Is this a complexity crisis?

Historical Portrait Figure of peasant woman of...
Image by mharrsch via Flickr

If you think about complexity as a property of a dynamic system, it is difficult to think that any crisis can be a complexity crisis. If complexity is seen as property of a society, an increment of complexity only can be the effect of the crisis, and then, it cannot be the cause.

When we say that this crisis is a complexity crisis, what we are establishing is that the causes of the crisis are endogenous and are not exogenous. The more complex a system is, the less manageable.  That inability in order to manage due to a more complex society is what we have named a complexity crisis.

But the cause is not the complexity; the cause is the incompetence of the political establishment to govern a more complex society. At this point, we can think that both sentences are describing the same problem.

In the middle age, any country was governed by military experts. The reason was obvious; there was a continuous need of preserving the property of the land from external conquerors with expansive wishes. Complexity increased, because the strengthening of the military structure drove to a more stable situation that let a development of other activities like commerce. This complexity increase was not followed by a change of the experts in charge of the government. While economy got a more preponderant role, the old structure of the government continued being hierarchical, and it did not provide the right support to the development of the society that depends mainly on commerce and not on war. This difference between the development needs and the government produced an extra amount of entropy to work that drives to a new regimen provided by the French revolution.

A sight to this historical period shows us an important matter: Complexity is not the cause of any complexity crisis, the cause of a complexity crisis is a non-evolved government model.

Nowadays we hear that this crisis is a crisis of values. I am not sure of this point. It is well-known that if a government increases the taxes, fraud increases too. Humans have a high developed survival instinct and the values of any man change when the future of his family is in danger. I think that these changing values are an effect (not a cause) of the crisis; they are the extra entropy and inefficiency that appears when an old broken engine continues working.

Back to our situation, western countries need to transcend the limits of their governors. It is time to change the bureaucracy experts by a new class of experts. A globalized world needs globalization experts with knowledge on international economy instead of old internal bureaucracy experts and a new government structure to support the globalized commerce and manage complex links and relations among a lot of countries. It is necessary to reduce complexity reforming and simplifying the administrative processes and to organize the government to manage the new critical activities. Fortunately, democracy provides a way to make the change without the use of the guillotine but, are political parties prepared to change the profile of their leaders and candidates?


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