Monday, March 29, 2010

Manipulators and Maintainers

Is increasing income stratification due to increasing complexity equitable? Or does it constitute a rigged system?
With increasing complexity, an increasing proportion of the population cannot be expected to cope. Indeed, many of the potentially most productive members will be less capable of coping, because they have invested a greater percentage on their education in their skill, rather than in their ability to cope with the system. In most cases their skill will be necessary to maintain the system. The system, as it becomes more complicated, thus selects against its most useful members, those most skilled in maintaining the system, and selects for those most skilled at coping with, or manipulating the system. (Or course these skill sets are not independent, but there is only limited overlap, as is evidenced by specialized educations. Not all education is to learn to do things that help maintain a society.) There is increasingly a separation of population, into those skilled at manipulation of the system, and those who maintain it. Those who manipulate the system come to do so for their own benefit, at the expense of those who actually maintain it. They thus gain income at the expense of those who maintain the society. Further, it is in the interests of the manipulators that it be sufficiently complicated that those who maintain it cannot both maintain and manipulate.
But with the prosperity of the manipulators, more people become manipulators, and fewer maintainers. Since the maintainers are the strength, and the manipulators are the weight, the society gains weight and loses strength, becoming less capable of performing essential functions. Increasing income stratification due to increasing complexity is not only inequitable, it is destructive of the society.
And we have not even addressed the issue of those who are insufficiently skilled at either maintenance or manipulation, for whom the maintaining skills, and the manipulation skills, are simply too complicated for them to cope with, but who could cope with and perhaps even prosper in a simpler society. To what degree of exclusion should these people be relegated, especially considering that society is, for many of them, at least partly responsible for their miseducation.

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