The Role the Hôjô Played in Transforming the Japanese Polity and Launching Six Centuries of Warrior Leadership

From approximately 1203 to 1334, Japan was ruled by a family known as the Hôjô. Although Minamoto no Yoritomo founded the Kamakura shogunate, the Hôjô became the real decision-makers of the polity after his death.  In form, the Hôjô were servants of the shogun, but by the middle of the thirteenth century they exercised virtually unchallenged […]

Watsuji Tetsuro: Human existence is a tale of “persons supporting each other, existing in the world”

In the early decades of the 20th century, as G. H. Mead’s former students were documenting and organizing his ideas so as to ensure they would be available to later generations, halfway around the world in Japan, Watsuji Tetsuro was articulating his own vision of what it meant to be an individual in a world […]

To be a leader is to be followed. On what basis do we allow others to lead us?

Whether we are talking about societies, cultures, economies, organizations or inter-personal relationships, the dynamics of social power receive a great deal of attention. Our interest in social power is not surprising. Since human existence is largely and perhaps even essentially social in nature, our power to influence each other’s behavior has significant implications for all […]

Homo recipricans is open to a more cooperative future. Can homo communicus lead us to one?

Behavioral economics research suggests that people can be divided roughly into three categories:  homo economicus, homo recipricans, and homo communicus. “Studies from behavioral economics suggest that about 20%–30% of people are purely selfish by nature, like H. economicus; about 50% are conditional cooperators (H. reciprocans); and about 20%–30% are very prosocial (H. communicus).” (p. 250 of Ecological Economics, Principles and Applications by […]