Evading The Antigen


Over the last 20 years or so, I have spoken all over the United States and many parts of the world about the idea that there may be a single and relatively easy way to correct very evasive flaw in market capitalism.

Fixing this flaw could correct many of the biases and divisions that plague relationships and communities in an otherwise functional social organization system.  The work of the Ingenesist project, of course, is precisely to correct the flaw.

From past experience, I always get one of three reactions to our work:

  1. Some people get it immediately, and engage deeply.
  2. Some people don’t get it and ignore completely,
  3. It triggers an antigen is some people and they attack it.

I learn a great deal from each type of response.  In fact, the vast majority of ideas in the Ingenesist Project come from hundreds of brilliant people who have participated in one of these three ways.  The first two types are self-explanatory, this post is about the third. I call them “the antigens”. Like their namesake, they perceive a threat to the existing body and attempt to neutralize it.

The Flaw in Capitalism is well protected

The antigen is not just a person who disagrees with a fact or feature of our work.  They hold a deep visceral objection that is personal, emotional, physical and always disproportionate to the level, scope, or even the topic of conversation. Much to our astonishment, the antigen is almost always someone who would be expected to embrace our work and ideas.

The problem, I have come to realize, stems from the suggestion that the Zertify knowledge inventory strategy seeks to increase the efficiency of matching the supply and demand of knowledge assets in a community. Instead, the antigen does not believe that there could or should be a better broker than themselves.

If it’s not Broker, don’t fix it

My last two antigen events were particularly interesting:

One was a well known author and lecturer that champions the cause of the common man against the oppression of corporate tyranny.  This individual makes his living selling books, lectures, and endorsements.

Another recent  antigen was a person who runs an “accelerator” for start-up companies whose passion is to identify promising start-ups and match entrepreneurs to funding in the spirit of high tech titans of the past.

On the surface, it would seem that these two people would embrace a comprehensive knowledge inventory and machine enabled means of matching supply and demand for knowledge assets.

Historic perspective  

One would normally think that a less developed country seeking to enter the knowledge economy would embrace the mutual and equal recognition of their engineers to a developed nation’s engineers.  Unfortunately, from our experience (in the early days of NAFTA) it was not in the best interest of the Mexican government to give their engineers “wings” so that they could fly away from grinding bordom working for pennies in a foreign owned sweat shop.

One would think that a company that relies on knowledge workers for the design, manufacture, and support of complex machinery would be chomping at the bit to have a comprehensive knowledge inventory of their workforce.  Unfortunately, corporations that I’ve worked with it is not in management’s best interest to be cut out of the loop of information transmission.

It’s not about right and wrong

The point of this article is not to make the antigen wrong about their response –  it is quite natural and we have all done it.  The Flaw in Market Capitalism is the antigen behavior/reaction itself – not the person demonstrating it.  Our challenge for the future will be to amplify mavens and community organizers to become better at connecting people in collaboration with each other while also identifying and redirecting the antigen response before it is activated.  Because once it emerges, it cannot be put back in the bottle.  

The corollary:

Those who would embrace this work are often have no vested interest in “controlling” others and would therefore appear to be the least likely to accept our work. Likewise, once they emerge, they cannot be put back into the bottle.  This demonstrates the counterintuitive nature of The Ingenesist Project.

1 thought on “Evading The Antigen

  1. Indeed, the monoculture of knowledge brokering has its advantages for some, but concentration at the top may lead to suboptimal results and adds risks. For society at large, diversity brings resilience and more plausible promise of progress. I see striking synapses to how Bernard Lietaer puts visceral reaction to money and unawareness about the side effects of unexamined assumptions related to its definition.

    What About Money? Bernard Lietaer interviewed by Lars Schall
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykvRceBQRl8

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