civic professionalism and institutional accountability


“Technology no longer serves as a tool to improve human life, but is a prostitute to the drive for profits. Greed drives technology as businesses compete to develop new technologies in order to generate more profits.”

Dorothee Soelle


“The corporation is not an independent ‘person’ with its own rights, needs, and desires that regulators must respect. It is a state created tool for advancing social and economic policy.”

Joel Bakan


Let’s be clear. While globalization has fostered gobs of profits and revenues and wealth throughout all of business, global institutions are miserable business models for people. This has occurred because the businesses, and institutions in which they are in cahoots with, really have no one at its control nor anyone to truly control them. This means the institutions, or global capitalism, are driven by the imperatives of the market and, as a consequence, not particularly tied to the imperatives of people and humanity. To be very clear. This institutional power is not anonymous. It has names and faces and institutional design which is clearly designed for the results it is generating. As I will say again when I close this piece, if we desire different results, we need to design a new system and, as well, a design for how power is accumulated and used.

I begin there because simplistic descriptions of the miserable workplace and miseries of those who work within them, and even the costs associated to the current workplace life, will fail to remove the conditions from which that misery arises. I will also add here that even the most well-intended smart thinking about how to fix specific businesses are most likely doomed to fail because each of those businesses are part of a larger globalized business construct and design of which places its indelible stamp upon any business attempting to make its way in the business world. For example, I have said similar things to this piece, work environment’s effect on behavior, and agree with it all, but, I feel, in some way, that the idea of “Design to Put People in Control of the Work” is slightly naïve. While I agree with the intent, even the construct, it fails in some ways to acknowledge the people are in, and of, a system in which the objectives aren’t necessarily aligned with what is best for the ‘people in control of the work.’

Let me outline that thought a bit more. Because the conditions are a consequence of the construct and the power the construct has as the market, and as a consequence the business, becomes the organizing principle, people basically “downward level’ to the organizing principle itself. By default, this actually <paradoxically> becomes ‘principled behavior’ and all the people in control of the work are off to the tragedy of commons race. So. We need a comprehensive system reform, mindset shift and behavioral reset. Throughout the civilized world a developing sense of social responsibility has compelled the community to support, in some manner, its people in need – whatever the cause of their inability to support themselves.

Which leads me to why this sense of social responsibility hasn’t gain velocity.

Institutional power has its own purpose, the institution itself doesn’t need a purpose. Ponder that “purpose over Profit” people. Power is an objective that has a value in and of itself to some people, and many global institutions, because it is a means by which all objectives are achieved. Most battles, if we are honest, aren’t about good or evil, they are simply because of something – some objective, desire or perceived need including the desire for power. You stop looking ahead, you stop not only thinking about the future but caring about the future because it is within the here and now that power gets accumulated so that, theoretically, you can achieve whatever you want – good or evil – in the future. Power doesn’t really set you free or even open up possibilities, real power is about relationships some with people you don’t really like and some with others simply to get what you want. The reality is, once is gained, you are extremely hesitant to concede the ‘power’ and even more reluctant to let go of even the most corrosive relationships developed to gain that power. This hesitancy actually shifts into full-on “hold on with ragged claws” if you have mastered <or you feel like you have mastered it> the ‘useful flurry of power’ in appropriate ways and the business is getting some of the things it wants <more power, which is semi-control of its future, and more profit>.

The truth is power is that Faustian bargain you have just made IN those relationships and you are trapped – and velocity is unattainable even if there may be some ‘traction for good.’

That means society and business need the necessary incentives to untrap those relationships and secure a better business environment in which the depreciation of people, values/ethics or, just as humans, is not only reduced but removed. And, yeah, I just used “depreciate” with regard to humans. I am positing that global institutions, businesses in particular, are depreciating humans through creating an invalidity of their values, ethics and meaning. That said. Why do I posit this? If the worker, people, have become so dependent upon business for subsistence – moral and financial – that means their meaning <and ‘soul’ if I want to dig deeper> has become contingent upon work and the workplace. Yeah. Some people, particularly people of faith, will debate me on that and my response is, well, ‘prosperity gospel.’ If faith wants a signal for how far business and globalized institutions have seeped into the gestalt of humanness, they should take a good long hard look at how deeply financial corruption has infringed upon values and soul.

Which leads me to the context institutions survive and thrive within – capitalism.

Institutions, businesses, are not a person, or even a group of people per se, but rather accumulated property – wealth, capital and money. People may beget that, but it is a business, not a person, is the fact. This is an important thought because as institutions gain more and more power, and less and less accountability, human beings have even less say and influence over the direction these powerful entities decide to take us. Because business has no real conscious <or moral or ethics> other than to survival <growth & wealth>, because they are for the most part non-democratic, because they desire to guide human culture <because it benefits them>, because they influence government policies and even governments, these institutions are not only damaging, but dangerous, without accountability.

To be very clear. This is not an “anti-capitalism” piece. I support capitalism I am just suggesting that global institutions, and globalization, has hijacked it.

As I noted in “finding a better version of capitalism”; culture is created by, uhm, human beings. I say that not to be a smart ass but to suggest there is a real culture war in America, maybe the world, and it is occurring in the business world. I purposefully use ‘culture’ because it has to do with some ethics or moral fortitude, some personal responsibility and some pragmatic hope for the future. In fact, if we fix how capitalism works <systemic & infrastructure aspects>, the net result is addressing income inequality, wage stagnation and overall economic prosperity as well as some individual “self-stuff” <kind of all the big societal issues we tend to discuss>.

Free markets, in order to function well, depend upon the virtue of their participants. The distrust engendered by vice raises wasteful transaction and monitoring costs to levels that can paralyze the marketplace. Moreover, vice leads to the phenomenon of “putting profits before people.” This can be manifested in a variety of ways: by taking imprudent and excessive risks with other people’s money; by selling products and services that harm consumers, families, and society; and by engaging in outright fraud. Today, of course, we are suffering from all of the above.

<opening sentence is Adam Smith, remainder is mine>

Adam Smith clearly understood the link between markets and morality in his economic theory. He did not believe that a successful economy could arise from the raw, unbridled pursuit of self-interest. He maintained that self-interest could fuel a successful economy only if it were narrowed by the constraints of traditional morality. I mention that because it seems like today we are seeing what happens when these constraints are relaxed an large global institutions begin to dictate the construct of how ‘free markets’ are conducted. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the increasing complexity of globalization has only increased the pace of this activity.

Which leads me to what I mean by institutional globalization.

I tend to mean Institutional globalization in terms of business. Internationally <globalized> businesses which impact social, economic and political institutions as well as influence people in terms of culture, government policies and international trade. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that in their largeness, and power, they actually influence the construct and success criteria of even the non-transnational businesses. That said. What this means is, in other words, business not only prioritizes their profits and purposes <not Purpose> above anything else but subvert the intentions of everything else to their needs and desires. This is no nefarious cabal of business people just the fact that business rules through dictating decisions that benefit them – thereby, and as a consequence, casting influence over people. People work within these institutions, okay, maybe function within them. these institutions have taken on a life of their own in which their primary purpose, above any ideological Purpose (the nebulous “Why”) is its own survival, growth and, as an extension of both, power. The relationship becomes inverted and rather than institutions serving people the people serve the institutions. In other words, business ignores the fact their purpose is to benefit people, not themselves. **

** note: this is not some idealistic statement. It is a statement of belief that if a business benefits people it will benefit. Its purposes are beneficial and profitable. Profit is not an objective, but an outcome.

I bring up globalized institutions (transnational) because all of what I just suggested becomes compounded <if not exponentially at least multiplicatively> with size and scale. The stakes get higher and the need to influence is higher. Because of their increasing wealth, political influence and reach, the larger institutions drive increasing movement TOWARD globalization and their sustenance. Their own acceleration, fed by technology, accelerates their power <over resources and policy and wealth> at a pace where they can exploit faster than any people can fight back.

I imagine my point is that business should not have the power to make decisions that not only harm people, and the environment, but negatively influence the meaning and purpose of people themselves.

Given that power <which they basically have now> we can see only their increasing private wealth and influence and power – at the expense of greater inequality, less meaning in people and a greater sense of, well, lostness and its unique negative consequences, i.e., when people recognize they are losing power they actually give up hope, and sense of individual accountability, and ‘give themselves’ to the purposes of the institutions themselves as their path to Life.

Which brings me back to power again.

Globalization has seemingly boundless degrees. Not just for good or for bad, but creating excess & indulgence as well as poverty & beggars, brings out the best and some of the worst in the world, and it clearly has the inability to know the difference. Those who live the best are some of the worst. And some who live the worst are of the best.  The truly talented often do not get as much exposure as the wealthy moronic idiots.  All the while there was a general democratization of ‘everyday luxuries’ <almost everyone has a tv, air conditioning, car, etc.> as well as a perceived social mobility <somewhat realistic> built by the fact the working schmuck had such luxury available <Caribbean cruise vacation or boat in the driveway> it created social connection points to the wealthy in ways that blurred social classes of which businesses are quick to use to conflate wealth distribution perceptions versus a reality that is starkly different. I share some of that to suggest institutional power gains even more power as even small benefits of their power dribble down to make those being abused in the system actually feeling like life is better.

Which leads me to ‘business behavior.’

Much of businesses history is written in dubious ethical behavior and unless something changes, it will stay that way. The issue is we have become accustomed to it to such an extent we are not only used to it we kind of accept it as “business as usual.” We have become so numb to the scope and magnitude of moral degradation <despite all the ‘stated values’ pinned up on every wall> that we simply turn a blind eye to a system we know is not only flawed, but corrosive. In some sense it can make many of uneasy with a sense of being complicit or in our silence, or inability to do anything about it, that in some way we are consenting.

This stark reality is jarring to most everyday people because in our heart of hearts we know people are not that bad nor the number of ‘evil’ can count in any meaningful numbers. Just pick up a copy of Humankind (Rutger Bregman) and you will be reminded that while we are barraged with stories on how people’s behavior arcs toward unethical or uncompassionate, they are typically not true stories – at least as indicative of the majority of people. We only have to look to many of the indigenous peoples to view a society, or way of life. Which demonstrates that hierarchy, violence, exploitation and even ruthless competition is not integral to how people can thrive day to day. My point here is not that we should copy indigenous cultures, but rather that absent some institutional systems people are kind, generous and communities can coexist in sustainable ways.

So, if that is so then why does it feel like the arc of civilization is bending toward a not-so-nice place? Let us turn our eyes back to the institutions. For they are accountable, and yet unaccountable, for a number of constructs in which we, the people, seem to feel bound to. It’s a bit naïve to think businesses are just groups of people working together. Through authority and structure institutions can take on a life of their own with its own objectives and systems and culture shaping itself around those objectives. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the larger and wealthier the business becomes the less control individual people have over the business. This gets compounded by the fact as a business grows those who rise to positions of authority tend to do so because they support and further the goals of the business – not the people. There is a ‘drop down’ consequence to this. As a business grows people invest their energy and resources to serve them, become loyal to them and even defend them. Over time this shifts into the business itself gaining the upper hand and gains power and authority over people – attitudes, beliefs and, yes, ethics. The survival and growth of the business itself supersedes any individual ‘purpose’ and, yes, even ethics.

To be clear. People permit this to happen because people are inherently social and prosper when organizing in some “shared interest” way. Humans have always evolved through communities, tribes, families, clans and finally arranging ourselves into villages, towns, cities, nations and global businesses. As the arrangements of ‘self’ have expanded we have continued to find ways to organize roles and divisions and even societies – all so it makes sense. These organized patterns and systems simultaneously help us thrive and, yet, empower the systems of organization with power to dictate the actions of individuals. What I mean by that is the exact same systems developed to nurture our thriveability ultimately morph into the structures and systems which begin to destroy ethics, values and self-purpose. In other words, the shared interest shifts from self-fulfilling to institution-fulfilling believing by fulfilled the institution the self will be rewarded in some way. When people serve the institutional objectives rather than live as free-thinking human beings there is imminent danger of, well, lack of accountability to anything other than the institution itself. The institution becomes the excuse for all behavior.

This is possibly captured the best by Steinbeck in Grapes of Wrath:

“And all of them were caught in something larger than themselves. Some of them hated the mathematics that drove them, and some were afraid, and some worshiped the mathematics because it provided a refuge from thought and from feeling. If a bank or a finance company owned the land, the owner man said, The Bank—or the Company—needs—wants—insists—must have—as though the Bank or the Company were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensnared them. These last would take no responsibility for the banks or the companies because they were men and slaves, while the banks were machines and masters all at the same time.”


Which leads me to people as ‘individual moral beings.’

Most people hold an individualistic approach to morality.

“I choose these morals because they are right for me (in my opinion)”.

And moral relativism.

“There are no absolutes, it depends on the situation”.

So, with the institution in their moral hip pocket as an excuse for their own behavior, people begin the slide down ethical fading in subservience to the ‘good of the institution.’ Sure. We, humans, may justify it in a number of creative ways but if we were honest, absent of the institution in which our subsistence is tied to, we would make a number of different decisions. In other words, people have deferred their individuality to the needs of the institution.

While I could suggest this is kind of crazy, I will say it is sad. In the institution’s lack of accountability, we, humans, act no better than the institution which is treating us as if we were a cog in their machine.

I don’t think we are morally adrift nor do I think morality should be subjective it seems like when you drill down to its core morality, moral behavior should be fairly black and white.

That said. I still do not believe we are in any moral crisis.

People were no less greedy, ignorant, selfish and violent yesterday then than they are today, and no more generous, fair-minded and idealistic.

However, I would suggest <as did Peter Drucker> that the key institutions, stronger than the excesses of individuals, were usually able to contain and channel our natural tendencies to more useful ends in the past. In other words, human nature does not change, but social structures can, and they did.

To be clear. No business is perfect. But. In any business the survival (or thriveability in the market context) needs of the organization can usurp the formative original purpose for which it was created. Therefore, the institutional demands assume more importance and utilize most of the resources than even those better used to the benefit of people, society and environment.

This is to suggest moral weakness resides in the institutions of power – societies, ideologies, systems and businesses that influence, shape, inform and act UPON people. I say that because moral weakness and poor individual choices cannot account for the extent of the ethical degradation in the world. To acknowledge the power of the institutions does not excuse or absolve people of accountability for their actions but it does behoove us to reflect upon the relationship each individual has with the institutions. For by being part of the institution even one of good intentions can be drawn into moral fading in actions.

Which leads me to a dose of “ethical reality.”

We don’t really like to admit it but Life, in general, more resembles a constant teetering on the edge of a slippery slope than anything else (especially with regard to ethics, i.e., “doing the right thing.”). Life, and business, constantly, relentlessly forces you to make, well, ethical choices. Now. They may not look like ethical choices, but if you look real closely you will see the face of ‘right or wrong’ staring at you wagging its finger. We don’t look that closely because it would force us to admit:

    • Right & wrong is often contextual
    • Right & wrong is often not a clear black or white
    • Right & wrong is often measured, ultimately, in consequences not actions, yet, we are demanded to choose right or wrong and act now

You will most associate this constant teetering (also a recognition of being on the slippery slope of fading ethics) as “just this once” behavior. We don’t really like to admit it because ‘just this once’ tends to be used to explain away some of our more dubious behavior and decisions.

This ‘dubiousness’ gets couched in a variety of ways. Safety. Utility. Benefits (functional and ‘to me’). We find a lot of ways to justify our behavior, decisions and attitudes before we ladder up to ethics. Its not that we ignore ethics or even not care about ethics its just we prioritize a number of things before we get to ethics. This suggests ethics is not a foundation from which decisions emerge, but rather are a final, fairly wide, box in which a decision has to be checked against.

If that is true, then ethical fading is commonplace, yet, justified by ‘pragmatism’ criteria. I bring up pragmatism because, whether we admit it or not, unless you actually think about ethics, morals and values (in a non-meta philosophical way) then it becomes a little more difficult to understand how principles can play a fairly important pragmatic guardrail role. The truth is that ethics are constantly challenged, in context, by safety and utility. For example, would we steal to feed our children or lie to keep us safe. Sound moral judgment is rooted in strong values and acted upon by our ethics. An organizational judgement, a collection of these individuals, is herded in common principles.

Principles, yes, before you despair, principles guard against ethical fading. Principles are the cornerstones of your ethical building. Without principles you have no solid ground to stand on in a world constantly trying to tip you over into a variety of holes, slippery slopes and dead-end tunnels.

‘Principle’ is defined in Nuttall’s Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language as, “n. the source or origin of anything; a general truth or law comprehending many subordinate ones; tenet or doctrine; a settled law or rule of action; to impress with any tenet; to establish firmly in the mind.”

Principles protect, in a very fragile way, against ethical fading.

They do so in a number of ways

  1. They establish a foundation, or a moral filter, for ethical behavior. Maybe call them the ground rules of how you assess what is right versus wrong
  2. Unfortunately, the foundation is a framework not a “how to do” manual. Therefore, upfront they help define exceptions to the ground rules and, yes, we will always find some exceptions. Some ‘blurring’ of the guardrails as it were.
  3. Unfortunately (part 2), this blurring, while not always creating ‘just this once’ behavior, it CAN create just this once behavior which is, well, the slippery slope of ethical fading. In this situation principles can actually be the solid lily pads of ‘no more’ certainty from which one can stop the slide down the slippery slope of ethical fading.
  4. Unfortunately (part 3), principles, while resilient, are not immortal. Facing the onslaught of ethical fading they can, well, fade and once they have made their last stand you are screwed. You are on the slope and the only question left to answer is how far down the slope you end up.

So, despite their fragility, let me talk about principles.

“The most important ingredient we put into any relationship is not what we say or what we do, but what we are. And if our words and our actions come from superficial human relations techniques (the Personality Ethic) rather than from our own inner core (the Character Ethic), others will sense that duplicity. We simply won’t be able to create and sustain the foundation necessary for effective interdependence.”

Stephen R. Covey

To me principles revolve around a discussion of soul (selling your soul ). Some people may disagree with me but, to me, soul represents the intersection of “I and We”. It gives us life energy (call it our subconscious passion). It what joins us together with an external shared common vision – kind of our common value proposition for Life. It creates a connective tissue for, well, acting in a humane fashion with other humans. It is within this intersection in which we seek the common ground between morals, ethics and value and arrive at a coherent principled behavior as a community or business organization.

And maybe that is where global institutions save themselves. Not with ‘Purpose’, or ‘shared values’ or even ethics, but with principled behavior. A pragmatic plan to create desired behavior in and of society. That is an important thought because the way business conducts itself echoes throughout homes, communities and society. To think business isn’t responsible, or plays a significant role, in inequality is absurd. So, while business may be showing profitability, high stock prices and growth, i.e., meet the measurements of business success, they are for the most part doing so not meeting the measurements of societal success. In fact, their success is killing society success. Yeah. I am suggesting money matters but I am doing so in a different way – tied to fairness, equity, productivity, all of which lead to meaning and mattering. Because isn’t that what inequality is really all about? Meaning and mattering? If business, where many people gain a significant portion of their identity, doesn’t offer up personal meaning <of which a component is equitable distribution of wealth based on productivity> then how can any society expect to create the attitudes necessary for healthy grounded meaning? Okay. You could, but it would be more fragile. And maybe that is my point. When business doesn’t get this right, it creates some unnecessary fragility to society. Ponder.

“In nature, change doesn’t happen from a top down, strategic approach. There is never a boss in a living system. Change happens from within, from many local actions occurring simultaneously.”

Meg Wheatley

Which leads me back to the title of this piece and what people, as individuals, can do – civic professionalism. At the heart of ‘civic professionalism’ is an awareness of the moral dimensions of work or as someone said “be business experts and citizens alike”.

“institutions that take their engaged mission seriously will need to employ a number of practices and concepts that come from community organizing and its adaptation to efforts at institutional culture change. These include understanding self-interests; building public relationships across lines of difference; working with and understanding power as an ability to act rather than an oppressive, unidirectional force; creating free spaces for people to work with power and confidence in more public fashion; addressing questions of work incentives and routines, as well as purposes and cultures of work and the workplace; understanding and embracing the messiness of change.”

To be clear. Being civic does not come at the expense of professionalism or the business of doing business. Business is, and will always be, grounded in productivity and value creation. Civic professionalism means being a professional to the benefit of the business and the civic world. Civic professional means accepting personal responsibility within the world of doing business while the business, professionally, is accepting responsibility for HOW it is going about its business of doing business and being profitable.

“The person makes sense of the world for the sake of acting productively on the world.”

John Dewey

I believe what I just shared is importance because, as I stated earlier, understanding the misguided nature of business and institutions does not absolve us of personal responsibility. In fact, it may increase the importance and it certainly offers another dimension in which we must consider mindsets, attitudes and behaviors. The moral drift or ethical fading only stops when we, the people, say it will – when we embrace civic professionalism. In that moment institutions cease to be entities in and of themselves, but shift back to ‘in and of the people.’ We shed either the passive acceptance or active participation in the misguided objectives of the business system and begin the transformation to a new and better system creating new and better institutions – and businesses. In this age of globalization institutional it is impossible to ignore or avoid the larger issues of the world. the global steamroller of business, political, economic/military institutions can destroy local movements, even simply ignore them or use their power to subvert its aims. It is imperative to learn about the world and use the world’ s issues, and understanding, to craft the solutions needed to make institutional accountability possible. This is possibly the only path to creating a balance of power – where no one person or institution has too much power and civic professionalism becomes the basis for how to conduct the business of doing business.

“Nothing is more destructive to a community, to creativity, than the desire to be seen as a good person and the deceptions that are mobilized to make that happen.”
Stephen Berg

Which leads me to where we are in the business world.

To me where we are is not an economic crisis, but rather a moral crossroads. Or maybe it is an ideals crossroad <they are simply derivatives of each other>. And it is a precarious crossroad.


“Human attempts to construct moral order are always precarious: If righteousness too often leads to self-righteousness, the demand for justice can lead to one guillotine or another.”

Susan Neiman, Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-up Idealists


It is precarious because the groups work along parallel paths towards a world that is what ought to be rather than settling for the world as it is. One group seeks the ‘ought to be in’ new and the other groups seeks ‘out to be’ in tried and true past thoughts. And yet neither group denies that public morality is frayed. I think it is important for everyone to STRIVE for moral clarity, but not to assume they will have it.  In fact, I think it’s fairly dangerous for anyone to be certain they have moral clarity. Moral clarity isn’t a moment of instant enlightenment, but something you should work for all your life. In fact, you have to continuously work at it because there will still be many times when you are not sure what the morally right thing to do is.

Every situation and every dilemma needs to be thought through individually.  That’s what moral clarity, as opposed to moral simplicity, demands. As a corollary, this suggests for a globalized transnational business this will not be solved through some broader narrative <albeit that will be needed> but brought down into the business of doing business in the system design. I would suggest the easiest way to do so would be to embrace “the law of the situation.”

All that said. This is difficult and will be difficult <for obvious reasons>.


“Right or wrong, right from wrong, right and wrong? I ‘d always been confused about that kind of stuff, that stuff troubled me, the legal and moral aspects of things. There are good deeds and bad deeds. A good person can do a bad thing and a bad person can do a good thing. But I never did get to fix the line.”

Bob Dylan


This suggests that the moral, ethical, stuff is really hard. This is not to suggest that material wellbeing is not important, but economics is as much about self-respect and dignity as it is about consumption and earnings. To be clear. Work is the main way in which people generate income to meet their needs and flourish in life. And depending on the work relationship, it can contribute to a range of benefits such as healthcare, childcare and housing support. But work can offer non-economic benefits as well, such as a sense of purpose, social relationships, self-development, status and autonomy. Often a source of personal identity, work develops character and habits and affects physical and psychological health. Globalized transnational institutions tend to forget this or when they do remember use it to justify some fairly miserable business practices.

Look. Of course, the idea of business globalization has validity. The market dynamics, as such, is an efficient and effective way of providing goods and services in most contexts and industries. In addition, competition, globally, can create some incentives that benefit people and society. Within the system as it exists businesses can make a profit and facilitate the economic growth which enables people to not only meet basic survival needs, but a bit more. The trouble is when the system becomes an ideology and institutionalized it seems to have evolve into a system that is neither completely sane or realistically positive – it becomes more like a cult of business than value creation. It becomes a system in which economic principles are taught as ‘economic laws’ or as ‘laws of nature’ <which they are not>. In doing so they become how one views reality and the ends justify the means – as the law predicates it should be.


“The first and most important thing an individual can do is to become an individual again, decontrol himself, train himself as to what is going on and win back as much independent ground for himself as possible.”

William S. Burroughs


Which leads me to my last thought.

In the end we all know moral responsibility attaches to the individual.

Not society, not others, not ‘the system’, not some business institution, us.

You and I.

We may shirk our personal accountability on occasion under the auspices of some version of ‘tragedy of the commons’ but at some point, everyone needs to say “it stops here.”

We have to understand that without some moral compass, and ethical stop signs, we will lose our souls, whatever we take our souls to be, through simply working and earning a living.

Simultaneously, we have to understand that if we lose our moral footing, we doom our young to a similar fate.

As I stated upfront, the global economy, and economic construct, is a system which is generating exactly the results it was designed to generate. If we want different results, the system itself needs to be redesigned and the power needs to be diminished or, maybe, dispersed so that the ‘civic professionals’ can guide us to a better business world.

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Written by Bruce