Saturday, August 24, 2013

On Politics

The dyad of political acts and the dyad of social identity 

Out of my discussions with others, I began to realize that politics has an entirely individual component, which is a joining and a separation, based on social identity and the emotional dyad of loving and loathing. This dyad is, of course, related to preference or affinity we have towards something.  

A normally healthy individual is more or less always in touch with the things he loves and loathes, however these emotions may become displaced through a fixation. One common fixation is known as infatuation, such as when a potential lover is transformed into the meaning and purpose of one’s life, this is often associated with immaturity; however something similar can occur in older individuals. The will to infatuation, that is, the desire to make a particular feeling of love a permanent fixture in one’s mind, is very much conditioned by society, and may not be natural to individuals at all.

The opposite effect, that of loathing or hatred can follow the same course: Any individual possessed by hatred of an enemy can become fixated on his or her negative relationship with that enemy, and attempt to reorganize their life and their thinking around that relationship into a more or less permanent mindset. 
Obviously, if one determines that there is the appearance or of an infatuation or permanent loathing of an individual, thing, or group, a thoughtful person could take a step back and reanalyze one’s relationship, perhaps alleviating oneself of these most extreme and fixed forms of thought. Arguably this sort of social fixation could have something to do with how flexible thought comes about, in the individual’s need to reassess and reevaluate the contents of his own thoughts. 

Suppression of Curiosity

A lack of natural inquisitiveness in human behavior is usually the result of arrogance or fear. In the case where the individual becomes arrogant, it will be apparent that he or she enjoys dismissing the points of views they haven’t already agreed with, or else they become prepossessing, believing that almost any assumptions that they make are probably correct.

Persons whom have been bullied intellectually typically respond to new information in forms like, “I need to ask someone about it,” and, “You’re only saying what is true for you.” In other words, strong disbelief, or distrust of new information is likely to become a personality trait of a person who is mentally non-acquisitive.
There is a certain amount of this limitation which can be said to come about entirely, ‘naturally’, or at least, ‘socially’, such as in how a particularly family culture reacts to new information, and how that culture affects newer members of the family during their developmental stages.

The Role of Government

Governments are agencies which administrate and control societies and groups. The basic level of government is Mom and Dad. Most families work together, even when the children are very young, as a hierarchy in which the youngest children are expected to possess few skills and know very little, but require a lot of direction and guidance from authority. One could even say that this concept of authority present in families (since it is, after all, the most familiar) extends into our educational system and gradually, by extension, to all of society. This is not to say that family is the strictest component of authoritarianism extant or possible, it is merely a weak example of the same sort of organizational principle which is generally characteristic of government.

Within the concept of governance - state governance, group governance, etc. – there are many different varieties and levels of coercion at play. For the purposes of clarity, I consider coercion and freedom to be a dyad worthy of their own discussion.

A government is an organic entity capable of growth and evolution: This is another topic I would defer.


Similar to the family, the cult can be seen as a primitive societal model. While the family appears entirely natural, with its birthrights, legal and financial interdependence, and genetic relationships, the cult is artificial, the creation of an individual, a group or family, which maintains its control through one or more institutions, and may or may not constitute the government of a state.

Curiosity seems to break down almost completely in cult members. The typical pattern of cult member thinking is that he or she has found a particular source of truth that outweighs all others, and that following that truth, or the source of it, will cause themselves to become successful, and possibly superior to other individuals who do not have access to their source.

In order for cultism to work well, ordinary mental acquisitiveness has to be turned off. Either the person who is normally mentally acquisitive is warned that his ‘questioning’ is counter-productive, or led to understood that in order for indoctrination to proceed, questioning will not be tolerated. This can be understood and promoted as ‘protocol’, or fairness to others. Another technique which is commonly used is that only the leader is allowed to ask questions.

Cultism is an elemental form of politics. It describes for people a way that society ought to be, or how its members ought to be, including how they should act, and thus fulfills one of the main roles of politics. The “source”, or leader, is the primary holder of power in the organization. Other groups may be established, either from cadre recruited from the second categories of indoctrinates, or as even as a professional soldier class.

Other levels of Indoctrination

I would like to look at whether the roles and forces at work in cults may be the same or similar to those at play in normal social politics. Having identified that cults are multi-level, and indicated how the ideals of the cult are used to promote a hierarchy among believers, does normal politics seem to try to accomplish the same bifurcation in some way? Can we even speak of individuals of a free society as indoctrinated?

The Role of Religion

A part of politics that always utilizes mental and emotional issues to control the playing field is religion. Whenever religion is a part of politics, we can see its bifurcating influence on society, whether in judging the, “morality” of some, or the righteousness of leaders and causes.  This historical influence of religion on politics can be seen to be very similar to the distinct operations of cults among their own members.   
In a totally free society, politics would be available to anyone. However, individuals and societies today cannot really be described as totally free in any country, with various tendencies outlawed. Why is it that in ordinary countries in which freedoms are advertised, that certain acts are not free, such as travel to foreign countries, and the “morality” of some tendencies is judged insufficient to allow their political existence or freedom of speech? Obviously some great fear must inhabit the basic fundamental conscience of all politics, not just the politics of tyranny.

It is important to note that all politics has a dual nature: While first, and foremost, politics is, by definition, a concern, “of the people” (which is, after all, only a ‘general’ definition describing a ‘general’ sense of understanding), politics is first and foremost, all of the exact concerns about the creation, use, maintenance, manipulation and destruction of all power in society.

How Individuals confront Political Situations

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term meaning the tendency for an individual’s mind to register discomfort with conflicting information about the World. Everyone has it now and then; it is not just something that happens to people whom disagree with you. It occurs in everyday situations of compromise within a family, where one person is asked to sacrifice principles in order to maintain a consensus, for example, and it also commonly occurs in political situations where compromise has been sought among politicians. One knows that the compromise violates principles of his political party, yet one or more trusted political figures has signaled his agreement with the violation.

Anyone holding his political beliefs seriously may experience cognitive dissonance until he is able to reconcile the new situation into his political belief system. In this way our political belief system is a lot like an extension of our personal belief system. We understand that politics may be very important to us, perhaps even important to our survival, therefore we are likely to place a similar level of importance and feeling into the political issues we see confronting us as we do to the issues confronting our personal relationships, for example. For some, politics may even be a fully integrated part of their world view, although for others, the importance of politics rises and falls along with the amount of 'noise' it generates in their lives. 

Oligarchy vs. Democracy

This last discussion illustrates one of the keys to how oligarchies survive. In a low-noise political environment, most people care little for politics, so Oligarchy may seem fully logical and coherent with the world view of most individuals in that society since it excludes them from having direct control.
One could say that Democracy both creates and demands a high level of awareness and participation, which makes life more exciting and informative. People are always concerned about politics because they know they have some input and play a role in the process, even though they may have questions and doubts about why it is such a small one.

Let’s return to the example of the Constitution of the U. S. A. This constitution hides a time-limited President (a type of Oligarch) within its structure. A U.S. president has many of the same prerogatives Monarch’s have during his time in office. He can direct almost every government agency within the framework of laws, and even enter into wars that are limited in scope and duration. Republicanism considers Oligarchy tolerable as long as it falls into a remedial framework of checks and balances, allowing the Constitutional Oligarchy of the Presidency to be removed periodically and in emergencies so that the Pluralistic nature of the society can be preserved.

Of course, rule by a President is not the only possible form of Oligarchy in a Republic, and when a political party is dominant in Congress, you have the free ability for one tendency to make all laws and change society in limited ways, as mediated by the Constitution and the courts.

The Hidden effect of Plurality

A Plurality is really a kind of special interest. While a Plurality may be as large as a majority political party, it is also consists of those organizations and groups that navigate local and global power structures, including the Media, to achieve their ends.

There are some institutional forms of Oligarchy in the U.S., which are enshrined in the Constitution. However, there are additional non-constitutional ways Oligarchical patterns enter into the government, such as through powerful agencies of Pluralism, such as Lobbies, including Churches, and Lobbies that represent Corporations and foreign powers. By lying under the radar, and controlling Media, Lobbies can deeply influence politics without most individual citizens being aware of them.


Earlier in this article, I discussed how our natural ability to question may be truncated or rendered ineffective in various ways. One can see how, through a variety of social and political structures, the ability of individuals to pose the right questions about politics may be affected positively, oftentimes negatively. If one surveys anti-war movements, for example, we see that these often arise from the tendency for governments to plant “false flags”, which are often detected by the culture, resulting in a split society on life and death issues like war. Not just the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, but the poor manners and statements by the American President, and military actions as well, gradually led to more and more people being opposed to the Vietnam War, leading to its oddly inopportune ending.

There is no particular Human tendency that causes nations to fight or avoid fighting in wars. Humans are as likely to start war, given a reason, as they are to pursue a strategy of maintaining peace: It all depends on the information available. The natural enemy of disinformation is the society itself and its natural inquisitiveness.