Thursday, August 29, 2013

Idealism: Adjustment & Assistance

In an ideal world, according to pure economic theory, the world should be left to operate on its own so that it will find its natural equilibrium - a condition under which it can continue to reflect its true self on a sustainable basis. Everybody is perfectly capable of looking after himself or herself, all within the natural abilities endowed by nature. There is no inadequacy in the person nor the environment, and everyone is perfectly happy to an exact duplicate of the other, with only the difference of preference and personal choice.

This is the world of pure democracy, where everybody has a say and everybody can come to an agreement that is consistent with the views and opinions of everybody. There will be no dissension because everybody is understanding and is willing to compromise; all strong views can be boiled down to the happy medium.

The happy medium of exchange is money which is a worthless piece of plastic or blip of light intricately linked and maintained that is hard to reproduce but of no intrinsic value in itself. When accumulated irrationally due to a coding error in the system, there will be an undue build-up in some particular corner or node, and when the world is overcrowded with plastics or the room is full of bright lights, everything can be zeroised. Money can vanish into thin air, in a strange act of self-destruct. The money system can be restarted when another defect is found with the system biased towards one particular element which everyone accepts to be money.

But in an ideal world of compassion, the strong helps the weak, the rich helps the poor, and all human beings hold nature to be sacred. There reality is now, and now is always sufficient. The senses are spent in peaceful balance, timed by the natural breathing process of being alive. All that is required is made available by providence, and the only effort required is in the stretching out of the limbs and the gesticulating of the jaws, one against the other. Everything is natural, including the evacuation of waste.

An ideal man struggles against himself, in his fight against the demons which is also himself so that the good will prevail. The stabilisation of the system is that there should be no flair ups, and the human being is allowed to wear its mechanical self out to its ultimate physical limit. It is accepted self-aware obsolescence without warranty.

The reality is of course far removed from this ideal, and real men and women arise to try to make good the defects of the natural environment. As ideal men and women arise to fight the harsh reality, they impute the source of the harshness on other men and women, and justice is therefore demanded of nature by inflicting injustice on others. As the good slays the bad, in doing so, the good is transformed into bad, and a do-loop is created. Ordinary men and women find solace in this nasty world by the hardening of their resolution to rid this world of its evils.

Everybody is clever, and everybody else is wrong. This identity of human beings may be the final reduction of us to be exactly to each other while at the same time thinking that we are different in everywhere from others except by the one or two distinguishing features which we choose to identify with each other in order to create a fellowship.

p/s: My apologies for this flight to idealism as I try to rationalise the disconcerting world.


walla said...

When an equilibrium is disturbed, it tries to go back to its original state.

If it fails to do so, it will reach another equilibrium state different by the persistence of those factors which disrupted it.

Depending on time, place and circumstance, these factors themselves change by their interplay with other intruding factors.

If time is short, the changes may be small. If place is fertile, the changes may be large. If circumstances are unfavorable, gains from one change may be nullified by losses from another change, and vice versa.

Whether reflected in economics or politics, life is an interplay of factors that change the chains of equilibrium and ultimately the chain of equilibria.

So that if it is entirely possible to write an equation for life which sums up everything, there may be hidden in it a constant unyielding to change which in itself reflects a tendency to return to some original state that over-arches all original states.

To seek out that constant so as to understand why such a tendency should persist whose non-satisfaction has generated much strife today inasmuch other epochs, we look to the sky.

But even in our own country, the sky is different. In some places, its light is earlier, its moon lower and one can see the stars more clearly at night.

However, the light from those stars may well be just echoes from a distant past because by the light-years it reaches our eyes to register in our brains, those stars may already have extinguished themselves and no longer exist anymore even though we can see their light as if they are still there in the firmament.

So we as mortals are blighted by circumstantial perception inasmuch the limitations of our thinking powers.

With that under the belt, we may now turn to the idealism of democracy. It is of course just one of a number of political systems. In the modern world today, some of these erstwhile monolithic systems have themselves been hybridized to contain subsets of other systems out of a need to achieve a more responsive equilibrium state.

Suffice to say, the democratic ideal depends not just on the efficiency of the democratic process but also on how much democratic thinking is exercised which itself depends on the maturity of the electorate which in turn is shaped by the interplay of reasoning, emotions, and perceptions.

One characteristic feature of democratic thinking is fairness in which everyone has an inalienable right to say what he thinks and choose who to vote for.

In polite societies, that is a given. In less than polite societies, it is less than a given. Otherwise incumbents would not be telling voters to leave if they don't like the system.

Some may say this is only right, for that matter, fair. But no argument has so far been advanced to support the prevailing wisdom that one can and must do onto others what others must not do onto one.

Notwithstanding the absence of such sagacity, another practice has also taken root lately that shows democratic thinking is in full bloom. Namely, KTM. The train of political strategy here is plain: if i cannot win the argument, i kill the messenger of bad tidings.

In our cyberspace as a small example, any bringer of bad tidings about the present so-called democratically elected minority government is given short shrift on a personal level by barbs and acidulous comments unsubstantiated by any fact, reasoning or argument as counter-points to the comments. The arrows are fired at the person and not the points raised. How this helps to achieve democratic consensus remains a puzzle wrapped in an enigma behind a conundrum.

One would think true democratic thinking should want to be fair to all in a sporting way which can be easily achieved by the simple expedient of factual rebuttal, not by the escapist method of tarring the source of one's own intellectual discomfort and then demanding polite reaction.

walla said...

Furthermore, the rancor of the electorate is understandable. If someone is arbitrarily shown by even a court to warrant demolition without one shred of justice, how can the citizens of the state expect anything better in the future for redress of injustice now that precedent has been made? Last one checked, the name is still court of justice.

Or, if the state of the economy is nosediving, and international ratings agencies are giving the red mark which many had presaged earlier, why are officials still recycling the same remark made by their predecessor in the same mode of KTM when a simple rebuttal with facts would have done the job neatly, for that matter civilly polite.

Unless there are no facts as counterpoints. Which means the agencies and their analysts have grounds to proffer their ratings.

Which also means all the nice and comforting things said in official organs warrant a re-look if only to avoid do-loops.

There are too many similar examples of blighted injustice propped by the theoretical nicety of fairness for one not to conclude it is all shambolic of the devastation of real democratic ideals for just political expediency defined only by those who wield might-is-right as their own personal inalienable right above the inalienable right of the true democratic idealism they have portrayed themselves to defend.

And that may be why gerrymandering as the last bastion of self-protection of the self-elected minority-voted federal, some say feral, present government, is not even resolved as the prime national issue of the decade.

With Merdeka or independence day tomorrow, the citizens of the country cannot therefore be faulted for asking what exactly have they been liberated from if even democratic thinking has fallen prey to specious denialism failing which feckless and fact-less character assassination by KTM in the best tradition of true idealists.

Perhaps that would also explain why security is such a concern these days.

The equilibrium of political and economic life has been disrupted.

The constant which balances both sides of the equation has been buried in the melee.

That is the real disconcertion.

The effacement of what is wrong and what is right until the only thing left to say is to use the ideal of democratic fairness to mask all deviations from principled standards, discrepancies in economic performance, and bedevilment of all that constitute the elements of the Constant.

After all, being fair is not the same as being just.

One can be fair to crooks and criminals but if that is supported exclusively under the regime of the might-suffices, who is going to be just to their victims, whether these be innocent bystanders, ignorant folks or enlightened citizens?

Whether a bringer of bad tidings is clever or stupid or wrong or right is of no consequence in the mortuary, especially when that on the slab was once a happy and thriving society, a prosperous and progressive economy, a well-tuned and self-equilibrated persona.

If we can't even do a good job in making denials, what exactly can we be good in doing these days, one wonders.

Some may however still insist it's all circumstantial perception.

But are they just seeing stars?