Systems thinking, politics vs. government LO9842
Mon, 9 Sep 1996 08:57:12 -0400

Replying to LO9683 --

In a message dated 96-09-02, Ivan Blanco writes:

> Politicians are barriers to the development of organizational learning, I
> think. They do not respond to the same things the rest of the people
> respond to. The master the art of what is possible (Russell Ackoff), and
> never really consider what is impossible. The status quo is a great
> temptation.


I have to question your assertion that politicians do not respond as other
people do. What makes you say that? I suspect that, if you look at
things closely, you'll find that politicians are responding to their
particular environment as other people would.

I'd like to make a connection to the Dialogue thread: [someone] suggested
a relevant technique for improving understanding - accept what the other
person says as true, and then deduce the perspective that would lead to
that truth. I think whenever we separate other people from ourselves we
are missing deeper connections. [Someone famous] said, "All that is human
is not foreign to me." I take this to mean not that we are all the same,
but that who we are is, to a great extent, the result of accident and
circumstance beyond our control.

If politicians as a group are different than other people, it is because
the political system differentially selects for a certain type of person.
If want different behaviors from our politicians, and even if we want
politicians to be a different kind of person as a group, what we need to
think about is how to change the system to encourage that behavior and to
select for the personality characteristics we desire.

- Jeff (

P.S. Obviously, I'm terrible with remembering references. My apologies to
the authors.


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