Any thoughts on the economy and self-organized criticality? How do we get the complexity conversation elevated within the system?
I have had the pleasure of engaging in an exchange with Mushin J. Schilling who lives and works in Berlin, Germany as Collaboration Ecologist, Strategic Adviser & CTO to Scrabel Group in Basel, Switzerland. You can connect with Muchin - @Mushin, http://blog.mushin.eu.
Our conversation began on Sunday August 14th, after a week of what could best be termed volatile. Muchin’s comment was a perfect tee up for the week to come. ”Just a hunch: When the Euro becomes critical – which seems inevitable some time soon – a strong movement in Europe will create a transnational economic kind of government, or rather, the beginnings thereof. If that change, really a revolution of sorts, can be regarded as a self-organized criticality, I don’t know, though.”
My response to Muchin that it will be difficult to create a transnational economic government structure due to deep country “ecosystems” hits at the core of the framing of many of the economic debates currently in play. The conversations are not simply around the “pure” economic conditions and solutions confronting all members of the global economic system — instead they are touching upon the less structural deep issues around the “patterns” of behavior in each and every “countrywide ecosystem”. Add to the mix the interconnected and networked economic entities (which have their own ecosystems) that influence and are influenced by sovereign nations and you have chaos. As I said to Muchin, imposing a new transnational economic structure would be a revolution and it would be a major ”critical point” (possibly the most significant event in modern European economic history)in the self – organization of the system.
I shared further thoughts on the issues of “ecosystem” disruption(the seven dimensions of History, Strategy, Values, Identity, Culture & Engagement all come into play at some level)…”As I read about the “surfacing” unrest across Europe over economic and “identity” questions, the system is clearly being tested (as is the US) but it appears to be resilient. Who knows what this week will bring.”
On Monday the 15th, markets in the United States, Europe and Asia closed higher, shaking off last week’s turmoil.
Muchin responded, “It will indeed be more than difficult and only possible if otherwise the Euro will ‘break’, so if there is only the choice to either issue Euro bonds or let the Euro crumble. Then, the German government has said, it will consider Euro bonds, and only if a transnational economic government can be instated that has the necessary power to enforce financial politics of the participating countries. So yes, we’ll see if it comes to that. Depends on if the speculation against European countries, now Italy and maybe even France next, will continue.”
By Wednesday the 17th, Muchin’s scenario was emerging. I listen to the BBC all night and indeed the Euro was breaking or at least the European union countries were breaking.
I commented on a great post of Muchin’s re: RSA Animate – Crises of Capitalism which I have also posted as our video of the week. “To continue our conversation re emergence in self-organizing systems…France and Germany propose “True European Economic Government” - http://n.pr/qEexki. Is this the result of the system reaching the critical point for Self-Organized Criticality (SOC) or is this an attempt to deeply constraint the system?
I asked this question again with the ecosystem patterns in mind. The action seemed less of an attempt to understand and support the emergence of a new system than an attempt to impose another structural layer of complexity onto the existing system.
Mushin’s response says it all. “I think, this is what I was ‘predicting’ in the other thread. It seems to me that it’s both – reaching the point of criticality and an attempt to deeply constrain the system. Really, the choice is between the Euro-zone breaking up eventually, sooner rather than later, or getting a European Economic Government; which obviously will not really work because most Europeans won’t want to give away the power of parliaments to decide where the money from taxation goes to. So this, if it gets underway in any really promising way, may be the hour of the European Parliament – which now basically is a debating club with hardly any powers over where finances goes (that’s the European Commission that does that, with the final say so of the heads of state). And it seems pretty obvious to me that around that self-organizing will happen, maybe even grand scale.
The crisis is far from over. This (the proposal of Merkel and Sarkozy) is hardly more than a vague statement pointing in the direction of where to go, possibly. But, if the markets keep behaving like they do now, the crisis may be so fast that this ‘solution’ will come into place faster than many are comfortable with.”
As Muchin concluded — We have to wait and see…