What is a global system error?

In difficult times, it is revealed how wise you are

When a society is permeated by problems everywhere, we should ask ourselves whether our civilization is suffering from a global systemic failure. It is highly unlikely that thousands of different types of challenges will exist simultaneously without the existence of one system error.

It is easy to be led to believe that some subsystem in society constitutes the systemic fault, for example the financial system, transnational corporations, the power elite or the media. But how society looks and develops has its origins in ourselves in our function as political voters, opinion leaders, consumers, investors, and sometimes entrepreneurs and politicians.

The responsibility always lies with the collective, which consists of all citizens. It is also quite clear that the very rapid development of the complexity of society and technology requires a much higher level of wisdom than before. Mankind has prioritized development of knowledge for a long time, but has forgotten that wisdom is at least as important as knowledge, namely how we use knowledge in decision making.

We cannot solve global challenges and societal problems with the same mindset that created them

How can one explain a global system error in a simple way?

If you have a problem with your operating system, for example Windows, then you can not use Word, Excel, PowerPoint etcetera. The system error prevents all other programs from working properly. In the same way, too low individual and collective wisdom hinders the ability to anticipate, understand and act wisely on all types of situations, from daily worries to global challenges.

Just as the computer has an infrastructure through its operating system, our society has infrastructure in the form of roads, railways etcetera. In addition, humanity has an internal infrastructure consisting of insights, skills, values, and knowledge, which together form the culture of a civilization.

Another analogy is a construction company with many problems. Imagine scaling down civilization to a small construction company with, for example, 200 employees. The company suffers from many problems in all its departments. Some of these are:

  1. work accidents often occur
  2. people do not thrive and take sick leave all the time
  3. customers often give complaints from poorly executed construction work, and
  4. one must constantly fix these mistakes
  5. the bureaucracy and control have grown enormously to fix the problems
  6. many of the officials complain about back pain and joint pain
  7. the majority of employees bring office supplies home to be used by themselves and their children
  8. flexible working hours are used far beyond what is permitted
  9. a couple of working hours per day is spent on internet surfing and social media
  10. managers are often out playing golf
  11. careerists elbow and constantly lick their way up the hierarchy
  12. managers compensate themselves with stock options and fat bonuses
  13. the company's restaurant serves burgers and French fries and sugar buns for dessert every day
  14. the warehouse is in disarray and you can not find what you are looking for
  15. it is dirty everywhere because the cleaning lady is often on sick leave
  16. there are too few parking spaces with conflicts as a result
  17. the work chairs in the office are not ergonomic because no one cares
  18. each conference ends with a drunken party and extramarital relations
  19. the only major reason why the company still make money is that it negotiate offers with competitors and use cheap foreign construction workers.

All of these business problems can be resembled to a country's societal problems and global challenges. Ordinary political policy is when you try to solve one societal problem at a time.

This company suffers from a system failure, a deficient corporate culture. A business consultant knows with certainty that it is impossible to correct individual problems in the company. Why? Even if you temporarily succeed in solving a problem, the risk is imminent that the solution will be short-term or that conflicts will arise around the solution, as the lack of wisdom (deficient corporate culture) constantly opposes understanding, solutions, implementation and compliance.

Few in the company understand the system error and therefore the situation continues. There are more problems than you have time to to solve, that means that the situation is getting worse every day. The only thing you can do to solve the problems is to focus entirely on changing the corporate culture and stop trying to solve individual problems. Every experienced business consultant knows this and can identify if there are problems in the corporate culture, that means a system error. When you have upgraded the corporate culture, the staff works and thinks in a different way and solves the problems themselves, without the consultant having to intervene.

This analogy is almost identical to how our civilization works, but there are much more people involved, the problems are many times more and the complexity is many times greater in the global system. It is also a bit more relevant to talk about wisdom than corporate culture, although there are many similarities.

In a company, you can more or less force the staff to participate in various courses that raise awareness of the corporate culture and upgrade it, and the CEO can lead the company more directly than politicians can. 

When the insight of the global system error occurs (lack of wisdom), it is like a AHA experience. All existing political work suddenly becomes meaningless and diverts attention away from what really needs to be done first, namely to augment wisdom in the whole population.

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