Four+ Complementary Languages Required for Global Governance
-- / --
It might be useful to think of the 4 "languages" in which people endeavour to
articulate their concerns and favoured action. In principle these languages are
complementary and equally necessary. Each has its great strengths and weaknesses.
- Pozzy: This is the language in which everything must be expressed
positively. Great for political correctness. This is the language of hope-mongers
-- unfortunately also the direct cause of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster
(the manufacturers, as in many modern organizations, discouraged upward reporting
Neggy: The is the negative, critical language typical of newspaper
reporting and general cynicism. The language of doom-mongers. Useful to
have around if you want to fix infrastructure problems (pipe-leaks, broken-legs,
etc) where a good diagnosis is essential to rapid remedial action. Does
not seem to be able to deal with wider global challenges.
Luvvy: This is the language in which everything is based on love
and being lovely. Implicit and unquestioning belief in brotherhood, sisterhood,
solidarity, community and the like. Great as a basis for initiating relationships.
Tends to be at an extreme loss in recognizing or dealing with nasty situations,
Saddam Hussein's, etc. Poor at sustaining relationships through their bad
Tuffy: This is the tough language of the corporate, military and
gang worlds -- bulldozer language. Certainly achieves things, including
the need for other styles to compensate for its insensitivities.
In response to the above, philosopher Antonio de Nicolas (private communication,
1998) -- who has studied the interplay of four languages from other perspectives
-- made the following remarks:
The four languages you propose I would further divide them into the following
categories: Pozzy and Luvvy are the languages of diplomacy while Neggy and Tuffy
are the languages of advocacy. Diplomacy takes the other's position seriously
and tries to find a middle ground satisfactory to both: the other and I. Advocacy
on the other hand is based on Logical principles and the aim is to win, my position
The languages of advocacy are those of the left brain, the mimetic
conceptual and the "interpreter module" verbal. There are "blind" languages
for they depend for their information on the right brain store of sensation
and images. Since they are blind, they know not their origin, thus they
rely on the substitution systems of logic and fight for position: win or
lose. The languages of diplomacy correspond to the reptilian and limbic
brain and to the translation of these brains into the "visual" imagistic
synthesis of the right brain hemisphere of the neocortex. Images. as you
see are a derived text, not original, but can be made so through Pozzy
and Luvvy. The languages of advocacy are a mirror image of Luvvy and Pozzy
but on their own are totally destructive: win, lose.
Global Governance is possible if in each situation, Iraq, Middle
East, all four languages are sorted out so that not any one by itself determines
the outcome. All four must be part of the solution.
Succumbing to the temptation to ask why there might only be the the initial
four fundamental languages (Pozzy, Neggy, Luvvy, Tuffy
what other language candidates might there be, and how do they relate to
one another? Examples might include:
Tekky: With all its joy in gadgets, technical fixes and scientific
explanations, and yet more monitoring. The green's have there own variants
concerned with recipes for permaculture, composting toilets, eco-housing,
and the like. Tends to assume, as with architecture, that right human relations
follow from right technical solutions to environmental problems. The result
is many soulless environments.
Artty: This is the language of art, decor, music, crafts and design.
Can be great for look-good / smell-good / vibe-good environments that it
is nice to hang out in. However this language is notorious for its inability
to handle conflicting tastes and for the maneuverings to impose particular
tastes and marginalize others. Fickle in its blind response to fashion
and other rules of taste.
Wizzy: This is the language of wisdom and gurus -- emulated to a
high degree by consultants and therapists. Also used as a vehicle for personal
aspiration, prayer and relating to the cosmos. Great for wise sayings and
recommendations -- things one ought to do. Amazingly inept when several
speakers of it get together to articulate action in response to a
concrete situation or an opposing perspective.
- Leggy: This is the language of law and legislation. Basic to any bureaucracy
governed by procedures and regulations. Most efforts at global organization
are formulated in this language -- as well as the articulation of human rights
and responsibilities. Easily takes over mentalities as an end in itself. Quite
insensitive to its own limitations and absurdities -- and the pain it
It is possible that such languages could relate to a broader frame -- which might
include Myers-Briggs, etc. They could combine in various ways. Luvvy and Tuffy
together frame the Tuff-Luvv strategies. Luvvy and Wizzy are together the essence
of much New Age Luvv-Wizz discourse. Which languages are primary to the organization
of global society / community etc and which secondary? International programmes
tend to get trapped in Wizz-Legg discourse.
Edward de Bono has explored a variant of this approach through
two books: Six Thinking Hats (1987) and Six Action Shoes
(1991). These books deal with what he has called "operacy". This is the
skill of action, of getting things done and making things happen -- which
he equates with literacy and numeracy. They build on a well-publicized
series of his earlier books dealing with creative approaches to problem-solving,
notably in corporate policy-making environments. He argues that, to get
a well-rounded view, a committee needs to look at issues wearing a succession
of colour-coded hats (or shoes), corresponding to different styles of thought
According to de Bono (1991), the metaphoric framework of six thinking hats
has been adopted by many major corporations around the world. It is also used
increasingly in education. As de Bono points out: "The six hat method has been
widely accepted because it is simple, it is practical, and it works. It actually
changes how thinking takes place in meetings and elsewhere: instead of the usual
to and fro arguments it makes it possible for people to have constructive discussions."
(1991, p. 4). The six pairs of action shoes develop the action dimension of
the thinking associated with the six hats.
De Bono's hats (1987) involve participants in a discussion in a type of mental
- White hat: An objective look at data and information.
- Red hat: Legitimizes feelings, hunches, and
- Black hat: Logical negative, judgement, and
- Yellow hat: Logical positive, feasibility,
- Green hat: New ideas and creative thinking.
- Blue hat: Control of the thinking process.
But, expressed in this way, the coherence and sense of self-sufficiency
of the constituencies that strongly favour Pozzy, Neggy, Luvvy or Tuffy
is lost. It is this dimension that inhibits balanced collective action
and ensures that single-language initiatives undermine each other.
Within what language would one discuss the necessary movement between
languages? In what language would one expect to understand the conclusion?
How would one expect to combine insights from different languages? How does
translation work? What if some group insists on speaking "French" when "everyone"
is "of course" believed to understand "English"?
Relying on any one language as a means of viewing the world would seem to be
a recipe for disaster.