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Who is the Real Enemy?

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Poverty and Wealth Based Fundamentalism

Rich or poor, it’s better to have money. Except, a lot of poor people think they are better than people who have money. This is also Fundamentalist exclusion, as is it’s opposite, rich people thinking they are better than poor people. Both involve justification of one’s own point of view, making sure one does not “lose” regardless of circumstance, avoidance of the domination of people that supposedly “have,” (or don’t)  and reinforcing a sense of impossibility and irresponsibility for ones’ own situation.  Exclusion creates negative opinion creates resistance creates enemies. I have another relative who thinks that his poverty stricken small town is a kind of Camelot compared to big cities with all their corruption, wanton life styles and general excess. Fundamentalism is to live life on a postage stamp, as if it were the whole world.

Corporate Fundamentalism

The more a corporation grows, the more Fundamentalist it gets, the more rules, the more monitoring of the rules. The more rules, the less that employees are inclusive of their customers’ needs and experience. The more rules, the less higher-ups care about employees’ needs and experience. I know a successful health spa that works hard to put customer satisfaction first but, as it grows, has increasing numbers of rules for employees while customers have almost no rules at all. The employees are less and less motivated, often leave for greener fields and complain directly to guests. Meanwhile the spa’s prices keep going up. Throughout history, contribution to others is the only long term, viable context for an individual or a corporation. I have had an American Express card for almost forty years. Recently, they started limiting my ability to use both cards if I was one or two dollars in arrears with either one. I just cancelled my expensive Platinum card and will soon cancel my Green card. Like all Fundamentalists, the morons forgot what made them successful.  Love feels like love, not a set of self-serving rules.

Style Based Fundamentalism

Some people believe that, in any situation, performance and getting results are most important. Others believe that relationships matter more than anything else. Still others believe that spirituality is most important, while others believe that quality of thinking makes the most difference. While each of these aspects of life is always present, a Fundamentalist, non inclusive, orientation to any one suppresses the others. Each carries with it its own set of realities, conversations and sets of rules. Each seems to provide a decisive context, a set of fundamental commitments and basic meanings held in the background that brings a certain coherence to a person or an organization. I know spiritual people who deride performance driven corporate people and demean intellectual activity as irrelevant to a good life. I have friends who are so convinced that salvation comes from good relationships that they see little value in intellectual and results oriented activity. And I know performance driven business people and engineers who suppress or fake their own genuineness in relationships they need for the success they want.  By degrees all fail because they ignore the fact that a healthy company and a full life require all of these when they are needed.

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