Many things we do seem important but in nature may be purely voluntary. So why do we do them. Does it make us look better, live longer, or just feel better about ourselves or support the Ego?
Nature has a way of doing the necessary and whether one calls that survival of the fittest or maintaining the power structure in a pride of lions. Whatever the cause it is generally necessary to survive in conditions of limited resources and providing ‘genetics’ that ensure longer term sustainability.
In a way the ability to borrow funds and repay such in the future i.e. increase access to resources beyond our current means and sustain genetics which would not survive in nature BOTH describe an increasing load on the resources nature has provided.
Organisations tend to tolerate resources that provide inadequate delivery towards its objectives for limited time periods. The social system (norms) and structure (laws) provides some support for such ‘failed’ resources to ensure that survival is possible for a period longer than nature would allow. Having said that the structure and norms have enabled economic growth based on increased productivity and output for centuries.
As we look North towards the unfolding greek tragedy (one could say of the ‘commons’), nature’s laws are proving to be true after all – one cannot not live on promise forever and resources will be limited. The norms of society will be tested in that those producing surpluses (e.g. Germany) have to support those who produce inadequate outputs (e.g. currently Greece) on the assumption that this will sustain the overall system (Euro) and economic stability. There is no doubt that political will is likely to be tested severely.
David McWilliams recently wrote a useful piece to understand German position and challenges a little better bit.ly/MHZVcaCustomize
What David highlights is that the choice made by one country can fundamentally change the course of Europe’s economic and political development. I still believe that the choices made to design the European Union were first political in nature and secondly economic. If that holds true, then Germany would have to chose a political solution to an economic problem (one of limited resources) which cannot be sustainable unless suddenly there is access to new resources in the European Union as a whole (whether from inside or outside). Similar to organisations that want to survive at some stage one (the EU? or Germany?) has to cut some parts to survive. Either way, there will be no winners.