My Political Principles: Methods & Madness

Anyone who boldly waded through Part I, Part II, and Part III of my relatively brief explication of my political principles might have been left with the impression that I could not have come to these conclusions by the usual routes.  They would be quite correct in that assessment.  Like anyone else, my conclusions are strongly shaped by my analytical framework, and so in order to understand the genesis of my political philosophy, it might help to understand how I arrived at such an insane thing.

My analytical framework often employs what I tend to think of as an isorropic analysis.  I search for the line upon which we can find the locus of all points in a given system, specifically where that system is able to balance itself.  My goal was to find out what structure exists that can keep a system in a state of dynamic equipoise, an ever-shifting balance which allows us to organically adapt to the circumstances of an ever-changing world while retaining enough of our previous adaptations to allow us to reuse those adaptations when they once again become useful and continue to use the adaptations that are still currently useful.

This goal of seeking dynamic equipoise without a commitment to solving all the problems of human political organization once and for all is strikingly at odds with other political projects which are generally trying to find the one solution to fit us all.  It is not concerned (like conservatives and progressives) with anchoring itself to a set of historical values and moving society toward living out those values.  It is not concerned with solving the problems of a society with particular cultural characteristics (like monarchists and anarchists).  It is not concerned with applying a particular pathology across the board as many ideologies like to do.

It might seem as if my conclusion in favor of heterarchical structures is simply an endorsement of our intersecting global political structures as they currently exist.  After all, they are distinctly heterarchical when viewed as a planetwide network of human social structures.  But this is not quite true; my explication of heterarchy is not simply an endorsement of the status quo.  I favor social structures that suit the culture of the people in a society, and societies do not always have such a structure.  For example, a constitutional monarchy would probably have worked far better in Afghanistan than a democracy of any sort.  I also favor more democratic structures where the cultural and economic circumstances are more agreeable to implementing them and maintaining them.

Another issue many contemporary political thinkers might have with my proposed model is that it does not have any built-in rights or duties of individuals.  While I am strongly in favor of enumerated rights and duties of the members of any human social group, I also have to admit that rights are only valuable if the community upholds them, and duties only binding if the community holds its members accountable to fulfilling them.  The practical difficulty of trying to enumerate rights and duties under my heterarchical viewpoint is that there are so many layers of complexity to its organization that enumerating the most useful rights and duties for each kind of political structure based on the cultural and physiological characteristics would be exceedingly time-consuming and I lack the breadth of knowledge to do so for every community in the past, present, and future of our species.  It seems more sensible to me to provide the framework for finding the answer to that question and let the communities themselves answer it, perhaps with assistance from an outside expert perspective.

An extension of this problem is enumerating the rights and duties of individuals moving between and among different communities.  Should I at least not attempt to enumerate these?  While that is a tempting notion, I generally prefer to recognize that communities can and do work with each other to decide under which circumstances they will allow or promote the movement of individuals between them.  This will certainly leave certain individuals in a bind where they live in a community that will not let them leave because my political philosophy does not specifically provide a structural mechanism by which they could leave.  But it also does not provide a structural mechanism to prevent them from being extricated from the situation by another community, nor does it propose that they should hold as inviolate the policies of the community that prevent them from leaving.  This is once again a function of my lack of interest in a futile attempt at solving every problem via my political philosophy.

This may seem like an absolutely absurd method to contemporary (and many historical) political thinkers, and I don’t necessarily disagree.  It is simply the method I use, and I have a keen awareness of its oddities and limitations because I have familiarized myself with the political philosophies of so many others.  I hope that the madness of my method will not prevent it from being helpful to others who wish to explore the vast reaches of political thought and understand the structure underlying the global human network of communities.

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7 Responses to My Political Principles: Methods & Madness

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