Optimal Gradualism

Widespread political disenfranchisement serves to persuade the voting public that their choices of politician or party carries no force to act as the mechanism for positive changes to the structure of society.  I feel that this situation has been positively encouraged by successive generations of politicians until we reach the position we are at today, where voter turnout at general elections is at an all-time low. The ‘winner’ is not the candidate that more than half of the country approves of, he will merely represent the majority vote of those that could be bothered to engage in the seemingly meaningless task of selecting a candidate to invest your sovereignty in and to fight for the causes you wish to see tabled, in the firm knowledge that candidate will honor none of the manifesto pledges that garnered your vote. i have studied all major and many minor political structures but found none that had ever been effectively implemented or achieved the stated goals of their instigation. What is needed is an effective political philosophy that does not predetermine the manner of its implementation but instead supplies the framework on which to construct a fluid adaptive political structure that can serve everybody, not just the establishment. I have formulated what i believe could be that political philosophy; Optimal Gradualism. An unfortunate mouthful at the moment but I am sure it will acquire a user friendly acronym in time O.G. or S.O.G. (Sovereign Optimal Gradualism).

Optimal Gradualism;

The structure of the states, nations and corporations is derived from an evolutionary path that has now been running for millennia. During which time the global governance has reached a level of complexity beyond the facility of one group to meaningfully guide. As a consequence we find ourselves confronted by a zombie system, a system that is self derived and self serving. Governmental, societal and corporate compartmentalisation has lead to a situation where, not even the upper echelons, have any real say in how they choose to conduct themselves. In such a system corruption is endemic as a matter of necessary self preservation.

Today we work under 3 party adversarial politics, within the constraints of a capitalist democratic system, which has lead to wide spread political dis-enfranchisement. Arbitrary political divisions and fixed political theory maintains the status quo while giving the appearance of choice. Political debate revolves around minor alterations to set political ideologies and voting systems. Established political philosophies, such as socialism, conservatism and libertarianism are pursued as set parameters for defining policy.

Party politics cause the dogmatic opposition to policies of the other parties. To the extent of leaving any idea forwarded by a party as political heresy to any other. The limitations due to adversarial politics creating an intrinsic friction within the political machinery. Ideas that, with collaboration and negotiation, may eventually produce a more roundly beneficial solution, are rejected out of hand due to them falling outside of party dogma.
Even within the parties themselves the rigid hierarchical leader and select few,  feed propaganda driven ideologies. Promoted by an informed upper echelon to an uninformed membership.

These types of system have caused chaos in the past with efforts to redistribute land and wealth creation into hands that simply did not have the necessary skill sets or capacity to capitalise the mechanisms placed under their control. The Chinese cultural revolution being a prime example of arbitrary wealth distribution leading to millions dying due to the inability of an imposed system to replicate a socially intricate, naturally devolved pre-existing system, regardless of how corrupt and biased it may have been.
That in a nutshell is the rationale behind my thinking here. That cultural revolution must be replaced by cultural evolution, ie; OPTIMAL GRADUALISM

So to Optimal Gradualism; if we start from the assumption that, as a whole, world governance has achieved a moderate level of satisfactory living conditions for the vast majority of the global population. Or at least a living standard that deters outright revolt by that population. Also the assumption that the wealthy and powerful would seek to maintain that position of power, at our cost if necessary. Then we must also conclude that radicalism of any sort will elicit a sub optimal response from both those who feel they are adequately served by the status quo and the elites whose wealth and power control the status quo.

During the political arguments around the abolition of slavery, the abolitionists were divided into two main groups; the immediacists, calling for the abolition of slavery as soon as the laws to do so could be drawn up and enacted, and; the gradualists, calling for the progressive introduction of abolition, so as to avoid the inevitable economic chaos that such a revolutionary policy would create as a direct consequence. The immediacists got their way and we still see the resultant poverty and deprivation of the descendants of ex-slaves to this day.

If we are to pursue a course of action with the intent of creating political and social change, such change should be considered from the perspective of Optimal Gradualism. Policies and philosophies for change should be considered in such a way as to optimise the ultimate outcome but to do so in a graduated, negotiated manner, such that conclusions are derived from need and greater harm rather than financial gain or political posturing.

For example, none of us would promote the forcible eviction of anyone from their home. However a vacant building cannot be considered a home and as such cannot be considered to be inviolate. Therefore the taking up of occupancy of an unused building would be optimally considered advantageous and homelessness the greater harm. Therefore, we should not oppose the concept of eviction entirely, merely its application arbitrarily to all opposed occupancy regardless of greater need or reduced harm and economic burden. What is needed is a system guided by ethics, mass economics and optimalism at its core but in consideration of graduated steps towards an ideal societal goal so as to avoid harm either through inaction or excessive haste.

The concept of personal property is sub optimal and obsolete, provision of need is a preferable construct but with possession with due care as an optimal factor. Hierarchies of need and actions will be necessary. Life being prime and preference nominal. Free, open participation prime and force nominal. Persuasion through open logical discourse, to achieve willing participation toward an ethical collective goal, avoids the need for overt regulation or state intervention. The outcome of local governance conducted in such a manner should reduce excessive cost burdens of adversarial governance and leave national or global governance a forum for negotiation and facilitation rather than systemic control and taxation.

To illustrate this concept more fully i will use a common wood chisel as a parable of sorts. A wood chisel in the wrong hands can be a very dangerous thing, also the vast majority of wood chisels ever bought spend their entire lives blunt, covered in rust, at the bottom of an unused toolbox (some of mine included). The same tool in the hands of a skilled craftsman can provide a useful tool which lasts decades and can elicit the production of furniture to houses. If the suitability and skills of the craftsman were to be valued by a society in the consideration of optimal provision of effort and materials, then an optimally gradual society would encourage non-craftsmen to issue their neglected tools to a pool of resources that craftsmen in the area can draw from. That would be an optimal gradualist chisel supply system requiring no force or duplication of labour and unnecessary use of scarce material resources. Government would become an administrative tier of commerce at our behest.

Even a ‘lord’ in his ‘manor’ may find himself supported and protected under optimal gradualism, if his tenants benefit from his position and he uses his education, property and wealth to maintain his fellows more so than himself he would be seen to be showing due care and causing little harm and greater good, then he surely would be welcome to keep what he sees as rightfully his as long as it causes negligible harm. Perhaps a concept of minimum occupation may prevent some of the excesses of the wealthy if they thought they would end up expected to house the homeless in their mansion if it has too many rooms??

To quote Non-Duality Biologist; Elisabet Sahtouris where she gave a clear description of an optimal perspective about sporting competition;
‘I was in China way back in 1974 and taken to a basketball game and my Chinese hosts were jumping up and cheering at every basket, no matter which side scored and for a while I was trying to figure out what’s going on. So I turned to the interpreter and asked ‘which one is your team?’ He replied; ‘What do you mean?’ then finally when he caught on to what I was saying, I was explaining that in the west we only cheer for one side, he exclaimed; ‘No no no, the reason you pit two teams against each other to drive excellence and we applaud the excellence.’

Competitive cooperation by competent workers leads to the self organisation of collaborative tasks, where each member of a team shares a clear concept of the ultimate goal of the task in hand and a reasonable grasp of what should be achievable in the confines of the working day. Even tiers of leadership are not seen as oppressive if the workload is seen to be reduced as a consequence of good administration and management is seen to be gainfully employed in the role of facilitation. In these self organised groups I have found that each person endeavors to achieve as much as they are able even if the reward is only to lighten their workmates load and the task is as menial and unrewarding as the digging of a ditch.

With the creation of collaboration societies rather than political parties, groups of concerned individuals might gather to consider a matter of importance, without the need to impose dogmatic preconceptions to the field of discussion. Even form pressure groups to urge public action or political consideration of that matter but also participate in mutually compatible issues that under the current system would fall outside of party policy and come into the realm of political heresy.

Mature natural systems develop intricate interconnectedness and symbiotic mutual relationships. The structure of our current system should not, in principle, stand at odds with any of these aims. indeed it’s long standing general success at maintaining those with in it, should indicate that it would be entirely sub-optimal to call for its demise, merely it’s gradual devolution into a more elegant and beneficial system. Until such time that the system’s errant factions in power can be fulfilled by service to the office they occupy it falls on all of us to pursue a more rational vision for our culture. A vision widely absent from the individuals that make up our ruling elites.

‘Tyranny and conflict become unprofitable when it costs more to oppress or kill your ‘enemy’ than to feed them.’ Conflict is inherently wasteful and rarely achieves the aims intended at its outset. The cost of war largely hidden within the trauma of the civilian victims and the emotional debt that returning soldiers inevitably must repay. The voluntary collaboration usually welcomed by peaceable trade and political negotiation become absolutely absent between waring peoples. Each side is burdened by its crimes against the other, entrenching the stagnation further.

In conclusion; we find ourselves in a global system of systems. A system which has maintained itself, largely unaltered by the mechanisms of state in which we invest our expectations of change. A system that appears to sustain itself against the best interests of large portions of its participants. It is not that the system itself is not fit for purpose, it is more that without conscious recognition of the manner of its processes, we are destined to become ever more enslaved by an unconscious machine. We all must inhabit the same system, regardless of the abstraction of wealth and power, and none of us can think ourselves immune to the consequences of allowing that system to manifest its ultimate current conclusion. Those of wealth and power merely have that much more to loose from the ignorance of the system from which they derive their current status. Without a clear structure for the remodelling of political philosophies we are destined to remain at the mercy of the zombie system and everything that system creates as a consequence. I suggest Optimal Gradualism is that structure, a process driven political philosophy rather than an ideology driven one. No harm, loss or injustice.

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