Read in Praise of the Handshake: http://t.co/rMyskTv below.
What a great post. This post though is related to contracting habits, possibly reaching to contract law. Dan raises an important question, but he may only be aiming at the tip of the iceberg. He has merit though to drive a first Trojan Horse as he does, in the magnificently logical body of the legal system. I fear the transition that so many of us take for granted, and that is so critically needed, will need the overhaul of many paradigms on which our existing law system is based.
Think only of the following issue: Is it normal that in so many countries, employees in their contracts, are forced to obey and comply… and can be fired if they don’t. Speaking of freedom!
David Ellerman has extensively written about workplace democracy, but also about property and inalienable rights theory… In the very beginning he was a pioneer. Now he is not the only one anymore…. Voices rise in all quarters to denounce the unintended (sometimes intended but hidden) negative, destructive, side effects of the system in place…
Societal transition is a holistic process. But here, the question that I believe is worthwhile raising is: where will change come from at the very heart of a system where power and vested interests are concentrated: the legislative system?
Let me here repeat Machiavelli’s advice to the Prince:
It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.
The Egyptian military suppressed the constitution. Who will do that, possibly in less extreme form, in so-called “developed democracies”?
Stuff for a new dialogue?
Amplify’d from danariely.com
Imagine that you and I meet at a party, and I tell you about my research on behavioral economics. You see opportunities to use the principles to improve your business and think we could work together. You have two options: You can ask me to collaborate, with a handshake promise that if things work out, you’ll make it worth my while. Or you can prepare a contract that details my obligations and compensation, specifies who will own the resulting intellectual property, and so on.
Complete contracts are inevitably imperfect. So what’s better: a complete contract that mutates goodwill into legal trickery, or an incomplete contract that rests on the understanding we share of appropriate and inappropriate behavior?