The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Value fulfillment and ‘specism’

(Drawn by Kinka & Cecylka Bleszynski (c) 2010)

We are postulating that there are two species of consciousness, as : Wolves and Dogs are of the same species, with the Alsatian and the Wolf barely distinguishable from each other. Yet each exhibits consciousness appropriate to its kind to fulfill its inherent values. The difference manifests itself in their behavior – they have a different consciousness (or “software”).

Value Fulfillment and Collectivists (They), and Individualists (Us)

Humans have also stratified into two species of consciousness. They are Collectivists (i.e. Baby Boomers ) whose consciousness dictates that they exist within a social network which they create by forging strategic friendships, partnerships and alliances, and that they climb up their power ladder to attain the higher positions within their structure. Their “success” is not contingent on any actual production of tools, goods, products or services, or on the actual creation of art or scientific progress. Their success is measured by their status on the corporate ladder. Their titles designate their merit – and their merit reflects their social climbing skills, and, incontrovertibly, their salaries and benefits. Their worth is in “being”.
The Individualists’ worth is in “doing”. Often stigmatized as social outcasts, they work, often unrecognized, un-applauded and underpaid, to follow their ideals, to produce the dies for tools, designs for goods, products, services. They spend lonely years creating sculptures, music, or canvasses or proving a new scientific theory. Their worth is in “doing”.
We refer to the collectivist consciousness as “simian” in that it may be viewed as a regression to our ancestral primate life in a group or herd, in a “paradise” where nature produced the fruits/food, and work did not matter, but obedience to social order did, If the social hierarchy was disobeyed, the rebels were expelled from “paradise” and were condemned to an exile where they had to work for their living….. “Thou shalt labour…etc.” Further allegory might be drawn from the need for a “Saviour” to lead these unfortunates back to their paradise. For the simians, being expelled from the social order and having to work was a punishment. For the Individualist, it was – and still is - an opportunity for self-fulfillment and enrichment.

Neither the simian consciousness, nor the individualist consciousness, though, should be rejected out of hand, because both species have their validity. The collectivists are inherently better at keeping society cohesive and functioning. That said, the individualists do give them headaches : The insistence of the individualists to follow through on their curiosity and also for following through with their inventions tends to disrupt the comfort level of the older and more inflexible managers. Just because the simians are better at playing politics, forging alliances and working out compromises does not mean they are all cold-blooded, emotionless beings. Neither can all individualists be classified as caring, either.

Seeking Perfection

One wonders if there is any way of explaining the social pathologies that Ayn Rand was describing in her books, other than assuming that her looters and moochers were dysfunctional and pathological humans? Is there some way of explaining their failures while acknowledging that they really are perfect in their existing roles just as they are ?

”Seeking Perfection” was an idea that did not make sense to us, and seemed irrelevant. Until now.

If one entertains theories pertaining to nature and living things, but has to resort to pathologies in order to explain certain behaviours, then most likely the theories are wrong ! "Simian” theory removes the idea of social pathologies from Ayn Rand’s model. “They are perfect the way they are, so are we !” They are just different and happened to live outside of their natural environment. Therefore they have no choice but to rely on the work of gifted individuals, their intelligence, skills and creativity to keep both species of consciousness alive. As an example, had the decision-making politicians consulted with engineers at the time Japan was buying its Fukushima reactors from G.E., they would not have bought them.

Another positive aspect of letting both species of consciousness live together is that it seems conducive to scientific progress – with research being conducted by free-spirited, curious people living in settled, stable and prosperous societies – in other words by individualists living among collectivists.

The collectivists’ best hope of survival is to embrace their antitheses, the creative individualists, rather than purging them from corporate management. There really is no hope of restoring their natural habitat (“paradise”), where they survived on their own.

Stan (Heretic), based on Dozent's theory (Stanley P.), edited by Margo the Heretic (Margo W.)