Thursday, May 13, 2010

More than liberal and conservative.

Left versus Right; Liberal versus Conservative;  Republican versus Democrat, with a dash of Independent or Tea Party somewhere along this bipolar continuum? One day we won't be a bipolar nation. Both sides can be divisive, but most social conservatives require divisiveness for their identity.  They couldn't be themselves without it.  It belongs to their developmental makeup or meme that includes competition, individuality and individual achievement, internal causation/ locus of control, individual responsibility over consensus, and a tendency to see society as a composed of strictly divided groups (race, religion, culture, politics) rather than an even playing field where differences might make a group stronger and more integrated (what I like to call Integral Strength).  

Wake up, friends, this is more than a question liberal and conservative, and as long as we continue to think there are only two political variables we are doomed to be a bipolar nation.

In reality there are (at least) 4 independent variables Free (Libertarian) and Order (Authoritarian) AS WELL AS Socially Exclusive (Conservative) and Socially Inclusive  (Liberal).
Multidimensional. That's reality.  This explains my see-sawing between party affiliation and the/my typical Milliennial tendency to feel neither of the two major parties are particularly attractive.  Personally I hope the disillusionment of the Millennials will persist and create a richer variety in dialogue.  

I think that a rise of four parties might be potentially destabilizing, although it could work just as most parliamentarian coalition - building works.  But I believe it would be constructive to use better vocabulary to name the reality of these four variables, because it would make polarizing and demonizing language a degree more difficult, thus causing dialogue to stretch and grow beyond the traditional name calling.

To qualify that, I'd like to observe more debates in existing multi-party systems.

The Nolan Chart is an early fore-runner of the multidimensional, which arranges the quadrants according to level of freedom, thus putting libertarianism at "the top," which suits the libertarian author.  The idea of libertarianism is a sweet and utopian one, however.  Given that humans have strong vices (drives to better themselves at the detriment of others) such as greed, revenge, vigilantism, spite, lust, etc, I think it is useful that we come to terms with a limit to certain freedoms to commit those crimes.

Hobbes says in the second part of his Leviathan:  "The purpose of a commonwealth is given at the start of Part II: THE final cause, end, or design of men (who naturally love liberty, and dominion over others) in the introduction of that restraint upon themselves, in which we see them live in Commonwealths, is the foresight of their own preservation, and of a more contented life thereby; that is to say, of getting themselves out from that miserable condition of war which is necessarily consequent, as hath been shown, to the natural passions of men when there is no visible power to keep them in awe, and tie them by fear of punishment to the performance of their covenants….
The commonwealth is instituted when all agree in the following manner: I authorise and give up my right of governing myself to this man, or to this assembly of men, on this condition; that thou give up, thy right to him, and authorise all his actions in like manner."

And thus we have a society and government.

What do you think?

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