Saturday, August 3, 2013

Either the Merchant-Guilds Are Winning, or the Middle Class of Each Nation Is Winning. There Can Be Only One Path Forward.

Commentary by Roger Erickson

In response to a prior post - "Policy Agility - Caught Between A Crock And A Heartless Spot?" - one wag wrote the following, noting that it's even more complicated, with multiple classes of institutional momentum collaborating across national security boundaries.

"With [both] global capital & internet classes joined [horizontally] across nations, [they are] causing [compounding] disruptions?
The software class, the financial class.....
[etc] "
Sanjeev Kulkarni

Yes, there are many forms of capital, and they all leak across national boundaries. Hence, Sanjeev's statement carries an unstated implication, that process activity ACROSS national boundaries may well be adapting more rapidly than processes within national borders ... despite the endless diversions of resources into "national security" efforts, many of them spurious side effects of the MICC guild. This conundrum reveals a curious state of affairs indeed! All existing alliances are fluid, and unstable? Probability functions, not principles?

How will this situation proceed? Which way SHOULD it proceed? Can we reorganize the entire globe as one, big experiment? Or, should we proceed cautiously, continuing to run local, nation-state experiments, and seeing which ones generate discrete innovations that some of the other nations might want to very selectively adopt some, none or all of?

That question is tough to answer, of course. It's easier to consider an indirect but parallel question. Who is adapting faster, and accumulating greater net Adaptive Strength .. supra-national organizations and cabals, or cohesive nations whose electorates stick together as a team? Don't laugh, it's a serious question. Either the merchant-guilds are winning, or the Middle Class of each nation is winning. Between these competing forces, there can be only one, ascendant driver of net Adaptive Rate. Which path will scale, and which will be a dead end? Most of us already have a clear opinion, emphatically written into the Constitution of every democracy on Earth. It's really only a question of tempo. How much human potential will we waste, while dithering on our commitment to one path or the other? Tempo matters folks.

How will each of YOU choose between the alternate strategic paths? If we take the prior evolution of various precedent platforms - cells, organs, physiologies, families, communities, tribes, nations - as lessons to extrapolate from ... one clear message is that we should be incredibly selective about how few processes each existing nation-state platform outsources. Why? In order to be VERY CONSERVATIVE about managing resiliency, risk & our exposure to complete uncertainty - not just quarterly currency balances.

Could you outsource your kidney functions? With difficulty, but what's the comparative life expectancy of people with functioning kidneys vs those relying upon dialysis machines from merchants? Could you outsource liver functions? Spleen functions?  The lesson for any system is that anything can be outsourced .. transiently. The bigger question is how long, and through which, unpredictable contexts? That's why the truly conservative value of sticking together has been of paramount evolutionary importance throughout history. Merchants may think they don't need their country, but statistics are not in their favor, long term. That's a statistical question that the 60-odd organs and 300-odd cell types in the typical vertebrate body (yes, that includes humans) have arduously decided upon. For resiliency, many processes absolutely must be kept in house, and it takes a long time to determine what a given system can survive outsourcing long term. If the USA survives another 100 years, how many "professions" will it feature, in how many institutions?

Back to our serious question. How DO we select a sustainable balance between mercantilism and "a more perfect union?" There's much to ponder, going forward, and far too much to cover in one essay. It may be better to focus first on our method for even approaching this question, rather than jumping to presumed answers.  So, skipping ahead, let me just say that it's ironic that many supposed "Conservatives" are those that are actually hyper-local libertarians who are overly willing to sacrifice the latest level of our national organization & retreat back to their prior stage, and state of blissful ignorance. You want an example? Kill the nation, preserve Texas ... or your family, or your bank acct, or your stockpile of (food, guns, etc). What, they don't know what got us this far in the 1st place?

“This country will not be a permanently good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a reasonably good place for all of us to live in.” Theodore Roosevelt

This observation, of course, brings up the question of probability in social dynamics.

Scratch a Liberal and you get a Conservative. How often?
Scratch a Conservative and you get a Luddite. How often?
Scratch a Luddite and you get a Libertarian. How often?
Scratch a Libertarian and you get a hermit. How often?
Scratch a hermit and you get a caveman. How often?
     How much further back do we want to regress? For now, can we stop at cavemen?

If we're forced to consider probability and the instantaneous & steady-state "state" of components and whole social systems, then it's useful to paraphrase Planck and Boltzmann: there are no precisely definable system assets [including citizens & economic states] across all contexts, only probability functions.*

That should leave everyone with plenty of warning to be extremely conservative about how "conservative" they want to be. Adaptive selection requires statistical analysis, not just knee-jerk or willy-nilly decisions. We're talking about the future of your offspring in their nation, not just the consequences of personal hoarding.

* Comically, Planck adds, "the dilemma [in fusing different perspectives] crops up from an incorrect understanding of the relation between the microlevel and the macrolevel." Now where have we heard THAT dilemma before? :) In the Fallacy of Scale** so often observed in discussions about the source of fiat currency?

**Fallacy of Scale: If YOU stand up at a sports stadium, then YOU will get a better view. Hence, if everyone at the stadium stands up, then everyone will get a better view. Right? :(

ps: Even Planck's Constant "h" may not be an absolute constant, but rather only the result of yet another, distinct quantum probability function. The only requirement is that the probability kinetics of possible events statistically summing to "h" proceed at a tempo that never lets us, at our sampling rate, ever perceive anything except the steady state of that probability function, and not it's fluctuations. Not only is every seemingly discrete state in reality a component-probability [where everything micro must change in order for macro to appear to stay the same] - our perception of reality itself depends on perceptual sampling kinetics, i.e., our mental agility. Perhaps the future truly is only accessible to some of those whom we currently call schizophrenics. It may be that only those humans capable of accelerated considerations of simultaneous local, state, national and global option-states will be able to manage the future that is already upon us. Good luck with that, Luddites.


googleheim said...

Probability and statistics can be removed with evolutionary topologies

Roger Erickson said...

Yes, there are 1001 methods for achieving any adaptive system state.

Do you have something that will help us first select a desired outcome, and THEN select which permutation of methods to use in our near-countless internal processes?

What is your point, Googleheim?

Roger Erickson said...

200-THOUSAND years of human history (at least) and:

Every year "the [latest generation of conservatives/libertarians/Luddites] has begun to realize is that almost every law has two sides, one side that seems beneficial and one side that has negative implications"

You don't say? What takes Luddites so long? Always a paradigm late and a context behind? (With their head up it?)