It was first proposed by E.F. Schumacher, and often seconded by Buckminster Fuller, that we Think Globally, but Act Locally. This advise is not only intelligent, it is an absolute necessity in the present era. I have begun working within my own local community to create synergic organizations. It is my primary goal to help establish truly co-Operative communities. In pursuance of that goal, I have begun working with the local chapter of the Institute of Noetic Science (IONS) here in Monterey. This past Monday June 21st, 2004, I presented a proposal for the creation of a co-Operative community to an audience of local people. The following is from that presentation:
Synergic science examines how physical, biological, and social systems work together. Synergy literally means “working together”, operating together as in Co-Operation, laboring together as in Co-Laboration, acting together as in Co-Action. The goal of synergic union is to accomplish a larger or more difficult task than can be accomplished by individuals working separately. By working together, we can insure that everyone wins, and that no one loses–we can insure that everyone is helped, and that no one is hurt. A synergic human seeks a world that works for each of us and for all of us. You win. I win. Life wins. And, the Earth wins—WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN.
Community begins with Self and Other. Community is at minimum two individuals and in a co-Operative world could be as many as seven billion individuals. From a synergic science perspective, all relationships are between self and other. From my perspective I am self and you are other, but from your point of view you are self and I am other. This is a very simple way of looking at things.
Reality is personal. It is happening between between you and me.
Reality is local. It is happening wherever you and I are. Yes, there is reality in downtown San Francisco, and there is reality in New York City. But for each of us, reality is here and now.
And, control over reality is shared. If I raise my voice and start yelling, won’t you notice that your reality is suddenly LOUDER? If I start pumping hostility into our shared reality, you will feel that hostility. You may even react and pump some hostility yourself. If I start pouring friendliness into our shared reality, then chances are you will respond to that friendliness and we will both find that reality is more pleasant.
Self and other create and share their Universe. If we understand these three simple ideas – that reality is generated at the interface between self and other, that reality is personal and local, and that control of reality is shared, then we discover that the relationship between self and other determines everything in our lives—in fact the quality of our relationships are critical.
All human human relationships can be described as falling on a continuum:
Adversity — • — Neutrality — • — Synergy
When we examine the relationship between self and other, we discover that we can choose actions that result in our being worse off, actions that result in our being unchanged, or actions that result in our being better off. We can choose to hurt each other, we can choose to ignore each other, or we can choose to help each other.
Synergic scientist Edward Haskell taught us that within any relationship:
1) You can lose. You are hurt by the experience. You are less after the experience than before.
2) You can draw. You are ignored by the experience. You will be the same after the experience as before.
3) You can win. You are helped by the experience. You are more after the experience than before.
From the point of view of the individual joining in relationship, I can be hurt, I can be ignored, or I can be helped by the relationship. Relationships that hurt are adversary. Relationships that ignore are neutral. Relationships that help are synergic.
Synergic relationship becomes available to human individuals because of our unique power of understanding. Our ability to invent and to understand new ways of doing things creates a new possibility for co-Operation which does not exist in the world of the plants and animals.
Co-OPERATION —def—> Operating together to insure that both parties win, and that neither party loses. The negotiation to insure that both parties are helped, and that neither party is hurt.
Cooperation is an old word with lots of different meanings and feelings attached to it. Similar words are uniting, banding, combining, concurring, conjoining, and leaguing. Individuals who cooperate are affiliates, allies, associates, or confederates.
To some cooperation seems a losing word associated with socialism and communism. This is not what I mean. Co-Operation in synergic relationship means operating together to insure a win-win outcome.
Co-Operation is the mechanism of action necessary whenever an individual desires to accomplish a task beyond his individual abilities. Imagine, you and a friend are moving a heavy piece of furniture. Neither of you are strong enough to move the furniture by yourself. You decide to co-operate. You decide to operate together during the lifting. You would negotiate to insure that both of you win—to insure that both of you are helped. The conversation might go like this, “Are you ready?” “OK.” “Ready, 1.. 2.. 3.. lift!”, and if things are going well that is fine, but if one end gets too heavy then synergic co-Operation requires that you also protect each other from loss. “Whoops! Set it down.”
This is the synergic veto. This is the true meaning of co-Operation. The negotiation to insure that both parties win, and the synergic veto to stop the action if either party is losing.
A very limited form of cooperation exists among some animals. We see it the hunting pride of lions and within the hyena pack. Human co-Operation is a much more powerful mechanism. Animals have no voice with which to negotiate an action in which they win. They have no voice to veto an action in which they lose. Their primitive cooperation is guided by instinct, and it is quick to breakdown into the fighting and flighting of the adversary way.
We humans share the animal body, to survive we must also eat. We are omnivores. We meet our basic needs and survive by eating both plants and animals. Physiologically, we humans are also a dependent class of life. So adversary behavior comes to humans legitimately. But we humans are much more intelligent than the animals and that intelligence gives us the synergic option to avoid fighting or flighting.
True co-Operation—working together, teamwork, joint effort, alliances—these are only possible to a life form with symbolic intelligence—to a life form with a voice and with language—to a life form able to negotiate and veto. On earth, synergic relationships are only available only to humans.
Today, synergic relationship exists only within small groups of humans. We find synergic relationships within some families, occasionally within small businesses. But, there are no examples of institutionalized Synergy. And, there are no truly synergic communities.
Synergic relationship means sometimes I depend on other and sometimes other depends on me. Synergic relationship makes humans the INTERdependent class of life—interdependent on each other.
Declaration of INTERdependence
Stop reading! Take a few moment to examine the contents of your pockets or purse … … …
Can you find any item there, that you obtained without the help of someone else? Look around you. What do you see? Did you make the clothes you wear? Did you grow the food you eat or the tools you use. Look around your home or workplace. Can you find anything that you made. Do you know the names of those who did make all these things? Do you ever know upon whom you depend. Can you find anything in your environment that was obtained without the help of someone else?
I am not talking about ownership here. I will grant that you own your possessions. But would you have them if they had not been for sale. I would argue that nearly everything modern humans possess was obtained with the help of others.
As I examine my world I discover that I depend on others to grow and produce my food. I depend on others to design and build my home. I depend on others to generate my electricity. I depend on others to supply my water. I depend on others to deliver my mail. I depend on others to educate my children. I depend on others to entertain my family. I depend on others to manufacture my automobile. I depend on others to refine the gasoline for my car. I depend on others to care for my family when we are sick. I depend on others to protect us from crime and war. I depend on others to … … … I depend on others, I depend.
Human INTERdependence is made less visible by our present economic exchange system. I go to work and help my employer. He depends on me. At the end of the month he pays me for my help. I depend on him. I can then take some of the money from my paycheck to pay my house rent. While I depend on my landlord for the roof over my head, he depends on me to pay the rent promptly. Sometimes I depend on others and sometimes others depend on me. When we buy and sell in the economic marketplace we are really exchanging help. When I help others they owe me. When others help me I owe them. Money is just the present accounting mechanism we use to settle up.
INTERdependence means all humans need help. This is important enough that it can not be said too often. All humans need help unless they wish to live at the level of animal subsistence. INTERdependence means sometimes I depend on others and sometimes others depend on me. Sometimes my actions help others meet their needs. Sometimes other’s actions help me meet my needs.
INTERdependence is the human condition. All humans need help unless they wish to live at the level of animal subsistence. INTERdependence means some times I depend on others and sometimes others depend on me. Once we acknowledge our INTERdependence and accept our dependence on others, then there are only three ways that we can get help.
- We can force others help us—adversary help.
- We can pay others to help us—neutral help.
- Or, we can co-Operate with others and attract them to help us by making sure that they are also helped—synergic help.
This is help obtained with coercion — force or fraud. Those providing the help are losing. When you force others to help you, they do the least they possibly can. Because the helper is hurt, adversary help is low quality help.
Adversary relationships are hurting and negative experiences. The helper experiences a loss. He is less after helping you than before. When you force others to help you, they do the least they possibly can.
Adversary INTERdependence means that sometimes I force others to help me, and sometimes others force me to help them.
Slavery, indentured service, tenant farming, and child labor are examples of adversary help. The criminal makes you help him, when he steals your property. The government makes you help it, when it forces you to pay taxes. You are being forced to help others anytime you are given an ultimatum.
Adversary relationships are hurtful. The parties in these relationships experience loss. They struggle to avoid the loss—they conflict. In an adversary relationship, one individual plus another individual are less after the relationship. In other words (1+1) < 2, and often much less than two.
We can have adversity, your “X” and my “Y” are reduced by our relationship. The sum of the whole (X + Y ) is less than the sum of the parts (X) + (Y).
When you make others help you, coercing them with force or fraud, the helper loses and will typically give you only the lowest quality help. Adversary relationships are marked by high conflict, low effectiveness and poor productivity.
This is help purchased from others. This is the way most of us get help today. We hire it or we buy it in the market place. When I go to McDonalds, I pay them five dollars to feed me.
The focus in the neutral market place is on a fair price. Because the helper is ignored, neutral help is average quality help.
Macys, Sears, Mervyns, Pennys, Costco, K-Mart, Circuit City, etc., etc.—malls, stores, markets, shops, and restaurants—are all examples of neutral help. The yellow pages in the telephone book are lists of places where you can purchase help. Capitalism’s fair market is where you purchase neutral help. You buy help in the open market place at a fair market exchange price. This is the modern free world where help is sold as products and services.
In the fair market, the helper experiences a draw and will typically produce average quality help. Neutral relationships are ignoring and static experiences. The helper experiences a draw. They are the same after helping as before. When you ignore those who help you, this is why you will get only fair help.
Neutral INTERdependence means that we are both buyers and sellers of help—Sometimes I pay others to help me and sometimes I am paid to help others.
Neutral relationships are ignoring. The parties in these relationships experience no change. They barter to insure that the exchange is fair—to insure that the price is not too high or too low—to insure that neither party loses. The open market of free enterprise generates a zone of neutrality which markedly reduces adversary relations. Neutral systems gain a marked production advantage over adversary systems. They are significantly more productive. However, this is primarily because they are not adversary.
In a neutral relationship, one individual plus another individual are the same after the relationship. (1+1) = 2. When you pay others to help you, offering them a fair wage in an atmosphere marked by indifference, the helper draws and will typically give you only average quality help.
We can have neutrality, your “X” and my “Y” are unchanged by our relationship. The sum of the whole (X +Y ) is equal to the sum of the parts (X) + (Y).
Neutrality is that place where I work just hard enough to avoid getting fired, and, my employer pays me just enough to keep me from quitting. Neutral relationships are marked by accidental conflict, moderate effectiveness and average productivity.
This is help attracted by co-Operating with others — working together to solve our mutual problems. When other individuals understand that by helping you, they will also be helped, they will automatically help you. When others understand that when you win, they will win, they will support and celebrate your success. This is the power of the win-win relationship. Show those who can help you, how they will win by doing so. Show them how they will be helped by helping you. Because the helper is helped, synergic help is high quality help.
Synergic INTERdependence means that sometimes others help me and sometimes I help others.
Examples of synergic help in today’s world are less common. We find them in many families. Also less frequently in small partnerships and business groups. Synergic relationships also exist in many start-up businesses, where the originators work together sharing in the risks and the rewards equally. But most of the developed world is locked into Neutrality.
If you wish to attract synergic help you must insure that when individuals invest their help with yours, they are also helped. Then they will automatically reinvest with you. When others understand that when you win, they win, they will support and celebrate your success.
Synergic relationships are helping, positive experiences. The helper experiences a win. They are more after helping you than before. When you help those who help you, you get the most help. When you help those who help you, you get excellent help.
Synergic relationships are helpful. The parties in the relationship experience a gain. They operate together to insure that both parties win, and that neither party loses. They negotiate to insure that both parties are helped, and that neither party is hurt.
In synergic relationships, one individual plus another individual is more after their relationship than before: (1+1) >> 2. Synergic relationships are marked by no conflict, high effectiveness and enormous productivity.
Or, we can have synergy, your “X” and my “Y” are made greater by our relationship. The sum of the whole (X + Y) is more than the sum of the parts (X) + (Y).
Building Synergic Community
Today there are no truly co-Operative communities. What we have at best are simply collections of individuals dominated by neutral and adversary relationships. If we want a positive future for ourselves and our families, we will need commitment.
the will to stay the course
the act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action —WordNet
an agreement or pledge to do something in the future —Merriam-Webster
synonyms: allegiance, loyalty, dedication
Most of us have self commitment—the will to protect our self, to meet our personal goals, and to obtain our personal needs, wants, and desires. Some of us have other commitment—commitment to our family. This is usually commitment to just the nuclear family consisting of a mother, father, and their children occasionally it is extended to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. In the process of earning our livings, we develop some commitment to our organizations and our communities, but rarely to Humanity as a Whole, and almost never to Life, and/or to the Earth itself.
Synergic community requires commitment to both self and other. We must work together:
to protect our selves as individuals, and as community,
to meet our goals as individuals, and as community,
to obtain our needs, wants, and desires as individuals, and as community.
Therefore, synergic community requires unity.
a condition of harmony; continuity without deviation or change (as in purpose or action); the quality or state of being made one —Merriam-Webster
synonyms: oneness, wholeness, integrity, and unification
Synergic community is a co-Operative community. It requires both commitment and unity—committed unity—in a word:
Synergic science has created powerful tools for those humans who desire the power of synergic organization, and who are willing to commit to the formation of co-Operative communities.
CommUNITY is more than a collection of individuals. It is a group of anywhere from two to seven billion humans who are connected by synergic relationship, and committed to solving their problems and meeting their needs by working together.
Once such a group has decided on their own unique common purpose and mission. Once they have decided what are the common goals and needs that unite them. Then they can use the new tools of synergic organization to significantly leverage their efforts in achieving their purpose and mission and in obtaining their goals and needs.
Do you have the will to stay the course?
Are you willing to bind yourself intellectually or emotionally to a course of action?
Are you willing to make an agreement or pledge to do something in the future?
Most of my readers are good at Thinking Globally, but now is the time to Act Locally. You are invited to use any of the ideas and tools from the SynEARTH Network to help you form your own CommUNITIES. If you need my help, all you have to do is ask.