After The Gold Rush III: The Decline and Fall of The Motown Empire
Massive complexity cannot permanently attain equilibrium. Human beings lack the intellect and the moral character to manage it. Complexity is adopted because of the awesome societal benefits it offers both individuals and organizations. Mass production, mass communications, modern transport and modern medicine have so changed and enhanced the lives of the average American, that most of us would be dead without them. Yet, as complexity increases, its marginal unit costs increase and the marginal unit benefits decline. This interaction eventually leads to the marginal effect of further complexity becoming a negative instead of a positive. Nowhere has this become more painfully untenable than Detroit, MI. The city has become, in my humble opinion, the canary in the coal mine for urban America.
Detroit initially gained from complexity. General Motors came to symbolize the American commonweal. It was a social safety-valve where people who wanted to escape major injustices of American Society could come and try their hand at work that was dirty and hard – yet very lucrative compared to the alternatives. Detroit rode this growing complexity and incoming diaspora until it became the 5th largest American City and was nicknamed “The Arsenal of Democracy.” Then Motown rode the complexity curve over the hump.Read More »