Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) … If politics is to become scientific, and if the event is not to be constantly surprising, it is imperative that our political thinking should penetrate more deeply into the springs of human action.
THEE, the Taxonomy of Human Elements in Endeavour, starts from human action, and the has been used as an experiment in THEE-style Inquiry. The inquiry took place through designing the webpages and posting these in the natural order of inquiry and discovery.
I started with an assumption thatwas about the use of , ideally so as to pursue the .
Although I talked about Aristotle, this type of assumption shows that my actual bias is to Plato. The more usual scientific approach is to follow Aristotle and see as about . But it seems to me that diversity only comes into play after you accept the need to use power over people.
I always try to stay close to what is observable, rather than stay in the cave and engage with quasi-theoretical shadows. I was certainly pleased to see that «diversity» got due attention as the story unfolded.
One scientific benefit of this discovery is that we can avoid the mistake of thinking that any empirical observation is a final fact. It may simply be a stage towards a final fact.
Much social science can be compared to the output of Martians visiting a kindergarten in the absence of teachers. They make detailed descriptions of homo sapiens based on the mental and social activities of 2-4 year olds. The window-cleaner is noticed but regarded as an outlier, possibly labelled an animal or robot. He is relegated to a footnote to keep the findings statistically amenable.
As a general point, I am uncomfortable with THEE inquiries to further clarify the everyday function and operation of . So that is a personally beneficial side-effect., because it has too many unintended side-effects and brings trouble in its train. So forcing it to the forefront of my attention took some effort and was not always pleasant. I can now envisage new
Starting from this focus on obligation and the good, I noted a correspondence between and . Both are built on an obligation to pursue what is good &/or right. is a matter for a person, while is a matter for society; and society is the psychosocial context for personal activities.
Fortunately, previous inquiries had clarified with considerable confidence the Typology of approaches to ethical choice. Each approach is its own paradigm. (This inquiry revealed errors in my previous account of one of the approaches.)
Previous inquiries had also clarified how contexts can evolve. THEE models this via its . I applied this theoretical knowledge to the with confidence that it would produce useful results. It did.
The contextual analysis revealed a trajectory ofthat all societies can and probably must go through.
Suddenly, there was a shocking realization: no society at this point in history is more than half-way to full maturity. Most have not left the starting post. More poignantly perhaps, many societies may be at a point of discontinuous change—which is a matter for the public, not the politicians or governments to instigate.
Significant political change—the sort most of us either dearly want or definitely do not want—is discontinuous and surprising.
Because the properties of political Modes in the Spiral are cumulative and compatible, one can regard them as Levels in a holistic hierarchy.
Applying a dynamic duality, private v social, revealed a Tree that represents the interaction of « » and « ». Together they .
This model of how things happen in politics applies largely independently of the stage of maturation of the society as identified in Step 3.
Because the hierarchy from the Spiral is holistic, it is possible to develop a structural hierarchy that represents the varied phenomena of in any society. To discover this, I treated the Levels of as potential Levels of .
I then developed all possible combinations (called Groupings) of adjacent Levels in a systematic way. At the start there are 7 single-level , and at the end just one 7-level entity: which and . In between there are 6 Dyads, 5 Triads, 4 Tetrads, 3 Pentads, and 2 Hexads—all identifying distinct phenomena of .
In its manner of construction, each Grouping in the structural hierarchy contained both the people and the powerful in all their manifestations. It seems that the lower Groupings (Levels) focused on participation while the higher Groupings (Levels) were about peaceful change.
The dynamic duality to be applied to these Groupings/Levels was whether social-political activities were integrative and unifying for society, or whether they were divisive and splitting. Applying this duality to the Levels, a Tree was developed dealing with . It complements and illuminates the Tree identified in Step 4.
Whereas the Channels in the earlier Tree were identified, explained and given provisional names, this Tree has not had that degree of intense focus. Help with this clarification is requested from Members: your considered ideas and thoughts are valuable.
A small but important side-excursion developed a simple and useful model aboutthat each require political organization and governance. It was developed, validated and applied to the UK successfully in the late 1980s.
Neither geography nor history arranges itself to make political organization easy. In recent times imperial powers, on conquering or leaving countries, deliberately structured boundaries and populations to weaken societies. As a result, politics in many countries is unfortunately, but inevitably, riddled with cultural rivalries.
The principles uncovered seem valid and important. At the very least, they are predictive of difficulties in governing. However, their importance in the present context is to provide clarity and meaning for localism and subsidiarity, two phenomena characterizing the desirable and non-utopian eventual maturity of political institutions.
All these frameworks need more investigation, illustrative examples and applications.
Originally posted: August-2009; Last updated: 15-Nov-2010