A diagram

Dec. 8th, 2009 03:19 am
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
[personal profile] katsaris
A diagram I made a week or two ago, to help clarify some of my political thinking:

The grid's leftmost column and its central colors are based on the colors of the flag of the French Revolution - blue for freedom, white for equality, red for fraternity (solidarity).

The grid is circular -- the history of many revolutions shows us how egalitarian ideas have transformed to group loyalty, which transforming itself into privilege eventually creates a new aristocracy and a new tyranny. (Social Fascism).

On the right of that, ideas of unrestrained competition based on sheer meritocracy, fail to take into account that the accumulation of wealth, experience, position, inevitably tilts subsequent competitions towards the already powerful, thus eventually creating again a new aristocracy. (Corporate Capitalism).

The only model that may avoid aristocracy is that of Social Democracy -- in which the prosperity created is used in a spirit of solidarity to support the weakest members of society so as to level the field as far as possible for subsequent competition. (Social Democracy)


Some hasty definitions:


COMPETITION: The conflict over limited resources.
-Contesting: Most common in athletic competitions, a conflict with a clear winner or loser, without the choice being dependent on an external judge (who, if they exist at all, take a limited role). The faster, or the stronger, or the most capable wins, regardless of what either the establishment or popular will demands. The purest form of Meritocracy.
Problems: Instead of increasing one's own potential, one may choose to sabotage the adversary's potential instead. In the international arena this form of contesting becomes known as WAR.
-Electing: Any form of competition in which the winner is decided by popular will -- or any form of competition in which the electors are larger in number than the contestants and who elevate the winner above them. Most common in democratic processes, but also in situations such as companies competing over market share.
Problems: potential of deception and deceptive populism, manipulation of ignorance and group loyalty.
-Bidding: The converse of electing: any situation in which the number of potential contestants is larger than that of the decicion-makers - and possess a higher position than even the one offered. Most common in job-hunting.
Problems: Nepotism and other such favouritism (e.g. party membership), personal biases (racism, sexism, etc), exchange of personal favours taking advantage of both the winner ("I had to sleep with the director.") and disadvantaging the losers ("I wouldn't sleep with the director.").

MERIT: Any productive ability or quality.
-Talent: Morally neutral inborn abilities which one either has or lacks to a lesser or greater decree. Eventually DNA manipulation may move this aspect of life rightwards - where the rich could genetically gift their children with extra potential at a genetical level.
-Experience: All abilities, especially knowledge, which can be trained or grow with use. The accumulation of experience becomes an asset which can tilt subsequent competition.
-Virtue: Using one's asset according to society's value-system. Sometimes a work-ethic that directly boosts own's capabilities, other times just useful to pretend to have in the case of elections. But in contests and biddings, true virtue is often detrimental as it prevents one from unethically taking advantage of rivals' weaknesses.

ACHIEVEMENT: The fulfillment of personal desire.
-Prosperity: All aspects of quality of life which usually can't be easily traded away or hoarded: Health, longevity, leisure time, availability of information, communication, and transportation. When prosperity spreads to the whole of society, it becomes practically indistinguishable from the square on its left: freedom, especially from fear and want.
The abundance of prosperity has the potential pitfall of SLOTH.
-Wealth: Material possessions which can be exchanged or hoarded. The accumulation of wealth creates one of the potential forms of aristocracy (plutocracy) - material dominance, which is the square on its right.
Accumulation of wealth beyond one's actual benefit is GREED.
-Recognition: Which unlike prosperity can't be infinite, not even potentially, but unlike wealth can't be easily hoarded, exchanged or even lost. Many times it's indistinguishable from position, which grants a benefit to the owner of such -- other (rarer) times it becomes a detriment.
Its lack of clear benefits means that its accumulation is an issue of PRIDE.


It's getting late, ended up writing up only about one third of what I planned. Will complete this in a future post, with possibly one more diagram.


katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
Aris Katsaris

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