Chapter 7
Beyond the enlightenment philosophy

In chapter 1, we have indicated the two answers that Marx offers to the fundamental question: Why does progress not benefit everyone?
Then in chapters 2 and 3, we explained the sociological bases that Marx did not have at the time when he formulated these answers.
Then, we illustrated their consequences at the level of the decision process, the underlying mental representations of the world, and finally the historical course which followed, to finally expose the current context in which the great initial question of Marx becomes hot again.
We will therefore now complete the first part of this book by returning to the original question, in order to finally provide a new answer.

Update and generalize the problem of Marx

Let us start by situating the question "Why does progress not benefit everyone" within the general framework of philosophy.
To do this, let's start with the very general question: What is philosophy?
Without claiming to exhaust the subject, we offer two answers: First, philosophy is a tool to deal with the stress of the disappearance of those we love, and of our own death to come. Then, it is a tool to get out of mutually destructive attitudes.
However, we have defined in chapter 2 what are mutually destructive attitudes, namely generalized nepotism which generally takes the form of confrontations of the "us against them" type.

Therefore, we can understand the bias of Marx's reasoning. Marx starts from the absolutely legitimate question of why the progress resulting from the explosion of productivity does not benefit everyone? Now he answers it: because of the class struggle, and deduces that the strong solution is to suppress the capitalist class. In so doing, he reduced generalized nepotism to its expression in a given historical context, namely that of capitalism. Consequently, when one applies his solution, one changes the historical context since one passes to communism, and generalized nepotism reappears in another form. This is illustrated by the experience of communism in the USSR, where it reappeared just as violent in the form of the struggle between the party and the others.
In order not to make Marx's mistake, we conclude that when asked why the progress resulting from the explosion in productivity does not benefit everyone, the answer must be more context-free, therefore take the form of: because of generalized nepotism.
Hence the reformulation of Marx's problem in the form: what would be a social organization which effectively limits generalized nepotism?

We can therefore finally, in the light of the new knowledge acquired since, and the specificities of our time, update the initial question posed by Marx, in the form:
What would be a satisfactory social organization, which takes into account the three main constraints:
1. the two key elements of human nature are the search for social advancement and cognitive dissonance,
2. their natural effects are the proliferation of management positions and irrationality of decisions in organizations,
3. Earth has become the limiting factor, whereas previously it was our technology.

Let us now re-examine the various solutions proposed until today, in the light of the reformulation which we have just carried out, and the various contributions at the beginning of this book.

The comunist solution

This is the solution proposed by Marx in The Communist Manifesto, namely the collectivization of the production assets. Marx notes that the industrial revolution changed the nature of the ownership of the means of production, which from individual property becomes the capital, with a disastrous social side effect as a result. So he logically proposes to suppress the capital by collectivizing the means of production.

We see three major objections to this solution:

The first, we have just expressed it when we updated and generalized the initial problem: the class struggle is only the expression of generalized nepotism in the capitalist context. If we change the context, for example by collectivizing the means of production, without taking extra precautions, then generalized nepotism, and the permanent stress it induces on individuals, reappears in a new form. This is what is happening in the USSR and China with the periodic purges.

The second objection is that by inviting the proletariat to overthrow the bourgeois class, Marx in fact responds to 'Who' exercises power instead of responding to 'How' power is exercised. This translates into a high level of improvisation observed by witnesses just after the October 1917 revolution.

Our third objection is that in The Manifesto, Marx speaks of the working class as a well-defined entity and above all stable over time. However, the chapter on generalized nepotism showed us that, with a few rare exceptions, the dream of a worker is not so much to overthrow the bourgeoisie as to accede to it, or to allow its children to access it.

The social-democratic solution

Subsequently, in The Capital, Marx offers another solution. It is more or less the modern vision of liberalism, namely the regulation of capitalism by the state by means of the law, that is to say social democracy.

We will now provide four objections to it.

The objection of too low regulation of inequalities

The first objection is that the level of regulation necessary to maintain inequalities at a socially acceptable level over the long term is never reached in practice. The cause is cognitive dissonance, which leads, as Marx himself points out at the end of The Capital, to translate great indignation into small actions. The more rigorous validation of this argument is found in the studies carried out by Thomas Piketty and some other economists concerning the evolution of inequalities in various countries, over a period as long as the available documents allow it. These results are reproduced in The Capital in the 21st century:
"When the rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the rate of growth - and we will see that this was almost always the case in history, at least until the 19th century, and that it is likely to become again the norm in the 21th century - ... it is almost inevitable that inherited assets largely dominate the assets created during a working life, and that the concentration of capital reaches extremely high levels, potentially incompatible with meritocratic values ​​and the principles of social justice that are the foundation of our modern democratic societies."

Another element showing the power of cognitive dissonance which leads to the formatting of economic thought, even among the elites, and therefore their inability to fight effectively against inequalities. At the start of the 21st century, their reactions during the interviews show that many journalists have understood that the trickle-down effect stems from a capitalist ideology contradicted by the facts. But as soon as we approach the shocking aspect of the extreme wealth of the billionaires, they make a difference between the creators of companies which "create thousands of jobs" and the heirs of great fortunes. This shows a bias which consists in looking at the successful entrepreneur of the new economy (generally digital) as someone who has created jobs, and could therefore, as such, claim extraordinary wealth. However, the observation of the real functioning of capitalist enterprises shows that he is simply one or the only survivor of the phase of concentration which inevitably takes place after the phase of the pioneers. This second phase eliminates outright, or by absorption, the vast majority of initial players. In other words, what has created jobs is the emergence of a new market. If this particular entrepreneur had not existed, or had been less successful, there would not be less jobs linked to this new market, but these jobs would simply be distributed in other companies.
Once again, we have forgotten that what creates wealth is progress, and that progress is above all the result of modern scientific method applied with reason. There may be men (politicians) who hinder this progress, but no providential man (entrepreneur) who creates it by his simple personal talent. Exceptional personal talent can only exist at the level of science with Newton and mechanics or Einstein and general relativity. We can also recognize the courage of the pioneer entrepreneurs of a new market, provided that we see them as explorers. Would it be normal for an explorer to become a billionaire, and above all would we regard an explorer as great because he became a billionaire?

The ecological objection

The second objection to the regulation of capitalism by law in the framework of social democracy is, as history showed it over the past 50 years, its inability to manage the ecological constraint. However, we saw at the beginning of this chapter, when we updated Marx's problematic, that satisfying the ecological constraint is now essential to put progress at the service of all of us.
There are two reasons for the ineffectiveness of the legal regulation of the disastrous ecological effects of the capitalist system. On the one hand, ecological effects only exist in the long term and are diffuse, while the effects of economic regulation are more local and visible in the short term, so political arbitrations, as opposed to discourses, end mainly in favor of the economic at the expense of the ecological.
But even assuming that the will, and especially the political courage, may exist at some point, then the problem would not be resolved. Indeed, if one places oneself within the framework of a capitalist market economy, then the objective of the enterprise is profit, therefore the laws are constraints - at best fair if they apply to all - to the extent that they tend to increase production costs. So businesses, assuming they don't transgress them, will still try to get around them. However, the complexification inherent to technological progress means that, at a certain stage, the laws no longer manages to correctly deal with all possible cases, so that circumventing without even transgressing becomes possible.
If we want to have an environmentally responsible approach, it therefore becomes essential to change our approach. Indeed, one can very well evaluate a given company from an ecological point of view: it suffices to observe what it does. This is what we will propose in the second part of this book. On the other hand, if we want to frame by law, then we must consider everything that it could do, and there, it is impossible in terms of complexity.
In summary, it is the progress itself, and its corollary of increasing complexity, which makes satisfying ecological constraints by law, not technically feasible.

The objection of the sterilization of the debate

The third problem of the regulation of capitalism by law in social democracy, which is probably the least, is that in practice it concentrates the political debate around more or less regulation.
The right says that its position is more efficient, and eliminates the problems of inequality by this statement, however contradicted by all observations, that if there is a general increase in wealth, it ends up benefiting everyone via an alleged "tickle-down effect". The left says that its position is morally better, and eliminates the problem of efficiency by systematically associating it with a problem of lack of means. Then, the great illusion is to pretend, and believe because of cognitive dissonance, that there is an intermediate position that would be the right one. The problem is that in all cases, we simply did not deal with the central question which is: how do we organize to produce together efficiently and harmoniously. If we take up the right-left opposition, the right says let us trust the elites, and the left says let the suffrage decide. In all cases, we focused the debate on the Who decides, and we forgot to deal with the How?
French Macronie, or even more clearly, the flexicurity of the countries of northern Europe, claims to find the solution by no longer adopting an intermediate positioning between these two extremes, but by adopting both at the same time, that is to say very free entrepreneurs, and a state protecting individuals. With this vision, once again we evade the central question which is not how much power for entrepreneurs, but how do they exercise power?

To show the importance of the how, let us return to the article Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure as Myth and Ceremony mentioned in chapter 3.
In this article, the word myth means what is believed to be correct without ever being verified. The myth on the right is that entrepreneurs naturally organize businesses efficiently, so you just have to let them do. However, the article by Meyer and Rowan shows us that, contrary to appearances, entrepreneurs have an ideological and not a pragmatic vision of reality. What they consider effective management methods, and therefore that they implement, is never verified in terms of effective efficiency. The explanation, we gave in this same chapter: it is a matter of cognitive dissonance which leads to an a posteriori justification of our decisions instread of decisions resulting from rational reasoning. In other words, the myth on the right is the myth of efficiency.

As a summary, the third objection to social democracy is it to be confrontational in nature. Indeed, mutual agreement on an optimum level of regulation cannot exist, quite simply because this optimum level does not exist. With the help of cognitive dissonance, the most privileged by nature, or inheritance, find that there is always too much regulation, the least privileged that there is not enough.
Mutual agreement requires reasonable decisions, which cannot be achieved in a complex system just by prohibiting some acts. However, that is what social democracy does. It is not the quantity that is wrong, as each party asserts before each election, but the method. We will come back to this in the second part of this book.

The objection of generalized nepotism

Let us now come to the fourth objection to social democracy as a method of regulating capitalism. From out point of view, this objection is the deepest. We indicated at the beginning of this chapter that putting progress at the service of all means limiting the proliferation of non-directly productive management positions, that is to fight against what we called Parkinson's law in chapter 2. Remember that the effect of Parkinson's law is generalized nepotism, and the permanent stress it induces on individuals. In capitalism, what limits the proliferation of management is quite simply the disappearance of companies and their replacement by new ones, ie what is called 'creative destruction'. This indirect way of obtaining the result has two disadvantages. On the one hand, it is socially brutal, and on the other hand, it is only partial. Now, if we come back to social democracy, the big problem is that the first effect of regulation is precisely to encourage the proliferation of management. In other words, the regulation of social democracy is both a remedy, against inequalities, and a poison, which promotes the stress linked to generalized nepotism.
At first glance, this might justify the ultra-liberal point of view which advocates the absence of market barriers. However, as the means are indirect and not very effective, for creative destruction to effectively limit the proliferation of management over the long term, it must work in the extreme, that is to say that the economy collapses periodically, which nobody wants.
The solution, therefore, is to deal with the problem directly, instead of doing it through an indirect and gross effect. To do this, a mechanism should be put in place to limit the proliferation of management positions in companies, without the need to make companies disappear periodically. This is what we will see in the second part of this book.

Other solutions from the enlightenment philosophy

Let us now review four other solutions put forward by the philosophers of the Enlightenment and their successors, based again on the Alain Supiot's lessons mentioned in chapter 5, which allow us to grasp the humanist vision of the world both before Marx time and today.

Resolved redistribution

The first approach is that of a determined redistribution. Enlightenment philosophers, fortified by the experience of Athens during Antiquity, and the scuttling of some Italian democracies in the Middle Ages, were well aware of the risk of civil war linked to the concentration of economic means between a minority of hands. Let us therefore suppose that we are adopting today a radical measure of redistribution, as Solon had done in Athens in his time, without however turning into communism as proposed by Marx. This would solve the first objection that we had formulated with regard to the social democratic approach, namely the too weak regulation of inequalities.
However, the second objection, that of ecology, would remain.
Idem, concerning the fourth, which is that the productivity gains linked to modern science favors the proliferation of management, therefore generalized nepotism, therefore permanent stress. If a single person performing operative tasks is enough to feed not 1.1 but 10 people, then the non-operatives become the majority and take power.
This solution of a simple energetic redistribution therefore appears to be insufficient in all cases. Indeed, as long as the technological level was low, productivity was low, and it was therefore difficult to fight against the temptation to resort to slavery, or to another form of enslavement, which produced a selective redistribution in the end. Then, when the technological level rises, it is the proliferation of management (non operational positions) which can no longer be contained by simple redistribution.

The sanctuarized areas

The second approach is to exclude certain sectors of the market, as was done before the ultra-liberalist wave of the 1990s. Here, the problem is how do we avoid the proliferation of management (non operational positions) in the non-market sector, since creative destruction, which we have just mentioned at the level of the fourth objection to social democracy, does not operate there. It should be noted that the proliferation of management takes mainly, in the non-profit sector, the form that is commonly called administrative bureaucracy.

Moral elitism

The third approach is Saint-Simonism, namely governance by virtuous meritocratic elites. However, even if we manage to set up a ruling social class that considers itself virtuous, and from which bad apples are effectively excluded, Festinger's work on cognitive dissonance shows us that this ruling class will still not necessarily work at the service of all.

Deliberative democracy

Finally, the fourth approach is the return to deliberative democracy in the public arena. This aims to get out of what Alain Supiot calls 'governance by numbers', which consists in apprehending the economy from above using macroeconomic indicators, that is to bring the decision to the level of local assemblies where all those involved in a decision have the effective opportunity to take part in the debate. We will now see that, just as in the case of ecological objection to social democracy, it is the progress itself that has made this solution impracticable nowdays.

The illusion of the vote

Voting is the main tool we inheritated from the Enlightenment philosophy. The objective of education for all is the means to enable citizens to fully exercise this right. Voting can take two forms: either the election of representatives within the framework of a representative democracy, or a direct participation in decision-making within the framework of deliberative assemblies.

Let us come back to what the election truely is, in the light of the elements of sociology which we brought in chapters 2 and 3. We affirm here that the election is not a good solution for the attribution of the positions of power. Indeed, we affirm that the election privileges the network, and that consequently, it privileges too much the demagogy. All of this has its origins in the fact that we too easily accept simply plausible aguments, which has the effect of making the exploitation of cognitive dissonance for electoral purposes determinant. In other words, to be elected, you have to limit the dissonance that you generate, so tell people what they believe and what they want. Complexity is not possible, sincerity is only possible at the margins.
Our post-war French elites could not accept the inapplicability of communism. Our elites of the 2000s cannot accept the inapplicability of the Enlightenment, that is to say accept that a quality adversarial debate followed by a vote does not produce a reliable result because cognitive dissonance causes a extremely biased selection of arguments. This is obviously not an apology for dictatorship, or even for an enlightened monarch, but rather an apology of the reason as the result of an organized social effort instead of supposing that it is innate in cultivated individuals.

If we now move to public deliberation, direct voting on decisions is not a solution either, because of the growing complexity of the issues to be addressed, which is the price of technological progress. In chapter 4 concerning the decision process we saw that a rigorous decision process supposes to satisfy 4 conditions, the first of which is that the person who leads the decision process has the necessary skills, and the second that he provides the amount of work required by the complexity of the subject.
Progress prohibits universally competent individuals, so having everyone vote leads to shifting the power of complex decisions to a small number of prescribing specialists.
In addition, and above all, having all the citizens vote means that everyone studies the subject individually, so each study will be extremely superficial at best.
Second, such a vote is often the result of haggling for a majority, and the compromise solution may well be the worst, because the least coherent.
Last but not least, in the case of a vote, the ballot of each voter cannot be motivated, as for example can be a judgment, so if the decision proves to be unsuitable, it is very difficult to go back by noting a methodological defect in the reasoning which led to the decision. Voting is the absence of security.

As a summary, the fundamental problem of the Enlightenment philosophy is that it assumes that well-trained citizens, and a quality debate, are enough to produce a quality decision. This is based on the myth (in the sense of Meyer and Rowan) that the debate can allow to add each other knowledge of the subject, and ultimately lead to the equivalent of the built work that a single person, competent and impartial, in charge of the subject, would deliver.
The classic excuse when one sees on a practical case that it does not work is that the debate was not of good enough quality. On the one hand, the debate cannot be of good quality in general, simply because the main motivation of humans is social ambition, and not the search for the truth. Without exception, people who speak during a debate are interested either in the personal prestige linked to a brilliant intervention, or in obtaining a final decision which would be favorable to them. On the other hand, at the end of the debate, the vote presents all the faults that we have just mentioned, and in the first place, that of not being motivated by an explicit reasoning which could be controlled.

At this point, the solution begins to emerge. The subject is not so much to properly select those responsible, whether by meritocracy or by election, nor to properly involve the greatest number in the vote, but to ensure the relevance of each decision taken, by requiring that it be motivated by an in-depth analysis, which will be checked from a methodological point of view. The challenge that we will have to take up to put progress at the service of all is therefore that illustrated in chapter 4, namely the production of rational decisions, by humans who are ambitious and not that much rational.

Return to reason

After considering the different solutions from the enlightenment philosophy, and before delving into the details on how to build a rational decision, let's step back to the scale of human history, which brings us once again to the world view of Dumézil's tripartition seen in chapter 5. Capitalism is the passage of the main power from the priestly function (reason) to the martial function (action). This shift took place crescendo, in three stages: first the discovery of the New World, then industrial revolution of the 19th century (Marx), and finally computerization and robotization of production (today). At the same time, we have seen an increase in the complexity, induced by the two technological revolutions, and the appearance of Earth's capacities as a limiting factor of our development, which makes the global or long-term consequences of acts more difficult to apprehend. In fact, to build a solution, it is necessary to go beyond Marx's vision that capitalism is the primacy of capital over labor, and to adopt a more dumézilian register, that capitalism is the primacy of action over the reason.

Let us illustrate this with some examples of the overvaluation of action and its speed corollary in our current culture. This overvaluation of action aims above all to promote acceptance by the populations of the capitalist system, despite its inability to put progress at the service of all. A manager who requests a summary, and makes a decision in three minutes, is not seen in the first place as a fumist, but as a man capable of deciding.
What is frowned upon is doing nothing, not working enough, but on the other hand spending one's time getting restless for lack of being well organized will not give rise to any reproach. Worse, a manager who puts pressure on his subordinates while evacuating their remarks concerning the inconsistencies of the requested work, and the organization in place to accomplish it, by a simple "I can not do anything", will not be judged as incompetent to supervise. On the contrary, as the book The stupidity paradox: The power and pitfalls of functional stupidity at work shows, the fact that he behaves martially is a guarantee of success.

Finally, we have all the elements to be able to formulate our solution to the problem of Marx, which was how to make progress benefit everyone. The solution is an exit from capitalism, which does not consist above all in collectivizing. Indeed, the solution that we propose consists in switching back the predominant function from martial, that is to say, action, to the priest, who must be understood taking into account the scientific method born in the 17th century, which is reason and not dogma. The second part of this work will expose the associated social organization. For the moment, let us content ourselves with presenting the decision process, which is the core of it.

Conditions for a reliable decision-making process

In chapter 4, we have shown that the current decision-making process is simply inept if one takes the point of view of rationality. If this does not catch our eyes in normal times, it is on the one hand because of the power of conditioning and habit, and on the other hand because of the fact that we are certainly victims in the long term, but above all accomplices at all times. In other words, this reasoning system is totally unsatisfactory with regard to our new moral expectations linked to technological know-how. But it is also a reflection of our inherited nature from our genetic evolution. And it is finally the effective engine that fuels populism.
Let us now see what a rational decision-making process could be. To do this, let's start by recalling the four conditions that it supposes to satisfy jointly:
1. That the person leading the decision-making process has the necessary skills.
2. That it provides the amount of work required by the complexity of the subject.
3. That he be sincere in its conclusions as opposed to orienting them according to a particular interest.
4. That he not be the victim of beliefs that would lead him to bias his conclusions in good faith.

The greatest difficulty to overcome to set up a social organization which produces credible decisions, therefore well accepted by the society as a whole, is to satisfy the fourth condition, namely that the reasoning is not biased in good faith. In particular, how to avoid the unfolding of a stereotypical reasoning, which only simulates the state of the art, as revealed in the article by Meyer and Rowan mentioned in chapter 3? Likewise, how can we prevent the good faith of biased reasoning from being ensured by the simple use of social support, that is to say gregarious behavior, as formulated by Festinger in his theory of cognitive dissonance which we also mentioned in chapter 3?

The key is a methodological evaluation of the reasoning leading to the decision, i.e. not of the content, but of the solidity of the argument in the sense of the scientific method as presented at the beginning of chapter 22. In particular, the weakness of the reasoning linked to the use of overly general heuristics, beliefs and social support must be assessed. Let us now see the three points that should be put in place for an effective evaluation of the methodological qualities of reasoning to become possible.
1. Effectively fighting against the risk of resorting to overly general heuristics means setting up training to determine whether all the conditions necessary for an affirmation to be true are met. This is logic, as described in chapter 22, which constitutes the support of modern science. So effectively fighting against the risk of using overly general heuristics means reestablishing the study of logic in the mathematics program, as well as its application in other subjects, throughout the curriculum, in order to practice determining the level reliability of each statement. Here, the problem with our current education is that it teaches us to construct reasoning in which we support a position through an argument that progresses in a linear fashion (1). This is the natural arrangement for rhetoric. Science does not work that way at all. Indeed, each affirmation supposes a set of conditions, therefore a reasoning should take the form of a tree upside down, that is to say a serie of branches of which each group leads to a node which is the departure of a bigger branch, and so on until the final trunk which establishes the conclusion.
2. Fighting against beliefs also implies a change in the objectives of teaching. Indeed, the objective is no longer simply to acquire a body of knowledge, but to associate with each acquired knowledge the level of reliability reasonably attributable to this knowledge.
The aim of these first two points is to guide teaching so that the individual becomes able to integrate that a reasoning, the basis of which is the accumulation of widely disseminated but insecure knowledge, as well as reuse. outside the context of better established scientific knowledge, does not ultimately produce a reliable conclusion. This implies an important initial work of attributing a level of reliability to each knowledge, which probably involves redefining the mission of the French Academy of Sciences or the creation of a new academy. This is the taking into account of the article Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure as Myth and Ceremony by Meyer and Rowan, mentioned in chapter 3.
3. Tackling the use of social support is easier. This is a simple exercise to be repeated periodically during education, which consists simply to note and cross out in a document all the arguments relating to social support.
It therefore clearly appears that training individuals capable of carrying out a serious methodological evaluation of reasoning is nothing more than a mission to be given to the education system. We will come back a little later to the selection mechanism to be put in place to detect the individuals who have acquired the best skills at this level, therefore to whom to entrust the methodological rereading of the reasoning leading to the most important decisions.

The third condition for ensuring the seriousness of the decision process, namely the need for sincerity, logically assumes that the person conducting the study leading to the decision has no interest linked to this decision. This is a fairly difficult condition to establish, because often no interest implies no link at all, and therefore no knowledge of the entity concerned by the decision and its environment.
For this reason, we will seek to obtain this condition preferably at the level of the person or persons who will have to carry out the methodological evaluation of the reasoning leading to the decision.

We will not deal with the arrangements put in place to satisfy condition 2, namely the allocation of sufficient resources in view of the complexity of the subject, until the next chapter.

Finally, concerning the first condition, namely the person who conducts the decision-making process has the necessary skills, we will determine in Chapter 10 how to choose the person to whom the development of the decision-making process is entrusted.
However, we will now face a difficulty linked to this point, namely what to do when one cannot establish a solid reasoning? Indeed, the methodological evaluation of which we have just outlined the main points runs the risk that, on certain difficult questions, anyone would fail to establish a solid reasoning to support the decision, so that attempts to develop a decision be rejected one after the other, with in the end a decision made just "because we have to finish it".
This brings us to the need for an assessment of the capacities of each individual to conduct sound reasoning from a methodological point of view, so that the most complicated questions can be entrusted to the most capable individuals from the start. At this level, we cannot be satisfied with the initial training provided by the education system. To be able to build reasonings leading to the most involving collective decisions, and that these reasonings be respected, and therefore accepted, it is necessary to have proved throughout one's life that one has aptitudes to conduct solid analyzes, in conformity with the scientific method.
However, certain questions remain too difficult, whatever the individual or the group to which they are entrusted, for any reasoning leading to a decision to be satisfactory from the methodological point of view as mentioned above, simply because there is not enough reliable knowledge applicable. In this case, one cannot escape a decision which is partly a bet, partly an arbitrary choice. Consequently, social acceptance of the decision can either be based once again on the power of the group which supports it, as at present, or on the respectability of the person or group which produced it, which seems to us more desirable.
This implies that all individuals must be subjected throughout their adult life to the development of reasoning leading to a decision, that this work must be evaluated methodologically as indicated above, and that this must lead to a strategic rating to be attributed to each individual, a bit like the classification of individuals in certain sports such as tennis, or even chess.

Let us not forget, as we saw in chapter 2, that the main motivation of individuals, in accordance with our genetic heritage, is social advancement. Everything that serves as a social marker, be it money and outward signs of wealth, power, honorary distinctions, is therefore attractive and likely to guide our behavior. From the moment that strategic rating becomes a public rating attributed to all individuals, it inevitably becomes a new fundamental social value, alongside money, and also influences the behavior of individuals, probably in a more virtuous way.

At this point, we can see that even before possible implementation problems to arise, we do not have a perfect solution for the development of well accepted collective decisions. On the other hand, if we compare with what is currently being done, the mechanics of which we dismantled in chapter 4, and thus highlighted the dizzying conceptual weakness with regard to the four conditions necessary for a rigorous decision process, we can also note that, subject to respecting the precautions that we have just mentioned, this is indeed a complete overhaul of the social contract, and not just an improvement of the institutions.
Hence the obvious remark: all this is fine on paper, but in practice, how does it work?

Revision of the declaration of human rights

Let us start with the current framework which governs the functioning of production organizations, companies or administrations. It consists of two main elements. On the one hand, the legislative framework, which specifies what organizations must imperatively do, and must never do. On the other, the accounting rules, which specify how an organization must formalize the use of its resources. We have separated this second point from the first, because it constitutes an extension of the rules which has enabled effective and peticular tax collection, that is to say the establishment of a modern State, with systems of redistribution to ensure a certain social justice, and possibly the gratuity or quasi-gratuity of certain services such as education or health. In other words, accounting is a methodological constraint, a formality imposed on companies, which allows the establishment of a modern state.

Let’s quickly review everything we’ve seen since the start of this book. First of all, Marx's observation that the industrial revolution caused a considerable complexification of the production system, further amplified by the second industrial revolution in digital technology and robotics. Then the current observation that the Earth has become the limiting factor for development possibilities. Let us put in front of all this the cognitive dissonance which leads individuals, even well-trained, to behave in a largely irrational way, with as a result a management which is based more on myths than reason, and distrust towards elites that creeps in gradually.
We therefore understand that what we will have to strengthen in order to find a harmonious social organization is rationality in the decision-making process, and for this we will propose adding, alongside the accounting constraint, a methodological constraint, implemented as a new formalism imposed on organizations, which ensures the quality of decisions. The goal is to finally respond satisfactorily to the two major problems of our time, which are on the one hand how to ensure that everyone benefits from technological progress, and on the other hand how to respect the limits linked to the Earth's capacity. The effect must also be to restore confidence in the elites, and therefore restore a widely accepted social contract. Finally, this formalism must make it possible to contain the effects of social ambition denounced in chapter 2, namely generalized nepotism, and the permanent stress it induces on individuals.

From a philosophical point of view, this amounts to recasting Article 4 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789: we keep for the moment the substance “Freedom consists in being able to do everything that does no harm to others”, which we will not question until chapter 22, but we are now reviewing the form. From "The limits can only be determined by law", we switch to a specification of the decision-making means to take into account the complexity of modern societies and the limits of terrestrial resources: "Any decision whose consequences imply significantly others, including future generations, must be developed rationally, with means consistent with the importance of the implications."

In the second part of this book, we will present the implementation in more detail.


The structure of human languages ​​is linear. It is shaped by spoken language, which only works in dimension 1, that is time. In fact, human languages ​​are only adapted to rhetoric, that is to say a succession of arguments simply juxtaposed, which aims to obtain adhesion by accumulation. However, to be able to easily expose a rigorous reasoning, we need the notion of parenthesis that we find in mathematics and computer science. Parenthesis is what makes it possible to correctly structure a proposition of the type "If A₁ and A₂ and A₃ and A₃ ... then B" and to nest the propositions in one another. Once we have parenthesis, we need two additional notions. On the one hand, a representation in dimension 2, to be able to make the overlaps more explicit. This is found in the embryonic state for mathematical functions, and more generally in certain computer languages ​​such as Pliant which use indentation to materialize certain levels of parenthesis. In addition, we need the notion of reference, so as not to have to expose all of the reasoning in the form of a single strongly nested expression, but to start by exposing certain sub-parts which will be simply quoted later in larger propositions. This corresponds to the notion of lemma in mathematics and functions in computer science. The problem with human languages ​​at this level is the weakness of the conventions that govern the system of reference. Current readers are not trained in structured texts as opposed to linear, so if one was suddenly using massively the notions of parenthesis and reference to establish a more rigorous reasoning, the reflex of readers would undoubtedly be to just give up understanding the text. Obviously, they would also use the social support of cognitive dissonance to convince themself that it is the text that is poorly structured instead of admitting that they are the ones who have a learning effort to make.
This brings us back to the need to acquire this capacity by the education system, which supposes in passing to establish a unique convention of representation of the notions of parenthesis and reference, as is the case in mathematics, and in each computer language.