Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Thought 150: Political Diversity

The human population like the natural world showcases much diversity; diversity in individuals, diversity in body types and facial features, diversity in cultures and customs, diversity in occupations and socio-economic roles, diversity in beliefs and opinions, diversity in personality preferences and basic psychological make-up, diversity in physical and intellectual ability, diversity in lifestyles and habits and so on. 

As Mark Passio rightly observes, more diversity is a sign of evolution advancing survival whereas growing uniformity is a sign of involution advancing extinction, much again like the natural world whose key to success is biological diversity which, when harmed, causes negative consequences for Mother Γαῖα. 

Darwin himself saw diversity as a key aspect of his evolutionary theory. 

When it comes to the contentious realm of politics which concerns the organisation of power in society, a great diversity of views is also apparent, often fighting each other for the final say so and not without violence.

Researcher Mark Passio argues that this conflict-ridden reality is essentially the fruit of engineered divide and conquer strategies of mass mind control and that the most pertinent difference that lies between individuals is the level of mind control they're under.

My response to that is a quote from Nietzsche
"He is a thinker – he knows how to make things simpler than they are."
The point I am making is that perhaps diversity of political viewpoints like natural diversity is a healthy phenomenon despite appearances to the contrary. 

It forces us to consider different viewpoints and grow in our understanding, if we are not already closed off from rational debate. 

As philosopher Heidegger put it, struggle is the first law of Being and this struggle can be seen as a healthy if unpleasant part of what advances survival, to use Passio's wording.

With this in mind, political thinker Hannah Arendt was sensitive to the importance of political diversity because for her truth only appeared in the interplay and exchange of diverse political stands within a public realm. 

This is contrary the philosophy of her one time professor and lover, the same Heidegger, who was more interested in the individual's innermost singular essence as a mortal being and had little time for public discourse and the diversity of political opinions. 

Theirs is a difference between private, individual truth and public, group truth. 

Our liberal societies in the West pride themselves on their pluralism – one of the foremost features of democratic society as noticed by Plato in his Republic – which is always under threat from various authoritarian quarters but still applies to the general public. 

Left-wingers may hate right-wingers, anarchists may hate statists, but it could be argued that this interplay and exchange, however contentious and fraught, is itself reflective of healthy diversity rather than vulnerable division. 

Mark Passio may be right in saying that the universe gives priority to unity consciousness as opposed to divided consciousness, but what is typically seen as division could be re-interpreted more positively as really being pluralist diversity, in itself a healthy aspect of the human condition and Mother Nature herself. 

People from the right may have legitimate gripes with cultural marxism and people from the left may have legitimate gripes too with corporate fascism, but the truth may be that both phenomena exist despite denials from either side. 

A problem arises however: where does one draw the line? When does accepting diversity of political opinion become problematic, say for example when minority activists have people banned from public speaking and white supremacists justify their ill-treatment of ethnic minorities? Must we give way to these discourses and actions on the ground of allowing diversity and pluralistic ideals?

The answer lies in Natural Law theory. 

One may speak and act as one wishes as long as it does not violate the rights of others. 

Those rights can be defined only apophatically, i.e. in the negative, in the sense of the right not to be thieved, raped or physically harmed, all natural rights ultimately being property rights, belong to what is proper

When a political person or group violates these rights of others then, and only then, must they be stopped and prevented from spreading their deeds and words for reasons of self-defence against violence. 

Thus, in conclusion, diversity of any kind is a good thing provided it does not lead to violent division and if it does, Natural Law is the bulwark standard by which we must fight that violence to defend our freedom from being harmed and our natural rights from being violated.

Addendum - Having reflected on it, I think Mark Passio's insight is right; apparent political diversity is in fact division born of people undergoing unconscious mind control for it is clear that those who are more politically and historically aware will tend to fall into the no government, no elections, no State, no centralised control camp, i.e. the anarchist one or, as Mark Passio puts it, the an-archonist one (ἄρχων meaning master in Ancient Greek). 

That's not to say all anarchists and even less so libertarians and those who subscribe to the freedom movement generally are enlightened. 

Many are just rebelling against perceived encroachments on their freedom and care not for the exploitation and degradation of other nations, socio-economic groups and individuals, nor do they contribute to actual, realisable freedom by raising consciousness and human empathy.