Saturday, January 1, 2011

Methods of Creating Diverse Wholes -- government, economics, neurology

There have been articles on this site discussing the creation of Diverse Wholes. Here the author would like to give some simple examples of how this works.

First example: Government
In a culture of freedom for the individual and social groups, a government does not have to be a dictatorial and self centered institution. It can represent and serve social diversity.

A legislature, parliament or congress is an institution that expresses many points of view clearly. At the same time it is an entity that attempts to reach consensus for common, overarching plans. So a legislature represents both difference and diversity but also its opposite of unity and commonality. Direct democracy ensures that a legislature represents the people.

An executive is elected by the people and has to work with a legislature to get things done.

Centralizing institutions like a tax agency or a central bank are necessary things to run a complex system. Systems have their necessities and rules, departments arise to serve these needs. At the same time, central banks, tax agencies should have policies and slants that serve the people and not government for its own sake, or elite, sectarian social groups.

Programs and institutions are needed to support the “common good”. This would include protecting the environment, product safety standards, military defense, economic planning and much more.

At the same time, there will be activities that support a “specific good” such as programs to help the poor, the unemployed, minorities that are discriminated against in civil society etc. These activities are agreed upon by majority vote, and do not serve the common good directly, though social harmony does serve the common good indirectly. Specific good might also apply to certain industries, certain cities and regions etc.

These organizations -- a legislature, an executive, centralizing institutions, the common good and specific good – are the practical elements of a Diverse Whole when it comes to the issue of government. 

Second Example: An Economy
The diversity of an economy is represented by the market itself, the millions of businesses competing and innovating.

The centralizing institution in a diverse economy might be the metric stock exchange and its banks which help create and manage a system of diverse metric measures for businesses, stocks and products.

Organizational structure of the economy is in the league system – investor’s leagues, industrial leagues, consumer leagues, community leagues and more. These leagues represent a loose system of interconnected rings which provide checks and balances upon each other. Here we have diverse interests but a system which requires convergence of interests too. 

Third example: Your brain
The Human brain is divided into specific neurological realms.
These are your logical empirical mind, your creative mind, your emotions, memory, subconscious, and your judgment center in your prefrontal cortex, and as well a kind of managing mind that attempts to run the whole show. In addition you will need an identity mind that has figure to out who you are, and a spiritual-moral mind that has view on higher issues of ethics, freedom, purpose, happiness etc.

All minds are necessary for the general success of your plans and activities. In this democracy of your mind, you will move through all minds daily. So at any point you will be submerged in a particular department of your neurology.

At the same time, you must have control and provide limitation on the behavior of the mind that you are currently within. If not, your become too emotional, too logical, too much lost in imagination, too wise and detached and so on. So the diversity of your minds is mitigated by a perspective in the background – the opinions and plans of your other minds. Even wisdom will find that it must cease its detachment and you will have to start doing something again, develop passion again (of course, with the assistance now of wise observations)

One particular mind which is in your prefrontal cortex, the “manager” has an entire plan for directing all the minds, for improvising their behaviors into one symphony toward one goal. This mind is your “centralizing institution”, and also it is trying to achieve the common good and give focus to a mind that needs help or must be central to some project.

The problem of course like in any democracy, the managing mind can only exert so much control, because eventually you submerge into some behavior or combination of behaviors. And the manager becomes very distant or disappears for long periods. So the diversity of your neurology argues against the domination of even the manager. The directing mind has to accept the realities and do its best, for in the end it is just another mind with its own opinion, and equal to all of the others, and certainly not more equal than the others.

The only way the director can get cooperation is to accept the difference and freedom of other minds, and over time win the respect and trust of the other minds, essentially by developing skillful techniques.

Each of the above wholes is of a different nature. So there are similarities but also some differences. But hopefully you get a general idea about how difference and commonality, diversity and unity can work together.

Cage Innoye

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