The love of money Part II

Opinion  |  KJ John
Published:  |  Modified:

We saw it happen in the UK, we saw it in the Philippines, and now we see the same in the US; all three are protest votes about the operative culture of kleptocracy, managed and ordered by an equally ‘corrupt system’.

Actually these are in fact the ‘new barbarians’ ready to rule in their ‘new barbaric ways’; as Professor Ian Angell warned us some time ago; but we did not take him seriously either, nor did we take note of his warning.

Ian Angell, dubbed “the Angell of Doom” by The (London) Times, lays out his manifesto for the New Barbarians who will lead the economic elite into a Brave New World over the next two decades. He rejects the long-held view of information technology as our benign liberator from mundane work.

Instead, he regards it as the seed for a new society, in which the winners in the knowledge economy will construct their own “smart regions” founded on libertarian principles and enlightened self-interest.

Who is the corrupt system?

Michael Harmon wrote two important books for American Public Administration. One was called ‘Action Theory’ and the other ‘Organization Theory for Public Administration’. He was my professor of Public Administration.

In the second book, he starts with a story of a five-year-old boy being battered to death in his own home by his stepfather, but all 360-degree neighbours who knew something was not right, did not do anything and therefore “colluded or collaborated to kill the boy”.

My other late professor of Psychology and Management, Jerry B Harvey, in his teaching and writing made famous a similar concept, and called it,‘the Abilene Trip’. In fact the ‘Trip to Abilene’ was voted one of the most popular management concepts, and was rated even higher than Maslow’s Hierarchy at one time in late 1980s.

His argument or theory simply states, all groups tend towards being silent about wrongdoing when they have an opportunity, because they dared or cared not speak up about it. But when challenged, they all disavowed that they did not exercise a volition option by their non-action. This he labels as ‘the Abilene Paradox’.

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