Saturday, February 11, 2006

"Stay the Course" LaLa --Part II

In our history-wide search for

The Lemming Idol,

for the "Stay the Course" leader
who most deserves the coveted prize, namely,
the Lemming Appreciation o' Leadership Award
(the LaLa), we came upon a fundamental truth:
The Lead to the Ledge is not a function of the "Who",
but rather of the Times and of the Missed Turns along the Road of History.

Almost all Leaders are "Stay the Course" ones.

It is those who by ill chance, fall into the lead just as the course of history hits an inflection point, who become acursed.
It is they who must bear the "Mark of Cain", the "blame" for having been a bad leader in a time of "crisis", when in truth almost all leaders would have done the same.

It was not Cain's fault that he saw not the shift
away from a man-powered vegeterian life style
(being a tiller of the soil, a life style he considered "non-negotiable")
to an alternate life style that his rancher brother, Abel, was adopting.

No wonder that Cain became enraged with jealousy when the animal-powered, rancher life-style (sheep herding) outdid the old ways of the soil tiller. Cain had missed an inflection point in the marketplace. He lashed out in the only way he knew how. He liquidated some of his human assets. And for that he was punished with the fickle pointing finger of "blame", with the Mark of Cain forever imprinted as his exclusive trademark.

(The real Abel, by the way did not disappear. He came out of bankruptcy under a new trade name, Seth. The Sethians flourished. They domesticated yet more of the beasts beyond just the sheep. They learned to work with copper and iron. They yoked the oxen and bade them to do all manner of man's work. In time, the beasts of burden were replaced by a petro-powered progeny that made the children of Cain, Abel and Seth more "productive" than they had ever been before. They felt as if they had gained "dominion" over the earth and the sky. Dazzled by their own brilliance, by the unbounded power of an Abel human mind, they were ready to rocket on to new conquests. They had lost sight of where all the energy had come from. Their self-esteeming inner light blinded them from seeing the next inflection point (the "Peak") a coming their way. It deluded them into belieivng that the marketplace, the worship of a Smithian God, will always provide. None was his brother's keeper and each clawed and tunneled only for his own self gain. But that is a story for another day.)

It is only the rare and brilliant leader who realizes we are at a point of inflection in the affairs of things and who can turn the herd and guide them away from the cliff.

And what, we ask you, is the reward of such a leader? The herd barely notices. Fame goes to those who lead the glorious charge over the ledge, to Pearl Harbor and beyond. Glory comes to those who edge the millions to their deaths under the guise of an "unavoidable" war against an "evil" enemy, or a "catastrophic" turn of events that no one could have foreseen, not even Cassandra.


head lem said...

Sorry about that initial confusion folks. I had forgotten what Cain and Abel did for a living.

First-born Cain was the farmer (a simple tiller of the soil) while the younger and upcoming Abel was a rancher (a keeper or herder of sheep-- a leader of the flock). It was a "competitive" world and Cain did not like the outcome of the fair and balanced market situation.

Probably barbed wire had not been invented back then. So when Cain found Abel and those damn sheep free-ranging on Cain's "property", what was Cain supposed to do? First they had "words" with each other. But Abel refused to listen and kept free-ranging. So then the more super-powered Cain had to rise up against his wise-guy brother. It was the first open-market negotiation in history and it ended with blood shed on the ground.

An English vertsion of Genesis 4:1-24 can be found here.

head lem said...

The story of Cain & Abel is open to endless speculation and fascination. Was it about "jealousy"? Was it about an "unjustified" taking of human life? Was it about a need for one human to look out for the needs of the other? And if so, is it about hipocrasy?

Cain was first born and thus had a monopoly. All he knew was how to till the soil. He did it with his own muscle power, this making him very strong. The ground bore fruit and Cain believed himself to be "successful".

Along came his weaker but smarter brother, Able. Able was the first user of animals, the first to profit from muscle power other than his own. Not only did he learn to take of their meat, but also of their "fat". Abel was a chemist. Perhaps he used the fat to make soap, or fuel for use in cooking. He was highly successful in the market place. The Lord looked with greater favor on Abel's "offering" than upon Cain's work product.

Now did Abel look out after his brother Cain? Did he offer to share his bountiful success? No. The market place spoke onto Cain the tiller and said, it is your own private fault. Work harder and maybe it will turn out better for you the next time you bring your "offerings" to the market place.

Then Cain finds Abel and his sheep in "the field". Whose field do you think it is?