Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Politics will Never Hold the Answer

Success in achieving long-range and/or far-reaching goals requires healthy, dynamic organizations organized around a purpose that leads towards the goal. The active ingredient of this group dynamism is self-determination on the part of the group members— competently applied within the framework of policy of the group. There is a need for enough competency on the part of each participating individual (and the self-determination to drive it) to be able to meet the minimum requirements or standards for the job he is assigned and of the position to which he is posted. Many times this is not hard to come by.

A leader, whether a political leader or otherwise, can only bring his/her own self-determination to bear on the group purpose and goal. He can try to inspire others to apply their self-determination along the same lines, and may have some success in doing so, but the only thing he has under his own certain control is his own self-determination. In a large, healthy group that operates above the personal level in the “What Band” rather than the “Who Band”, the self-determination of the leader amounts to only a small fraction of the total amount of self-determination competently applied by all members of the group (or country). When this is understood it can be seen that by far the greatest amount of drive that results in progress along the group purpose line comes from the application of self-determination by the many within the framework of group policy, rather than by a particular personality, no matter how prominent.

The argument so far assumes that the leader is knowledgeable about groups and group health, and is relatively deaberrated in the area of groups. Unfortunately this is often not the case, especially in the field of politics. Most political campaigns are geared towards name and face recognition, along with large doses of “up close and personal” as the top priority. Any treatment of issues comes in second to all of this “Who-ness”. Putting the “Who” before the “What” is like putting the cart before the horse, only worse. The “Who” (or social) band of group activity occupies the bottom level of group causation. To be effective a group (or country) must rise above this into the “What” band. There is usually plenty of room for improvement in the “What” band for most groups and all countries. Any emphasis on “Who-ness” will act as a tether to keep a group from rising above a given level of causation, even if it gets somewhere into the “What Band”. A commitment to continuous improvement in group causation requires the cutting or loosing of all tethering to the “Who” band—letting all such “Who” concerns remain in the social band without impingement into the “What” band.

Most politicians in the United States today 1) do not know what a group is, let alone a country 2) are aiming at shallow-depth sound-bytes that are intended primarily to provoke a non-analytical response in the “Who Band” from the voter. Any actual “What” issues are relegated to the rear.

Politics promotes the idea of Democrat vs. Republican, conservatism vs. liberal. The Democrats rail against any Republicans who have won or who might win an office, and visa versa. Really I think the Republicans would do less damage in office (though you might make a case that W. was an exception to this rule). All elections represent for me is a chance to vote for the one who would do less damage to the country. I don’t expect either to go far, if at all, in the pro-life direction, but I do want to avoid the one who will go further in the wrong direction.

Talk radio and the media in general promote the idea of conservatism vs. liberalism as a fundamental and lasting choice in life. This does not make a lot of sense to me. I go back to the pro-life purpose line. The senior idea is to make as much progress in this direction as is possible with a given amount of time and resources. With this in mind it can be seen that in some cases liberalism will go further, and other times (probably most times in this civilization) conservatism has the bigger payoff.

Liberalism has the better payoff when the environment is so peaceful, rich and nurturing that a seed thrown anywhere has a high chance for successful growth and fruition. In this scenario the “bottleneck” that determines the amount of pro-life progress is just the amount of seed that can get thrown out in a given time period. A classical example of this scenario is the Golden Age of Greece. Conservatives of today in the United States might want to take a breath and realize that the inspiration for our democracy was a liberal one— democracy was an extremely liberal idea in 450 B.C. Greece.

Unfortunately, the scenarios when Conservatism is the better choice are far more plentiful in our civilization. In these cases the greatest progress along the pro-life purpose line requires preparation of the soil, careful placement of the seed, followed by irrigation, fertilization, and defense and cultivation of the resulting sprouts.

It is far more common to have small pockets in time and space where liberalism flourishes rather than have it as the best choice of wide areas or long periods of time. War is a bad time for liberalism. When the enemy is at the gate it is time to take careful stock of your resources and make sure effective use is made of them. It is interesting that pockets of liberalism seem to show up at the end of a war. This is true even for the vanquished if the victor is willing to allow them to rebuild. In this case the vanquished have much to do to get things back in order and there is a pervasive will to get it done. This tends to pull the scene towards the end of the scale that allows for seeds to take root easily and grow with seemingly less care requirement than usual. Actually, I think the care requirement is still there, but there is more care available to be supplied from those in the area who all feel strongly about rebuilding.

Rebuilding after a war is also a time where an enthusiastic personality that is not taken aback by or does not go into agreement with the misery and devastation about him can come to the forefront. These types are usually seen as liberal since they want to take bigger, quicker steps in rebuilding than others would if left on their own.

More often liberalism is generally not the best choice for making progress in the pro-life direction. Local exceptions to this are if liberal-minded people decide to concentrate themselves in a given area. In those cases liberalism can be the better choice for that local area, but only if the will of the people involved is enough to overcome and surpass the different results that would be had with a more conservative approach. I would call this artificial liberalism. It only is viable or approaches viability through support of the liberal-minded. If the concentration of liberal-minded people is not high enough, or they do not feel strongly enough to increase their participation, then it can still not be viable even in the local area.

The mass media of the USA is pushing the idea of liberalism and conservatism as two fixed poles of polarization. Talk radio is full of liberals and conservatives yammering back and forth at each other. This is not very productive, or not as productive as it could be. From an analytical perspective it is pretty obvious that a conservative approach will be required to get the USA out of the hole of national debt and deficit spending we have gotten ourselves into. It is so obvious a choice that the main requirement to go in this direction is just to educate John Q. Public enough so that he can operate and evaluate for himself analytically. The conservatives could make better progress in this by taking the high road of just educating others in some basic philosophical knowledge of what groups are, how they can be built up and maintained, and how they can be used as servo-mechanisms for the will of the individual to effect improvements with minimal reference to the noisy sideshow of politics. Clean people will stop complaining and take action to improve a situation when the possibility to do so is present. Dirty people will just keep complaining and yammering away, taking little or no effective action.

Politics is not the answer. There is a lot of yammering going on there by people whose priorities are to be elected or re-elected, most of which do not have much of a clue about what sane groups are. Vote for the one who will do the least damage, but count on making real progress on your own initiative.