Anti-Semitism as Anti-(E)ism: A PAEI Explanation

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Every system — whether it is a person, a family, a company or a country —to be healthy must be effective and efficient in both the short and the long run. I’ve discovered there are four roles (PAEI), which can be viewed as organizational vitamins, that need to be performed well in order for the system to be healthy. 1

Makes the System:

Input                                                        Throughput                                                                  Output


P.                                                    functional                                                                 effective      in the short run

A.                                                   systematized                                                           efficient       in the short run

E.                                                   proactive                                                                   effective       in the long run

I.                                                    organic                                                                       efficient        in the long run

One can classify organizational behavior2 personality styles3 among a multiple of applications using the PAEI code. In this write-up, I will analyze cultures and the phenomena of anti-Semitism.

The PAEI roles, the organizational vitamins, are in conflict.

Being proactive (E) means making changes today to prepare the system for the future. It interferes with the (P) role that needs all energies available to deal with the present.

The even bigger conflict is between the (E) and the (A) roles. The (E) role pushes for change. The (A) role wants order. Routine. Repetitiousness. (E) takes risk; (A) avoids risk. (E) tends to be flexible and liberal. (A) is inflexible and conservative.

The (I) role tries to smooth things up. To integrate. Performing the (I) role, however, takes time and the (P) role requests things to be done as soon as possible in order for the system to be effective, to be responsive, in a timely manner, to the needs posed to the system to perform.

Now let us discuss the phenomena of anti (E)-ism, of which anti-Semitism is one expression.

May I suggest that the Jewish people — for various reasons we will not get into — are very culturally (E). Very innovative, very flexible, very entrepreneurial. They have the highest number of Nobel prize winners, per capita, of any ethnic group. Look at Israel. It is a powerhouse of innovation.

A country that is culturally exhibiting high (A) will reject the population that exhibits (E) traits. (E)s stand out. Disturb the order.

Why is Britain more anti-Semitic than Italy? Italy has a lot of (E) while British is very (A). The same applies to Germany, which is the mother of all (A) except that now, due to the history of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism is being fought hard there. Otherwise, I suggest anti-Semitism would be high, too.

There is no anti-Semitism in China, where a (P) culture reigns. Japan, which is strong in (A), could be anti-Semitic except its (A) is mitigated by a big (I).

Not strange that Spain had strong anti-Semitic sentiment. True, it had religious undertones as a cause but I suggest it is also caused by the fact that Spain has enormous (A) in its culture and systems.

France is an AE culture. Has lots of (E) and (A) at the same time but (A) is growing at the expense of (E). It’s not strange that Anti-Semitism has been there forever and is growing.

Anti-Semitism is not a unique phenomenon directed exclusively at Jews. I call it rather the anti (E) phenomenon. In countries where (A) is strong or growing, those who ethnically or culturally exhibit (E) characteristics will be rejected, or even persecuted, whether they are Jews, Armenians, Azeris or Chinese.

There is one more factor to analyze. It is the “shrinking pie” factor.

Assume a pie is at the center of the table with a bunch of kids sitting around it. The pie is fixed. Not growing.

With a fixed pie, there will be a fight if one of the kids tries to take a bigger slice. His bigger slice is at the expense of the other kids.

Now imagine the pie is perceived to be shrinking. If one of the kids tries to take a bigger piece, there will be violence. Especially if the kids are hungry. (The Holocaust was born when Germany was on its knees after the First World War.)

Now imagine that the kid who wants a bigger piece of the pie is actually the one making the pie grow. Those are the (E)s.

Since the pie is perceived to be growing, there is more for everyone, and the contributing kid will be welcomed. Even appreciated. Others are profiting from his involvement rather than losing, as in the previous case.

In a country where people perceive growth and abundance, entrepreneurs are welcome because they help grow the pie. That was the situation, until recently, in the USA. Being rich was not shameful. People would flaunt it. I remember coming to the USA fifty-some years ago surprised to see that newspapers would mention the names of entrepreneurs and, in brackets, reveal their wealth or annual income as a medal of recognition and not as an accusation.

If, on the other hand, there is a perception of a fixed, not-growing pie, entrepreneurs will be shunned. They take a bigger slice of a perceived not growing pie. I sense a strong anti-business sentiment in the USA today, especially in California. And if the perception is one of a shrinking pie, entrepreneurs are attacked and expelled. See what is happening in countries attracted to the socialist ideology.

There is an exodus of businesses from California. There is an anti-business sentiment there. And the exodus is accelerating the shrinking of the pie. Soon, whoever has any capital will move it elsewhere, and move himself or herself elsewhere, too.

And what is happening in California might also happen in the rest of the nation.

1 Ichak Kalderon Adizes, The Ideal Executive, Santa Barbara,  CA: Adizes Institute Publications.

2 Ichak Kalderon Adizes, Managing Corporate Lifecycles, Santa Barbara, CA, Adizes Institute Publications, 2004.

3 Ichak Kalderon Adizes: Management Mismanagement Styles, Santa Barbara, CA, Adizes Institute Publications.  

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes
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