Friday, October 17, 2014

Social Complexity

I've recently learned that another term for the impact of the Web of Connection that I described, is Civic Republicanism (from The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash Between Freedom and Control Is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System).  Because we are all connected, it is in our best interests to educate our children, to have libraries, to have roads, etc.  I believe my sister has blogged about similar ideas, the importance of nation building, although more of that is in her LiveJournal posts from Iraq and Afghanistan.

I read Mercedes Lackey's Bastion (Bastion: Book Five of the Collegium Chronicles (A Valdemar Novel)) on a business trip, and there is a scene where the Heralds are confronting the mayor of a small town.  He proposes that his town secede from the Kingdom of Valdemar, and the Heralds begin to explain, in great detail, the consequences of such an action.  The disrepair of the road, the lack of protection from the Guard, the isolation as bandits begin to prey on travelers, and merchants and Bards quit traveling through.  The United States is not the Kingdom of Valdemar, but some similar principles apply.

It's... growing up military, there are some things I know about the U.S. government.  It is very large.  It is not all-powerful.  And it is not united.  The three branches of the government were specifically set up to provide checks and balances to power.  However, the other departments and agencies also can have contradictory positions.  Sometimes the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing... and sometimes that's intentional because secrets.

So, this is why I think Amy Dentata got it right here.  Even most government employees, are ordinary people trying to live out their ordinary lives.

Anthony de Mello's stories are good for thinking about the human condition.  He argues that most of us go around unconscious, unaware of how what we are doing (or not doing) affect other people.  He compiles and adapts his stories to encourage people to develop Awareness and enlightenment.

Going back to the original book, Vaidyanathan pairs Civic Republicanism with Cultural Democracy, which makes sense to me.  Cultural Democracy reminds me of the UUA 5th principle, particularly in the children's verse, where it has been said "each person has a voice."  To me, that is a big part of what social justice is about.  Stepping back and listening, making sure that all voices are heard.

There is much more to write.  I'm about at the point in my story to begin talking about 9/11/01, about Houston, about Future Studies, global political economy, etc.  I am going to be incredibly busy the next 10 days.  Sometimes the busy-ness makes posting more possible, other times it means I won't be at the computer long enough to pull these thoughts together.  Until next time.