Taming the Dictator in Win, Part 1

In 1993, the Center for Market Process published publisher monographs by Wayne Gable and Jerry Elig, The role of market-based management. Charles Koch later expanded his work into his excellent books, The science of success And Good profit. We have learned that FA Hayek’s work can not only help us understand the economic world, but also help us become better managers and leaders.

While teaching leadership, I have noticed that a person’s recognized political views do not predict a person’s leadership style. Some have realized that central planning is a failed system of economic policy and still do not realize that rigorous stratification management practices often cause businesses to run inefficiently and unhappily. Employees do not enjoy getting orders around or feeling constrained from using and developing their skills. I often hear from people below the “my boss is a control freak” category. Fortunately, leadership styles are evolving, as Charles Koch puts it, “to enable … employees to apply their talents to create value for others.”

Just as Hayek’s insights apply to economics and management, they can inform our personal lives. You can stifle markets, stifle your employees’ talents, and stifle your gifts. As you suppress your gifts, your chances of success and happiness diminish.

You cannot rely on greater personal wealth or social prosperity to free you from poor personal choice. Inside Constitution of Independence, Hayek writes that progress “says little about whether the new state will satisfy us more than the old one.” He adds, “There can be joy only in achieving what we are trying to do, and sure possession can give us little satisfaction.”

Of course, the advancement of civilization creates more opportunities to enjoy pleasurable feelings, but it turns out that good feelings have very little to do with happiness. Inside The Happiness TrapPhysician and therapist Ross Harris noted that the general meaning of happiness leads to confusion.

Happiness is commonly called “feeling good … feeling of joy, happiness or contentment”. Harris focuses on “the less common sense of happiness … living a prosperous, full and meaningful life.” Significantly, “a deep feeling of well-being” provides a “strong vitality” that is not fleeting. Yet, this kind of life, Harris noted, brings both pleasant and uncomfortable feelings because not all expectations are met.

When asked, people express their expectations, What will make you happy? Many will answer different jobs, new partners, new cars or homes, or more leisure time. Such changes may provide some benefits, but researchers have found that surprisingly little of our happiness depends on life circumstances.

The results of a study by psychology professor Sonia Lubomirsky show that “differences in life situations or circumstances” explain “only 10% of the difference in our level of happiness.” Happiness does not depend on “whether we are rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy, beautiful or ordinary, married or divorced, etc.”

There’s nothing wrong with buying a sophisticated iPhone, Peloton or Tesla, but what Lyubomirsky calls a “pool of pleasure” will only temporarily submerge uncomfortable feelings; They will not produce happiness. He observes, “We exaggerate the effect that change of life will have on our happiness because we do not realize that we will not always think about it.”

Hayek’s insights can help us navigate life with confidence with a sense of purpose and find true happiness in a place where it is most likely to be found.

His essay, “Individualism: Truth and Falsehood,” helps Hayek understand that we attach too much relevance to our thinking. Our thinking process has a profound effect on our lives.

False individualism, Hayek explains, “is the result of an exaggerated belief in the power of personal reason and consequently of contempt for something which is not consciously designed by it or which is not fully understood.”

Hayek distinguishes false individualism from true individualism. He described true individualism as “a product of the intense consciousness of the limitations of the personal mind that induces a humble attitude towards the subjective and anonymous social processes by which individuals help to create something greater than they know.”

Many do not acknowledge the limitations of their minds. They are very sure of how they think without having to worry too much about their own thinking process.

False individualism assumes that “what man achieves is the direct result, and therefore, under the control of individual factors.” It is easy to see how false individualism leads to collectivism. If everything is subject to personal reasons, collectivists think, why not let the “intelligent” people solve the problems we see?

The antithesis of Hayek’s objection is “true individualism.” He considers the individual to be “not very rational and intelligent, but a highly irrational and erroneous entity, whose personal errors are corrected only during a social process, and whose goal is to make the best of a highly imperfect element.”

Every human being, even the most expert among us, makes mistakes. Disobedient interactions with others are essential to finding and correcting our errors.

Many of us have adopted the mentality of false individualism in our personal lives. We understand one aspect of life, and from that point of view, we pretend we understand all life. In the process, we shrink our lives to fit the boundaries of our understanding. When our limited understanding binds our attention, there is much sadness. Depending on our habitual thinking, we become hard, predictable cartoon-like characters, or borrow the terminology of video games, an unacceptable NPC (non-player character).

It is time to acknowledge that we are all imperfect. The sooner we cut ourselves off, the more meaningful our lives become.

In his book, A free mind, Professor of Psychology Steven C. Hayes described “psychological rigidity” as “an attempt to avoid negative thoughts and feelings.” Hayes explains the negative side of psychological rigidity:

Psychological rigidity predicts anxiety, depression, substance abuse, trauma, eating disorders and almost every other mental and behavioral problem. It reduces a person’s ability to learn new things, enjoy his work, be close to others, or face the challenge of physical illness.

The explanation given by Hayes for why we are “so given to psychological rigidity” is consistent with Hayek’s description of false individualism. Hayes describes the phenomenon of the “dictator on the inside” who, like an external central planner, promotes “rigid problem-solving formulas.”

Even if an intelligent part of our mind knows what is good for us, an influential problem-solving part does not know it. I call this aspect of our minds dictatorial, because it constantly offers “solutions” to our psychological pain, although our own experience, if we listen carefully, whispers that these solutions are toxic. Like many political dictators, this voice in our minds can do great harm. It can read into a harrowing story about our pain and how to deal with it. It weaves its advice into stories about our childhood, our abilities and who we are, or the injustices of the world and how others behave. It tempts us to act in these stories even though there is a part of us that knows better.

By complying with the dictator, Hayes warns, “We are being deceived by ourselves.” Cont is widely shared. Hayes suggests that quick fix solutions strengthen the trap of psychological rigidity:

It has made it even more difficult to free ourselves from the snare of harshness with messages that are interrupted by a larger culture. Many businesses thrive on this messaging. Are you worried about your appearance? A beauty product will take away the worry. Unhappy? The right beer will encourage you. Look at the themes of virtually all major self-help books and programs — it’s the same: manage your worries, feel better, control your thoughts, and life will be better.

To avoid uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, we consider ourselves as objects, hoping that we can easily be reprogrammed like an NPC. Friends and family scold us for getting out of it. We send the same message to ourselves. Hayes explains that self-fulfilling prophecies rarely work.

Most self-help books tell people to calm down or self-correct in one way or another. Either way, we need to relax, focus on the positive, or think differently. In the conventional sense, our names for mental states hang the blame hook on emotions and thoughts. We have “anxiety disorder” or “anxiety disorder”. Many pills and therapy methods promise to eliminate difficult thoughts and feelings (for example, notice the term anti-depressants). And yet the adoption of this whole model has resulted in worldwide spread, misery and disability, not diminished.

In short, Hayes explained that we are confused about believing that “you can change your thinking and learn as you wish, and only if you do that will you reduce or eliminate uncomfortable emotions.”

Hayes was once suffering from paralysis. The reason behind his dictatorship was: “The problem was that the basic message that my mind was sending me was toxic: anxiety is my adversary and I have to defeat it. I have to be careful about it, manage it and suppress it. My anxiety It has become a major source of concern for me. ” Hayes adds,

I was completely in the grip of the dictator’s iron. The voice in my head was urging me more and more to either avoid my anxiety or somehow overcome it. We all know this self-judging, threatening voice in our minds. One might think of it as our internal adviser, judge, or critic. When we learn to control it, it can be very effective. But if we can give it free rein, it deserves the name dictator because it can become so powerful.

Of course, dictators can sell us “in the delusion of glory” নিশ্চিত convincing us that we are so special that we secretly envy or assure us that we are more intelligent and unequivocally correct than others when others are absolutely wrong. ”

Our intellect works extra time to solve the problems caused or caused by our thoughts. Hayes warns that we often reinforce completely misconceptions about ourselves and others. More control, and more thought probably won’t solve such imaginary problems.

The dictator, like the dictator inside, hinders the progress of the people. Without wanting to look beyond our comprehension, as Hayek quotes Edmund Burke, we have “shrunk to the level of our minds.”

In Kovid’s time, the “level of our mind” shrunk, allowing politicians to exploit our ramped-up fears. This fear has led us to support our authoritarian policies that we would never have supported if our dictator had not been in overdrive. This fear has increased tribalism, and a lack of respect for the preferences of others has weakened a free society.

Beware of dealing with people, whether in the economy or in the organization or in your personal life. Hayes, like Hayek, points to a process. “We are paying,” he wrote, “because there is a psychological value in what is really wrong is to consider life as a problem to be solved rather than a process of survival.” We are imperfect material; Our mistakes are corrected in a social process.

In the second part of this article, we will consider how to free ourselves.

Barry Bronstein

Barry Bronstein

Barry Bronstein is an Emeritus Professor of Economics and Leadership at the University of Baltimore.

He is the author of The Inner-Work of Leadership and his articles have been published in publications such as the Foundation for Economic Education and Intellectual Takeout.

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