The world of business is a curious one. It was set up by people who, desiring to profit from trade with other people, established rules, boundaries and guidelines in order to govern the world of trade. The trade involves the buying and selling of goods and services… and in some instances men and men’s souls. The rules, they say, are intended to create impartiality and objectivity to create enabling environments for competition and diversity of companies to thrive and – by so doing – cause economies to thrive as well.
They also set up (perennially evolving) arbitration systems and laws that are meant to ensure that any wrong doing or anyone who feels unjustly treated can get recourse, thereby bringing checks and balances to the system to in some way guarantee fair play. This was all established under a system called Capitalism (the dominant global economic system), which is supposed to be a free market system that allows anyone with innovation and drive to succeed in ‘fair’ competition against other players in the system.
Business is War
Let’s pause briefly to consider the contradictions in terms:
Business = Trade.
Against = In opposition to, not in favor of.
Profit = Gain.
Competition = Rivalry, struggle, war.
Fair = Just, reasonable.
Capitalism = Money-ism.
Company = Military unit
Strategy = Tactics and devices employed to achieve the end game.
Capitalism strongly entrenches a competitive mindset and environment for anyone who ventures in; both those who intend to stick to the rules and those who don’t. Each business, or company assembles for itself the most ‘elite team’ that it can get, to help it face off against its competitors in the market. At the end of competitive phases (quarterly, half-yearly and annually) companies measure their results and regroup. At the end of the annual phase, measurements are made to declare one of the businesses ‘better’ than all the rest. This business would, for instance, have been able to make the most money overall, secure the most customers, do it all as cheaply as possible. They may even earn that title because they saved money by sending workers home and therefore they kept their costs down. But, they’re the best.
It’s Not Business, It’s Just Personal
These ‘impartial’ businesses are run by people who are governed, theoretically, by the environment and policies of their companies and of the markets in which they operate. Yet, somehow, in the midst of all this, it seems impossible to keep the one thing out that constantly gets in the way. Ego. The sense of self-worth that individuals mysteriously have of themselves based on a set of personal experiences growing up and the value placed on them (financial and status) by their employing authority. Ego is also what they fervently fight to protect. They enforce this ‘value’ in all their interactions. Not the ‘impartial’ job title, or its requirements, company policies, local or international laws.How you perceive an individual’s self worth, how you handle it – based on a set of ambiguous and amorphous rules set by the person and on how much power they wield in their current title. Ego. And because businesses are run by people, they find themselves imbued with layers of ego, from founder and Chairman of the Board ego, to CEO and management ego, to team ego. Business is not so much about buying and selling ‘apples’. It’s about who does it best and who they managed to beat to it irrespective of how. Companies house a collective ‘ego’ which they call ‘reputation’ and seek to protect it in every way.
Interactions with companies are therefore not neutral engagements either system to system or individual to system, they are carefully navigated waters, with radar equipment actively scanning 360 degrees for any minefields to be avoided so that one can get what one came for, and leave the interaction unscathed. Failure to do so results in cancellation of contracts, denial of service, withdrawal of favors such as discounts or priority delivery and even shaming in the business community. You see, if the business landscape were as ‘impartial’ as it claimed to be, it wouldn’t matter whether you called somebody sir or madam or wished them a good day or sent them a Christmas hamper at the end of the year. It wouldn’t matter what mood you were in during a transaction – the transaction would be a transaction without consequence – as long as all laws and policies governing them were observed. Clean, simple and straightforward.
This would mean that there would be no requirement for any arbitration or legal measures to mitigate any fall out (except as a deterrent) because impartiality dictates a completely unbiased approach to interactions regardless of personal history or preference. A violation of a policy would attract the required penalty. The end. Meeting of all terms and conditions would attract the required compensation. The end.
Man Built the Impossible
In creation of companies embracing the capitalist system which is geared at personal profit, man built the impossible. And I do not say this as some kind of praise. No. The system is impossible to sustain, impossible to work in, impossible to create financial success for more than a handful of people, impossible to regulate… impossible. Why? Because man is desperately wicked and he will scheme and connive and sneak around to ensure that he gets away with as much as he can. He will (and actually does) create new rules to favor himself and his system. Government rebates, subsidies, tax holidays, lobbies to change laws to favor themselves… bribes to get out of trouble or into deals. Not only that but they turn against each other using dirty tricks like buying up entire stocks of product to prevent them from getting to market, sabotaging new market entrants by corrupting the ‘impartial’ government bodies, running campaigns to harm each others’ reputations…creating false scarcity so as to drive up prices and increase profits… you name it.
This is the same creature that built a system that is aimed at personal aggrandizement and self-glorification, pretending that it is neutral and impartial – yet imbuing it with the qualities ofcompetition and self-celebration. It is fake and cannot be sustained. It will fail.
Each successive business collapse and government bailout serves to prove the futility and impossibility of the system that man built. It is the greatest ponzi scheme in the history of mankind and keeps its victims enthralled using cheap tricks and blinders. Its destiny is to go up in flames.
Ego in Business
The ‘don’t you know who I am?’ syndrome is a symptom of pride that is inculcated by achieving approved milestones in a manmade system and being accorded the requisite accolades that are meant to satisfy the God-given need for growing from glory to glory and from faith to faith. Titles lend themselves to this process for the one who is firmly tuned into the frequency of this world. One starts off as a junior clerk and ‘works their way “up”’ from position to position until they reach somewhere that satisfies or offends. Of course if the offense is to someone ‘more powerful’ one faces the ‘consequences”.
The reward process feeds them with a false sense of achievement, which is good for a time, especially when it is peppered with things like ‘long service’ awards and ‘employee of the week or year or month’ awards and so on. It’s a system that needs laborers willing to put up with the futility for the long haul so that it can sustain itself for as long as possible. That’s the reason it is linked closely to the education system, because the process of indoctrination must start early in order to fully be able to conquer the mind of the future indentured slave. It’s a life-long investment. Ego is activated early and nurtured and sustained, as opposed to being gently and lovingly counseled away, because it is inherently self-serving. It wants the praises of men, it pushes one to achieve and gives one the drive to pursue and overcome hurdles so as to be seen as being something.
Interactions with companies are therefore not neutral engagements either system to system or individual to system, they are carefully navigated waters, with radar equipment actively scanning 360 degrees for any minefields to be avoided so that one can get what one came for, and leave the interaction unscathed.
Unfortunately, this pursuit of self-glorification is what takes one away from God, from their true nature and away from their individual purpose and strength, tragically even for the entirety of their lives. But it gives the capitalist system the fuel that it needs to move their impossible creation ahead, moment by moment and day by day. Ego is what will allow a billionaire in dollar terms to deprive employees of a living that is filled with dignity and honor, in order to retain title and position in a system that is full of flux. It is evil.
But God’s ‘business’ is to rescue man from all this futility and from all meaningless pursuits.To expose the world’s value system for what it is – a fraud – and to engage His creation in a return to the Garden of Eden, where tending and keeping His purposes and His will is at the forefront of all that they do. To value as He values, love as He loves, live with Him as He lives. To exchange meaninglessness and futility, for meaning and purpose.
In the Garden of Eden or Kingdom of God, all needs are supplied, there is no toiling or laboring, for one is at rest. There is no buying or selling, for each one has everything that they need provided by the Loving Father. There is no Ego because it was submitted to death by the individual, in exchange for the Divine Nature, which is inherently Love. The false scarcity that is so widely touted by the world system is obliterated by the absolute Truth of God and His abundance. There is no lack. And thus, there is no “Business as usual”, for the usual business style that man has come to align with is nothing but a hoax and a system that will soon be washed away.
We as Afrikans certainly need to begin to redefine things for ourselves outside of the clichés of what we were told things are. If you care to know and if you care to understand, Capitalism as a system that runs the entire world is the real face of Babylon, which is the spirit of wickedness and spiritual fornication. The true Afrikan who has understanding of Afrika’s indigenous knowledge knows that the principle of Ubuntu which is “I am because you are” is the true business pattern that will save man from himself both now and in the nearest future. For certainly, we need a new way of doing business, far from the corruption called Capitalism.
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Chioma Phillips is the Editor of Msingi Afrika Magazine and the host of Msingi Afrika Television. Her hope is to see the Truth shared, with all who will listen, for the transformation of the people and the continent of Afrika - and the world. She believes passionately in the critical role that Afrika and Afrikans have to play on earth right now and hopes to ignite the spark that will cause them to see and believe who they are, so that they can live out their Truest lives for the remainder of their days.