/archives/cybcom.html
>>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> ===================================================
>>>>
>>>> BARRY A CLEMSON
>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>>
>>>> 757-692-6673
>>>>
>>>> Cybernetica Press at www.cyberneticapress.com
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> "It's not how much you do - it's how much love you put in it.... Do
>>>> small things with great love."
>>>>          --- Mother Teresa ---
>>>>
>>>> The true warrior may be killed, but he can not be defeated.
>>>> --- my paraphrase of Sensei Hamada ---
>>>>
>>>> And peace rolled down like a mighty river.
>>>>     -- Inspired by the prophet Amos 5:24--
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> "An enemy is a person whose story we have not heard."
>>>>         -- Gene Knudsen Hoffman --
>>>>
>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>>>>
>>>> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to:
>>>> www.platformforchange.org
>>>>
>>>> METAPHORUM eList Archive available at -
>>>> https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html
>>>>
>>>> Archive of CYBCOM eList available at -
>>>> http://hermes.circ.gwu.edu/archives/cybcom.html
>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> To view the terms under which this email is distributed, please  
>>>> go to http://disclaimer.leedsmet.ac.uk/email.htm
>>>>
>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>>>>
>>>> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go  
>>>> to:  www.platformforchange.org
>>>>
>>>> METAPHORUM eList Archive available at - https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html
>>>>
>>>> Archive of CYBCOM eList available at - http://hermes.circ.gwu.edu/archives/cybcom.html
>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>
>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>>>
>>> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go  
>>> to:  www.platformforchange.org
>>>
>>> METAPHORUM eList Archive available at - https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html
>>>
>>> Archive of CYBCOM eList available at - http://hermes.circ.gwu.edu/archives/cybcom.html
>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>
>>
>>
>> ===================================================
>>
>> BARRY A CLEMSON
>> [log in to unmask]
>>
>> 757-692-6673
>>
>> Cybernetica Press at www.cyberneticapress.com
>>
>>
>>
>> "It's not how much you do - it's how much love you put in it.... Do  
>> small things with great love."
>>           --- Mother Teresa ---
>>
>> The true warrior may be killed, but he can not be defeated.
>>  --- my paraphrase of Sensei Hamada ---
>>
>> And peace rolled down like a mighty river.
>>      -- Inspired by the prophet Amos 5:24--
>>
>>
>> "An enemy is a person whose story we have not heard."
>>          -- Gene Knudsen Hoffman --
>>
>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>>
>> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to:  www.platformforchange.org
>>
>> METAPHORUM eList Archive available at - https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html
>>
>> Archive of CYBCOM eList available at - http://hermes.circ.gwu.edu/archives/cybcom.html
>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>
> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to:  www.platformforchange.org
>
> METAPHORUM eList Archive available at - https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html
>
> Archive of CYBCOM eList available at - http://hermes.circ.gwu.edu/archives/cybcom.html
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



===================================================

BARRY A CLEMSON
[log in to unmask]

757-692-6673

Cybernetica Press at www.cyberneticapress.com



"It's not how much you do - it's how much love you put in it.... Do  
small things with great love."
             --- Mother Teresa ---

The true warrior may be killed, but he can not be defeated.
    --- my paraphrase of Sensei Hamada ---

And peace rolled down like a mighty river.
        -- Inspired by the prophet Amos 5:24--


"An enemy is a person whose story we have not heard."
            -- Gene Knudsen Hoffman --

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org

For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to:  www.platformforchange.org

METAPHORUM eList Archive available at - https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html

Archive of CYBCOM eList available at - http://hermes.circ.gwu.edu/archives/cybcom.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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