Freedom and Generativity:
2. Freedom and Changeability

Posted by Bob on March 18th, 2009

The central tendency in a Free Society becomes mobilized (see Figure 2). The first stage of The Construct System may be conceived of as a Focusing Stage. In a sense, the main body of the variance targets the cultures of marginal people. The people observe the success of the marginal peoples’ operations. And if a significant number of its people—perhaps ten to twenty percent—are attracted to the success, they mobile to incorporate it.

During the second stage of The Construct System, the main body of variance begins to Approach the successful marginal people. The curve begins to be skewed in the direction of the marginal people as the society seeks to incorporate their healthful potency.

In the third stage, the society begins to Incorporate the successful marginal people. In the process of being skewed fully in the direction of the marginal people, there is a tendency for the tail in the other, less functional direction to diminish in size. Thus, people at the less functional end of the continuum are mobilized to move toward the main body of variance.

In the fourth stage, the society begins to Embody the successful marginal people. In a sense, it has mainstreamed the successful attributes and made them the mode rather than the deviation. At the same time, it is eliminating more of the variance from the less functional end of the continuum.

Finally, in the last stage, the society actually seeks to Enhance the attributes of the successful marginal people. It models and, thus, represents what was once deviant. Also, whether inadvertently or not, it sets the stage for the new variations off the now “mainstreamed theme.” Thus, by representing the attributes of the once-marginal person, society creates the conditions for the development of newly marginal people who will serve to move society still further in the direction of effectiveness.

Freedom and Generativity Figure 02
Figure 2. The Movement Toward Increasing Variability in Free Societies

In summary, The Construct System produces people who are more variable in a relative sense and more healthy in an absolute sense. A society dominated by such a system is always skewed toward the fully-functioning. person. Such a society is always creating variability by its expanding tolerance limits and its evolutionary growth disposition. Such a society is always moving toward effectiveness and, thus, toward health.

The Construct System is a Changeability System. Rather than to replace one restricted source of variance with another as in a revolutionary system, it adds variance in an evolutionary manner. It works effectively when there are healthy aspects of the system to be incorporated and these healthy aspects, in turn, evolve in a free society. It grows by minimizing intervention or control and maximizing variance. It maximizes existing sources of variance by adding incrementally without fundamental alterations.

In the beginning, people are in trouble because they have too few responses available to them. Along the way, fewer people are in difficulty because more people have larger repertoires of responses. In the end, such a system has extensive variability among people functioning at high levels of whatever index is employed.

Such a system is consistent with the laws of science and nature. It is organic in terms of utilizing its own resources as the sources of its own power. It is dynamic in terms of evolving con¬stantly in more and more efficacious forms. It conserves energy in minimizing its investment and maximizing its return. It allows evolution to work at a maximum rate in maximizing the contribu¬tion of humans to humans.

The key to the development of a relatively more variable and absolutely more healthy society is the variability of fully functioning peoples or exemplars. Fully functioning people are, by definition, more variable on certain specialty dimensions than the society in which they exist. (Indeed, Free Individuals are infinitely more variable than All Other Totalitarian Societies Summed Together!) It is precisely this variability that makes it attractive for society to move toward fully functioning people to incorporate them. It is also this same variability that distinguishes fully func¬tioning people from other marginal peoples who are dysfunctional but with whom totalitarian societies tend to confuse the fully functioning person.

In turn, the key to the fully functioning peoples’ variability is their marginality—the ability to see things from a unique perspective; to see the subtle nuances of old dimensions; to develop the full richness of new dimensions. It is this marginality that enables the fully functioning people to actualize their potential and to give society the opportunity to actualize its potential.

For example, all of the movements with “Human” adjectives began in America with approaches to successful, marginal peoples: Human Relations, Human Resources, Human Capital, Human Rights, Human Sciences. This is seen in the Great American Civil Rights Movement that moved from Physical Slavery and Intellectual Servitude through Ethical and Legal Mandates toward Fully-Functional, if not Morally Operational, Human Rights. It has left the “segregationists” behind to expire at the tail of the moving curve only to encounter the “elitists” and the “classists” and the “other-ists.” So what else is new? The movement continues toward the healthy people.

Another illustration is Globalization. As the nations move from Dependency and Reactivity through Independence and Protectionism, to Interdependence and Reciprocity, they encounter the same experiences: Movement to incorporate the marginal peoples or the high performers. Healthy civilizations require this movement, whatever the protestations of “The Luddites.”

In conclusion, the healthiest societies are moving in the direction of the Actualizers—the once marginal peoples whom other societies sought to eliminate. Actualizers are the sources of creativity and productivity whom constructive societies seek to cultivate. Such societies are moving in the direction of their own self-actualization. Such a society is within our grasp.

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