Self-Evident Truths LO6766

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@CompuServe.COM)
17 Apr 96 00:16:35 EDT

Replying to LO6626 --

--- Short Posting People ---

For those who prefer short posts please mail what you consider to be
Self-Evident Truths to the under-signed and delete/ keep this message.

--- Long Posting People ---

We [If Price and Rol Fessenden] have been conversing on and off the list
on the subject of societal constraints on individual and corporate/
organisational action. We reached the conclusion that it may be the
'self-evident truths', the values a society is prepared to take for
granted or are worth srtriving for, which enable accepted norms of

We are not necessarily saying there are 'SETS'. We are questioning
whether, without them a society can influence, or complain about the
directions it's organisations and individuals, corporate or otherwise,

In searching for previous examples, two stood out, and we took our
terminology -- Self-Evident Truths -- from one of those.

The American Declaration of Independence in 1787 held, in part:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights,
that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to
secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their
just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of
government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the
people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its
foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as
to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

In addition, the Constitution of the US says in its preamble that its
reason for existing is as follows.

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect
union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the
common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of
liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this
Constitution of the United States of America."

We may read these with various eyes today, and be cynical, but it was a -
and for a long time the only - large scale attempt to declare into
existence certain fundamental societal values. The resultant Constitution
ratified slavery, ratified the subjugation of women, ratified the
subjugation of propertyless men, and ignored the rights of children.
Despite its flaws it was a mighty leap ahead of other societies and
governments of that time.

What we got to wondering was what an updated version might look like and
how/ whether it could be declared to exist with the same conviction.

It may be tilting at windmills, but we committed to enquire what folks on
this list might wish to have as SETS. We are proposing that you suggest
candidates, not that they are necessarily broadly agreed.

So please, what are your self-evident truths?. For logistical reasons send
them to Rol [post on the LO if you want to] and we will summarise and give
feedback. Who knows. Perhaps this list will declare a new reality to

A joint posting by:


Rol Fessenden LL Bean, Inc.

If Price The Harrow Partnership Pewley Fort Guildford UK

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>