Archive for the ‘The Modern Patriot’ Series

The Modern Patriot
1. You Don’t Have to Be a Soldier

Posted by Bob on July 11th, 2008

Over the last few weeks, we have been barraged with more empty promises, and interpretations, (presidential candidates McCain and Obama each have their own version) on what it means to be a patriot. And with all that has been written what do you, the reader, remember? What stayed closest to your heart, if anything.

Indeed, did any of our “distinguished patriots” or their surrogates even bother to look up the origin of the word, patriot? It is “pater” from the Latin word for father. So what does that mean? Are our “distinguished patriots” going to now function as responsible fathers? Hopefully!

Now hear this: Patriotism is the SINGLE most important thing required to build America’s future. These next few weeks I will be bringing you my latest series of freedom-casts on modern patriotism–beginning with one of my favorites, “You Don’t Have to Be A Soldier.” I hope you can relate. Remember freedom is thinking. Send us your comments.

Bob

The Promise of America

Dear Parents:

We were so proud of you. Whether you fought in foreign lands or worked on the home front, you delivered America from its “darkest hours.” You collaborated and survived “The Great Depression.” You related interdependently and won “The Great War to End All Wars.” You were our heroes.

You impacted us in our formative years with your confidence, your initiative, and your embrace. It was not long after the war before we saw you in your full glory.

The men from The Suburban Civic and Social Club came to us kids with a proposal to form a baseball team to compete in the City League and then the County League. We were eager. After a few days of practice, Mr. Messina, Mr. Pecina, and Mr. Crowley came to me with a proposition: “You manage the team and we’ll support you.”

I now understand the foundation of this initiative. As “Citizen-Soldiers,” they had learned how often their “out-of-touch” officers were wrong. Their proactivity launched me on a lifelong career of “player-coach.” I had my first lesson in “Cultural Relating.”

Later on, others from the Club took the initiative of inviting the young people as well as the older members to political presentations and debates, not unlike those we witness today. The Haskills, the Koehlers, the Meyers were all of the same persuasion regarding the education of the kids: “It’s pay me now or pay me later!”

Again, I understand this first-generation American attitude toward their Democratic Government and its Constitutional Foundation. Their attentiveness committed us all to political membership in “Participative Governance.”

Still later, the Christiani brothers from the neighborhood invited the young people to participate in the economy by managing paper-routes. For responsibilities for delivering more than 100 papers over a square-mile district, we received $3.50 a week, much of which we spent at the Sunnyside Sweet Shop that the Christianis ran. But we learned so much more than we earned about baseball, girls, and life: “Take two and hit to right!” This was Nick’s answer to all of these questions. In addition to introducing us to the facts of life, these generous men introduced us to “Free Enterprise Systems” that empowered us throughout our lives.

When we asked you “How come they are so good to us?”, you answered “Because they are patriots!”

When we began to retort, “But we thought you had to be…,” you interjected a life-long commandment: “You don’t have to be a soldier to be a patriot!”

We owe a profound debt of gratitude and love to you. You were the models and agents for our development. Mostly, you were first-generation Americans who believed in “The American Dream” and passed it on to us in terms of “The American Experience.”

In this regard, we have good news and bad news. For more than 50 years, we have grown and prospered with these “American Commandments” imprinted in our frontal lobes: relating, participating, enterprising.

Now, today, we are faltering under the burden of the complexity of our times. We have leaders who do not even remember these commandments. To be sure, we have candidates for president who want to rewrite our U.S. Constitution to emphasize their exclusive ideologies. Thank God, you did not!

We just wanted to drop you a line in case you are not watching us to tell you that we need you again! We need your commandments! We need your generosity! We need your embrace!

We are all “Forgotten Americans” because everyone talks and no one listens; because everyone dictates and no one participates; because everyone hesitates but no one generates!

We will not be forgotten if we remember each other and the patriots and why we cobbled this “Great Nation” together, and the “Great Freedoms” it has yielded.

The Modern Patriot
2. The American Experience

Posted by Bob on July 14th, 2008

I had occasion recently to keynote the opening day of an inner-city charter school, Chester Village Charter School in Pennsylvania. As I walked among the teachers and parents of the 100 percent African-American children, I said the following:

“We are going to dedicate ourselves to giving these children ‘the American Experience’.”

Immediately, a highly-respected lead-teacher asked:

“What is ‘The American Experience’?”

I answered straightforwardly:

“1. Cultural Relating,

2. Participative Governance,

3. Entrepreneurial Enterprise.”

Cultural relating has to do with the relationships within, between, and among classes and cultures. While some Americans have had this experience, none of the children in this school have had it. None have ever been related to as valued members of the community. This is because most are members of a huge underclass of disenfranchised people.

Participative governance has to do with the relationships within, between, and among individuals and their governance. Again, while a dwindling number of Americans have been involved in their governance, none of these children has had this experience. Their authoritarian command-and-control governance simply gives the orders that they follow. While they are impacted by governance, they never impact it with input or feedback.

Entrepreneurial enterprise has to do with the relationships within, between, and among businesses and individuals. Once again, while a dwindling number of Americans has been involved in entrepreneurial businesses, none of these children are even aware of the role of business in the community. They are simply imposed upon—they never influence anything of legal entrepreneurial significance.

Cultural Relating!

Participative Governance!

Entrepreneurial Enterprise!

These are the ingredients of “The American Experience.” They are validated by our personal experience in our everyday lives.

Moreover, these ingredients are validated by extensive research relating them to “The Pillars of Civilization:”

  • Cultural Relating → Peace
  • Participative Governance → Participation
  • Entrepreneurial Enterprise → Prosperity

While these experiences have been available to some of us, they are not to others. For our children at Chester Village Charter School, the implications are clear. If they have not had these experiences, they do not know what we are proposing.

But what about the rest of us? Have we had “The American Experience?” If we did, why do we persevere in distorting this experience? Witness the following distorted perception of our candidates for president:

  • In the name of Cultural Relating, we designate other human beings as “aliens” and we seek to build walls to keep them out—until we need them to build the walls?!
  • In the name of Participative Governance, we seek to impress our will upon others as if consensus rules and the rest are fools!
  • In the name of Free Enterprise, we encourage “consumptivity” rather than “productivity” as we shape ourselves into “the bloated host” of conspiratorial multinational corporations and parasitic monolithic societies!

If we comprehend “The American Experience,” then why are we so “alienated” from it?

The Modern Patriot
3. Cultural Relating

Posted by Bob on July 15th, 2008

It is easy to understand why our children of The Village Charter School are deprived of the “Cultural Relating Experience.” They live in a “Unicultural Society:” 100 percent black, mothers on welfare, fathers “on leave.” In a recent crisis, eight of 88 mothers showed up for an urgent meeting concerning the future of their eighth grade children: whether to protest the “capping” of the Charter School’s promised ninth grade or to send them on to the violence-prone Chester Upland Public High School.

One in eleven mothers!

No fathers! Ever!

“Cultural Relating” is the cornerstone of all civilization. The most extensive research tells us that it is the pre-potent source of effect in all of the accomplishments of American Civilization. Indeed, it is the necessary but not sufficient condition of “The American Experience.”

“The American Experience” transforms us from the raw material of controlled and dependent human resources into the finished products of free and interdependent human capital. Because I believe fervently in this process, I will share my own experience in Cultural Relating.

First of all, I was a product of the cultural relating of my parents: my German emigrant mother and my American Celtic-Indian father. In other words, I was there at the genesis of my Cultural Relating experience.

When two cultures merge to produce progeny, they generate a third culture made up of the benefits and values of the two cultures. Is not America the story of cultural relating?

Secondly, my earliest experiences involved observing my parents facilitative way of relating to each other as well as to their children and members of their extended family. Most of all, from early adolescence, I studied my father’s relationships with his “men.” As a leader of an independent chemical industry labor union on the New Jersey waterfront, my father related democratically to his 3,500 war-time members. “What would you like to do?” he asked. And together, they proceeded to process the mission and goals and plans of their precious independent union. In other words, I was the beneficiary of extraordinary modeling in sharp relief of the Cultural Relating Experience.

Later on, when by happenstance I became President of the Student Council at my ethnically diverse high school, I fell back upon this learning from modeling. Instructed by the administration’s consultant to the Council of the necessity to employ “Roberts Rules of Order” at all times, I relied upon Dad’s principles to accomplish the same cultural relating mission as my father. I asked for a motion to suspend “Roberts’ Orders” and we voted to do so for the remainder of the school year. Then I asked, “What would you like to do with your time in school?” We installed “Robert’s Process” and went on to a remarkably productive year, installing among other things the first music system playing “our music” in the cafeteria, as we ushered in the first generation of “teenagers” at the beginning of the 1950s.

Thirdly, all of this seemed in preparation for my later work in “Saving Springfield” in the 1960s and 1970s: Called upon by the powers-that-be to save a community that had been surrounded and held hostage by the growing minority population in Springfield, Massachusetts, we initiated a process labeled “Community Resource Development.” Relying upon the same Cultural Relating Process that was modeled by my father, we instructed Andy Griffin, a community leader, to attempt to meet with everyone in the black and brown communities to ask this question: “What would you like to do with the rest of your life?” He asked and they answered intelligently, “We want to be empowered to be every place that impacts us!” We embarked on a remarkably successful Community Resource Development program.

So these are my experiences in Cultural Relating. They gave voice to the experiences of different cultures. They related cultures and classes through communication. They proved to be the difference between success and failure. Everything was possible with relating. Nothing was possible without it. They made “We the People” live. We empowered the people to become policy-makers in designing their own changeable destinies.

The children in our Village Charter School have an excuse for their deficits in experiencing Cultural Relating. We do not! So we must empower them.

What about your experiences in this first critical principle of “The American Experience?” Where did your American journey carry you?

The Modern Patriot
4. Participative Governance

Posted by Bob on July 16th, 2008

It is also easy to understand why our children of The Village Charter School are deprived of the “Participative Governance Experience.” They live in a “Monochromatic Landscape.” Their only real contact with government is with the police who conduct the “revolving door” where 85 percent of their fathers and brothers are “spun” between the community and prison. To the kids, everyone looks the same and acts the same—cops and criminals. And they create the same havoc when they appear! Government is not a response to problems but a stimulus to crises!

Again, my early learning from my father gave me the experience of “Participative Governance.” He viewed governance in both a responsive and initiative way. The most dramatic view of his initiative was when his union was out on strike. Two busloads of “strikebreakers” or “goons” as Dad called them were sent from Pennsylvania to break the picket line and, thus, the strike. Dad simply invited the mayor and council from his town to appear at this early morning confrontation. They did—with police—and the “strikebreakers” were escorted back to their busses without incident. Dad later claimed that this governmental action “had saved those Pennsylvania boys’ lives.” He knew the potential for violence of his waterfront union men.

My personal experiences were not nearly as dramatic—although a lot more productive. Here again, I turn to experiences involved in saving communities. In Springfield, the mayor and council ruled the minorities by what Senator Moynihan called “benign neglect.” With all the conditions for violence detailed in the Kerner Commission Report, we set about to create a “Shadow Government.” Created by “The Real People’s Congress,” this government served from “womb-to-tomb” in both the private, public, and all community sectors. The sources of its initiatives were in the minds and souls of the participants—majority as well as minority. The community mission was proactive: to empower people to live, learn, and work productively in the community. We “skilled” them instead of killing them. There was no violence! Springfield was declared “The Springfield Miracle.” Later on, it became the theme on which Michael Dukakis based his presidential campaign: “The Massachusetts Miracle!”

Perhaps my most electrifying initiative experience in Participative Governance was before the War in Iraq. I was urgently concerned with the “After-Shocks” of the war because, while there was an “end-game” to the war, there was no “beginning-game” to peace. From everything I knew, the peace initiatives would fall to insurgency because no Cultural Relating was built into the planning. My friend, Rob Owen, spent much political capital to get me in front of key members of the National Security Council. While I failed to influence the direction of the planning, I did succeed in expressing my rights as an American citizen. Moreover, I am given to understand that some members now read my books in order to understand the basic question: “How did he know it would turn out this way?” It’s simple: For every crisis, it is critical to relate to all of the people affected by the outcomes as well as all of the people affecting the outcomes.

So these are my experiences in Participative Governance or should I say “Initiative Governance.” They begin with the assumption that “We the People” are the constitutionally-mandated policy-makers. They culminate in the responsibilities for the lives of the people we represent and serve.

The children in our Village Charter School have an excuse for their deficits in experiencing Participative Governance. And they are paying for it with their lives! We do not! So we must empower them.

What about your experiences in the second critical principle of “The American Experience?” Where did your American journey carry you?

The Modern Patriot
5. Entrepreneurial Enterprise

Posted by Bob on July 17th, 2008

Finally, it is easy to understand why our children of The Village Charter School are deprived of the “Entrepreneurial Enterprise Experience.” Major corporations have abandoned the people of Chester. The only viable entrepreneurial opportunities are in the illegal realm: dealing dope, car jacking, pimping, prostitution, and the like. Eighty-five percent of the boys over 16 will engage in these enterprises until imprisoned. A like number of girls will be pregnant and on welfare. And it is difficult to tell the difference between the police who apprehend criminals and the criminals who comprehend them! Has anybody here seen “The Wire?!” Still no fathers!

Once again, my early learning experiences of enterprise came from my extended family. While my parents were not engaged in business enterprise, my closest older friend was. From age 14, Bobby Bosonac had to take over his family business and raise his three younger brothers. I helped and learned about the entrepreneurial nature of business.

The highlight of my early experiences in enterprise was creating my own business in “laying deck” or sub-flooring in housing developments. Eschewing the security of a regular construction job, I “learned and laid” the decks. I also learned the three basic principles of entrepreneurial enterprise:

  1. Generate a good idea!
  2. Take a risk!
  3. Make a plan!

I remember vividly what I said to my mother the night before my introduction to entrepreneurism:

“Don’t bother to get me up at 6 o’clock. I’m in business for myself!”

Then I got up at 8 and worked until 8. I carried these entrepreneurial attitudes about ideas, risks, and plans with me the rest of my life. They are the culminating principle of “The American Experience.” I carried this attitude into my work in the public sector: the goal of every community action program was to empower people for entrepreneurial initiatives in both private and public sector. We are proud to claim three millionaires from the ranks of previously unemployed.

I am most proud of the current businesses where we generate eight figure incomes and our current business launchings project valuations of nine figures.

Basically, in CTSI, we conduct a Research and Development operation in the “Human Factor” market. With a scientific foundation in “Human Processing” or “Generativity,” we explicate the unknown, designing models to fill spaces in the landscape of “Human Endeavor.”

We like to conceive of ourselves as “The National Center for R & D in Human and Informational Sciences.” This is because all other centers of R & D—Bell Labs, Watson, Xerox—have dropped out of “the human processing business.”

Important entrepreneurial enterprises involved “spinning-off” turnkey operations in the marketplace:

  • Human Technology, Inc. — Instructional Systems Design, et al
  • Human Resource Development Press, Inc. — Training and Development
  • HRD Training Solutions, Inc. — On-line Training Solutions

Our most important entrepreneurial enterprises are our current efforts to develop software and support systems for “Human-Centric Organizational Systems:”

  • GenStar Global, LLC — “A Holding Company” for Strategic Partnerships in “Human-Centric Continuous Organizational Realignment Systems”

As proud of our original generative R & D operations, I am most proud of the innovative spirits and processing of our diversity of corporate and agency partnerships.

So these are my culminating experiences in “The American Experience:” Wealth Generation. This is the heart and soul of Entrepreneurial Capitalism (capitalism simply means doing what is “most important”). By generating wealth, we generate the Prosperity which makes Participation and Peace possible. Put another way, Peace and Participation are the empowering conditions of Prosperity.

The children in our Village Charter School have a real excuse for their deficits in experiencing Entrepreneurial Enterprise. And we are now paying for it! So, once again, we must empower them.

What about your experiences in Entrepreneurial Enterprise? It is the culminating principles of “The American Experience.” It generates the third leg of The Freedom Mission:

  • Cultural Relating → Peace
  • Participative Governance → Participation
  • Entrepreneurial Enterprise → Prosperity

Here’s the basic question:

“Why are we The Forgotten Americans?”

We are the only ones who understand how and why “The American Experience” has transformed us into invaluable, free, and interdependent Human Capital, capable of generating new ideas, new businesses, new industries, and new markets.

Yet no one listens! No one responds! No one initiates entrepreneurially!

Our school children have excuses! What’s yours?

The Modern Patriot
6. The Generational Experience

Posted by Bob on July 18th, 2008

When I picked up the phone on the conference call, I realized that we had another crisis on our hands. First, there was the crisis at The Village Charter School which we needed to process. Now, there was a second—even greater crisis—of generational experience.

I began by saying “We have to give the children ‘The American Experience’.” I soon realized that some understood what this meant because they had been through it. Others did not know what this meant because they had never been through it.

I adjusted accordingly: “Ed and Harry know what I’m talking about. John and Dale do not fully understand.”

In one room, we had representations of four generations: “G.I.,” “Silent,” “Boomer,” and “X’er.” “The American Experience” had a different meaning for each of them. The burning issue of education was this: “How could we deliver ‘The American Experience’ to the children if we, their mentors, did not understand it?”

This differentiated meaning generated differences—great and small—in our objectives for our school children. This same differentiated meaning is now generating differences—great and small—for our election of a president to save our country!

The Generational Experience

The differential impact of generational experience may be viewed in Table 6-1. As may be noted, each generation has totally different impactful experiences in its formative years.

Table 6-1. Differential Impact of Experience on Formative Years
Differential Impact of Experience on Formative Years

The impact of experience upon maturity is a function of the power of the experience on the formative years in their development, usually between 15 and 25 years of age. Please note also that generations are defined in 15-year intervals due to the regular emergence of impactful experiences.

It may also be noted that the impactful experiences of the formative years are defined domestically by the economy and internationally by wars that occurred in approximately 15-year intervals.

“The Greatest Generation”

“The Greatest Generation” was a generation born approximately between the years 1915 and 1930. So labeled by Tom Brokaw in his book on the subject, this generation is also known as the “G.I. Generation” due to their successful experiences in World War II. The most powerful experiences during its formative years were the Great Depression of the 1930s and the World War of the 1940s. The impact of these experiences produced the so-called “Greatest Generation.” They had witnessed overcoming the Great Depression. They were instrumental in empowering the Allied Forces to winning the war. It was this victory against the two most formidable military forces in the history of the world that emboldened them in civilian life and entitled them to the adjective “Greatest.”

“The Silent Generation”

“The Silent Generation” was a generation born roughly between the years 1930 and 1945. So-labeled by political pundits, this generation is also known as “The Competent Generation” due to their successful implementation of the “grand ideas” of the politically-empowered “G.I.s”. The most powerful experiences during its formative years were the proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the quietly enacted Korean War. The impact of these experiences produced both “Competency” and “Silence.” They had to engineer the Post-War Prosperity. They came to fear the threat of nuclear holocaust.

“The Boomer Generation”

“The Boomer Generation” was a generation born between the years 1945 and 1960. So-labeled by educators and service providers, this generation is known for “Booming Numbers.” With over-crowded classes and social promotions, this generation took on a consensus-driven character of its own. The most powerful experiences during its formative years were unparalleled economic expansion and the controversial Vietnam War. The impact of these experiences produced “Go-Stop” Schizophrenia: the Escalating Prosperity of “The Go-Go Economy” and the Paranoid Fear to “Stop-Stop Communism.” They had to develop “New Trade Paradigms” while implementing “Old Containment Policies”—a confusion of motives that led to a neutralizing disposition to “Consensus-Building.”

“Generation X”

“Generation X” was a generation that was born approximately between the years 1960 and 1975. So-labeled by themselves and others, they are to this day an unknown factor in the equation for life. Dwarfed by undernourishment from their “Boomer” elders, this generation set out to make it on its own, seeking identity in independence of specialty areas and skills.

The most powerful experiences during its formative years were the economic inflation that exploded in the “dot.com bust” and the escalation of the Cold War that foreshadowed its ending.

Together, these manic-depressive experiences produced a bi-polar personality which validates “the X-factor.” Its members learned the basic principles of “The Schizoid Life:” we need to “push” in order to “pull;” we need to “pull” in order to “push.” So “ready—fire—aim!”

“The Y and Z Generations”

“The Y and Z Generations” are those born roughly between 1975 and 2005. They are bundled together because we still do not know who they are. Their formative years are on a continuum flowing from the end of “The Cold War in 1989:”

  • An intensifying period of economic instability leading to chaos;
  • An intensifying commitment to war in the Middle East leading to quagmire.

The impact of these experiences has been “The Digital Generation:” they live inside of the technologies that previous generations built. In other words, the bi-polar personality of the “X’ers” has been extended into the “Pathological Schizophrenia” of “on-line” and “off-line” life.

For all of these analyses, it is worth noting that the generational view is “actuarial and probabilistic.” There are powerful exceptions that are individualistic and possibilistic: Moreover, the variability within a generation is greater than the variability between generations. However, we proceed with the generational hypotheses because of their testable and heuristic value.

Summary and Transition

The impact of powerful experiences is contingent not only upon the formative years in maturity. It is also contingent upon the maturity of the generations (see again Table 6-1).

“The Greatest Generation” was just that—”the greatest!” Its members were there at the genesis of the 20th century version of “The American Experience.” Many of its members were first-generation Americans who survived “The Great Depression” and grew with “The Great War.” Phenomenally, they could not be stopped from doing anything. All things were possible!

“The Silent Generation” was silent because it lived in the shadow of “The Greatest.” Serving as “hand-maidens” to the grand ideas of their leaders, this generation became “The Competent Generation.” As executives and architects, engineers and managers, builders and salesmen, they transformed “The Possibilities of The Greatest” into “The Probabilities of The Latest!”

“The Boomers,” in turn, were the children of “The Greatest,” not of “The Latest.” Because “The Greatest” held office for more than 50 years after the war, they felt obligated to pass-over “The Silent Ones” and crown their “Boomer-children” with the cloak of leadership. They had not trained them, for they relied upon “The Competent Ones” to do so. Unfortunately, one-by-one, “The Boomers” capitulated because they had not been prepared for effort, only for rewards. And as a country, we moved farther and farther from the leadership qualities that made us great!

“The X’ers” were a pale image of “The Boomers.” This is because “The Boomers” were adopted by “The Competent Ones” who, in turn, refused to adopt “The X’ers” for fear of competition. Unless “The Competent Ones” did double-duty and reared yet another generation, “The X’ers” were abandoned. Indeed, abandonment was the theme of their neurosis. In their bi-polar pathology, the only thing that they feared more than being abandoned was being freed!

The “Y’s” and “Z’s,” know so little and expect so much. These “Digital Youth” search for meaning in their lives in “the dysfunctional autonomy” of the I-net. They have become agents of consumption rather than production as they plod toward their inevitable pathological conclusions: isolated, insulated, and perforated.

My God! What have we done to our grandchildren!

The Modern Patriot
7. The American Experience

Posted by Bob on July 21st, 2008

What gives us a great advantage in analyzing the levels of participation in The American Experience is our personal experiences with these generations:

  • Our families come from homes with many “G.I.” stars in the windows.
  • We ourselves were front-line warriors of the “Silent Generation.”
  • We were mentors to thousands of “Boomers.”
  • We have adopted many of the abandoned “X’ers.”
  • We are parenting the neglected “Y’s” and “Z’s.”

The truth is that we have first-hand experience with each generation. The hypotheses that we generate are partly due to these experiences, but mostly due to research. The table that we have summarized is validated (see Table 7-1).

Table 7-1. Level of Participation in the American ExperienceLevel of Participation in the American Experience

“The Greatest”

“The Greatest” or “G.I. Generation” rates highest on all the conditions of The American Experience:

The Greatest Generation

This is largely because these people were at the “genesis” of the 20th century American Experience. In other words, they defined the experience by overcoming “The Greatest Depression” and conquering “The Great Malignancy.” In so doing, they learned to relate interdependently, participate in an enlightened manner, and enterprise entrepreneurially.

“The Silent Ones”

“The Silent Generation” was not far-removed from the “genesis” of The American Experience in the 20th century:

The Silent Ones

This is largely due to their “modeling” of the genesis experience. They had the “G.I.s” as models for courage and hope for change. By filling in the empty spaces left behind by the more-than-grand “G.I.s,” they contributed their competencies to the welfare of all. In the face of the threat of the Nuclear Holocaust, they established themselves as “helpers” in the Judaic-Christian tradition of healing.

“Boomers”

“The Baby Boomer Generation” was removed from the genesis of The American Experience yet tutored “experientially” by “The Competent Generation:”

The Boomers

The resultant independency gave the “Boomers” the tools of survival: in consensus-building, they could cooperate or compete; in governance, they could be representative or authoritarian; in enterprise, they could be enterprising or controlling. They have proven to be so. Like chameleons, they can be any color they choose to be out of their own self-interests.

“X’ers”

“Generation X” was isolated from the entire American Experience:

Xers

“Generation X” is a lost generation. “Didactically” abandoned by “The Boomers,” they lived or died with the apparent randomness of the marketplace. Basically competitive for the “bonus baby” rewards of “Boomers,” they tried to fill “places in the spaces” left unattended by the consensus system. When in command, they are authoritarian, if not totalitarian, in an attempt to control the competition. Mainly, though, they create “spaces” by undermining authority and denying fiduciary responsibilities. At best, they are not integrated in the marketplace.

“Y’s and Z’s”

These generations may be stalked by the “reinforcing” mechanisms of the marketers and fund-raisers of cyber-space, but they have little if anything to contribute to our communities because they do not know anything of value, they do not want to meet any requirements; they have only “Virtual Values.” Period!

Ys and Zs

Their dependent reactivity to the “Real World” is simply summarized: “Tell me what you want me to do and I’ll decide whether I want to do it!”

Summary and Transition

We may obtain consensual validation from our 20th century experiences. “The Greatest Generation” was entrenched in leadership roles for more than 50 years. Witness, ten straight presidents from 1941 to 1992! After skipping “The Silent Generation,” the “Boomer-children” of the “G.I.s” were immediately ensconced.

During the “G.I.’s Reign of Power,” they initiated most of the grand visions of the 20th century: the G.I. Bill and Civil Rights domestically; Free Trade and Human Rights internationally. The “Competent or Silent Generation” managed only to implement these missions.

In turn, “The Boomers” served only to sully these great missions with rights for multinational corporations and their lobbyists and trillions of dollars of debts for America in non-reciprocating trade relationships.

Today, the “X, Y, Zs” are simply forgotten “cannon-fodder” in these domestic and foreign machinations and manipulations.

In short, there were no generative new ideas contributed by the later generations. Even the “Boomer” candidates for president have proposals only for redistributing wealth—and none for generating wealth!

In summary, the levels of participation in The American Experience are directly a function of their distance from the genesis of the experience:

  • The Citizen Soldiers” of World War II understood interdependency, enlightenment, and entrepreneurialism.
  • “The Competent Helpers” of the Post-War Enlightenment modeled collaboration, representation, and capitalism.
  • “The Incompetent Boomers” engineered personal independence in every consensus-building situation in order to derail the requirements.
  • “The Abandoned X’ers” defaulted on all responsibilities by competing and commanding in select niches in order to survive the requirements.
  • The “Y’s” and “Z’s” engage in dependent reactivity in order to guard their retreat into “The Virtual World.”

In transition, American Civilization, like any civilization, historically moves by the leadership of one generation empowering the leadership of the next generation. American leadership has failed to do so. American Civilization is failing as a consequence.

Think about it!

The “G.I.’s” handed off to the “Boomers”—their own children! G.H.W. Bush chose Dan Quayle, a “Boomer” as his running mate, passing-over the leading “Competent” candidates such as Richard Lugar. As a consequence, he broke the string of hand-offs and we have now to suffer through the classism of the Ivy League debates every four years (ten of the last 12 candidates were ‘vetted” by the Harvard and Yale dynasties).

The “X’ers” were never adopted. Unless their parents, the “Competent Ones” made commitments to rear yet another generation, they are lost and forlorn and demanding—a generation of pseudo-specialists!

As for the “Y’s” and “Z’s,” we must learn about them because we cannot forget about them!

“If we don’t know, they won’t grow!

To sum, we Americans “have rained on our own parade!”

  • By replacing socio-centricity with ego-centricity;
  • By replacing enlightenment with totalitarianism;
  • By replacing entrepreneurism with control.

In short, The American Experience has become “Un-American!”

The Modern Patriot
8. All Forgotten Americans!

Posted by Bob on July 22nd, 2008

When I was in Venezuela, more than 20 years ago, I had dinner with the imposing Arch Bishop of Caracas. In the course of a delightful evening, this priestly man shared the regret of his life:

“My greatest regret is that I never got to know my parents—they were killed in the Spanish Civil War.”

My response was deliberate, though intuitive:

“How fortunate you are father! You may embrace every older person you meet as if he or she were your parents.”

The bishop was astounded, but thoughtful before he answered:

“You have just lifted my life’s burden from my shoulders. I am so grateful to you for I am truly born again into the hands of the many parents that God has given me.”

Over the years, I heard from the Good Bishop and he was “spiritually full again.” So it is for America if we wish to be “spiritually full again!”

One of the principles of progress is this: can assets become our deficits? The greatest asset of “The Greatest Generation” was their confidence in addressing the goals and problems of American Civilization. The greatest deficit of “The Greatest Generation” was their confidence in addressing the goals and problems of American Civilization.

The G.I.s coming back from victories over the greatest military powers in history were brimming over with confidence. However, when they got themselves educated with business and other degrees, they required a competent generation to implement their grand ideas: executives to generate the architecture, managers to design the systems, supervisors to define the objectives, production and delivery personnel to perform the tasks and deliver the products. These people constituted “The Competent Generation.” They were only to be labeled “The Silent Generation” because they lived in the shadow of “The Greatest” and were passed over politically.

When George H. W. Bush designated the junior senator, Dan Quayle, his running mate for president. he broke the model for all advanced civilization: where the leadership of one generation passed on the mantle to the leaders of the next generation, thus enabling future progress to be built upon past progress.

As a consequence, “The Competent Generation” is the first generation in American history so far not to have a president drawn from its ranks. Moreover, the more fatal consequence for America was passing on the leadership role to the ill-prepared “Boomers:” Clinton and Bush simply did not have the maturity to be fathers of The Great American Family. We see the consequences now!

The greatest implication for American Civilization is this: while breaking the moral succession of leadership, the “G.I.s” fatally disrupted the relations between and among all generations:

  • The “G.I.s” are now lost to us as a source of leadership, their only legacy being their anointment of their “Boomer” children as “apparent leaders.”
  • The fading “Competents” are increasingly dismissed as sources of authority, political and moral.
  • The inflated “Boomers” who never truly lead nor adopt others have not paid the price for moral authority.
  • The bi-polar “X’ers” have been abandoned to their own false sense of security through specialized competitiveness.
  • The orphaned “Y’s” and “Z’s” are left to their own schizoid cycles.

The only real potential source of effect is dormant. Can “The Silent Generation” awaken from its slumber and reassert its moral authority along with its competence? Can “The Silent Ones” redirect organizations such as AARP to missions beyond self-centered “cashing-in” for a lifetime of comfort?

If not, then it is too late for America! For “The Boomers”—in their great numbers—are aversively conditioned to adopting anyone else, even their own children!

In this context, the most-forgotten of all Americans is “The Thinking American.” As these different generational cultures establish their mores, they marginalize the thinkers. Indeed, the “Boomers” have institutionalized the process: in consensus-building, they eliminate the “best” as well as the worst. For example, they build a consensus on “Best Practices” while eliminating those who generated the “Best Ideas” as well as those who cannot perform the practices.

And yet history is, in large part, a function of the generative thinking of individuals. The heart of The American Experience is the very freedom that it allows, supports, endorses, and practices that transforms “The Big Ideas” into “Huge Realities.” That is the story of America: “Big Ideas” from the little people!

In truth, we are “All Forgotten Americans.” What made us “Functional Americans” was Cultural Relating when we each embraced the others across cultures and classes. To remove ourselves from this “Boiling Cauldron of Isolation,” we must abandon our notion of “the linear succession of leadership.” Instead, we must adopt an interactive model where all generations relate interdependently to all other generations (see Figure 8-1). It is this interactive model that culminates the power of all processing: the continuous interdependent processing of unequal partners. It is this interactive model that defines the pre-potent processing potential of “The Thinking American.”

The Relating Future of American Civilization
Figure 8-1. The Relating Future of American Civilization

The Modern Patriot
9. The Lonely Crowd

Posted by Bob on July 23rd, 2008

With attribution to David Riesman, perhaps the best that can be said for our generational profiles may be summarized by the new members of “The Lonely Crowd:”

  • “The G.I.s” were “tradition-bound visionaries” by the great American traditions—cultural relating, participative governance, free enterprise.
  • “The Competents” were “inner-directed implementers” in following through on the great missions of the “G.I.s.”
  • “The Boomers” were “other-directed generalists” based on the peer influences of their great numbers.
  • “The X’ers” are “gadget-directed specialists” based on their limited introduction to fragments of The American Experience.
  • “The Y’s and Z’s” are “cyber-driven adherents of naturalism” based on their deprivation from The American Experience.

By any measure, the leadership scale ranges from the heights of productivity (“G.I.s” and “Competents”) to its depths (“Y’s” and “Z’s”). These are the principal reasons that the U.S. is in economic and international crises: the increasing distance and isolation from “Greatness of Vision” and “Commitment to Mission.”

The “X’ers,” in turn, are represented by one of the candidates: attempting to redefine the wealth generated by productivity as the wealth redistributed by consumption. Witness the proposals for stimulating the economy based on printing inflationary dollars! “Paying expensive debts with cheap dollars,” is the music behind their words as we follow the path of all the “Tin Horn Dictators” of history.

In transition, we must physically embrace, emotionally relate, and intellectually empower each other for both the contributions we have made and those we are about to make.

Then—like the Good Bishop—we can embrace each other as members of “This Great American Family” and be “spiritually full again.”

Then we will all be “Remembering Americans!”

The Modern Patriot
10. Time and Unconditionality

Posted by Bob on July 24th, 2008

Dear Girls and Boys:

Today as I took you to school, I asked about the two worlds that you live in: Our world, the “World of Our Reality;” Your world, the “World of Your Virtuality.”

You spoke of your attraction to Cyber-space and Cyber-families. You really feel secure in defining your own environment.

What you’re really saying is that you are looking for new ways of doing things. It’s not so much that you reject our ways. It’s just that you are pursuing yours. And the new ways take you places we have never been. You need our support for this experimental voyage, but fear our judgment may “sink your ship.” You’re asking for “time and unconditionality” and viewing us as reluctant to give it.

What this adds up to for me is this: We’re the ones who are fearful—fearful of losing you—fearful that you may not be able to make it in a world not of your making.

The most helpful thing that I have found in resolving crises in life has been what we call “The Values–Requirements Matrix.” Here we compare similarities and contrast differences in values and requirements. Our goal is to maximize meeting the highest levels of our values and the system’s requirements. This takes a little effort.

I guess what I’m saying is that there are ways to resolve these conflicts. They involve communications in which we share values and then attempt to merge them in new and elevated courses of action.

In my experience, I have found that the greatest “breakthroughs” in my thinking have come through this process. I have lived my life with great anticipation and excitement because I have ventured outside of my known pathways. I am doing so right now with you.

I call this my “Voyage of Discovery.” I hope that you can have your own.

The great test of the continuation of this “Great Experiment labeled America” will be substance: of your Relating, Enlightenment, and Entrepreneurism of your civilization’s Peace, Participation, and Prosperity.

I am eager to go part of the way with you—or simply stand aside as the case may be: “Those also serve who only stand and wait.”

With all my love,

“Pop-Pop”

     
     
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