Why You Want Vertical, Not Horizontal, Allegiances

Forrest Christian Theory Leave a Comment

By contrast, horizontal working-class solidarity exists to a much lesser degree in Japan than in Britain, and in this respect the Japanese would be said to be less group oriented than the British. Japanese workers tend to identify with their companies rather than with their fellow workers…. But the reverse side of the coin is a much higher degree of vertical enterprise solidarity in Japan, which is why we correctly think of Japan as more group oriented than Britain. This kind of vertical solidarity would appear to be more conducive to economic growth than its horizontal alternative. Fukuyama, Trust, pp. 159.

Which makes sense: horizontal, class allegiance is not very helpful to the society at large when the society has felt-fair pay-based work practices. The ones who would lead a class consciousness won’t be in the lower class: they’ll be promoted.

It’s interesting that Marxist ideology is based on an unnatural arrangement, where high mode individuals are kept down. Of course, in the States we do this effectively with race, but that’s changed over the last fifty years — note Al Sharpton’s run for the Democratic nomination. He wasn’t just a bad candidate; he was also totally ignored by his constituency. Maybe the proof was when Bill Clinton was called “black”.

There’s a lot in Fukuyama’s work on the social capital creating societies that relates to SST/RO. It seems like the societies that have more naturally organized organizations (i.e., they have fewer individuals in the wrong place) are the ones that have more social capital, which would lend support to Jaques’s opinion that organizing requisitely created trustful relationships and supported the democratic movement. (That’s little “d” not big “d” democratic, J!)

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