Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trump’s triumph
Trump is not hollow.
No person is hollow.
All people are complex beyond the capacity of any person to comprehend or reliably predict.
Every individual deserves and requires respect.
Pretense at anything less than that simply exposes the biases of the individual concerned.
And Derryl has a point.
Deprive any newborn human of the cooperative environment it needs, and it will die.
Having just lived through a 7.8 earthquake I am profoundly aware of the many levels of cooperation required for us to survive. Yes von Hayek accurately identified signalling mechanisms and incentive structures in markets, and he failed completely to identify the strategic impacts of exponentially expanding technology and automation, and the fundamental impossibility of market based systems to deal effectively with the sorts of universal abundance that fully automated systems make possible.
Human beings are profoundly complex at many levels.
We can be the most profoundly cooperative species, or the most profoundly competitive species, and which shows up in practice depends of the context that we each individually (subconsciously) perceive.
Our future fundamentally depends on the sorts of contexts we consciously create and spread.
Demonising or degrading or disrespecting anyone doesn’t help.
We exist in a deeply multicultural society.
That demands of us that we negotiate boundaries with others.
Negotiation happens in the unknowns beyond and between cultures.
To find that space we need to create respect, we need to listen, we need to step beyond our comfort zones.
We are in a profoundly complex world.
Looking for simplicity where it does not exist is something human beings do very well.
We are capable of deep self deception.
We can justify almost anything to ourselves, and often do.
It seems to me, that if we want a future of security and prosperity, then it demands of us a basic set of values.
The minimum possible common set seems to be a respect for individual life, and a respect for individual liberty, applied universally.
Those things demand of us both responsibility and reasonableness.
Sure, we all tend to simplify things, we need to, and when under stress we all tend to take that far too far.
The harsh reality we all face is that the vast majority of people, of all persuasions, would rather die than seriously challenge a foundational belief.
I challenge everything.
I don’t have beliefs or truth in the classical sense, just things that seem probable in particular contexts.
Evolution is about survival in particular contexts or niches.
Every idea currently in existence is by definition surviving in some context.
Some environments are lethal to particular organisms – same goes for ideas (meme complexes).
I am clear, beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt, that the very idea of money has reached the end of its social utility, and is now posing more dangers than it delivers benefits to the vast majority of people, but few people are sufficiently familiar with games theory and its derivatives, or complexity theory and its derivatives, to be conscious of that fact.
So for me left wing, right wing, neocon, marxist are all roughly equivalently demonstrably wrong.
And I fully acknowledge that I am in a very tiny group in today’s reality.
I’m not suggesting giving anyone carte blanche.
I am suggesting that being disrespectful to people does not forward education or awareness or negotiation or our shared long term interest and security.
I don’t think the idea of anyone facing the evolutionary cut is one we want to approve of.
I see that it is possible for all individuals to survive, and some ideas seem very likely to go extinct.
I would love to see neoliberalism go the way of the dinosaurs, but for that to happen by the people who currently identify themselves as neoliberals adopting a different set of understandings. I don’t want to see any person dying.
And I acknowledge that the probability of that happening any time soon is small.