Leading the way! Indeed, a fundamental question of what is the unique advantage that makes America great. Therefore, let us dissect how a nation that is designed for collective resilience based on individualism is not only a leader in a time of crisis, but is capable of pioneering a new paradigm of regeneration that is needed more than ever. Let’s look closer at the micro-dynamics of regenerating communities, places, and spaces.
We last talked about collective resilience and why American individualism is inherently a core building block of such a dynamic, see previous post [Block 003]. While, further on that note, we can assert that resilience at its best is built on modularity. Modularity of self-sustainable systems that work together by purpose driven agreement and choice rather than functional dependence or top-down mandate. Regeneration needs to be a bottom up endeavor to really work, otherwise it is more of a power pyramid or an image driven marketing ploy.
To anchor resilience and regeneration the right way, it must start at the individual level. As all wise things should, in order to avoid dependence on the larger system. With that said, in terms of individualism, America has been a one of a kind pioneer. Old world management styles are arguably more responsive, but they are always predicated on blind (and passive) obedience; on a hive mindset (Quite a popular concept, but easily corruptible and inefficient on many levels). The hive mindset does bring us closer together so we never feel alone, but internal power-dynamics are frequently exploited while at the same time they get reinforced by the perception of inherent hive infallibility. What if there was a better way?
Indeed, America’s Founding Fathers understood that well. While being fully committed to the iconic idea of the Pursuit of Happiness (which historically has been revealed as “happiness of the community” not individual happiness per se), while the correct execution and concept framing did begin at the “individual micro-level” precisely. In short, they understood that you cannot coerce a freedom seeking individual into community driven happiness, it had to be a free choice, first and foremost. So, what if environmental and economic regeneration needs a similar lens? What if it simply must become a choice same as self-happiness first, before becoming a mechanism for collective happiness? This is a big question with huge consequences.
Systems-thinking has been the American agenda from inception, but cooked up and served in a totally different way. Most nation states built on ideology always draw their conclusions and arguments from the greatness of the idea collective in any given context or for any opportune agenda. This of course works quite well because it primes the listener with the end result and frames any subsequent discussion or contemplation into that crafted context. It is the easy way, but inherently flawed due to exactly such priming. Hence, the journey toward the goal is secondary, while the destination is primary. The greater the destination, the less important the journey. America did it differently, very very differently; the journey is far more important, precisely on an individual level.
Life is a journey, not a destination! This unique piece of the American way is one of the most unprecedented and enlightened ways to build a nation. The challenge is the priming. We simply never had the ability to prime such a concept en masse (at least not during America’s inception). Can this be improved today? Likely, yes.
On the contrary, ideologies that promise a glorious end result seem to be more popular than ever, simply because of relative simplicity in mass conceptualization. Leaving the current socio-political sphere aside, community resilience and regeneration needs to be better framed and primed for us all. In short, our future, in more ways than we would like to admit, depends on it more than ever.
At the end of the day, the “execution and delivery” of regenerative systems and solutions will prevail. Not just the theory. Henceforth, pivoting America toward a resilience driven and regenerative model of individualism has the capacity to profoundly revitalize this Union. By building regenerative modeling on a micro-individualistic framework, both in theory and delivery, we can potentially build a multi-functional and a truly robust ecosystem.
So, before we can make America great again, we must reappreciate what really made it great in the first place.
(to be continued)