Individuality may be society's shield against the decay brought by consensus-based management.
I have always been wary of lawyers and the legal system. While others of my age were finding the ultimate solution (at an age when one must find ultimate solutions) through social redistribution of wealth through various facets of communism, my solution was simpler - just get rid of lawyers. People can live together in harmony; it is the lawyers who create rifts and communication problems for society.
I would quote this anecdotal statistic: for every American graduating from college as an engineer, there were seven lawyers graduating while in Japan the figure was several engineers for one lawyer. Around the same time a cousin who visited Japan came back with this astounding fact that Japan's company law consisted of all of three pages.
|The inertia that Japan has fallen into may have something to do with the limiting effects of a consensus-driven culture versus a culture, which encourages individuality.|
This was also the period when Japanese exports were surging ahead, were hitting America - several US automobile plants were forced to shut down and management gurus were talking about some great Japanese style of management, with company songs and lifetime employment. It was a cultural thing they said, America was litigious and that was hitting efficiency.
I was happy because India also had qualities of the east with respect for elders being the most common with Japan. Buddhism was our export and if we could manage our innate crookedness and contempt for work, we had competitive advantage over America.
And then began the great Japanese decline. America retooled its automobile industry and created the digital revolution while Japan kept working on high definition TV (HDTV) and building bridges and trains to nowhere. They seem immobilised by policy and are sitting on a pension and banking crisis of mammoth proportions.
The inertia that Japan has fallen into may have something to do with the limiting effects of a consensus-driven culture versus a culture, which encourages individuality.
All this leads me to speculate that as the 'individual' is valued more in society, society will necessarily become more litigious.
Personally, I dislike lawyers for the way they twist facts. People, who are honest but not law savvy, suffer at the expense of smart lawyers. In India we seem to have created the legal system only to benefit crooks. And, yet, Lawyers seem to be a necessary evil in the evolutionary process towards a society, which values the individual.
Japan today perhaps wishes it had more lawyers and fewer engineers!
Human beings are a huge genetic muddle. They want everything from freedom to power without violence and with 'fair play'. It is really astounding how this genetic muddle has been able to evolve to the existing level of law and order.
A society which values the individual must permit its members to think the way they wish to as long as they do not, in the process, impinge on the space of other individuals. Managing this principle will need a whole lot of lawyers.
As the world moves towards emulating a democracy like America, litigation will increase exponentially and emerging democracies will need to create lawyers of quality. In India while we are create knowledge workers in the cyber realm, we also need to inject more robust brain power in the legal arena to complement our evolution into a society which respects individuality. The key word is 'quality'. In India our ratio of lawyers to engineers must be very high but the quality of justice delivered is nowhere close to that of the American system of justice delivery.