This is my introductory post to go back to first principles, to begin working on the philosophy that  underlies this blog.

The blog is about individualism.  The primary counter to individualism is organization, and its modern preeminent form – Bureaucracy.  My life studies in human interaction led me to study the nature and form of human interaction.  Government and “society” seemed to be ethereal concepts to me as a young man, so I worked to understand business in a conscious effort to limit my scope.

What I found is that my studies in business led me to understand human organization, and ultimately,  the ideas of government and society.  Many of my colleagues, having been interested in my business ideas, were disappointed that my blog hasn’t spent much time within that realm.  It is my wish to begin a series of posts that work on melding these ideas together.

W. Edwards Deming was the catalyst for my awakening.  Deming taught me about variation and uncertainty, about respect for the individual.  From there, many ideas flourished.

Bureaucracy cripples individualism.  In a bureaucracy, people fall into the ranks.  A heirarchy is established which filters ideas to the top, vested in a few decision makers that choose the “right” or “wrong” ideas.  Ultimately, the right or wrong ideas are only those ideas that are right or wrong in the opinion of the person supporting or quashing those ideas.

Organizations go through several phases.  They begin with an idea, launched by an entrepreneur with a commitment that his idea will sell, which is to say that it will present value to enough people to provide him with a profit.  If there is initial success, the entrepreneur and those he has collaborated with to bring the idea to market begin to flourish.

In this stage, the organization is dynamic.  The ideas matter, and everyone works toward the goal.  But something tragic occurs along the line:  Organization creeps in.

There is a whole school of management theory that dominates most individuals, and for the most part, goes completely unchallenged:  It is the school of control.  When decision making gets more and more distributed among larger numbers of individuals, those who are in “control” lose their locus of control – they can’t be involved in every decision at every moment.  And when mistakes are made that they didn’t have a direct decision over, they become quite uncomfortable.

This is where one of my core precepts – Management by Exception – comes in.  Each undesirable outcome brings about a new “rule” to prevent it from happening again.  Rather than dealing with the decision of an individual, and working with them to understand the consequences of their decision, and learning from it, we pass a “rule” to prevent it from happening again.

Any “rule” passed among a group to manage the possible negative outcomes of an individual action stifles the freedom and creativity of the rest of the group.  Bureaucracy is built on rules.

Most entrepreneurs pass through this stage, and then it becomes all about the “people.”  If only the people would “do their jobs” everything would work out fine.  But as they lose their local control, most entrepreneurs believe that people can’t be trusted to do their jobs, they need external control to bring about the correct behavior.  Thus the Carrot and Sticks school of management.

As an organization becomes more bureaucratic, the people at the top of the hierarchy become further and further detached from the dynamics of human interaction at the problem-solving level.

Here’s where I’ll work on putting it together into a cohesive theory:  The myriad exceptions become intolerable to the people at the top.  There is too much variation in the system, too much uncertainty.  So they pass more and more rules to eliminate uncertainty, and they stifle all of the dynamics that allow them to better serve customers.  In a true free market,  this organization dies because its market share is picked away by younger, more flexible, and more dynamic organizations.  But we do not function in a free market…

The need for control, built in to the DNA of a bureaucracy, make it wish to eliminate uncertainty.  In a free market, uncertainty is the name of the game.  In their effort to bring about certainty, unscrupulous business leaders look to use force on the market place.

Government is the monopoly on the use of force.

This is the essence of corporatism, the poisonous relationship between business and government.  Government is the ultimate form of bureaucracy, the quintessential form of hierarchical, command-and-control management.  What government makes a rule becomes “law”, and business leaders can use this “law” to quash their competition and force their business model on consumers, restricting their choice in the marketplace.

The Law, most eloquently stated by Frederic Bastiat, has only one purpose:  To protect the life, liberty, and property of individuals.  Any legislation written that restricts or denies the individual his life, liberty, or property is not law at all, it is a tool of plunder.

The individuals that make up this fiction called “government” live off the plunder of individuals.  As Murray Rothbard said, they are nothing more than a band of thieves writ large.

Corporations are a creation of the state.  It is a deal with the devil (government) exchanging a protection against liability for an oath of loyalty to the state.  In trading their desire for certainty for external control by the rule of men in the state, entrepreneurs sell their soul to the state.

There are many ideas to expand upon based on this post, and I’ve barely scratched the surface.  It is neither comprehensive nor well organized – it’s a start on some ideas.  This is the purpose of this blog.

I need a lot of feedback from the readers of this blog to continue to work on these ideas.  Most of you know me well for my ideas related to business.  We can use this as a basis to expand the ideas out to the fictional ideas of government and society.