Who Am I? Quiz : How Authoritarian/Anarchist Are You?
S’il vous plait, … answer the following questions, do a quick review and modify your answers as necessary to maximize overall consistency, and then view your Authoritarian/Anarchist profile using the key at the end of the quiz.
1. Do you believe the relationship between organisms and the earth’s evolving biosphere is;
(a) more like popcorns of different shapes and sizes popping within a heated oven, or,
(b) more like the evolving material forms in a lava lamp; i.e. flow forms within a fluid evolutionary dynamic.
2. Do you believe that the shape and movements of these organisms/material forms;
(a) derives exclusively from a ‘generative and animating engine’ in the interior of each individual form.
(b) derives from a combination of the spatial ‘opportunity’ available to the form as well as to its internal process potentialities, in the manner of the ‘hitter’ and the ‘fielding’ in baseball.
3. Do you believe that the model for lending/borrowing money should be;
(a) more like interest-bearing loans decoupled from environmental conditions where loan repayment is strictly mechanical by the time-clock, and where difficult times leads to widespread farm/asset forfeitures
(b) more like the share-cropper arrangement where the lender shares gain/loss (eg, shares risk of drought, difficult environmental/economic conditions) with the borrower;
4. Do you believe that in the hitter-fielding dynamics in baseball;
(a) the hitter’s performance is due fully and solely to his personal skills/competence; i.e. the hitter’s influence predominates over the fielding influence.
(b) the accommodating/resisting influence of the fielding attenuates/amplifies whatever personal skills/competencies the hitter has; i.e. fielding influence predominates over the hitter’s influence in the resultant ‘hitting performance’.
5. Are you more in agreement with Plato or Aristotle in that;
(a) as Aristotle contends, inside-outward influence is the sole influence in the shaping of material form; i.e. each organism has within it from the start, the knowledge of what it is going to be when it ‘grows up’ [it has the a priori knowledge of ‘final cause’ or ‘telos’]
(b) as Plato contends, outside-inward influence predominates in the shaping of material forms; i.e. there is an spatial opportunity/opening into which the form flows [like water flowing into a valley to form a lake].
6. When the split between haves and have-nots in a community become extreme, do you believe;
(a) We must continue to manage by keeping in highest priority, applying moral code to individual behaviours and finding Robin Hood and Jean Valjean guilty of theft without taking into account that they are acting to restore balance in the community.
(b) We must apportion some of the responsibility to the community as in the hitter-fielding relation and acknowledge that the ‘hitter’s performance’ [Robin Hoods and Jean Valjean’s] does not derive exclusively from their internal sourcing, but is shaped by outside-inward influence.
7. In communities where evolution proceeds by people in the desert or in land with little potential being attracted into the oasis or fertile valley like ants to a honey-pool, when they are ‘established’, is the role of their ‘founding fathers’;
(a) more like genes are to organisms in the Darwinist view, the causal agents of deterministic construction of the community; i.e. a doer-deed view that imputes all of the action to the ‘hitters’ directed by founding fathers and none to the ‘fielding/habitat’.
(b) more like wise councillors or coaches who support the community collective as it forms in response to the outside-inward orchestrating influence of the relative fertility and desolation of the habitat they share inclusion in.
8. Within the global collective, there are different political factions that are more or less persisting across multiple generations; e.g. a ‘bourgeoisie’ and a ‘proletariat’. Do you feel that it more reasonable to see the conflict between the two;
(a) more as a ‘class struggle’ between two mutually opposing groups of currently living individuals in which the natural goal of both groups is to seek, over the course of time, domination over the other.
(b) more as a process of transformation going on within ONE global collective where the goal is to cultivate and restore balance and harmony within the ONE collective in the continuing present of the shared living space.
9. Nietzsche argued that there were two forms of the ‘will-to-power’, a degenerate form wherein our sense of self derives from ‘negation’ associated with the will to dominate over opposing otherness; e.g. to seek control over others or over the circumstances we are situated in, and an ‘übermensch’ or self-transcending sense of self that is life affirming and does not depend on ‘negation’ as when our ‘Robin Hood’ is coming from BEYOND a notional ‘class struggle’ wherein the proletariat must rise up and overthrow the ‘bourgeoisie’ and is instead coming from the need to intervene to cultivate and restore balance when children do not share things in an equitable fashion.
Do you believe that imbalance in the global social dynamic should responded to by;
(a) those who are being ‘shorted’ going to battle against those who are hogging an unfair share of the ‘common wealth’, and/or, those who have rightly earned a larger share, defending their principled right to hold onto it; i.e. defining one’s ‘self’ on the basis of negation or ‘material dialectic’, or;
(b) all involved seeking to cultivate and sustain balance in the same sort of diplomatic approach as one might within ‘ONE family’; i.e. eschewing ‘taking sides’ and letting one’s sense-of-self be defined by negation, and instead letting one’s sense-of-self come from affirmation of life as a harmonious habitat-inhabitant relation (intervening, but without having to judge who is right/good and who is wrong/bad).
10. Marshall McLuhan in ‘Understanding Media’ made the point that while we tend to focus on ‘what things do’ (e.g. the production of a Cornflakes or Cadillac factory), the more comprehensive view of dynamics is in terms of our continually transforming living space and how our relations with one another and the habitat are transforming. For example, historical accounts of the glory of victory and ignominy of defeat in a succession of nuclear wars between East and West are doer-deed views that fail to acknowledge that ‘the medium is the message’ (how the common living space is being transformed).
If the global ‘class struggle’ erupted into an active ‘civil war’ between the two factions, would you;
(a) understand the conflict in terms of which side was in the right and which side in the wrong and pitch in with the side you thought was ‘in the right’.
(b) see the conflict in terms of how it influenced the continuing transformation of the living space and put yourself in the service of cultivating (restoring) balance and harmony in the overall living space dynamic.
11. Howard Zinn in ‘A People’s History of the United States’ made the similar point that the colonizers and the colonized (indigenous peoples) write down contradictory historical narratives even though they agree on the common experience of inclusion in what was going on in that same common space at that same time. For the colonizers, the historical narrative was in terms of the ‘genesis’ of a new community, and for the colonized, the historical narrative was in terms of the ‘degeneration’ of an established community. Neither of these historical narratives captured the ‘greater reality’ of their common sensory experience; i.e. of inclusion in a transforming living space. In other words, ‘genesis’ and ‘degeneration’ seem to be simultaneous, dual aspects of a single dynamic, the transformation of space, while views in terms of ‘who is doing what to whom’ are inherently subjectivity-constrained and incomplete ‘doer-deed’ views.
In reflecting on your own life experience, do you feel you could capture the world dynamic;
(a) most realistically in terms of the major doer-deed [such and such caused such and such a result] events that have occurred in your lifetime; i.e. in the manner of a compilation of the new years day review of the major events of the past year.
(b) most realistically in terms of how the living space has been transforming from the ‘point of view’ of what it is like to experience inclusion in it. a manner of description which captures those non-deterministically constructed changes, such as how cell phones and internet have induced transformation in the social dynamic (not something we deliberately did [or causally determined], but something ‘that happened to us’ in the manner of what happened to the bushman community when a coke bottle dropped out of the sky in ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’).
12. Ernst Mach, mentor of Albert Einstein and Henri Poincaré in regard to space-matter relativity, contended that “the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants at the same time as the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat”. A physical example is storms in the atmosphere. The atmospheric flow [habitat-dynamic] is conditioning the gathering storms [inhabitants] at the same time as the gathering storms are conditioning the atmospheric flow.
It is argued that this ‘principle’ applies generally, thus we could think of ourselves in this same manner, or not. It is somewhat like the sailboater – powerboater metaphors; i.e. the sailboater’s understanding is that she derives her power and steerage from the dynamic habitat that she is situationally included in, while the powerboater’s understanding is that he derives his power and steerage entirely from his inboard equipment and personal compass. The powerboater emulates the biological sciences model of the ‘organism’; i.e. he is like a ‘hitter’ that believes his ‘hitting performance’ is fully and solely the product of his own internally sourced initiative/skills, while the sailboater is like a ‘hitter’ that acknowledges that the ‘fielding’ can either amplify or attenuate his ‘hitting performance’; i.e. that the outside-inward fielding influence can ‘trump’ or ‘predominate’ over his inside-outward asserting influence on his hitting performance.
Do you believe;
(a) your superior performances/achievements are fully and solely the product (deterministic construct) of your internal physical skills, knowledge, intellection and purpose, or,
(b) your performance/achievement, whether superior or inferior are the result of ‘outside-inward orchestrating influence [fielding] predominating over inside-outward asserting influences; e.g. that an oppressive habitat can put you in a straitjacket and suppress the blossoming of your creative/productive assertive potentialities [and/or that an accommodating habitat can inspire vigorous blossoming of your creative/productive assertive potentialities].
13. Poincaré noted that people split into two groups according to whether they believe that material objects/organisms are ‘realities’ or ‘idealizations’. He calls the former ‘Cantorian realists’ [a majority in the globally dominating Western culture and a minority in the aboriginal culture] and the latter ‘pragmatist idealists’ [a majority in the aboriginal culture and a minority in the Western culture]. Like Nietzsche, he points out that we tend to let our meaning ‘slip’ so that ‘things-considered-in-themselves’ are soon spoken about as ‘things-in-themselves’, thus ‘the hurricane’ is a ripple in the atmospheric spatial-plenum that, once we have defined and word-labelled it, we talk about as a personified thing-in-itself, that ‘is strengthening’, heading north, wreaking destruction New Orleans [‘Katrina’], dissipating etc. Poincaré suggest that a ‘thing-in-itself’ does not exist unless an observer observes it. For example, if we built a glass case with a microscope built into the top of it and bacterial nourishment pumped and waste pumped out, we could cultivate billions upon billions of short-lived bacteria in the box, that would take up an enormously larger space if we could gather them all together in the same place at the same time. But like storms, they are ‘things considered in themselves’ by an observer, not objective ‘things-in-themselves’ that live independently of the human mind. What is ‘more real’ is the energy-charged transforming habitat that they are continually gathering and regathering in, and which it is impossible to separate them from; i.e. what does a convection cell look like when you take it out the flow and examine it in isolation?
In view of the alternative views available to us here, the ‘Cantorian realist’ view that contends that organisms are ‘things-in-themselves’ that live in an objective material reality that does not depend on the human observing mind, … and the ‘pragmatist idealist view that accepts that these ‘things-in-themselves’, like the storm cells, are ‘fictions’ or ‘idealizations’, ‘things-we-consider-in-themselves’ that are meanwhile ‘useful fictions’ so that our pragmatism welcomes them, but without confusing these ‘idealizations’ for local material entities within an ‘objective reality’.
Do you consider ‘your own self’;
(a) more in the realm of a local, independent, material ‘being’ that exists in an ‘objective reality’ outside of any dependency on human observers?
(b) more in the realm of a developing form within the energy-charged spatial plenum that can be pragmatically considered as a ‘thing-in-itself’ but which is in reality a ‘thing-considered-in-itself’; i.e. considered by yourself as a ‘thing-in-itself’ and having no meaning as a stand-alone object in absolute, fixed empty and infinite Euclidian reference-frame-space [aka ‘objective reality’]
14. The driver in the flow of the freeway, if he goes much faster than the other vehicles, may regard them like passive orange traffic cones that he is navigating his way through. But when drivers are going more or less the same speed they are moving under one another’s simultaneous mutual influence. In this case they let their movements be orchestrated from the outside-inward by the holey shape that opens up for them, and they are aware that their movement translates into transformation of the holey shape of space that they share inclusion in; i.e. the spatial relations are transforming and this is the more comprehensive view of their dynamics. In this mode, the ‘three body problem’ of physics which says that we can no longer solve for the particular contribution of each participant to the overall traffic flow dynamic. The collective consciousness is effectively orchestrating individual and collective movement.
On the ‘freeway of life’, do you see yourself as a driver that;
(a) is navigating within a static landscape, or,
(b) is participating in a living landscape, wherein it is impossible to isolate your own behaviour, to break it out of the general dynamic in which you are participating.
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Prior to marking your quiz, s’il vous plait, make a quick review, modifying answers where needed, with the aim of maximizing the consistency in your overall answers.
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Extra Optional Question (worth 5 points)
101. Heraclitus contended that nature’s dynamic was a ‘simultaneous unity and plurality’ in the manner of storm-cells within the flow of the atmosphere or like the opposing string and frame of the lyre [simultaneous inner-outer pushing that resolves through resonance/music (ἁρμονίη pron. harmonia) ]
“People do not understand how that which is at variance with itself agrees with itself. There is a harmony [ἁρμονίη] in the bending back, as in the cases of the bow and the lyre.”
Heraclitus was referring to the characteristics of a spherical space; i.e. if a colony of ants distribute themselves over the surface of a sphere, if there is a spreading out of the ants, then there is also, at the same time, a corresponding gathering/compressing of the ants. Similarly, if the atmosphere is differentially heated and expands in one region then it must at the same time, commensurately compress since the space on the surface of a sphere wraps over and around into itself and is ‘self-referencing’.
Aristotle, on the other hand, contended that nature’s dynamic was a ‘sequential unity and plurality’ in the manner of storm-cells on a flat plane that does not wrap over and around into itself; i.e. a ‘Euclidian’ plane of infinite extent where, when you push outwards, there is no ‘pushing back’ due to the space being finite and unbounded (the space on a sphere) since the space on a flat plane (= a sphere of infinite radius) is INFINITE and unbounded.
The question is, should the global social collective;
(a) understand our shared living space as an infinite and unbounded space wherein, when we jettison some garbage off the stern of our boat, we can assume that we are leaving it behind and distancing ourselves from it for ever and always, as is the case in the space on a flat plane, or,
(b) understand our shared living space as a finite and unbounded space wherein it is impossible to ‘leave something behind in the past’, space is a dynamic unity that is transforming in the continuing present. That is, there is not really any ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ to our property or nation-state; it is all the same space. And as Janice Joplin sings, ‘tomorrow never really comes because it is all the same effing day’ (i.e. what takes priority in the reality of our sensory experience is that we are still in the same space regardless of logic of the light going on and off and the flipping of the calendar pages).
The more your answers were weighted to (b) , the more your understanding supports the predominating of outside-inward orchestrating influence over inside-outward assertive [deterministic constructivist] influence in the dynamic phenomena we experience.
The more your answers were weighted to (a), the more your understanding supports the predominating of inside-outward asserting [deterministic constructivist] influence in the dynamic phenomena we experience.
The following two graphs will serve to put ‘authoritarianism’ and ‘anarchism’ in perspective; [larger versions will be shown in the following discussion]
We have two ways of understanding change which I am calling, for convenience, ‘The Hitter-Fielding View’ and ‘The Hitter-Only View’. They correspond to philosophical world view alternatives debated in the time of Heraclitus, Plato and Aristotle. Heraclitus and apparently Plato, preferred the view wherein outside-inward orchestrating ‘fielding’ influence predominated over inside-outward deterministic constructivist influence.
Aristotle used the concept of ‘telos’, a kind of a priori knowledge of ‘what I am going to be when I grow up’ to explain the development of an acorn to an oak tree, solely in terms of inside-outward asserting deterministic constructivist terms. This is the ‘hitter-only’ view that attributes the inside-outward asserting influence to be the full and sole influence in the development of form, behaviour and organization.
In this Aristotelian ‘hitter-only’ view where ‘fielding’ is deemed to be passive in the change process, change is constrained to transpiring through sequential periods of construction and destruction, war and peace, strife and love, coming-together and coming-apart.
By contrast, in the Heraclitean [and Platonic] ‘hitter-fielding’ view wherein the ‘hitter’ and the ‘fielding’ are understood to be in ‘conjugate hitter-fielding relation’; i.e. one dynamic with dual aspects that cannot be solved for the two contributions separated out from one another, there is an ‘invisible back-plane’; i.e. ‘fielding’ or ‘field’ is an-pervading, invisible, nonlocal, non-material influence that is in conjugate partnership with the ‘hitters’ which are visible, local material influences. The combination is captured in Mach’s principle of space-matter relativity;
“The dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants at the same time as the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat.”
The biological sciences model of the ‘organism’ was never updated to acknowledge the primary role of ‘fielding’ that ‘relativity’ and ‘quantum physics’ have affirmed as the predominating influence in the cosmos, thus we are left with a view of the organism, and our ‘self’ and in fact any ‘organization’, as acting fully and solely out of ‘its own’ local material self. In the biological sciences model, space is assumed to be an absolute, fixed empty and infinite container or x,y,z,t absolute space and absolute time [Euclidian] reference frame.
In this view that is constrained to the visible, local material, change can only come about through sequential periods of construction and destruction. Our sensory experience, on the other hand, informs us that our living space undergoes simultaneous genesis and degeneration. For example, as Howard Zinn points out in ‘A People’s History of the United States’, what the colonized people ‘saw’ was the degeneration of their long-established community while what the colonizing peoples saw, as the same time, was the genesis of a new community. But what they both felt in common; i.e. what they understood from their sensory experience of inclusion in a common living space, was ‘the transformation of this common space they shared inclusion in. McLuhan has made this same point that our sensing of visible, local, material dynamics such as the imposing of a Cadillac or Cornflakes factory in the common living space ‘matters little’ compared to the more comprehensive experience of the transformation of our common living space; i.e. the transformation of our relations with one another and the habitat. This continually unfolding transforming space is bringing us a brand new experience all the time, and it is not something we determined, anticipated or predicted, it transcends our inside-outward asserting deterministic-contructionist dynamics, and in acknowledging that, we acknowledge the conjugate hitter-fielding relation wherein outside-inward orchestrating influence predominates over inside-outward asserting deterministic constructivist influence.
Aristotle was an amazing thinker but he wasn’t perfect; he was wrong about men having more teeth than women and he was wrong about bodies falling to earth at a speed proportional to their weight [which Galileo refuted after it had been accepted for nearly two millennia]. And Aristotle is wrong about change deriving purely from inside-outward asserting deterministic constructivism, no matter that Darwin and the biological sciences and our Western ‘sense-of-self’ has been based on it for a couple of millennia. As historians of philosophy note, Aristotle failed to see the viability of the alternative world view advocated by Heraclitus;
“Plato clearly distinguished between Heraclitus’ SIMULTANEOUS unity and plurality of the cosmos and Empedocles’ SEPARATE PERIODS of Love and Strife. At the same time, they are mentioned together as both alike in believing in the unity and plurality of the cosmos; and Aristotle’s coupling of the two might conceivably have been motivated by the Platonic comparison, the important distinction between them being overlooked.”
[Plato, Sophists 242D, DK 22A 10, see also Guthrie HGPI, 455f. and 458, with further references, and D. Wiggins, ‘Heraclitus’ conceptions of flux.’, in ‘Language and Logos, Schofield and Nussbaum, 1982] … as cited by Kirk, Raven and Schofield in ‘Presocratic Philosophers’
Now, it is clear that the more comprehensive ‘hitter-fielding’ view allows for ‘simultaneous unity and plurality’ in the manner of storm-cells in the flow of the atmosphere, or more generally, in the context of relativity and quantum physics wherein visible, local, material objects/organisms/systems are ‘ripples in the energy-charged medium of space or ‘spatial-plenum’ [Bohm, Schrodinger].
In the more comprehensive ‘hitter-fielding’ view, we can let go of ‘authoritarianism’ or ‘inside-outward asserting deterministic constructivism’ and this does NOT lead to ‘anarchy=disorganization’. It leads instead to the cultivating and sustaining of outside-inward orchestrating – inside-outward asserting RESONANCE, the general case ‘explanation’ of persisting material forms.
Authoritarian hierarchy follows inevitably from a purely inside-outward asserting dynamic because it assumes a ‘point-source’ of animation, one-to-many movement as in a SOURCE that is antithetical to a many-to-one SINK. This geometry doesn’t comprehend the conjugate source-sink relation as we experience it in nature, as in plate tectonics wherein outwelling [source] and inwelling/subduction [sink] are opposing phases of a circular dynamic (lithospheric convection), the visible, local, material aspect of which is ‘continental drift’. Meanwhile, the visible, local material aspect is a ‘secondary understanding’ of this dynamic phenomena; the degenerate case wherein we start with visible, local material objects and impute to them [the ‘buck starts with them’] their own local self-asserting ‘material dynamics’.
Meanwhile, the visible, local behaviour of material objects is a degenerate ‘hitter-only’ view, the more comprehensive view being that the visible, local material objects are ‘schaumkommen’ (appearances) while the real picture is the following fluid-dynamical hitter-fielding view in which the invisible, nonlocal non-material fielding influence predominates;
To resume the earlier thread, in terms of the two graphs; i.e. the ‘hitter-fielding graph’ and the ‘hitter-only’ graph, the more comprehensive ‘hitter-fielding’ graph follows;
In this, fully comprehensive view [as compared with the ‘hitter-only’ view], we have the case where ‘genesis’ and ‘degeneration’ is going on at the same time; i.e. where we understand the world dynamic in terms of the transformation of our living space and not simply in terms of ‘what things do’ out there in front of us [e.g. the above McLuhan example]. What we, in our Western culture normally take to be absolutely existing material being, is in this view seen as persisting outside-inward-inducing – inside-outward-asserting RESONANCE. This is the essence of matter in quantum physics, as pointed out by Schrodinger, Bohm and others. This is the nature of ‘persisting organization’ as in naturally evolving communities.
In this reduced/constrained ‘hitter-only’ view of dynamics, wherein the sourcing of the dynamics is seen as deriving exclusively from visible, local, material objects/organisms/systems, the material features of the world [in this view] can only be deterministically constructed or deterministically destroyed. Social organization in this ‘degenerate case’, ‘hitter-only’ view can be only of one type, inside-outward asserting deterministic constructivism. In order to change out a scheme of social organization, then, the existing/established scheme must first be destroyed, hence the notion of ‘revolution’ that will bring about the collapse of the established system and erect a new [authoritarian] system in its place. There is no other choice BUT ‘authoritarian organization’ in this view because inside-outward asserting deterministic force associates with one-to-many flow, as in a fountain outwelling. Separating the source from the sink, the hitter from the fielding is IDEALIZATION that is not found in nature. This degenerate ‘hitter-only’ view is the default view in our Western culture, supported by the biological sciences and by Darwinism and it would have us believe that ‘the hitter’s performance’ is due fully and solely to the hitter as a biological organism, a ‘machine made of meat’, a visible, local material system notionally with ‘its own’ locally originating, internal process driven and directed behaviour. The ego loves and hates this; i.e. if we score a superior performance, we love to give ourselves full credit for it, but if we get score an inferior performance, our self-worth plummets; i.e. we start to believe we are inferior. Sometimes we see things more clearly, like if we are a .400 hitter in our local league and some festive occasion gives us the chance to try to hit in major league baseball, we wouldn’t have to reflect to get to the understanding that in the ‘real world’, the ‘hitting performance’ is the ‘net’ of the conjugate hitter-fielding relation.
There is an important point to note here. That is that the inside-outward asserting deterministic-constructivist dynamic assumes, in the case of humans [and organisms] that the source of it is internal instinct, knowledge, intellection and purpose. In other words, we commonly assume that ‘social organization’ is ‘intellection-driven’. Only if we acknowledge that the honey-pool outside-inward orchestrating influence of the individual and collective behaviour of ants and the oasis, fertile-valley outside-inward orchestrating influence on the individual and collective behaviour of men PREDOMINATES, can we allow organizing capabilities are available to us that transcend our intellectually driven approach to organization. For example, the sensory experience of motorcyclists riding in a group allows them to feel the same opportunity to enter into a resonant relation with the fluid-dynamical medium they are included in, as with the wildgeese, and if they give themselves up to it, they will move into a ‘V’ formation wherein they can go faster and farther for less expenditure of energy than they could do riding/flying solo. There are straight-forward physical principles of hydro-dynamics here wherein resonance arises from entering into a matched conjugate outside-inward – inside outward conjugate relational dynamic. Meanwhile, that is not how Western scientific thinking goes to explain such organization; it goes to inside-outward asserting intellectual deterministic constructivism.
For example, in the scientific simulations of the flock-flying of birds and the school-swimming of fish, the assumption is that this amazing movement is driven out of the ‘brains’ of the organisms. There is no need to even mention hydrodynamics and outside-inward – inside-outward ‘resonance’ in the intellectually-driven approach;
Now, those people who are convinced (and the Western culture bombards their brains with this dysfunctional understanding] that organization is ‘hitter-only’ determined or exclusively inside-outward asserting, are not going to accept that ‘authoritarianism’ can be ‘done away with’ as some people (often called ‘anarchists’) are advocating. And, they are right! They are ‘right’ logically speaking and ‘logic’ is one of those one-sided inside-outward asserting systems that cannot, as mathematicians have pointed out (Goedel, Chaitin etc.) , stand on its own shoulders and check on its own consistency; “The judge that judges those that cannot judge themselves cannot judge himself”, this side of an infinite hierarchy of judges, that is. In other words, there is no protection against an infusion of bullshit assumptions from the ‘top’ [= from the ultimate point-source of the inside-outward asserting].
The dynamic space we share inclusion in is not like that. If our actions as inhabitants are not in ‘resonance’ with the dynamics of the habitat, they will generate ‘back-pressure’ that will push back in on us and we will feel the repercussions; i.e. Mach’s principle applies;
“The dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants at the same time as the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat.”
In other words, while logic does not live in this real world where the conjugate hitter-fielding relation applies, we do, so we had better be careful how far we ‘push’ the use of this inside-outward asserting deterministic-constructivist, ‘hitter-only’ LOGIC.
To close the loop on the quiz responses, we can revisit our (a) answers and in every case, one can identify them as coming from the degenerate ‘hitter-only’ logical view in the one-sided terms of visible, local, material dynamics. In other words, the (b) answers are the non-degenerate case. This associates with Nietzsche’s comments about the ‘will-to-power’; i.e. he says that our culture has us fall into the degenerate ‘will-to-power’ case of ‘seeking power over others’ or ‘over otherness’ , a ‘slave mentality’ that gives us a sense-of-self by negation, while the non-degenerate case of will-to-power is in the positive affirmation of life, accepting life and moving into resonance with it, the way of the übermensch. The (b) answers correspond to the non-degenerate übermenschview while the (a) answers correspond to the degenerate ‘slave’ view.
The (b) answers do not reject the influence of inside-outward, internal sourcing of animation, they merely see the general case as being the predominating of outside-inward influence as with the sailboater in the storm or the hitter who understands that his inside-outward asserting hitting potentiality is amplified or attenuated [over-driven] by the outside-inward fielding influence to give his actual ‘hitting performance’ [which is therefore not simply ‘his’].
In view of this interpretation, ‘anarchy’ is an idealization or ‘virtual pole’, an artefact of the ‘hitter-only’ idealization that does not ‘in reality’, come into play. A score of all (a) answers would relate to totally ‘authoritarian’ dynamics, but a score of all (b) answers does not relate to totally anarchist behaviour wherein each individual is jousting inside-outward-assertively at his own windmills [chaos]. It relates instead to understanding the general case of dynamic phenomena in terms of a hitter-fielding relation [a conjugate habitat-inhabitant relational dynamic].
A strong (a) score implies a strong association with deterministic constructivism, with knowledge-and-intellect-driven behaviour, a ‘degenerate’ perspective that comes after the community has evolved in the manner of ants orchestrated by the honey-pools in the landscape or humans orchestrated by the fertile valleys and oases in the landscape. After organization emerges in the swarming/clustering/community-forming, this organization can be captured by analytical thinking, in the inside-outward deterministic-constructivist sense.
The ‘sustainability’ question arises naturally here;…. is the continuing organization of the community due to the continuing outside-inward orchestrating influence predominating over inside-outward asserting influence, or can we forget about the former and assume that ‘the community has arrived’ as in ‘the baby has been delivered’ and that the latter is now dominant?
No, that is not the case, ‘sustainability’ in nature; i.e. in the non-degenerate case, is the persisting ‘outside-inward – inside-outward’ resonance. The degenerate case, if people believe in it, converts sustainability into a ‘hitter-only’ one-sided inside-outward asserting deterministic constructivism; i.e. it turns the community into a MACHINE.
If one considers the example of the honey bee and its hexagonal cells to hold its larvae/honey, cells are the deterministic constructions of the bees, but arise also in soap bubble clusters and other situations involving the ‘packing of spheres’; i.e. if a collection of individuals set out working radially from where they are standing to eke out a space or construct a shelter, in crowded conditions, the individuals around you will be using the outside of your walls for an inside wall for their shelter. Thus it is completely subjective as to whether a wall is an inside or outside wall. This defines hexagonal cell clusters, and it is the limiting geometry of packed spheres. It reduced building materials by half and it eliminates the 37% waste space in packed spheres.
The point is that in the bee community, outside-inward orchestrating influence continues to predominate over inside-outward asserting influence, or else the highly optimized geometry of hexagonal cells would not be possible. To deliberately construct hexagonal cells would have to build the three base rhombs with large angle of 109 degrees 28 ½ minutes and the small angle 70 degrees 31 ½ minutes.
But, as studious observers concluded a century ago as recorded in ‘The Life of the Bee’, by Maurice Maeterlinck, 1901;
“There is a theory, originally propounded by Buffon and now revived, which assumes that the bees have not the least intention of constructing hexagons with a pyramidal base, but that their desire is merely to contrive round cells in the wax; only, that as their neighbors, and those at work on the opposite side of the comb, are digging at the same moment and with the same intentions, the points where the cells meet must of necessity become hexagonal. Besides, it is said, this is precisely what happens to crystals, the scales of certain kinds of fish, soap-bubbles, etc., as it happens in the following experiment that Buffon suggested. “If,” he said, “you fill a dish with peas or any other cylindrical bean, pour as much water into it as the space between the beans will allow, close it carefully and then boil the water, you will find that all these cylinders have become six-sided columns. And the reason is evident, being indeed purely mechanical; each of the cylindrical beans tends, as it swells, to occupy the utmost possible space within a given space; wherefore it follows that the reciprocal compression compels them all to become hexagonal. Similarly each bee seeks to occupy the utmost possible space within a given space, with the necessary result that, its body being cylindrical, the cells become hexagonal for the same reason as before, viz., the working of reciprocal obstacles.”
The ‘reciprocal obstacles’ corresponds to the reciprocal disposition (Einstein) that characterizes the spherical space of relativity [the conjugate hitter-fielding relational space of nature].
Thus, there is no reason to assume that, generally in nature, ‘evolution stops’ and ‘inside-outward asserting authoritarianism, knowledge-and-intellect driven deterministic constructivism ‘takes over’. Those communities that seem to be authoritarian; i.e. inside-outward driven and directed, may be continuing to derive their form from resonance between the predominating outside-inward orchestrating influence and the inside-outward asserting influence.
It is our Western culture that is in the habit of applying analytical inquiry to such systems and solving them for inside-outward deterministic constructivist solutions. It is always possible to reduce (b) to its degenerate form, (a), to assume that the bees construction of the hexagonal cells are fully and solely inside-outward asserting deterministic constructivist; i.e. to assume that these hexagonal forms are intellect and purpose driven when they are not.
A high (b) score thus associates with an understanding of dynamics in terms of a conjugate habitat-inhabitant relational dynamic, and implicitly sees the (a) choice as a special degenerate case wherein one ‘shuts out’ the outside-inward orchestrating influence and seeks to ‘opt out of nature’s evolutionary dynamic’ and to take over the job of evolution oneself, creating one’s own version using inside-outward-asserting knowledge, intellection and purpose-driven deterministic constructivism [this is how authoritarian ‘traps and enslaves us’ because it is immanent in our nature to be participants in evolution].
In the former (b) mode, one effectively has a sense of ‘self’ as a participant in evolution. in the continuing transformation of the dynamic living space one is situationally included in, while in the latter ‘a’ mode, one effectively has a ‘sense of self’ as one who has ‘already arrived’, whose ‘cup is full’ and who has the internal knowledge, intellectual powers and purpose to deterministically construct the future.
Of course, we are all able to switch between these modes and it is the predominating habit or predominating tendency, in the Western culture, to opt for (a) in our collective organization, while it is the predominating tendency, in aboriginal cultures, to opt for (b) in collective organization.
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October 31, 2011
Postscript: In response to feedback that I have not closed the loop here in terms of what the above understanding means practically, I am appending one particular ‘summarizing position’. This is simply an ‘example position’ since my feeling is that a collective rejection of the degenerate ‘hitter-only’ view of the world/social dynamics as the community ‘organizing ethic’ and restoring of the ‘hitter-fielding’ view, will pull forth the relevant and appropriate propositions and actions in step with the evolving need. In any case, here’s a stab at a ‘position’ that aims to be one step closer to where the rubber meets the road; …
What the An-archist ‘Occupy’ Initiatives Should ‘Demand’; – The [‘demand-transcending’] restoring of ‘transformation’ to its natural primacy which in effect acknowledges that ‘material growth’ in the economy is ‘illusion’.
To explore ‘transformation’ and ‘growth’, one must examine ‘employment’ since it is a primary influence on our personal ‘evolution’ or ‘growth’. Employment: -what is it exactly? It’s current incarnation is tied to ‘authoritarianism’, and authoritarianism is a one-way, top-down [inside-outward] asserting deterministic process aimed at achieving an explicit outcome or outcomes. Authoritarian ‘leadership’ is defined by the responsibility of achieving explicit deterministic-constructivist [production] goals. Meanwhile, leadership within a collective activity that is without explicit goals associates FIRSTLY with ‘transformation’; e.g. the fertile valley opens up undefined spatial possibility that orchestrates the behaviour and organization of the arriving settlers [whether continuing to arrive from out of the desert or out of the womb]. Coaching and encouraging one’s brothers and sisters in this ‘offering oneself up’ to outside-inward, valley-orchestrated, evolving community-influenced transformation, that acts upon our inside-outward asserting self-potentials, is inherently ‘non-hierarchical leadership’ or ‘an-archist leadership’. Who will open themselves up where and how to let their inside-outward asserting potentialities blossom forth under the outside-inward orchestrating-and-shaping influence of an emerging niche-need in the habitat/community is entirely up for grabs in a naturally evolving community [i.e. in a community wherein outside-inward orchestrating influence predominates over inside-outward asserting influence].
As the community comes together and grows, … our cultural habit is to use our ANALYTICAL THINKING TOOL to ‘decompose’ the mental model of the system-of-community down into ‘employers’ and ‘employees’. Note that while analysis re-renders dynamics in the one-sided hitter-only terms of deterministic constructivism and superimposes this on its ’employer’ – ’employee’ view, this does not meant that this is the way the evolving community ‘really works’, it is the way the ‘analytical model’ works. This is the beginning of the ‘disaster’ where we start to see a naturally evolving system in the inverted, synthetic terms of it having been deterministically constructed, … where, as Emerson says, … the tool runs away with the workman. The family farm would let their members grow into (be shaped outside-inwardly by) newly evolving needs when and as they emerged, … rather than ‘laying them off’ for having had their skills ‘obsoleted’ by the ‘changing times’ and advertising for new farm employees with the appropriate up-to-date skill set. The family farm would evolve with the ‘times’ (in harmony with the transforming living space) and it would not experience ‘unemployment’ since the community exercise is to live in harmony with the continually evolving living space. This is the ‘hitter-fielding’ view of community, where the ‘farm-community’ understands itself as a flow-feature within the unfolding flow of the transforming living-space, rather than a one-sided, ‘hitter-only’, ‘farm-machine’ plunked down in the valley like a wind-up toy, ready to do its one-sided stuff. Authoritarian politics has been busy re-casting ‘community’ as a wind-up machine-toy directed inside-outwardly from out of its own internal knowledge, intellection and purpose, relating to the fertile valley by way of inputs to suck in fuel to feed the machineand outputs to discharge its wastes (humans included). What is being purged in this authoritarian political approach that tries to convert the community into a wind-up machine-toy, is the natural outside-inward flow of orchestrating influence that naturally seeks to build a resonant hitter-fielding relation and bring into blossom the assertive potentialities of individuals and collectives.
The ‘hitter-only’ economy, the result of the analytical modeling of community, is comprised of authoritarian employers that employ, first and foremost, the ‘machine model’ featuring interchangeable parts called ‘employees’. Authoritarian community leaders have embraced this degenerate, ‘hitter-only’ model of community, and have, in a perfectly logical fashion [once one accepts the bogus hitter-only world view as a foundational assumption], reoriented from ‘transformation’ to ‘economic productivity’ aka ‘growth’ Economic efficiency seeks to reduce the cost per unit of production which leads in turn to ‘economies of scale’, a breeder of ‘ever-bigger business’ and ‘ever-larger markets’ [The larger countries in terms of population have enjoyed the benefits of larger markets in the restricted trade environment imposed by sovereign statism, and in the current trans-national market development phase [via ‘free trade agreements’], the size of the ‘growth-oriented’ economic machines continues to build.]
The ‘root problem’, then, has been the UNNATURAL ‘trading out’ of ‘evolution’ (sustaining conjugate habitat-inhabitant harmony), for ‘growth’. ‘Growth’ is the degenerate form of ‘evolution’ that sees dynamics in ‘hitter-only’ terms while ‘evolution’ or ‘spatial transformation’ is the ‘hitter-fielding’ view of dynamics as in Mach’s principle.
A 1%-versus-99% disparity in wealth/property is the ‘result’ rather than the ‘cause’ of current imbalance and disharmony. The source of the rising disparity and the misery of having to fit into explicitly defined, ‘pre-formed’ ‘job openings’ in the economy, is the trade-out of ‘growth’ for ‘evolution’. Demands for ‘guaranteed minimum income’ and the like will not resolve the problem of the economy trying to hammer one into predefined jobs that happen to be ‘unfilled’ in the manner of hammering a round peg into a square hole. This problem starts from the trading out of hitter-fielding resonance based evolution for its degenerate form, ‘growth’ based on plunking down into the living space, giant windup machine-toys called ‘employers’ that are fueled by little power-pills called ‘humans’.
As has been much discussed, ‘demand’ is not the appropriate term to apply in regard to bringing about the needed change, since it implies asking someone [or ordering someone] to do something, someone whose leadership should have been to coach and encourage the collective in its evolutionary journey. Instead, that leadership has usurped or hijacked its coaching-and encouraging mandate and has anchored itself and its ‘self-assumed authority’ to the inverted [inside-outward predominating over outside-inward] degenerate form of community-evolution called ‘economic growth’ and thus anchored itself to the engines of economic growth, aka ‘big business’ with their degenerate will-to-power that seeks domination over others [win/lose competition].
In place of ‘demands’, then, a simple statement of rejection of the current degenerate form of authoritarianism [a statement of decolonization, in effect] along with a non-excluding invitation for all to join in restoring hitter-fielding evolution of community and self to its natural primacy over ‘hitter-only’, deterministic-constructivist growth that enslaves the community and the individual. Leadership with the coaching and encouraging orientation can be re-cultivated and these undertakings will proceed regardless of the recalcitrance of those choosing to remain in the sinking ship of growth-oriented authoritarianism. Occupied zones can serve as continuing venues for mutual aid, dialogue, libraries and leadership cultivation, as resonance-based community rises out of the ashes of the authoritarian growth-oriented meltdown, to natural predominance.
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November 1, 2011
John McMurtry’s ‘The Cancer Stage of Capitalism’ (1999), [click for pdf text] makes the same point that is made in the above essay, but in different words/concepts. He says that the money economy has decoupled from the ‘real economy’ or ‘life economy’ and that money is following the movement of money, rather than real world production. I am saying the same thing in terms that we are falsely assuming that the ‘hitting performance’ is due entirely to the hitter, when it is instead being amplified/attenuated by the fielding. That is, the CEO or corporation or ‘producer’ of whatever sort is seen as being the full and sole source of his ‘production’, but the movement of money is the ‘fielding’ that may amplify or attenuate the ‘hitting performance’ [‘producing performance’], with the result that capital is no longer moving so as to nurture the most deserving productive activities in the ‘real economy’. As McMurtry says;
‘The root cause [of the Asian meltdown],’ says Japan’s Deputy Minister of Finance, Euiseke Sakakibara, ‘has been the huge inflow of capital into Malaysia, Thailand, Korea and China. And all of a sudden … all of it has fled from those countries. … This is not an Asia crisis. It is a crisis of capitalism.’
The meaning of capital through all its historical phases – cattle, chattel and capital – is ‘wealth that can be used to produce more wealth’. The meaning no longer applies here. If the meaning of a concept no longer applies to its referent, the referent is something else. A conclusion follows.
The crisis is not truly of capitalism, but a non-functioning deformation of it. Like all cancers, the mutant forms of uncontrolled, disoriented self-multiplication have no committed function to their life-host.
The money sequence paradigm has in this way been superannuated by reality. Three months before the economies of Asia collapsed, in what should have been a wake-up from the long sleep of dogma, the IMF, the structural adjuster of world economies, celebrated Korea and Thailand as having ‘the fundamentals right’. The fact is that neither the IMF nor the transnational financial institutions it represents, are competent to understand the economic breakdowns they have led, one after another, across the world.”
Malaysia, Thailand, Korea and China were first given a huge inflow of pitches they could get good hits from, and suddenly they were no longer getting any pitches they could hit. Their hitting performance collapsed, but it wasn’t due to their hitting skills collapsing, it was due to the attenuating influence of ‘fielding’, and ‘fielding’ in McMurtry’s language is ‘the movement of money’.
Once again, the ‘hitter-only’ model that built into the foundations of our Western culture,’strikes out’. And it makes no sense at all to presume that ‘the market will fix itself’ if we let those things collapse from debt that can’t pay their debts since the movement of money has decoupled from the real economy and the ‘producer potentials’ that have fallen into debt (whose hitting performance has collapsed), like Malaysia, Thailand, Korea and China during the ‘Asian meltdown’, may be the casualties of ‘fielding’ rather than any collapse of their producing potentials; i.e. ‘fielding’, the outside-inward influence that predominates over the inside-outward ‘hitting’ influence, is having a stronger modulating influence on ‘hitting performance’ than variances in ‘hitting competencies’, therefore, capital is not flowing naturally so as to nurture deserving producers in the real economy.
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