Windows on the World of Raymond Plank
Founder, Apache Corp
Vol. 2011 No. 2

Since last writing this column, the world has been spinning again on its axis, and in so far as we might hope for the progress of humanity, we can be at least grateful that planet earth has not reversed its course and begun circling the sun in reverse to coincide more closely with the political courses we pursue, in real time, dragging us behind.


Rather than reiterate a full list of errors, let’s look at the causes of off-course heading we choose to pursue.  In order not to repeatedly state “in my opinion,” that which follows is opinion, based on decades of study in pursuit of lifetime learning, that allow certain patterns to become apparent and actionable. 


The common cause of the fall of organizations, be they tribal to nations, is imbalanced ego given way to greed, the lust for power, wealth, accompanied by manifestations of greed and arrogance which divide humanity, fueling conflicted decline & fall.


That is not to suggest that the id or ego is of itself bad, very much to the contrary.  When balanced with self in all forms of organization, before ambition turns to unvarnished greed, it serves the entirety of humanity.


Every organization has a culture from family to business, tribe to nation, and those cultures vary greatly.  The hallmarks of the original U.S. colonies were the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  Our emblems of flag, national anthem, and our culture of freedom of choice date back over 300 years. 


Only a hundred years ago in 1896 when Russian Czar Nicholas II and his beautiful Czarina Alexandra laid on a 10-day coronation as Emperor and Empress, clad in rich robes, and bedecked in priceless jewels, the commoners starved and resented.  When the poor were invited to Khodynka Field in Moscow, 4 days after the coronation, for food and grog, 4000 were left dead or dying on the Field, and order was restored by the Cossacks.


In the revolution that followed in Russia, coupled with the rising sun of the Japanese Empire, and the 6 million Jews exterminated by Hitler’s killing madness, likely a billion rather than a hundred

million lives were lost.


Today some 15 Near and Far East countries served by successor dictators called Monarchs are repeating this process as they cling to power, the gap widening between the “have & have nots.”


Whether it be tribes or publicly owned businesses, the forces trashing progress are the same.  With guns outracing socio political pot stirrers, history repeats.  War begets war at every level.


In the destruction of a culture, the common denominator is political greed overwhelming rational, durable, competitive outreach.


Never, throughout history, unlike Winston Churchill’s praise of the Brits during World War II “have so many owed so much to so few,” who gave their lives to overcome madness, or at the individual level, to hold down sociopathic schizophrenic behavior.


When is “enough, enough?”  Overdeveloped ego fashions not static but rather dynamic excuses, which can be altered easily as though a spectator sport not through the ballot box alone.  Humanity requires “agents of good” to rekindle commitments to a better world versus using the penalty box to “sensitize” the opposition.


Examples include:  When the political office holder referring to self as “right honorable” suggest that Puerto Rico attain statehood, perhaps to mature is to make the motive and activate a large population segment to populate or to support the people irrespective of tradeoffs than to add another star to the flag.


When our government battles Arizona in the courts to allow more illegal immigrants legal access to our schools and health care, costs spin out of control.  Is the motivation goodness of the heart,  or to seize and cling to power?  While malcontent allows a crook to bear firearms, who is kidding whom?


When the Federal government allows the Internal Revenue Service handbook to grow to 77,000 pages and Warren Buffet’s U.S. company tax return to exceed 1,400 pages to comply in the U.S. alone absent more volume to meet U.S. requirements in foreign countries, when is enough, enough?


When the government tells us the inflation indicators don’t include groceries or gasoline, but inflation is well controlled, when does lying stop and transparency prevail?  Or have we already proceeded through socialism en route to further destruction of work and savings ethic with price volatility and price speculation at home and exported worldwide?


In public owned companies in the high-speed race to display socio economic superiority, is not the collusion the same?


My dad used to refer to the underdeveloped psychological drive as “Keeping up with the Jones’” – a light term.


Today a government and titans of the private sector suggesting “forgive them, for they know what they do” is simply a cop out.  Two wrongs do not make a right, and war, the product of gridlock begets more war not peace.  Peace is goodwill among mankind; not ruled by fear.