Been thinking a lot recently about the tension in the world today between Right Wing Authoritarianism and Anarcho-Syndicalism or Libertarian Communalism. This partly comes from a view of politics as being (at least) two dimensional. There's the traditional Communal vs Individual or Left-Right split but there's also an Authoritarian vs Libertarian split. The top right Right Wing Authoritarian position is the one that has driven the USA's exceptional performance in the last 100 years or so. But RWAs are extremely dangerous in the long run because they have no self-limiting ethics. They believe in the power of the individual but also in the right of the powerful individual to control what everyone else does for their own benefit. It's very hard to see self interest in the interests of society as a whole from that position.

Another way of looking at this is the Roman military, Command and Control, pyramid structure which has been with us in the West for 2500 years and the hive mind anarchic structures that have been around in the East for 5000 years. A classic example of that is to compare the Starbucks organisation with the lack of organisation of the "Chinese Takeaway" as a concept.

I think the other major driver in social politics is Mammalian Tribes. Man is a tribal animal and tribes are typically driven by the 5-10% who fight for the right to be alpha male and hence control the overall direction of the tribe.

What's interesting is the growth in the last 30 years of structures that are inherently anarchic but have sufficient power behind them to completely change the way the world works. Many of these such as the core protocols of the internet or the open source movement were built via an Anarcho-Syndicalist (P2P) model. But even in these at the micro level you can see mammalian politics at work as it seems to be a requirement to have a benevolent dictatorship at the core. So really they are right wing libertarian in control structure even though a lot of the work is done in a left wing libertarian way.


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[ 03-Aug-08 10:53am ] [ ]