A thought struck me yesterday. What if Protagoras was right, and “man is the measure of all things”, what would that mean? From my professional perspective this is certainly true. I have seen lots and lots of organizations struggling to get “things” done and I found out that there is one key thing they needed to do. If you manage to boil that “thing” they want to get done down to a level at which individuals can make a true connection (both rationally AND emotionally) to it, the magic of succesful change is way more likely to happen.
But what does that mean in other contexts? Let’s say the context or trend of ongoing growth of institutions and large corporations. Might it be true that we are reaching a scale at which it is impossible to make a connection with as an individual?
For instance: is it possible for an individual to emotionally connect to an educational institute that employs thousands of people? An institure that has five or more layers of management and tries to live up to its promise to stimulate professionals in developing their talents? If this is not impossible, tha n at least it is a very hard thing to do.
More and more organizations and instituations are reaching a scale of which I think that man is not anymore the measure of things. What is rationally perceivable has become the measure of all things, and this by definition goes beyond what a single human being can relate to. Things that are rationally perceivable can become way too big to recognize the human measure in it.
Is this a bad thing? I think strictly said it is not. But from a moral standpoint that we want a society in which we can be human beings, living together on the basis of equality, this is not an enduring model. If you have the eye for it, I think that you can see the first signs here and there of people wanting to emancipate. And I do not only think this is a good thing, but I also think and hope this is the new trend, the next step in our social evolution.