the tenth man principle
A little bit of history to the masses all around the world standing harshly against a tiny handful (actually a rapidly increasing number right now) of people who, like myself, have been standing against what is very clearly now seen as one of the major political miscalculations in the history of the modern world, meaning this irrational lockdown of the entire planet.
My professional life underwent a radical turning point after I found out that the natural inclination of my personality to question everything was actually a positive trait, although quite an uncomfortable, sometimes painful position, for the obvious reason of cutting ties with the herd mindset and group thinking.
We know the October 1973 war in Israel as the Yom Kippur War. The Arab world knows it as the Ramadan War. The gruesome conflict showed Israelis the risks of underestimating dangers to their national security, regardless of how small or insignificant they might seem.
This unforgivable intelligence failure in Israel's history took place because their military establishment was blindly seduced by the so-called "Concept of Arab Intentions". To put it short, Israel's top military officers all agreed to believe the Arabs were not in a million years contemplating the possibility of an all-out assault, as it ended up happening.
In what is now deemed to be one of the most brilliant academic articles, Law professor William Kaplan's Why Dissent Matters looked at a key idea that came out of the Yom Kippur War, the 10th Man Principle. The Hollywood movie World War Z, featuring Brad Pitt, highlighted this principle in quite a compelling way.
In a nutshell, the 10th Man should play the role of a devil’s advocate. If there are 10 people in a room and 9 of them agree on anything, the role of the tenth person is to radically disagree, and point out flaws in whatever decision the group has reached.
Think of the coronavirus taskforces in many countries yelling at us and forcing the globe's economy into a halt, and on the other side the tiny amount of voices that saw flagrant flaws from the beginning, massive mistakes that are now unveiled to the eyes of the entire world.
If the world is not saved this time around, it won't be for a lack of 10th Men everywhere.
ELIEL ROSA has built a solid career in the urban planning and public policy arenas in Brazil, Latin American countries, Portuguese-speaking African nations, Spain and in the US for the past 20 years. However, instead of keeping a long list of professional credentials and accomplishments, there is a special, top feature he would want you to retain: he is a diehard America-loving legal immigrant!