Competruism and the Age of
Marketing Dept., College of Business
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32303
From: Perspectives on Science and Christianity 43 (September 1991): 152-165.
The transition from the industrial era to the information age has produced discontinuous change in the market economies of free societies. The paradigm shift has changed the criterion of success from a focus on the "growth of assets" in the industrial era to an emphasis on the "productivity of assets" in the information age. Free societies must consider discarding capitalism and socialism, which are industrial era doctrines dedicated to perpetual material gain, in favor of a conservation ideology, e.g., competruism, which is emerging in contemporary times.
There is increasing evidence to indicate that America and the other advanced nations in the world are in rapid transition from an industrial era to an information age.1 This means that capital will be replaced by knowledge as the strategic element of advanced societies.2 The subsequent shift in mass information relationships brought about by this technological revolution is changing the criterion of success in society from a focus on the "growth of assets" to the "productivity of assets."3 This transition indicates that a paradigm shift has taken place which has produced discontinuous change.4 These unparalleled conditions require entirely new ways of thinking to substantially raise standards of living and quality of life in post industrial societies.
The serious problems facing America and other free societies, e.g., enormous public/private debt, collapsing productivity, continuous conflict between haves/have nots, declining morality, environmental disaster, etc., cannot be solved by an overhaul of their respective economies, greater commitment, more social rhetoric or simply working harder. What will be needed are new principles, strategies, tactics and most of all, a new ideology that is compatible with the technological milieu of the information age. The perplexities confronting post industrial societies cannot be properly defined or solved in terms of machine age principles, strategies and ideologies that were developed to promote material growth in a bygone era.5 Clearly, free people should consider adopting a new ideology called competruism, which embraces theories, concepts and techniques that promote "productive efficiency" in the management of its socio-economic system.6
Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to define the competruistic ideology
and describe how its society will operate in the technological milieu of the
information age. The paper begins with a discussion of true competition, which
is the springboard for a definitive description of the competruistic ideology.
Then the transition from the growth economies of capitalism and socialism to the
steady state economy, under this new conservation doctrine, is scrutinized.
Next, the nerve center of the competruistic society is explored from the
perspective of its public and private sector organizations. The paper proceeds
with an examination of the attributes of the strategic management system which
is the decision making authority structure used to control the operation of the
socio-economic system under competruism. This section is followed by the
practical implementation of the strategic management mechanism in the form of
three macro programs which are: the National Economic Planning Corporation, the
commerce "value added" court, and the consumption tax system. The
Judeo-Christian framework, in which the competruistic society operates, is
examined in the last section of the paper.
Conservation Ideology for the Third Wave
Competruism (coined from the words true competition) was born in the realization that advanced societies must graduate from a destructive "survival of the fittest" type of rivalry to a constructive "survival of the species" form of competition.7 This transition from "free" to "true" competition will be essential for advanced societies if they are to achieve a zenith of productivity in a technological milieu.
Free competition encompasses the activities of combatants who use scramble and/or interference strategies in rivalry.8 Capitalistic societies usually employ public policy to prohibit interference strategies because of their predatory nature. The scramble strategy provides for rivals to capitalize on their efficiencies in some productive endeavor to force less effective combatants out of the competition. The economy must absorb the cost of destroyed assets when combatants are eliminated through scramble rivalry. It can be anticipated that this socially wasteful form of rivalry, which is analogous to biological competition, will pervade the political economies of free nations until the emergence of empiricism in the information age. Hence, free competition is simply an extension of the biological process of "natural selection" into society and functions according to the dictates of situation ethics.9
True competition is a cost effective form of rivalry which provides a harmonizing force in the mature economies of advanced societies. The reason this new type of rivalry must become the all pervasive law of competitive interactions in post industrial societies is to raise their survival chances in the finite environment. This auto-competition will permit resource conservation to be achieved through the operation of cost minimizing technologies in the steady state economies of advanced nations. True competition will be achieved in the information age by using empirical performance data to permit social entities (people, organizations, economies) to compete against their own records within operational delimitations. When social entities compete against their own performance standards it represents the "truest" form of rivalry. The reason is because this nonsocial type of rivalry eliminates the differential advantages of combatants that cannot be compensated for by the rules of competition. Therefore, true competition is being made possible by the empirical progress of decision scientists and is governed by the moral absolutes of Judeo/Christian ethics. After the cornerstone concept of competruism has been elucidated, the tripartite operation of this ideology can be examined.
Thesis and Antithesis to Synthesis
The competruistic ideology is evolving from the mixed economies of the free world. Its progenitors are capitalism and socialism which are epitomized by socially sanctioned competitive and cooperative behavior patterns, respectively. The hybrid nature of this ideology can best be described through Hegel's dialectic, whereby one fact (thesis/-capitalism) works against another fact (anti thesis/socialism) to produce a wholly new fact (synthesis/competruism). Accordingly, competruism synthesizes the free market competition of democratic capitalism and the allocative cooperation of practical socialism into a coordinated whole that operates within the framework of Judeo-Christian ethics.10
Perpetuating the survival of society by orchestrating the private decisions of capitalism and the public decisions of socialism, within the delimitations of Judeo-Christian morality, does appear to be the next major stage in ideological development.11 This proposition is given credence by the fact that most of the programs relevant to competruism have already been proposed and/or implemented in the West. Thus, the competruistic ideology has been developed by selecting those proposed and actual programs that are compatible with free societies, e.g., the steady state economy, managed market system, national economic planning, commerce court, consumption tax system, etc. Once the tripartite format of competruism has been explored, the focus can shift to the high output orientation of this ideology.
Survival Through Productive Efficiency
The mission of the competruistic ideology is to provide for the material, intellectual and spiritual needs of the denizens in its socio-economic system. The goal of competruism is to advance the survival chances of society and each of its denizens, to optimal limits, and then facilitate other free publics to achieve these ends. First, this ideology enhances the survival chances of society by employing national economic planning to orchestrate true competition and facilitate its public to adapt to rapid environmental change.12 Second, the longevity of denizens is augmented under competruism through programs designed to facilitate each of these individuals to reach optimal standards of living and quality of life and then save surplus income for future contingencies. Third, competruism provides for a society to help raise the standards of living and quality of life of world citizens by adding value (total cost minus total benefits) to the global economy through foreign investments, international trade, diplomacy, cultural exchanges, charitable programs, police actions, etc. Therefore, the common denominator of all socio-economic processes in the competruistic nation is their contribution to survival.
The mission of the
competruistic ideology is to provide
for the material, intellectual and spiritual needs of the
denizens in its socio-economic system.
Productive efficiency provides the means for achieving the survival goal of society and longevity of life for its denizens under competruism. There is cogent evidence which indicates that the productivity of a society's exchange processes, as measured by its standards of living (per capita GNP) and quality of life indices, is positively correlated with its denizens' longevity and well being.13 Each individual will be provided with an equal opportunity to compete for socio-economic success in order to facilitate them to maximize their contribution to the competruistic nation.
The goal of competruism
is to advance the survival chances
of society and each of its denizens, to optimal limits,
and then facilitate other free publics to achieve these ends.
When "productive efficiency" becomes the criterion of success in advanced societies, beset by rapid technological change, their economies must operate as macro mechanisms for the maintenance of minimum costs. This presupposition is reflected in the concept of "Human Scale" which means that for every animal, object, organization or system, there is an optimal limit beyond which it should not grow.14 When the economies of advanced societies grow too large, excessive costs accrue to these publics which negate the benefits of increases in their GNP. That is, diseconomies of scale produce excessive costs which reduce societies' collective standards of living and quality of life. When these costs are allowed to exceed prudent limits they can undermine the survival chances of societies. These ideas may be easier to comprehend by seeing negentropy being advanced by decisions that optimize the ratio between costs and benefits in the economies of these publics.
There is mounting research which indicates advanced nations, like America,
have entered into the transitional period when public policy must be used to
phase in the steady state economy.15 For example,
there is cogent evidence concerning the finite status of natural resources which
indicates that advanced nations must convert their consumption doctrines to
conservation ideologies to provide for a sustainable future.16
Also, factual information shows there has been a transformation in post
industrial nations from manufacturing to service based economies which promote
the intensive use of assets.17 This
latter transition to the technological milieu of the information age has created
conditions where companies now receive a higher return from investments in human
capital than in physical assets.18 These changes
simply mean that the most productive economy, which provides the highest
standards of living for society, must operate as a conduit of wealth instead of
a reservoir of wealth.
The Steady State Economy
When the competruistic society uses public policy, e.g., tax laws, to place a cap on the accumulation of physical capital at optimal levels, it converts its growth economy into a steady state economy (SSE). The SSE has four distinct characteristics. These are: (l) a constant population of human bodies; (2) a constant population or stock of artifacts (physical capital); (3) levels of these two populations which are high enough to provide society with optimal standards of living and quality of life; and (4) a rate of throughput of resources, by which the two stocks are maintained, reduced to the lowest possible level.19
When the competruistic
society uses public policy,
e.g., tax laws, to place a cap on the accumulation of
physical capital at optimal levels, it converts its growth economy
into a steady state economy.
Population stability in the steady state economy is achieved through the process of demographic transition. The tax program can be used to place a cap on the wasteful consumption of physical assets, shifting revenues into adequate levels of savings and expenditures for services in the SSE. Optimal levels for the above two stocks can be gauged through the use of a homeostatic survival coefficient for the SSE as a whole. The thermostatic mechanism for the SSE, which uses this optimal capital productivity standard, will be discussed in the section on the National Economic Planning Corporation. The rapid development of high technology, e.g., inventions that challenge the laws of thermodynamics, will enable the post industrial economy to operate as a conserver market system.20 This conservation process requires that the systems science methodology and computer based technology be employed in this SSE to pursue "productive efficiency" in the management of its resources. The realization of this criterion of success provides the means by which the SSE will deliver optimal living standards and life quality to society.
Public and private organizations must be combined into an effective format to
serve as the nerve center for the SSE. A goal orientation should be incorporated
into this cybernetic mechanism to facilitate the SSE to achieve a zenith of
productivity. This macro communication and control system for the SSE will
provide for centralized strategic decisions and decentralized operational
decisions. The above format is designed to assist the competruistic society to
achieve a competitive advantage in the technological milieu of the third
The Nerve Center of the Market System
The nerve center of the market system in the competruistic society has a public sector, held accountable by political votes, and a private sector that is accountable to dollar votes. The democratic government that operates in the public sector protects individual liberty based on the belief that human nature is flawed and therefore prone to abuse power. The primary means of protecting people from the misuse of power is to limit the power of the state so that government is prevented from functioning as the ultimate authority. For example, authority in the public sector of America is held in check through an edifice of democratic institutions that includes representative government, the separation of powers, federalism and a limitation on the power of the state through a Bill of Rights. Government under competruism must be limited to the tasks of providing direction, order, protection and justice.21
competruism must be limited to the tasks of
providing direction, order, protection and justice.
Also, the attributes of the management system, which is the primary decision
making authority structure in the competruistic society, will be explored in
this section. This computer based-communication and control system is unique to
the third wave. The discussion of the properties of the management system will
serve as a prelude to introducing the macro programs that operate in the SSE
according to the tenets of this truth-centered authority structure.
America's democratic, republican form of government under constitutional law represents the best form of government devised to date for the competruistic society. It will be assumed under this form of government in the competruistic society that the Creator has endowed mankind with certain inalienable rights, e.g., life including property, liberty and the pursuit of truth. Happiness has been deleted because it produces widely divergent behavior depending on one's personal perception of what it takes to satisfy this end. This substitution reinforces the precept that competruism was not developed to provide a utopia on Earth. Rather, this ideology has been designed to establish a social system which will facilitate people to reach their full productive potential through personal growth.
It is assumed under the
democratic form of government
in the competruistic society that the Creator has endowed mankind
with certain inalienable rights, e.g., life including property, liberty
and the pursuit of truth.
However, America's Constitution will have to be amended under competruism if
its public is to achieve a zenith of productivity.22 Amendments,
e.g., a balanced budget, holding all organizations accountable for socially
responsible actions (value added) and transferring budget appropriations by
legislators in the public sector to juries of experts in a new commerce division
of the court system, must be carefully contemplated. This new commerce section
in the judicial system will hold public employees responsible for being stewards
of society's resources. This stewardship will prescribe that the only
justifiable redistribution of wealth by the public sector will be where
empirical evidence substantiates that society will receive an adequate return on
its investment in a sanctioned project. This public redistribution of wealth
will work on a similar principle to "portfolio analysis" for corporations so
that social entities can receive the cash flow they need to reach their full
productive potential.23 The altruistic
redistribution of wealth in the competruistic society will fall under the domain
of charities, religious institutions and philanthropic organizations.
A strong cooperative link between the public and private sectors of the competruistic society will be established through a national economic planning program that is governed by a management system.24 The use of representative government to guide the public sector and a strategic management system to direct the private sector will provide a sound format for implementing accountability (political votes versus dollar votes) throughout the competruistic society. This format should make it clear that there is a significant difference beween capitalism/socialism and competruism. The former doctrines use a political system to govern their growth economies and the latter ideology employs a management system to control its steady state economy. The attributes of the management system will be discussed in the next section because this truth-centered authority structure is emerging in the information age and is not widely understood.
The management system will dominate the operation of organizations, which operate at the macro and micro levels of the economy, in the information age. This cybernetic construct will facilitate these organizations to adapt to rapid, accelerating change. The management system can be defined as a decision-making authority structure that operates on the assumption that truth is sovereign over the operation of the organization.25 The truth-centered authority structure functions as a computer basedcommunication and control mechanism which provides the long range potential of automating the management of the organization. This end will be accomplished by employing measurement and exception procedures in management systems to monitor and control the activities of the organization, its units, programs and personnel.26 The paradigm for this authority structure recognizes that all people suffer from human frailty. Therefore, personnel must be held accountable as stewards over the resources they manage.
The management system can
be defined as a decision-making
authority structure that operates on the assumption that truth
is sovereign over the operation of the organization.
The pervasive nature of accountability in the management system creates a learning organization with a high collective IQ for decision making and problem solving.27 This focus on learning reduces the firm to a living classroom where personnel are united in the pursuit of truth. The realization that truth is the route to "productive efficiency" in the organization requires that the environment for learning be protected. This can be accomplished through adherence to the mandate that personnel not be punished for honest errors but clobbered for dishonest mistakes. The prevailing view on blunders stresses that the "first time around is ignorance, but the second time around is stupidity."
The management system
encompasses checks and balances
that are designed to minimize the adverse effects of human frailty
on the productivity of the organization.
A further requirement in the management system stipulates that all personnel are responsible for promoting the success of their organization and each of its employees in achieving their vocational goals. This mandate is advanced on the belief that "success" is the best motivator. Consequently, workers must serve as coaches, mentors and teachers in their area of expertise to assist other employees in their organization to overcome their problems and failures.
A systems methodology is employed in the high output operation of the
computer-based communication and control mechanism. This systems approach to
administration is comprised of participative management, management by obectives,
management by exception, general systems theory, information systems and modules
(statistical, mathematical, procedural).28
Administration is characterized by the following properties when the above
systems methodology is utilized in an organization. These features are:
democratic/consensus authority, positive reinforcement, astute intuitive and
analytical reasoning, leadership by example, networking, high achievement goals,
personal growth, egalitarian relationships (Theory Z), collaboration, systems
mastery, team projects, verbal and mathematical skills, cooperation, extended
family commitment, absolute moral standards, group supervisory methods, holistic
thinking, self direction, performance/referent power bases, supportive
relationships, high fidelity information, continuous training, group learning,
standards of excellence, redeployment of personnel and objective approaches to
decision making.29 The management system
encompasses checks and balances that are designed to minimize the adverse
effects of human frailty on the productivity of the organization. These check
and balance procedures permit subordinates to challenge administrative
malpractice in an organization which undermines the value it adds to the
A vital part of the management system is its feedback mechanism which operates on the principle of a thermostat in facilitating the organization to follow the goal path of its mission while adapting to change. The cybernetic mechanism in this truth-centered communication and control system incorporates high output tenets, e.g., profit optimization, value added and true competition and third wave principles, e.g., synergism, symbiosis, redundancy, equifinality and holism in its operation.30 The management system provides for an increasing number of structured decisions and tasks to be automated through computer technology. The autonomic functions of the management system will improve the ability of the organization to raise its productivity in an environment beset with chronic change.
These check and
balance procedures permit
subordinates to challenge administrative malpractice
in an organization which undermines the value it adds to the economy.
In retrospect, the public sector will ideally be limited to those government officials and their staffs, who can be held strictly accountable for their performance by free elections. Government bureaucrats, and their agencies, who cannot be held accountable by poliical votes will be moved under the discipline of the market system through the privatization process.31 Public policy can be implemented to encourage organizations to adopt the management system, as their formal authority structure, and employee ownership programs.32 These employee stock option programs will make economic democracy the sequel to political democracy in the competruistic society. This arrangement will provide for the market system to be composed of public and private corporations. The public corporations will be allocated the revenue for their budgets by government treasuries that use the profits from these organizations to fund their future operating requirements. The private corporation in the market system will function according to standard operating procedures. In this way capital productivity can be uniformly assessed in public and private corporations through a comparison of cost with performance.
The primary mission of
the NEPC will be to operate t
he economy on an autonomic basis for the purpose of
facilitating all denizens in the competruistic society to
achieve optimal standards of living and quality of life.
The above cooperative relationship between the public and private sector will work best when a strategic management system, in the form of a National Economic Planning Corporation (NEPC), is used to orchestrate the operation of the SSE. The need for the NEPC is based on the realization that if a SSE is to achieve "productive efficiency" it must be managed for results.
National Economic Planning
The national economic planning program in the competruistic society begins with the public sector setting macro goals for: employment levels, price stability, balanced economic development, transportation, energy, agriculture, raw materials, housing, education, public services, etc. A national economic planning program can be used to orchestrate the operation of public and private organizations in the market system to achieve these goals. This goal orientation for the strategic management of the SSE provides the competruistic society with: (l) an overall sense of direction; (2) well defined national goals and objectives; (3) integrated strategic plans for achieving these ends; and (4) the ability to consider "what if" consequences to the market system from actions, e.g., an oil embargo, nuclear catastrophe, debt repudiation by third world nations, limited police actions, etc.
A macro management system for the private sector, which is designed to give the competruistic society a competitive advantage in the global community, can be set up by the federal government. The government can grant a private sector agency titled the "National Economic Planning Corporation (NEPC)" a charter to carry out the strategic management of the SSE. The charter will delegate authority to the NEPC to govern the SSE, the responsibility to use these resources in the best interests of society and accountability for the quality of performance it achieves in managing this market system. Procedures must be written into the charter for using job-related criteria to replace the planning agency's senior management team with another administrative group, in the event their performance is inadequate. The primary mission of the NEPC will be to operate the economy on an autonomic basis for the purpose of facilitating all denizens in the competruistic society to achieve optimal standards of living and quality of life. The NEPC can begin its task by franchising planning bureaus to systematize all productive organizations in the economy by function, size and region. The U.S. Government's Standard Industrial Classification Code for business provides a good example of a format which can be used to systematize productive organizations that elect to be registered under the NEPC. It is important that no organization be required to join this macro agency. The NEPC must use the quality of its information services, which it provides its member organizations for a reasonable fee, to contractually bind them into the macro planning network. Thus, the NEPC, serving as the steward for the resources in the private sector, can pursue its planning program by working in close cooperation with the public sector.
The NEPC can begin its
task by franchising planning
bureaus to systematize all productive organizations in the economy
by function, size and region.
The center of gravity for the planning process, carried out by the NEPC, is a homeostatic survival coefficient which takes the form of an optimal profit goal for the economy as a whole.33 This homeo-static survival coefficient, which utilizes a Dupont rate of return format, will provide the foundation for plans, strategies, tactics, resource allocations, priorities and other managerial actions executed by the NEPC. Initially this coefficient, representing the capital productivity goal for the whole economy, will have to be estimated. After the NEPC has been operating for a time, it will be possible to use its data base to perfect a regression equation, similar to the PIMS model, for setting the par value for this homeostatic goal.34 The decision rule will be to set an optimal rate of return coefficient for the SSE which minimizes cost of operation while maximizing the value added to the global economy.
The operation of these
electronic control mechanisms
trigger monetary and fiscal actions by the NEPC that speed up
or slow down the economy.
The strategic management of the SSE in the competruistic society focuses on the use of computer based control models. These cybernetic control systems should be designed to monitor the performance of the SSE within thresholds that are delineated by moral, legal and operational performance standards.35 The operation of these electronic control mechanisms trigger monetary and fiscal actions by the NEPC that speed up or slow down the economy. The complex decisions to accelerate or brake the economy are executed whenever the actual moves of the homeostatic survival coefficient breaks through predetermined thresholds for the planned equilibrium standards. The NEPC's control system is unlike Keynes' "Compensatory Model" which utilizes government borrowing as a means of stimulating the economy. Managing the operation of the SSE within reasonable tolerances around the homeostatic survival coefficient will require the NEPC to establish an annuity program. This program serves as a national savings account for all citizens in the competruistic society. The national annuity account will help to remedy the problems, in some post industrial nations, with low levels of per capita savings. Inadequate savings undermines these advanced nations' ability to fund the rapid technological progress necessary for their long run survival and prosperity. Details of this national annuity account will be explained in the section on the consumption tax. The thermostatic mechanism in the NEPC's control system provides the gauge for regulating the flow of money into the private sector. This control system is designed to keep the operation of the SSE within an optimal range. The NEPC would have the authority to raise or lower interest rates on funds in the national annuity account that were lent to business enterprises by banks. Also, this strategic management agency could adjust the variable tax rates on money taken out of the national annuity accounts by citizens for expenditures. These combined actions by this macro agency would provide the basis for controlling the speed and volume of capital turnover in the economy. When the NEPC lowers the variable tax rate on money taken out of the annuity account, it will encourage expenditures on services because of the fixed tax rate on property in the competruistic society. Of course, raising these variable rates would discourage citizens from taking money out of the annuity account for routine expenditures.
The banks, which will control these national annuity accounts, will play the central role in lending these funds to borrowers according to strictly commercial criteria. Although the prime rate will be set by the NEPC, the interest charged to the borrower would be calculated to cover the banks' overhead, risk and profit. The efficiency of this macro control system will be greatly enhanced as progress is made in reducing monetary float through the implementation of electronic funds transfer throughout the SSE.
The NEPC would have the
authority to raise or lower interest rates
on funds in the national annuity account that were lent
to business enterprises by banks.
The coordinating medium in the strategic management of the SSE will be a
management by objectives process for setting capital productivity targets for
all the organizations that operate under the NEPC. This macro planning agency
will establish goal congruency throughout the SSE by negotiating specific return
on investment or asset targets, with its member firms, that synthesize back into
the homeostatic survival coefficient. Of course, these companies will have the
autonomy to develop the best objectives, strategies and tactics for achieving
these optimal profit goals within moral, legal and operational constraints. This
management by objectives format accommodates innovation through the use of
empirically based forecasting that identifies the long term profit potential of
new companies with promising technologies, e.g., semiconductors,
bio-engineering, lasers, medical instruments, energy generation, etc. This focus
on profit potential will direct resources, away from mammoth dying industries,
into futuristic enterprises that can add high levels of value to the SSE in
raising standards of living and quality of life in society.
Optimal profit goals for these organizations can be approximated through the use of judgmental methods, e.g., company records, annual reports of companies, financial reports (Fortune's 500) and trade association materials (Robert Morris Associates) and empirical procedures, e.g., the Rand Risk Premium Method, the Capital Asset Pricing Technique and the PIMS model.36 Final capital productivity coefficients must be agreed upon by the chief executive officers of the firms and the appropriate
Corrective actions would be
initiated when an
organization's actual performance, depicted by these diverse variables,
breaks through predetermined thresholds delineated by moral, l
egal and functional performance standards.
Once the NEPC planning bureaus and their member firms have agreed to specific
return on asset targets, this macroagency can use its super computers to monitor
the operations of these organizations. That is, a management by exception report
format can be used to plot these organizations' actual capital productivity
around their negotiated profit goals. Other variables that would likely be
monitored by this control channel format include: cash flow, inventory levels,
receivables, market share, capacity utilization, investment/sales, working
capital, value added, current liabilities, R & D, expense/sales, etc.
Corrective actions would be initiated when an organization's actual performance,
depicted by these diverse variables, breaks through predetermined thresholds
delineated by moral, legal and functional performance standards. The appropriate
NEPC planning bureau and the dysfunctioning firm would take coordinated steps to
bring the variables, which affect capital productivity, back within reasonable
tolerances. Examples of corrective actions that could be taken by the macro
agency, if enough firms shared the same problems are: recommended adjustments in
public policy, creation of tax credits, direct grants, industry subsidies,
changes in trade policies, negotiations for strategic minerals, funding of basic
technological research, initiation of training programs, etc. It should be
understood that this management by exception format is designed to control the
capital productivity of organizations around target levels for these profit
goals. This homeostatic control mechanism facilitates productive organizations
to achieve, maintain and enhance their survivability over time. The strategic
management of the market system does not control the exchange (buying/selling)
processes between social entities (people/organizations). This control format
can also be used to monitor aggregates of these organizations, e.g., companies
grouped into one, two, three and four digit S/C categories. Thus, every major
socio-economic force that affects the capital productivity of the market system
and subsequently the survivability of the competruistic society, can be
monitored and coordinated by the NEPC's computer based-management system.37
Subsequent to developing a format for the strategic management of the SSE is the need to introduce a new division to the court system. This judicial process will facilitate resources to be allocated efficiently in the public and private sectors of the competruistic society.
Commerce Division in the Court System
The main social strategy that provides for optimizing productivity in society concerns the addition of a commerce division to the traditional civil and criminal court system. The need for this new court division is based on the realization that achieving "productive efficiency" in an advanced nation necessitates that its citizens and organizations be held accountable for adding value to its economy. The above "criterion of success" should encourage these social entities to undertake productive activities to provide the best possible ratio between costs and benefits in the post industrial country.
The need for this new
court division is based
on the realization that "productive efficiency" in an advanced nation
necessitates that its citizens be held accountable for adding value to its economy.
Currently, there is no institution in progressive countries, like America, which serves as an effective countervailing force to inept and/or unethical bureaucratic decisions that undermine the productivity of the economy. The condition has lead people to feel powerless and hopelessly cut off from participation in making socio-economic decisions that affect their standards of living and quality of life. The inability to effectively challenge self-serving bureaucratic decisions violates the guiding principle of participatory democracy. This tenet emphasizes that people must be a part of the process of arriving at decisions which have a major impact on their lives. Hence, a new institution can be introduced into advanced nations which gives citizens an effective way of curtailing the noxious activities of social entities that have an adverse effect on their lives. This new court division will serve as an effective deterrent to people and organizations that are attempting to promote their own selfish ends to the detriment of society.
The inability to
effectively challenge self-serving
bureaucratic decisions violates the guiding principle of participatory democracy.
The new judicial division, entitled the Commerce Court, will be responsible for all litigation which involves a tractable exchange of value between people and/or organizations. The court will take appropriate steps to protect the interest of society when the actions of people and/or organizations are clearly having an adverse effect on the "productive efficiency" of the economy. That is, social entities will have a means of legal recourse in stopping the actions of people and/or organizations that are promoting waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and fraud in society. It will be necessary to empirically prove these adverse actions are having a detrimental effect on the potential value (total costs minus total benefits) that a productive endeavor could add to the economy.
The constitution of the competruistic society can be drafted to guarantee social entities, who are damaged by the actions of others, the right to correct the situation through the commerce court. This judicial division will operate similar to the private court system in America where the litigants pay for its services and are legally bound by its decisions.38 The focus on "value added" in this judicial process reflects the fact that the competruistic society is a single body shared by all of its inhabitants. It follows that their potential standards of living and quality of life will be adversely affected by the degree to which this socio-economic order dysfunctions. For example, one of the most notable changes the commerce court will bring about is the transfer of public budgetary decisions from elected officials to its jurisdiction. The services of the commerce court would be used after the elected government officials and the NEPC complete the process of prioritizing the goals and objectives the nation and states are to achieve. This court division will determine the most efficient means for accomplishing these predetermined targets. The judicial process in the commerce division, which employs juries of experts, will authorize the budgets, strategies and tactics for accomplishing the ends sanctioned by the government and the NEPC.39
In retrospect, the commerce court will provide an expedient means for correcting the detrimental actions of people or organizations that undermine the value that could be added to the SSE. This will be accomplished when no social entity is allowed to be above conformity to the law and sound ethical standards that concern actions that have a harmful effect on others in society. The commerce court makes it possible for the "little guy" to function as a full and equal partner in the management of the competruistic society. This judicial process will allow a citizen to right the wrongs that heretofore he/she could do nothing about legally.
The commerce court
will provide an expedient means for correcting
the detrimental actions of people and organizations that undermine the
potential value that could be added to the SSE.
Consumption Tax Program
In addition to the commerce court, it will be necessary to introduce a consumption tax program into the competruistic society to provide sufficient savings to fund technological progress in its SSE.
A consumption tax is used in the competruistic society to place a cap on material gain at a level where further increases are deemed counter productive.40 A description of the harmful effects from excessive material gain can begin with Arnold Toynbee's observation, from his tome Stages of Civilization, that national cultures go through five distinct stages. These stages are: (l) birth, (2) rapid growth and expansion, (3) conservation of gains, (4) moral decay, and (5) disintegration. Perhaps the factor most responsible for moral decay is affluence which appears to be the soft underbelly of society. Contemporary culture is plagued by the passion to possess. The good life is found in accumulation expressed by the idea that "more is better." The lust for affluence, which undermines responsibility and character in society, has become psychotic. Affluence causes growing apathy which finally results in a state of chaos and anarchy which can lead to a police state and eventually slavery. Clearly there are two ways to get enough: One is to continue to accumulate more and more and the other is to desire less. The tax scheme in the competruistic society provides disincentives for material accumulation at the point where increases are deemed to represent conspicuous consumption.
Contemporary culture is
plagued by the passion to possess.
The good life is found in accumulation expressed by the ideam that "more is better."
Advanced societies will need a savings base of at least twenty percent of GNP
to promote the scientific and technological achievement necessary to sustain
high standards of living in the Information age.41
Hence, fixed and variable rate schedules will be used in this consumption tax
program to establish an optimal balance between consumption and savings in order
to fund technological progress in the economy. Individuals will pay a flat tax
rate on their property, e.g., a home.42 Personal
income will be taxed at a flat rate up to an optimal point. The personal income
tax schedule will become increasingly progressive after the optimal point is
reached. This schedule, with a flat tax over the optimal income range followed
by progressive rates, is based on the premise that there is a point in
consumption beyond which expenditures do not contribute to physical well-being.
Expenditures which exceed the optimal range will not extend longevity of life in
society as a whole and, therefore, can be considered to be conspicuous
consumption. These purchases are made for the purpose of acquiring goods and
services that symbolize prestige, status and affluence. It is assumed in this
tax scheme that scale economists will be able to devise empirical methods for
determining levels of consumption which permit individuals to optimize their
standards of living and quality of life. For example, scale economists may begin
by using tax schedules that provide for an ideal relationship between national
consumption and savings. The need for this arrangement is based on the fact that
the key to maintaining a country's productivity lies in constant and prudent
investment of national savings. The optimal relationship between consumption and
savings in the competruistic society could be perfected in the tax schedules as
data dictates over time. People will be given the option of deferring taxes on
surplus income, beyond the optimum range on the tax schedule, by saving it in a
nationally sanctioned annuity program.43
Only when the sheltered capital is drawn out of the annuity program for expenditures, will it be taxed at a predetermined rate. If people decide to spend their income, beyond the point of optimality on the tax schedule, they will voluntarily pay graduated taxes. These progressive rates will raise the tax on consumption significantly, as a result of income producers electing not to shelter their surplus capital in the national annuity program. This appraisement system tightens the lid on consumption further by not providing exclusive concessions for any individuals or special interest groups other than religious organizations. Firms will also pay a flat tax on property. Ideally, the rate on income property, e.g., buildings and land, will be set at a level which will encourage the most productive use of these assets. A flat tax will be levied on corporate income to an optimum point, after which profits would become excessive for a particular type of enterprise.
Clearly there are two
ways to get enough:
one is to continue to accumulate more and more and the other is to desire less.
Empirical methods already exist, e.g., the PIMS model, which can be used to
determine the "par value" or optimum return on investment for hundreds of
different types of businesses. Progressive tax rates will be used to encourage
companies to shelter capital, beyond the optimal profit range, in the annuity
program. This surplus income would be taxed at a predetermined rate, only when
it is taken out of the annuity program for expenditures.
The NEPC, working in conjunction with the federal government, would use empirically based models to set variable tax rates for capital taken out of the annuity programs for domestic and commercial expenditures. This variable tax rate will be used to regulate the metabolism of the economy which would have to be in sync with the intensity of goal achievement being undertaken by the nation. The NEPC would raise or lower the tax rates on money taken out of the annuity account whenever the actual homeosta
Progressive tax rates
will be used to encourage companies to shelter capital,
beyond the optimal profit range, in the annuity program.
The NEPC's computer control system provides the gauge for regulating the flow of money from the national annuity account into the private sector. This cybernetic mechanism is designed to keep the operation of the SSE within an optimal range which will eliminate the wide cyclical swings commonly associated with capitalistic economies. These conditions will provide for the actual capital productivity coefficient to be a "standard of living" index and value added by the SSE to serve as an indicator of "quality of life."44
Framework of Judeo-Christian Ethics
The competruistic society must be bounded by Judeo-Christian ethics in order for this public to achieve a zenith of productivity in advancing its survivance to optimal limits.
The competruistic nation operates in a framework of Judeo-Christian morality
which clearly distinguishes this conserver society from contemporary
capitalistic and socialist publics that are characterized by situation ethics.45
The moral absolutes and values of Judeo-Christian ethics will have the greatest
impact of any program described in this treatise, on quality of life in the
competruistic society.46 However, the operation of
the steady state economy, managed market system, privatization, employee
entrepreneurship, commerce court division and consumption tax program will make
significant contributions to this end.
The reason Judeo-Christian ethics is the most important program contributing to the quality of life in the competruistic society, concerns the fact that every socio-economic action is a moral act. This is because these socio-economic actions impact the lives of people. Hence, it is wrong to ignore the fact that all socio-economic decisions have their root in moral standards.47 Quality of life can be undermined in a nation when people resolve socio-economic problems in a value free milieu that permits them to ground their decisions in the amoral or immoral dimensions of situation ethics.48
There are several paramount reasons for operating the competruistic society within the delimitations of Judeo-Christian ethics. First, the culture of character, that emanates from Judeo-Christian ethics, will protect the competruistic society by insulating it from the secular values of the world. Second, the moral absolutes of Judeo-Christian ethics will provide for the survival of the competruistic public by establishing a sound foundation for it to operate on while withstanding the vagaries of chronic change. These observations indicate that free enterprise, operating under the high output demands of the information age, cannot prosper in a competruistic society that has allowed greed and hedonism to replace its Judeo-Christian framework with situation ethics.49
Judeo-Christian ethics is the most important program
contributing to the quality of life in the competruistic society, concerns the fact
that every socio-economic action is a moral act
Therefore, when the competruistic society is encapsulated by Judeo-Christian ethics it provides a resilient framework for organizing the steady state economy into a powerful engine of exchange. The bonds of trust, that hold a free society together, will be strengthened as the integrity of the exchange processes in this public increases. This condition will facilitate the public to withstand the stresses and strains produced by the geometric increase in transactions between people in the information age. Thus, the strength of the competruistic society is in the integrity of its people and that attribute will be produced by their moral character.50 The character of the people who comprise the competruistic society will determine whether this public regresses, to function as a reservoir of accumulated capital, or stays true to its mission. The competruistic society is designed to operate as a conduit of wealth in maximizing the value it adds to the global economy.
Competruism has been born in the transition from the industrial era to the information age. This term is coined from the words "true competition" which refers to rivalry between a social entity and its own empirical performance record over time. Auto competition is "true" in the sense that it eliminates the differential advantages of rivals, e.g., people, organizations, economies, etc., that cannot be compensated for by the rules of engagement. This cost effective form of rivalry is distinguished from "free competition" which represents an expensive, destructive way of achieving progress in society.
The combination of the
competruistic ideology and the steady state
economy produces a unique format of cost reduction programs.
True competition is the cornerstone concept of the competruistic ideology. This philosophical system synthesizes the free market competition of democratic capitalism and the allocative cooperation of practical socialism into a coordinated whole that operates within the delimitations of Judeo-Christian ethics. The goal of competruism is to advance the survival chances of society and each of its denizens to optimal limits and then facilitate other free publics to achieve the same ends. Productivity provides the means for achieving the survival goal of society and longevity of life for its denizens under competruism.
The competruistic ideology is compatible with a democratic republic under
constitutional law and the steady state economy. This type of economy is
characterized by constant stocks of human bodies and physical capital, optimal
standards of living and quality of life and the achievement of productive
efficiency through cost minimization technologies. The combination of the
competruistic ideology and the steady state economy produces a unique format of
cost reduction programs. These three cost containment programs, which operate
under the competruistic ideology, include the strategic management of the SSE,
the "value added" commerce court division, and the consumption tax system. It is
posited that the competruistic society will be capable of achieving a zenith of
productivity when Judeo-Christian morality provides the culture for problem
solving and the foundation for decision making in this public. Thus, the
competruistic society will advance its survival chances by functioning as an
efficient engine of exchange in the technological milieu of the information age.
1John Naisbitt and Patricia Aburdene, Re-inventing
the Corporation (New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1985): 5.
2John Naisbitt, Megatrends (New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1982): 15.
3Lester C. Thurow, The Zero Sum Society (New York: Penguin Books, 1980): 103.
4S. Kuhn Thomas, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970).
5Ian I. Mitroff, Break-Away Thinking (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1989): 6-17.
6Bruce Gunn, "The Competruistic Marketing System," Business Perspectives, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Fall, 1970): 11-17.
7This term was originally published in: Bruce Gunn, "An Operating Model of the Marketing System," John R. Thompson (ed.), Proceedings: The Southern Journal of Business, Vol. 5, No. 3 (July, 1970): 196.
8J. Hershleifer, "Competition, Cooperation, and Conflict in Economics and Biology," American Economic Review, Vol. 68, No. 2 (May, 1978): 239.
9Archie B. Carroll, "In Search of the Moral Manager," Business Horizons, Vol. 30 (March-April, 1987): 12.
10Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Edwin Cannon (ed.), Vol. 1 (Melhuen, London, 1961); James A. Yunker, "A Survey of Market Socialist Forms," Annuals of Public and Cooperative Economy, Vol. 46 (April-June, 1975): 131-162; Holy Bible, King James Version (Regency Publishing House, Nashville, Tennessee).
11Herman E. Daley, Economics, Ecology, Ethics, Essays Toward a Steady State Economy (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1980): 367.
12For a thorough discussion of this topic see: Don Lavoie, National Economic Planning: What is Left? (Massachusetts: Ballinger Publishing Company, 1985).
13See: World Population Data Sheet, Washington, D.C., Population Reference Bureau, Inc.
14Kirkpatrick Sale, Human Scale (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1980): 70.
15Daley, op. cit.: 1-372.
16V. Kerry Smith (Ed.), Scarcity and Growth Reconsidered (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979).
17Michael E. Porter, The Competitive Advantage of Nations (New York: The Free Press, 1990): 6-11.
18Jay H. Heizer, "Managements" Three-Way Challenge to Increase Productivity, Management World, June 1979: 5-8.
19These four characteristics were adapted from: Herman E. Daley (ed.), Toward a Steady State Economy (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1973): 152.
20Joseph Westley Newman, The Energy Machine of Joseph Newman (Louisiana:Joseph W. Newman, 1990).
21Dean C. Curry, A World Without Tyranny (Illinois, Crossway Books, 1990): 143-151.
22For a good discussion of plausible constitutional amendments see: James L. Sundquist, Constitutional Reform and Effective Government (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1986).
23Derek F. Abell and John S. Hammond, Strategic Market Planning (New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1979): 173-194.
24August W. Smith, Management Systems: Analyses and Applications (New York: The Dryden Press, 1982).
25Bruce Gunn, "Political Systems Vs. Management Systems in Organizations," Resource Management and Optimization, Vol. 8, No. 2 (1991):84-100.
26Robert N. Anthony, Management Control Systems (Illinois: Irwin, 1989): 183-401.
27Peter M. Senge, The Fifth Discipline (New York: Currency and Doubleday, 1990): 4-6.
28Bruce Gunn, "Systems Science: A Perennial Order for Marketing," Arkansas Business and Economic Review, Vol. 12, No. 4 (Winter, 1979): 32-35.
29H. Alan Raymond, Management in the Third Wave (Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1986).
30Bruce Gunn, "Political Systems Vs. Management Systems in Organizations," Resource Management and Optimization, Vol. 8, No. 2 (1991):96-98.
31Madison Pirie, Dismantling the State (Texas: The National Center for Policy Analysis, 1985).
32Keith Bradley and Alan Gelb, Worker Capitalism: The New Industrial Relations (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1983).
33Bruce Gunn, "A Survival Theorem for Marketing Organizations," Review of Business and Economic Research, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Winter, 1977-78): 35-45.
34Robert D. Buzzell and Bradley T. Gale, The PIMS Principles (New York: The Free Express, 1987).
35Edward E. Lawler and John G. Rhode, Information and Control in Organizations (California: Goodyear Publishing, 1979).
36Bruce Gunn, "Profit Optimization: A Paradigm for Risk Reduction," Akron Business and Economic Review, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Spring 1977): 14-22 and Irving N. Fisher and George Hall, "Risk and the Aerospace Rate of Return" (California: Rand Corporation, 1967), memorandum RM 5440-PR: 1-67; James C. Van Horne, "An Application of the Capital Asset Pricing Model to Divisional Required Returns," Financial Management (Spring 1980): 14-19; Carl Anderson and Frank T. Paine, "PIMS: A Reexamination," Academy of Management Review (July, 1978): 602-612.
37Gregory C. Chow, Analysis and Control of Dynamic Economic Systems (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1975).
38Martin Tolchin, "Private Courts With Binding Rules Draw Interest and Some Challenges," The New York Times (May 12, 1985): 38.
39The adjudication process in this judicial system can be modelled after the science court. See: "The Science Court Experiment: An Interim Report," Science, Vol. 193 (August, 1976): 653-656.
40Lawrence S. Seidman, "The Personal Consumption Tax and Social Welfare," Challenge (September-October, 1980): 10-16.
41Hunter Lewis & Donald Allison, The Real World War (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1982): 17-19.
42Robert E. Hall and Alvin Rabushka, The Flat Tax (California: Hoover Institution Press, 1985).
43Richard P. Sparks, Annuities: From The Buyer's Point of View (Massachusetts: American Institute for Economic Research, 1980).
44Bruce Gunn, "Competruism," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Summer, 1980): 246-252.
45Joseph Fletcher, Situation Ethics: The New Morality (Philadelphia: The Westminister Press, MCMLXVI).
46Paul Johnson, Enemies of Society (New York: Atheneum, 1977): 191.
47Harold Lindsell, Free Enterprise: A Judeo-Christian Defense (Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1982).
48A. James Reichley, Religion In American Public Life (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1985) and Robert G. Clouse, Wealth and Poverty (Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1984).
49Geoffrey P. Lantos, "An Ethical Base for Marketing Decision Making," The Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Spring, 1987): 11-16.
50Charles R. Swindoll, The Quest for Character (Oregon: Multnomah Press, 1987).