Friday, September 16, 2005
Sounds Very Familiar
Culturally, Iraqis (as with Soviet citizens in that day and place) are incredibly docile, not at all used to deciding or doing much of anything aggressive or assertive. Those not imprisoned (or dead) or forced into slave labor were essentially on a public dole. No one here has much experience with work of any kind, other than the kind of work done by personal servants, landscapers, or laborers. But even then, nepotism and cronyism and very strong tribe politics means only the lowest have to do anything, the rest sit around and watch. (It's quite unusual, if 3 or 4 or 5 Iraqis are together in a work party, to ever see more than one or maybe two actually working. The rest watch, rest, or chat. This proportion holds in larger numbers, and is visible in village, rural, and army settings. (It may be different in more metropolitan Iraq, in the few such environments that exist, like Baghdad.)Dadmanly points out the Soviet analogy -- something I experienced first hand. It's even worse in China where I have also been and worked.
It's not really that they're lazy; well, yes actually it is that they are lazy, very lazy. But that's what they've grown accustomed to. That's what's expected. In the Army, one of the biggest changes (and challenges) comes from actually getting everybody to work together at the same time. They have had no history of an effective Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) Corps, which in the American military are the primary leaders and trainers of Soldiers, with Officers being the planners and directors of larger aggregations of the smaller units (largely led by NCOs with some junior officers "in charge.")
One of the things that makes America unique is the quality of the people that live here. We are unique. We are the best the world has to offer because, simply, if you are a person seeking the best for you and your family, if you want to work hard to accomplish something - you get up from the place in the world where you live with less opportunity and you come to America, the land of greatest opportunity.
Traditionally, we have been good at breeding that energy since we are all ultimately from thattype of stock, but increasingly, I seem to be seeing it more in immigrants than natives. I have more immigrant clients than I have natives. Given my market, that means there are more immigrants starting small and medium sized manufacturing operations, at least in Southern California, than natives. I am wondering if there is something wrong with that picture?