When the actions justify the aim search for the SC

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Some centuries after Nicola Machiavelli was dead, many people continue asking themselves if the aim can justify no ethical actions, however, this is not the real problem or the current world. The inheritance of the Machiavellian politics is common in our societies. Politicians always used the concept of the greatest good to justify some decisions, people are aware of it, and they can endure many efforts following this concept, but nobody would consider these politicians as Machiavellian.

If we look at complexity management to analyze this we could see and understand better its meaning. The greatest good can be seen as the course of a ship, and sometimes the surge is so strong that we cannot preserve the course, and the captain of the ship must change it in order that the waves do not wreck it.

The Machiavellian concept of politics is only a way to preserve the power of the state, or the ship under control of the captain, in order that the rulers can put the ship to the previous course when the storm has been gone.

Nowadays, although many politicians could be considered Machiavelli’s advantaged students our societies have legal methods to avoid the excesses of the governments. There are limits to the actions that a government can implant, the greatest good is defined by law, and it is not to preserve the power of a certain government. The greatest good is never a government in front of the anarchy; the greatest good is always the future welfare of the citizens and this one can never justify acting against them.

In the same way as in a ship the second commanding officer can take the lead when the captain is endangering the crew, most of our modern societies have chosen democracy and a constitution as the way to assure that a government cannot steal the effort of their citizens. Government can always be changed by a second commanding officer if they do this. They should not claim to be thieves justifying it under the concept of the greatest good.

The problem of our societies is not that one, our most common current problem is complexity. In a complex world, things are not done following a systemic viewpoint, following the greatest good. Things are done following procedures. Procedures are a way to divide a complex tactics in simpler tasks that can be managed easily. As the difference between the size of the tactics and the size of the task increases, there is no way to see the aim of the tactics from the managing of a single task. This can be used by a Machiavellian member of the government to change the greatest good by its personal aim. Imagine that you are planning a navigation route for a plane: you can take advantage of navigation beacons and prepare a global route from smaller point to point local ones. Nobody can know which one is you final destination, only which one is your next local one.

In this situation, managing actions are evaluated looking only at the development of a single task instead of the development of the whole planning, and this is the way as complexity is changing our perception of the greatest good. The greatest good is never following a certain procedure but finally get the destination, there are many routes that you can plan in order to reach a certain destination and probably the most direct is never the safest one. More than one plane have crashed searching for a geodesic reference at the top of a mountain through the fog.

Men are creatures of habit, we tend to choose the previous procedure to reach the same destination, however, weather can change and fitting the procedure can be destructive under a strong storm. This is not a sentence against experience but the contrary. As the captain is more experienced, they can know more local points to establish different routes and they can understand better where a safer next local point that put us nearer the final destination can be.

Quantitative complexity measurement is a tool that has two important characteristics. It is a systemic measurement and it is related to the safety of the global planned route. People do not need to trust blindly in an inexpert captain that only know to listen the code of the next beacon, if there are people that have put a lot of satellites around the Earth in order that we can know precisely where we are, looking at a GPS device, and where storms are, looking at the weather satellite images.

If the captain does not want to look at the GPS and the satellite images because they are very technically sophisticated instruments and he thinks that they must be “devil’s devices”, perhaps he should be substituted by the second commanding officer at once.

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2 thoughts on “When the actions justify the aim search for the SC

  1. Thinking about Complexity of the life !

    I agree that the system is a complex one. The excessive complexity (created not only by human, but mainly) create much more problems but everything is always in move. Life is movement.

    When you are saying “men are creatures of habit” : excuse me but personally, I don’t want to live a life of habits otherwise that means I am a prisoner of a system. I want to evoluate in proportion of my means and to the evolution, otherwise you miss the progress. In fact it’s not having the last technology, but it’s to be in accordance with our time. Who believes that we can solve something complex by something simple ? What is simple, what is complex…all the question is there…because for some genius some mathematical equation would be simple and not for the majority of the people. Even for two educated people…the first will find the thing easy and the other will find the same, difficult. We are in a paradox.

    The perceptions altered or improved by education show us different thing from one person to another. Too much misunderstanding even in the same language between two human beings accentuated when they come from different social categories…because they haven’t an opened mind enough open to accept the differences.
    When you want to quantify you are obliged to stop the process on a range as it evolves. That means your quantification shows a value at an accurate time already in the past, because during the time of the study, things have evolved.

    If the phenomenon were predictable, and awful will be the life for those managed by those who want to manage and control the lives of the others in this consumption society, that means like we would be not better than sheep and or prisoners. Effectively the mass acts similarly, when they are in group, but it’s a real danger because imagine every body at the same time want exactly the same thing except that there is not enough thing for everybody…you imagine the strength ratio in favour of the stronger to get the thing letting the crumbs to the others. This is what’s happening.

    You said “They should not claim to be thieves justifying it under the concept of the greatest good.” but in fact they are because it’s not for the benefit of all, but previously for their own benefit. Elitist education make people who don’t care about the weakest…the problem is you are not all the life among the stronger ! Love and compassion, are the unique solutions anyhow the complexity of this systemic and holistic way of life. We are doomed to complete happiness and so we need to learn to love unconditionally…as much as we haven’t understand that violence will win over the peace of the souls.

    May be we are all the sheep of God, and the starving wolves and great predators disappear gradually…but is life would be simple with just sheep and no differences with sheep and wolf and others….cause a vital principle is our own death…to generate another world to something may be more complex than we are !

    1. There is a difference between what we are and what we want to be. In Spain there is a proverb that says: “Man is the only animal that trips on the same stone twice”, of course. we can try to avoid it.

      You are confusing the elitist education with people at the government. This is not near reality. Elitist people got their education very far from the public one, and they do not usually waste time in preparing an exam for a public job, as they can be better paid at the great Banks and great corporations. The power of the government is not in the hands of elitist people but in the hands of a group of people from the masses that join its efforts in order to get a more comfortable job. The problem is that these organized groups are filling the state with people that have not shown the merit required to get that job, as many public employees have been contracted without an exam of merit, or they have received special advantages. High level public officials can get a position from internal promotions (at jobs that elitist people never apply for) with many points of advantage. In a complex organization the power of the government is not centralized in one person but distributed among many decision centers, goverments have a limited power although they can proceed from the elites. Political parties are aware of it and they have been filling the apparatus of the states with people of their own trust. Government can change but the state apparatus do not. A problem arises when other fields of the society are being politiziced, political parties try to do the same at banks and great corporations in order to get even the power tradionally in the hands of the elites.

      On the other hand, in Spain shepherds have been hunting wolves for many centuries but nowadays they are protected species and they cannot be hunted. A lot of sheeps are dying because of it.

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