Who Really Matters? A Book Review on H. Mintzberg’s Essay. - IISIA 株式会社原田武夫国際戦略情報研究所 - haradatakeo.com
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Who Really Matters? A Book Review on H. Mintzberg’s Essay.

Having done a “good job” in Okayama, I got back to Tokyo last evening to celebrate Christmas with my family. For nearly three years, I’ve been privileged to support a Japanese leading company in sector of equipment for nursing. Even though the city has already become “cozy” for me, there is, of course, nothing more relaxing than being at home. Looking back what my family members and I have achieved this year, we really enjoyed celebrating the year’s end.

On my way back to home, I finished to read the newly translated book of Henry Mintzberg entitled “Rebalancing Society. Radical Renewal Beyond Left, Right and Center”. I personally had the honor to see him during the latest round of “Global Drucker Forum” in Vienna. In spite of his prominent capacity as world-class professor at McGill University in Montreal, he was just walking around in the conference venue, as if he was one of the people on the street. In addition to that, his way of arguing in the panel discussion was quite inspiring, and somehow human and heartfelt. Besides Charles Handy, a British social philosopher, he was the most popular thinker who attended the forum, I guarantee.

In this book, Mintzberg tries to underline the “plural” sector. Now, you may wonder what it is. It is normally called “civil society”, however, Mintzberg refuses to call it so, since it raises the ambiguity of the concept. Apart from the “governmental” and “corporate” sectors, there must be, according to his idea, a sector which dominates the significant part of our daily lives. In this sector, neither power nor money are prioritized. Rather symbiosis matters. Based on his thought, what we urgently need is rebalancing these three sectors, particularly on behalf of the “plural” sector.

Henry Mintzberg, an honest economic philosopher, doesn’t hesitate to refer to a risk which could emerge in the excessive “plural” sector, which is called “exclusive” populism. He even mentioned the German Nationalsozialismus, or Nazis as a typical example of “exclusive” populism. If you don’t care and remember wisdoms generated in the world history so far, democracy always turns out to be this kind of “exclusive” populism.

Having said that, Mintzberg underlines the importance of this third sector, the “plural” sector, which is believed to be undermined in the current, accelerating financial capitalism. It’s “rebalancing” among the three that actually matters.

Although I’m praising his “radical” way of changing the course of the human society as a whole, I still find a built-in conservative factor there. Without touching upon it correctly, a radical renewal, which Mintzberg propagates, is never to be realized. What is it?

You can immediately understand what I mean, if you had participated in the above shown forum in November in Vienna. Lynn-Foster Rothschild, Evelyn Rothschild’s wife in the City of London, was also there and enthusiastically urged the audience to go for the “inclusive capitalism”. She never showed her reflection on the historical role of her own House and what’s happened in its global financial system, on which the modern and post-modern world history has been going around. All the three sector are included regardless of being “governmental”, “corporate” and “plural”. Behind the door, historical huge depositors make use of this system, while they never appear in the surface of world affairs. From now on, you can’t take even a nap, when you get to know there IS one traditional English family who owns almost all the land of London/UK, which lend its “tiny” parts to the House of Rothschild and the British Royal Family. So, I’m now wondering, “Rebalancing’s OK. But on what?”

Of course, I don’t intend to defame Mintzberg’s brand new book. Actually, it’s all up to you whether you can grasp what’s not written in the lines. This is exactly the rule that the world-class professors such as Henry Mintzberg have to follow. Not to make those who aren’t knowing recognize arcana of the human society is the very task these thinkers are obliged to undertake. Unless you won’t break the rule, you can never make a “radical renewal” happen. That’s it.