Friday, January 31, 2014

How To Usefully Interact With Conservatives .... And Progressives Too

(Commentary posted by Roger Erickson)

Systems do not work in isolation, and the well-being of a person - or a culture of citizens - depends upon the well-being of all the interacting body & cultural systems.

Ya think? So why do we constantly hear liberals/progressives saying that "Conservatives" are at odds with evolution because nothing ever stays the same, while "Progressives" understand we live in a constantly evolving world?

And, why do we constantly hear conservatives saying that "Progressives" are dangerous fools because they don't understand how things work, and want to change everything?

The reality is that there are no unitary Conservatives and Progressives. That is a myth, which too many of us accept as fact, about ourselves. We should know better.

Rather than this myth, the reality is that there is, in every organized system, a continuous spectrum, between those components acting as foundation material, and those components taking the risk of testing what has to start changing as context changes - call them physiological StemCell characteristics, or cultural StemHuman characteristics. Arbitrarily DIVIDING a continuous, undivisible spectrum of complex_component characteristics is senseless and impossible to start with. As Lincoln so aptly noted, a house divided cannot stand.

So why do so many cultures - who are composed of continuous spectra of personality characteristics - so often find themselves pushed and pulled into two, mindlessly opposing and artificial groupings, and then prodded to make civil war, not culture?

Perhaps cultural Civil War is most commonly the result of a 3rd grouping, of cultural parasites, which recruit host components into a cycle of being confused, distracted, divided, and conquered? There are endless tomes written on the topic of social parasites, aka, the "British Strategy" (or simply "politics"), that I'll leave readers to research it on their own.

For now, in the USA, take our conservative/progressive Civil War ... PLEASE!

Have you ever considered simply declining to participate? Instead of being drafted, or volunteering, in yet another senseless war - that benefits no one except various forms of "conflict-industrial-Congressional-complex" social parasites - JUST SAY NO?

The CICC social parasites are the only ones who benefit when you do participate in conflict. Yet we needn't hate them either. Social parasites are simply the consultants that social species hire to search out "bugs" in their social strategies. Cultural evolution is dramatically accelerated by simply regulating resilient defenses against the operational hijacking opportunities that parasites expose. Our job is to simply apply routine patches to our democracy & culture, through timely re-regulation of our own CICC parasites. They don't own us. We own them. We just have to act like owners.

How do we NOT take sides and be drafted into a grouping that breaks up & parasitizes the very affinity that builds Democracy and culture? 

Change your perspective. Once you look at our own situation as though a different context, you can then re-interpret ALL of the same data, differently. Don't accept the paradigm of the CICC parasites.

Here's one alternative to retain affinity and culture, and be able to say ... "I never met a [citizen] I didn't like."

Simply look at the range of the ~320million US citizens, diverse disciplines and many public/private institutions the same way you look at the ~30Trillion cells, ~300cell-types and ~70organs in your own body. None of these grouping need EVER be at civil war! In fact, both aggregates will quite obviously sink or swim together, with the "co-citizens" of their aggregate. The highest return, by far, is the return-on-coordination (teamwork), so all other returns simply don't matter in the long run.

Once you throw off the CICC parasite propaganda, and recover your natural perspective on your own aggregate, a simpler context emerges.

Individual humans are all mosaics displaying both conservative and progressive tendencies as given characteristics in given contexts. If you tally the "yea" or "nay" of an aggregate, on 10,001 topics, you'll find that no two people are equally conservative or progressive on every single topic, nor even consistent on the same topics across different contexts! We are NOT consistent. Instead, we are incredibly diverse. Further, we use that diversity to build the very resiliency that makes both our individual behavior complex and our culture resilient, wealthy and capable. It's an inescapable fact that coordinated diversity drives the success of all social species - whether the social-cells making up  your body, or the social-humans making up your culture.

In may help many people to re-visualize citizens as displaying either Foundation-human or Stem-human characteristics, ON EVERY TOPIC INDEPENDENTLY, not as citizens consistently for or against change on every topic equally.

Once our instantaneous behaviors on every topic are re-described in terms of variable, context-dependent, Foundation-human or Stem-human characteristics, we can picture everyone standing on everyone else's shoulders, ala Isaac Newton - just in interleaved fashion, on all topics simultaneously. That, in a nutshell, is what social species do. ESPECIALLY humans! Human citizens have multifaceted behaviors, personalities and skills, and we all interleave our complex behavioral characteristics together in complex patterns, in real time.

It would surprise no one overmuch to find, say, a religious conservative who plays evenings in a progressive jazz band. Or a social progressive who strictly adheres to conservative diet and lifestyle habits. No single example of mixed conservative/progressive traits would surprise us, for given topics in a given context. We are all mosaics, and change our characteristics to fit context, once altered context is recognized.

Try declining to participate in social frictions urged by CICC social parasites?

So do we EVER need to argue over details? Instead, simply interleave your instantaneous duties, and always help drive Adaptive Social Selection. That's easier if a little patience is applied. Just remember that conservative-tendencies and progressive-tendencies on every instantaneous topic boil down to a simple selection task. For us to thrive as a culture, all our interleaved conservative tendencies on a given subject must simply help select what to keep, from all the progressive inventions offered up by our progressive tendencies.

The Progressive characteristics in all of us take on the risk of standing on the shoulders of Conservatives. Meanwhile, the Conservative characteristics in all of us need only sit back and help select from Progressive inventions. To interleave many selections simultaneously, we invariably practice multi-variate evolution, socially as well as physiologically.*

What could be simpler? Conservatives & Progressives arguing on given topics is pretty much a case of grandparents & grandchildren arguing. It's pointless, and always completely out of context.


* There's a simple message - for us as citizens - from all thinking about systems. Namely, that multi-variate adaptation in human aggregates tracks development of diverse perspectives in the electorate. When it comes to developing good citizens, hopefully even our own conservative characteristics can always appreciate the value of a traditional Liberal education.

An electorate can't optimally review data without juggling contexts as well. That's a simple rule of, say, combinatorial chemistry, and multi-variate analysis as well.

If an electorate can't visualize it's own complexity and diversity, it can't leverage it, to explore expanding group options.


Ryan Harris said...

There is personal or group advantage in playing groups against one another and simply shifting the balance of power. Economists are masters of deceit in the game, they tell people to ignore the social systems in which they exist and work against it for the greater good. Like a any religious figure, they preach sacrifice for your community, state, country to help increase prospects and reduce poverty and suffering in the broader world while shrouding their model assumptions in pseudo/meta science. The western economists are really big on small sacrifices in the name of the system for greater glory and prosperity that will result at a later date.

Roger Erickson said...

I'm surprised that the NeoLib doctrine hasn't returned to the mantra that fiat or nominal contributions here on earth will "buy" later dispensations in some otherworldly heaven or hell.

After all, if people swallow NeoLiberalism, they'll believe anything.