Rule number one. You cannot solve any problem if you refuse to or cannot acknowledge that there is a problem that requires solving. That is it, end of story, period, go home and play with your toys. Problem solving can be a very complex process, it can involve many many steps. But the very first step is always the exact same. You must first at a bare minimum suspect that there is a problem. No problem that did not or does not exist has ever been solved.
As it happens we just happen to live in a universe with a number of rather unique characteristics. One of those unique characteristics is fundamental to problem solving, and in fact, is what allows problem solving to even be possible. What this primary and fundamental physical laws of our universe is known as is “Causation”. Causation is a law which states that Cause always precedes effect. It is an involute, or absolute law. In other words, things never ever just start halfway through their process, or begin at the end and work their way to the start. Something about the way our universe is physically constructed forbids that from ever happening.
If the universe worked any other way, then it would be virtually impossible to ever solve any problem of any kind. It would in fact be impossible to identify that a problem even existed. If you cannot identify a problem, then you cannot solve that problem, it really is that simple. One of, if not the single most powerful problem solving tool is something known as a flowchart. Flowcharts take ruthless advantage of that unique characteristic of the universe known as “Causation”.
A flowchart allows one to trace the path of any system, from it’s point of origin, through it’s intended process, to it’s end product. The interesting thing about a flowchart, is it doesn’t care what is being documented. It can be a computer program, an electrical schematic, the engineering blue prints for a Boeing 787, it doesn’t matter. Flowcharts show how things go from their point of origin through their various processes to where they finally end up.Moreover since they deal with dynamic systems, flowcharts are not restricted to manufactured objects. They can be employed to describe natural systems as well.
Once you are aware that a problem exists, or at the bare minimum suspect that one exists the second rule of problem solving comes into play. Rule number Two: You cannot solve any problem, if you do not correctly identify what the problem is. You could literally spend eternity running around in circles trying to fix a problem, if you do not correctly identify what the problem is, because you will end up fixing the symptoms rather than what is causing the symptoms.
This is what makes flowcharts so profoundly useful in problem solving. Since a flowchart describes the procedural changes in a dynamic system it allows you to track a problems point of origin. Finding a problems point of origin is an absolute necessity in solving the problem. It is an absolute necessity because without knowing a problems point of origin, you can never know if you are dealing with a cause or an effect. Correcting the effect without correcting what caused it never solves a problem, it simply shifts the problem to another vector. Shifting a problem from one vector to another by correcting the effect rather than the cause has the inevitable result that you are constantly chasing what appear to be new and unexpected problems that spring up.
The American political system is typified by a systemic failure to grasp the nature of problem solving. On those rare occasions when anyone in the American political aristocracy does attempt to solve a problem, it invariably results in disaster because they fail to observe Rule Number Two: they fail to observe rule number two, literally for two different reasons. Reason number one, is, because they are politicians, not problem solvers. Reason number two, is, because they are politicians, not problem solvers.
Ok, I know that sounds like reason number one and reason number two are the same reason, but they actually are not the same.
Reason Number One: they are politicians. In other words, their training and skill sets are in politics rather than the analytical dynamics of problem solving. Politics is not problem solving, it is friction reduction. There is a profound difference between the art of compromise, which is basically what politics is, and problem solving. Because of the nature of “friction reduction” or compromise it involves learning to artfully conceal or mask over the origins of many problems. Remember, if you cannot find the origin of a problem, you cannot solve that problem, the very best you can do is spend forever chasing the symptoms of the problem and putting band-aids on those symptoms.
In engineering this is known as a kludge, it’s an ugly patch to a system, because you can’t always go all the way back to the beginning of a problem and fix it from it’s point of origin. Sometimes you are stuck fixing the problems created by the original problem, but you can never fix the original problem. The one thing that is certain when faced with a kludge, it’s is going to cause problems. This relates to politics because, well virtually everything in politics is a kludge.
Reason Number Two: They are not Problem solvers. To quote president Obama’s adviser Rahm Emanuel, “Never allow a crisis to go to waste,”. This is not problem solving, it is at best a Machiavellian exploitation of events for the purpose of amassing power. Which, is that other reason that politicians are not problem solvers, solving a problem has little if anything to do with the personal accumulation of wealth or power. It is a basic assumption that a politicians job is to solve problems, however, since the actual act of solving a problem would have the result of diminishing the capability of a politician to accumulate both power and wealth, actually solving problems would be a self defeating task for a politician.
Politicians have a vested interest in not exposing the point of origins of most of the problems that they are tasked with solving. It’s kind of a brick wall kind of thing. Each generation of politician stakes his or her reputation upon various projects or “Accomplishments” that history will record as their doings. The next generation of politician builds upon the foundations laid down by the previous generation of politician. Ted Kennedy built upon Lyndon Johnson “Great Society” while Lyndon Johnson built upon Eisenhower’s “People to People” social revolution. Thus if a politician wants their own legacy to stand, they need to ensure that the foundation it is built upon is not destroyed out from under them.
What this means is never going back to the point of origin of any political problem because doing so would destroy the work or legacy of anyone who built on the point of origin of a problem that was not identified for a generation or two after it started. I used the Ted Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Dwight Eisenhower example specifically to point out this problem. Ted Kennedy championed as his legacy a solution to America’s illegal immigration problems. The problem is, that Kennedy’s solution is based on Lyndon Johnson’s’ disastrous “Great Society”.
Johnson’s “Great society” was an attempt to eliminate racial, social and economic injustices in America. To achieve those lofty goals the Johnson Administration created a number of government programs which obstinately were designed to provide assistance to those who were disadvantaged. Enter the “Aid to Women with Dependent Children” Act, or Welfare as it is most commonly known. This was a federal program where the Federal Government provided the States with money to pay women with children whose husbands had left them an amount sufficient to prevent them being thrown out on the street or starving, it provided little more than that.
However, like all government programs, the “Aid to Women with Dependent Children” Act was subject to the “Law of unintended Consequences”. One of those unintended consequences was the destruction of the minority nuclear family. It was caused by a clause in the “Aid to Women with Dependent Children” Act which actually required that in order to receive their welfare check, the father of a woman’s children could not maintain a residence with her, she had to have been abandoned by him.
When it was first created the “Great Society” welfare safety net was only intended to be a temporary solution to a series of problems created by adverse economic conditions combined with the high losses in the male population resulting from a series of wars that the United States had been involved in (WWII, Korea, Vietnam). There was a misbelief that persists even to this very day in many circles that during the Korean and Vietnamese wars the minorities in America took a disproportionate hit in causalities. A statistical analysis of causalities among American Military service personal by ethnicity has proven that this is not and never was the case. But belief that it was resulted in a higher set aside rate for minorities to receive welfare benefits and ended up creating an entire minority welfare culture where spousal abandonment was the norm rather than the exception.
It also opened the door to illegal alien social services benefit eligibility. Because of the tragic and disastrous conclusions of both the Korean and Vietnamese wars America endured sudden and massive influxes of undocumented refugees. They arrived on America’s shores literally without a penny or any marketable job skill sets. Opening the door to admit this tsunami of immigrates meant further changes to a social safety net system that was already badly frayed and damaged. The anti-discrimination laws that were an integral part of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” came brutally into play when Southeast Asian’s fleeing Korea and Vietnam were granted eligibility to the welfare system, so likewise were any illegal aliens from places other than Southeast Asia, places like, Mexico or South America.
Dwight Eisenhower, faced with a growing illegal immigration problem from Mexico and South America authorized a project known as “Operation Wetback”. Operation Wetback arrested and deported over 1 million illegal aliens over the space of 2 months. The arrest and deportation rate was so successful that even the most conservative estimate suggest that another 5 million illegal aliens self deported rather than be arrested and loose everything except the cloths on their backs as they were deported. As the anti-discrimination laws of the “Great Society” kicked into full gear in the late 60’s and early 70’s a brand new incentive for Mexican and South American illegal aliens to enter the United States emerged. It was not just incredibly higher wages than could be obtained in their home countries, but access to the American welfare social safety net.
Solving this illegal immigration problem does not involve granting amnesty to 25 million illegal aliens. It involves understanding why they come here illegally in the first place. It involves admitting that Eisenhower’s “People to People” Johnson’s “Great Society” even Ronald Reagan’s “Welfare Reform” were all subject to the Law of Unintended Consequences” and created problems that can really only be solved by going back to the fundamental principals of problem solving.
Before you can solve any problem, you have to be able to acknowledge that there is a problem, you then must trace the problem back to it’s point of origin in order to correctly identify what the real problem is. America’s illegal immigration problem is a part of a much larger problem, fixing the illegal immigration problem will not solve the problem that caused the illegal immigration problem. That has it’s roots, it’s point of origin much further back in American History.
But Eisenhower’s “People to People” and Johnson’s “Great Society” are clues to where and when the real underlying problems America faces today did originate. If you look carefully enough you can follow the clues, you can put them on a flowchart that leads back to where the problems did originate. The majority of problems that America suffers today can be traced directly back to America’s Civil War. But oddly enough, not to the War itself. After America’s civil war America took a good hard look at itself. A lot of Americans did not like what they saw, so they began looking for solutions to problems that were exposed by the civil war.
Europe had likewise been struggling with centuries old problems and a couple of brash, ruthless amoral and politically twisted individuals created what they managed to convince a large number of the growing intellectual atheist class was the perfect solution to all of Europe and the world social evils. They were Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Their revolutionary idea’s found fertile ground in an America struggling with the aftermath of a civil war. The heart of Marxism is was and remains the belief that human nature can be shaped and molded according to the moral and ethical dictates of men who have cast aside all faith in anything other than their own intellectual capacity for logical reasoning.
To the adherents of the politically ideologies of Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx there was but one single solitary moral, ethical, or ideological standard. The End Justifies the Means. That was it, and there was absolutely nothing what so ever that they were not prepared or willing to do to achieve their end goal. There end goal, was nothing less than their own vision of what paradise should be. Their vision of paradise, was a world where there is absolutely no distinguishable difference between anyone on the face of the earth. Where their were no masters and no slaves, no aristocrats and no servants, no wealthy and no poor.
America recruited these new Marxist intellectuals into it’s academic institutes in the foolish and profoundly mistaken hopes that the wealth of their new progressive idea’s could and would be used to sew up the wounds of the civil war, that America’s torn and battered national fabric could be restored and then used to create the utopian dream that America’s Founding Father’s wrote of in America’s Founding documents. What those University and College presidents and boards didn’t understand, was that those who were adherents to or advocates of Marxism never had any intentions of helping America become anything other than a Marxist totalitarian hellhole.
You cannot abandon all of your morals and ethics in order to create a social order of virtue, of the highest moral and ethical standards. Which is exactly what Marxism attempts to do. Once “The End Justifies the Mean” becomes your moral and ethical standard, you no longer have any moral or ethical standards. You cannot abandon all moral and ethical standards and then build a society that is anything other than constant violence, betrayal or victim-hood. You simply cannot demand of everyone else that they behave in a moral and ethical manner, when you have proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that you yourself do not believe, accept or practice those exact same moral or ethical values.