Too much law?
09 December 2004
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.