Key Thought for this session:
“Lack of TRUST reduces the effectiveness of my community.”
One other point to make here, the autocratic or anarchist worldview sees obedience as the basis of what is “right” and rebellion as “wrong”. Loyalty in Type 1 communities is a commitment based on what “you have to do”, not what you ought to do or want to do. Subjects in Type 1 communities do not have good alternatives other than to obey what is expected of them by those in authority. History has shown that Type 1 communities are not considered virtuous because of the abuse subjects take and Type 1 communities do not prosper across time because the effort of the subjects is low.
The second exchange oriented worldview uses justice, not fear, as the basis for governance. We will refer to this as Type 2 “win – win”. In a Type 2 community authorities and subjects mutually gain in a balanced and fair manner. This is characteristic of benevolent dictators or democratic republics where power is given to constitutional law and not exercised at the discretion of individuals in authority. This protects the rights of all members of the community to be treated justly. Type 2 communities prosper more than Type 1 because effort of subjects is greater. Studies show that performance increases within these communities because subjects trust they will be rewarded fairly or because subjects seek to avoid guilt and shame from failing the community. In a balanced, exchange oriented community effort is reduced when either party believes they are giving more than they are receiving or no longer feel obligated because their rewards are less than promised. Justice, or getting what you deserve, is the basis for what is “right” and injustice is “wrong”. In Type 2 communities, loyalty is based on duty and is an “I ought to” commitment, not an “I have to” Type 1 commitment.
While justice is more virtuous and produces more abundantly than the Type 1 power/greed approaches to community, there is one problem with justice as a virtue. Justice is equity, an equal exchange of giving and receiving. What does a community do with those who cannot participate well in exchange? Should they not receive benefits because they are not capable of giving? Is it not more virtuous for communities to provide resources so everyone receives the same regardless of what they contribute, distributing goods based on the needs of members of the community? Without losing the motivation of equity, Justice systems need accommodations for those who are vulnerable, such as widows, orphans, the handicapped, who cannot participate in the performance based exchange like the majority of subjects.
One point we need to make about Type 2 communities. The current focus on “Social Justice” has warped the meaning of the word deserve, which is key to justice. Accommodating people who cannot or will not contribute becomes a problem in Type 2 communities when subjects are influenced by a sense of entitlement. If subjects believe they deserve benefits from the community without giving back in exchange, then they really believe that their exchange requirement is zero or nothing. This worldview of justice can eventually destroy a community because everyone will expect something from the community, but no one will see the need to contribute.
We have seen that Type 2 is generally more abundant and virtuous than Type 1 communities, but Type 2 communities can limit how a community prospers. This constraint on output happens when members of the community give only up to the point of being equal to what they receive. There is human potential that may be left unused because there is no incentive that motivates people to contribute at even greater levels without the prospects of being rewarded more.
There is one other point about Type 1 and Type 2 communities we need to emphasize. Accumulating power is important in exchange based communities because those with power get to control how benefits are distributed.
The theme of Tolkien’s famous trilogy “The Lord of the Rings” is the “contaminating influence of power.” Tolkien suggests that the real heroes are those that refuse “the ring of power”, so to speak. The irony is that by doing so they ultimately receive the power that serves others and not themselves.
This suggests a third Type of community that does not use exchange as a basis for behavior, but a power that produces self-less service.
A Type 3 community is defined as a servant model where people do not depend on the value that passes between them to prosper in their relationships with each other. A servant oriented community starts with those in power who are committed to serving those under their authority. By selflessly giving to members of the community, the greater community benefits. Unlike the first two worldviews of power, giving is discretionary (or voluntary), and not reciprocal, and not an obligation. Let me repeat that again: Unlike the first two worldviews of power, giving is discretionary, not reciprocal. This reward system is not self-serving, but others-serving and is the ultimate virtue, based on grace (or undeserved kindness). Members of the community do not seek their rights, do not desire to take advantage of others, do not seek personal gain, or the need to satisfy guilt or to keep peace. Rather, behavior of subjects in the community is a response to the gracious character of the one who has the power. The hearts of those under authority are filled with affection for the authority, resulting in hope, freedom, thankfulness, and a willingness to serve. Loyalty in the Type 3 community is an “I want to” commitment based on admiration and respect, not an “I have to” based on obedience, or an “I ought to” based on duty or obligation. The under privileged are served, not from a sense of justice but from everyone’s sense of thanksgiving.
Let’s take a moment and reflect back over these three Types of community, Type 1 is autocratic using lawless power and fear to govern. Type 2 governs with contingent reward systems, which keeps people in relationship through a balance structure of giving and receiving. Type 3 produces willful acts of service based on the undeserved kindness that is granted to the subjects by those in power and then subsequently by the subjects to each other.