Subud Vision - Feedback
Sahlan Diver - Can Subud Grow without Faith?
"Enterprise" size vs. likely results. From Philip Quackenbush, June 13, 2008. Time 6:24
"Bapak wanted Subud members to be pro-active in enterprise development. I suggest that this has become now very much a minority interest, that the majority either think these matters are purely down to individual conscience, or want to go further than that and see the enterprise/Subud-changing-the-world idea disowned as being motivated merely by a mixture of hubris and naivety."
And/or motivated by simple greed, with the lucky few taking their money and running.
Having been involved in starting an enterprise that the three partners regarded as a "Subud" enterprise, but barely supported our individual day-to-day needs, and that only through personal contributions to the business that kept us going until we all had other means of making a living, I think a number of successful enterprises on a smaller scale might still result in a financially stable Subud organization with viable charitable activity.
But there's been a tendency through my four and a half decades in this "racket" (as a "helper" whose opinion I respected when he was alive often referred to it), to either use the available money to produce more and more meetings of relatively inconsequential results, that nowadays could be usually held on the Net or phone conference, IMO, or to give it to the Family, most of whom are probably quite wealthy by Indonesian standards already. I recall one year in which SDI was a mere pup and the chair treated it like a full-grown Great-Dane-of-a-giant-corporation. Until sufficient organizational reforms are instituted that prevent such frittering away of the organization's resources, I doubt that many fledgling or long-term enterprises will see Subud as being a worthwhile "investment" (and I haven't noted any steps in that direction, except, perhaps, in the case of MSF, which was probably set up that way in the first place by Peter Fillipelli).
Despite all that, however, Subud may still have a hand in the transformation of the planet that is already in progress for "those that have eyes to see" (i.e., are not in denial of what's taking place) that could provide a tipping point on a global scale for the "better," since, for anyone familiar with the new science of Chaos theory, it only takes one person in the "right" place at the "right" time with the "right" attitude to move the planet in the "right" direction, not necessarily anyone "spiritually advanced" (there is no such person, IMO) or a large number of people. Leaving aside your aforementioned hubris, then, that may or may not be someone in Subud. Who knows? I certainly don't (nor am I likely to "test" to find out, since that would only confirm some person's or people's opinion until it happens and "they" are proved correct or incorrect).
From Sahlan Diver, June 13, 2008. Time 22:55
I think the key element of Bapak's model is enterprise giving a proportion of its surplus profit for humanitarian purposes, so if the desirable situation of a "number of successful enterprises on a smaller scale", as you suggest, came about, why would they need to channel the money through Subud? They could just as easily give it direct, neither would the recipients necessarily need to all be Subud-run charities.
I agree about the need for organisational reforms and surely the most important of these is to abandon selection of officials through testing, replacing testing with a normal system of voting on the basis of a person's platform, performance, competence, honesty and so on.
Of course it would be nice if Subud also could be strengthened through increased funding, but again I agree with you about the need to improve efficiency by taking advantage of modern technology - the Subud Vision project itself would be an example of that, the whole thing organised by email without a single meeting.
My ideal view of the Subud organisation would be not some overweighted edifice expending too much time, money and energy on "meetings of relatively inconsequential results", but as a lighweight organisation capable of providing a truly effective framework of support for members' enterprise, cultural and charitable activities. Unfortunately, my guess is that most Subud members will continue to stubbornly stick to the edifice, maybe because they have got means confused with ends,
From Philip Quackenbush, June 14, 2008. Time 6:55
"My ideal view of the Subud organisation would be not some overweighted edifice expending too much time, money and energy on "meetings of relatively inconsequential results", but as a lighweight organisation capable of providing a truly effective framework of support for members' enterprise, cultural and charitable activities. Unfortunately, my guess is that most Subud members will continue to stubbornly stick to the edifice, maybe because they have got means confused with ends,"
Well, then, it's likely to continue to be a crumbling edifice. How much more loss of membership and interest does there have to be to draw the sleeping out of their dreams?
If there are enough people that can form an ethical organization that gets out of the binds that the Subud org. has perpetuated, then it seems worthwhile to pursue that end. Frankly, looking at the current numbers, I don't think there are. Rotsa ruck, though.
BTW, a small business in the US is defined, if I recall correctly as one doing less than a million dollars a year and having less than a hundred employees. I'm not sure that, under that definition, that any Subud "enterprise" ever got to be a big business, though I can think of at least a couple of businessmen in Subud who have become millionaires pursuing their "enterprises". How much of that ended up in Subud organizational coffers, I have no idea. I think that the formula that M. Subuh eventually suggested was 25% of the net profits (after expenses) as a donation. I know of some people who thought it was 25% of gross profits (I did at one time), which is a formula for disaster.
Another reason I think that small enterprises may have more to donate to Subud is that corporations are set up to make money for the shareholders, and that by any means, or the stockholders tend to bow out, so only limited partnerships are likely to look towards making money for charitable purposes as a goal, and that only after the partners agree to that as a goal.
(If you want to look at the unchecked depredations of giant corporations objectively, read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man).
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