Vigorous Application of Derivative Thinking to Derivative Problems


Anthony Judge – TRANSCEND Media Service

Transcending Bewailing, Hand-Wringing and Emotional Blackmail


As many remark, the global situation is in a mess — whether in terms of environment, resources, social services, finances, employment, housing, or conflicts. Of greater concern, however, is the extent to which the response to this mess is itself in a mess. Every specialist has a clear understanding of the causes of the problems. Unfortunately there is little consensus amongst specialists within any discipline, but especially between disciplines. The same can be said of those advocating strategic responses — each with a sense of what should be done, if only others would act according to their wisdom and experience. Some are able to take advantage of this confusion to advance particular agendas — of a nature which can only contribute to further destabilization.

In such a context it is clearly foolishly presumptuous to claim greater insight into the nature of the “problematique” or the possibility of a “resolutique” — to employ terms originally promoted by the Club of Rome, as separately discussed (Imagining the Real Challenge and Realizing the Imaginal Pathway of Sustainable Transformation, 2007). This exploration therefore focuses on the review of one “syndrome” which seems to inhibit a more integrative approach — if indeed that is what is appropriate in these turbulent times.

As indicated by the title, the concern here is with the nature of authoritative analysis of any problem situation such as to avoid any focus on generative factors. The subtitle is indicative of a secondary concern that this avoidance ensures every opportunity for many to wring their hands in compassionate despair for those who suffer as a consequence. For those variously claiming the highest moral authority, this may then be reinforced by their vacuous appeals to others of lesser standing to enable the resolution of the problem — a form of emotional blackmail further reinforced by daily media coverage of that suffering.

In this situation, are current strategic responses to be understood as essentially tokenistic — however purportedly serious and responsible they claim to be? In a period when a key challenge is articulated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), might the prevailing response to the planetary problematique be better understood as an Intergovernmental Palliative Care Coalition (IPCC)? Or is there a case for recognizing the emergence of a pattern of misleadership, as separately explored (Emergence of a Global Misleadership Council: misleading as vital to governance of the future? 2007).

The currently acclaimed sense of responsible strategic response merits reflection in the light of the cautionary adage: having lost sight of our objectives, we redoubled our efforts (as attributed in another form to George Santayana). Missing would seem to be the capacity to ask new questions capable of eliciting new thinking — rather than reinforcing a pattern of failure in everything but the remarkably increasing capacity for the targeted delivery of death. There is no concrete proof of use of information capacities — of equivalent efficacy — to develop ever more fruitful relationships between concepts, between people, or between remedial initiatives.



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 10 Jun 2013.

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