Search for a better middle
There are many people who look for the middle; but the middle can be found in any number of places. The middle between private sector and public sector can be found in both preventing the other from doing its job; or it can be found in both being able to do their work and then to work with one another. In both cases we are seeing the middle road; only one road is much better than the other.
Likewise we see, for example, in the matter of science and spirituality. Middle can be found by using spirituality to outlaw science and science to proclaim spirituality insane; or it can be found by putting in place constructive scientific solutions to the world's problems while also allowing people the right to spiritual experience. Once again, both roads are middle roads, only one is much better than the other.
The exercise therefore is not to find the middle path, but rather to find the positive middle path. It is to see what each party is right about and put these things together, while doing away with the matters on which each party is wrong. The result is not compromise but rather positive synthesis, resulting in maximal benefit from both sides and minimal wrongdoing by each.
This logic can be applied to an array of matters. In matter of environment and technology, the positive middle path consists of allowing maximal technological progress while protecting what man has not created and cannot recreate. It consists of preserving nature and pursuing technological and economic development, allowing people to benefit from both technology and nature. In matter of private sector and public sector, the positive middle path consists of allowing business to do its work of creating prosperity while allowing the public sector to do its work of providing education, security, scientific research, law enforcement, and projects such as the Interstate and the Internet that facilitate prosperity. In matter of people's physical and volitional natures, the positive middle path consists of allowing people the maximal fruition of both and their collaboration. In matters of thinking and feeling, the positive middle path consists of allowing people development and enjoyment of both - and the two working together to achieve insight and wisdom faster than either would on its own. And in matters of gender relations, it consists of making the most of both physical relations and equality in social, economic and political fields. In all cases the approach is not just the middle road, but the better middle road that allows the best of each side and the best of their collaboration.
This is the case for all natural, non-valued, dualities - dualities such as environment and technology, private sector and public sector, male and female, thinking and feeling, and further on down the line. The approach is to enhance the benefits of each side and of their positive collaboration - to allow the supply of both and to meet the demand for both thereby. In case of valued dualities, such as good and evil, this approach does not hold, and optimization is the matter of maximizing the good side of the duality. And never are non-valued dualities (such as male and female) and valued dualities (such as good and evil) to be mistaken for one another.
Seeking the positive middle path - one that takes what each side is right about and combines it - is a superior path than simple compromise, which can go in any direction, from the best to the worst. And in matters of collaboration as well as negotiation, it is this positive middle path that ought to be sought and not anything below. Pursuing, not just middle ground, but the optimization of both sides and their interaction, is a path that allows maximal benefit and should be looked for as much as is possible.
Ilya ShambatClick http://sites.google.com/site/ilyashambatwritings/integrative for in-depth essay on this theme