Thursday, August 21, 2014

Unintended Consequences....Breeding Resistant Varieties?

 (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
I'm musing again on the issue raised in Tuesday's post: militarization of US police forces, and on part of a comment beneath this related piece at Common Dreams.

Part of that comment, made by Garrett Connelly, which widens the topic somewhat but poses an interesting theory:

.....Totalitarian dictatorship always fails for the same reason, they cut themselves off from distributed human intelligence and become too stupid to exist. Imagine a few months of killing on a military scale, by militarized patriot civilian police warriors; they are happily maintaining homeland security in, for example, Saint Louis, when word comes through that their families were collateral damage back home. How many years before repression and brainwashing breed resistant varieties?
Response from "Plank"
Yes, there is some credence to the theory of an act causing the opposite to be created. Hegelianism in which and idea evokes its opposite to form a new complete self sustaining loop.
I looked up Hegelianism but didn't find in my brief, limited search that it relates to an act causing the opposite to be created. Perhaps it went over my head - not hard to do!

When considering cyclic movement, there has to be a point when extremes meet, resulting in opposite actions, ideas...whatever taking over. Mike mentioned this effect (the Ouroboros) in a comment on Monday's post on current movie The Giver.


"The Ouroboros or Uroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.

 The Ouroboros often symbolizes self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things such as the phoenix which operate in cycles that begin anew as soon as they end. It can also represent the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting from the beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished. While first emerging in Ancient Egypt, the Ouroboros has been important in religious and mythological symbolism, but has also been frequently used in alchemical illustrations, where it symbolizes the circular nature of the alchemist's opus. It is also often associated with Gnosticism, and Hermeticism."

Another good post on Ouroboros, at Crystalinks, is HERE.

Any thoughts on acts causing opposites to be created, Hegelianism, Ouroboros, unravellings when extremes meet, and so on ?


mike said...

From Wiki

"In previous modern accounts of Hegelianism (to undergraduate classes, for example), especially those formed prior to the Hegel renaissance, Hegel's dialectic was most often characterized as a three-step process, "thesis, antithesis, synthesis"; namely, that a "thesis" (e.g. the French Revolution) would cause the creation of its "antithesis" (e.g. the Reign of Terror that followed), and would eventually result in a "synthesis" (e.g. the constitutional state of free citizens). However, Hegel used this classification only once, and he attributed the terminology to Kant. The terminology was largely developed earlier by Fichte. It was spread by Heinrich Moritz Chalybäus in accounts of Hegelian philosophy, and since then the terms have been used as descriptive of this type of framework."

Newton's laws of motion covers this, as well: for every force, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I think that astrology incorporates this with the twelve signs-houses displayed as a wheel...each sign-house has an opposite, but corresponding corollary.

I'm always surprised when someone develops a splendid solution to a major immediately spurns a hate group of naysayers...LOL.

Gigi said...

It was a way of analysing historical developments as a process of continual change. The existence of one type of government or society, named Thesis, would provoke the appearance of the opposite of that type of government or society, the Antithesis.
Thesis and Antithesis would naturally begin to battle one another, since they were exactly opposite systems and, therefore, would see matters differently.
If Thesis and Antithesis battled each other for a long period of time, with neither side annihilating the other, that battling would result in both sides changing to a hybrid system of government and society, or Synthesis. However this in turn is not a final settled form, but becomes a new Thesis, which generates an Antithesis.

Hegel saw this as playing out in the realm of concepts, because he was an Idealist: ie he regarded the material world as a projection of thought. Marx saw the conflict as very much a material one, hence the term "Dialectical Materialism", with the contradictory elements being Labour and Capital.

mike (again) said...

From Wiki

"Principle of Polarity

The Principle of Polarity embodies the idea that everything is dual, everything has two poles, and everything has its opposite. All manifested things have two sides, two aspects, or two poles. Everything "is" and "isn't" at the same time, all truths are but half truths and every truth is half false, there are two sides to everything, opposites are identical in nature, yet different in degree, extremes meet, and all paradoxes may be reconciled."

Twilight said...

mike ~ Ah, yes , thank you!
I must have read explanation of one of Hegel's other theories:

Another form of the Hegelian Dialectic is Problem – Reaction – Solution. Most of us unwittingly fall victim to it all too often and sadly if we don’t stop, we will continue to lose our free will and liberties. It has been widely used by our governments and corporations around the world. You could say that in terms of controlling the masses, and society in general, it’s deployment has been an effective tool in keeping humanity in check.

Almost all major events in history employ the Hegelian Dialectic of:
Problem – manufacture a crisis or take advantage of one already in place in order to get the desired Reaction of public outcry whereby the public demands a Solution which as been predetermined from the beginning.

That is quite different from the French Revolution cycle idea.

Yes, seasons and the zodiac signs Pisces/Aries are like the tail and the head of the Ouroboros serpent. Although one doesn't "cause" or create the other in the way an action can create its opposite in reaction.

The laws of motion are a better match... and the obtuse in human nature - as in your last example!

The "effect" mentioned in the post, involving militarized police action, if risen to ever more extreme levels, to the stage that police officers' families are at risk, would be likely to cause the police to become resistant to commands....not sure even the French Revolution example fits that exactly...well maybe if carried forward, long term it does...into opposition to higher and all governmental commands - revolution in other words. The opposite of what the police forces are meant to be preventing.

My thinking is muddled and muddied - but circularly muddled. LOL!

Twilight said...

Gigi ~ Hmmm - I shall have to think on this. Thank you for your input.
I don't find philosophical theories easy to digest - being a lover of simplicity an' all (my excuse!)

When philosophical theories are brought down to everyday practical levels eg: police officers following orders etc. the scene becomes confused (for me anyway. :-)

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Hmmm - One doesn't create the other though, both polarities just "are". Yin doesn't create yang. Or does it?


We'll be out for a few hours now, but I will continue to muddle my head thinking on these things.

Twilight said...

Yet another instance of police over-stepping the mark and murdering another black guy, this in St Louis on Tuesday.

Gigi said...

Yes, Twilight, that's exactly where Hegelian dialectics come in. From his point of view there were no fixed forms like "yin" and "yang". History is an endless process of "becoming." This isn't a cycle, where the snake's head swallows its tail, or a circular loop where the final state is a reversion to the first state.

But it's best understood in terms of ideas, or an an attempt to describe the movement of thought, rather than a description of types of government or economic systems.

LB said...

Though less obvious examples of the same concept, several hexagrams in the IChing deal specifically with those times when inferior elements seem to be gaining control or when deterioration has set in and reached a climax. The two that came to mind were Hexagrams 36 and 23.

The theme of dark overcoming light and eventually consuming the very energy it depends upon for its existence - which then leads to a return to light, is a common one in the IChing.

In Hexagram 36 (Darkening of the Light):

"Six at the top means:
Not light but darkness.
First he climbed up to heaven,
Then he plunged into the depths of the earth."

"Here the climax of the darkening is reached. The dark power at first held so high a place that it could wound all who were on the side of good and of the light. But in the end it perishes of its own darkness, for evil must itself fall at the very moment when it has wholly overcome the good, and thus consumed the energy to which it owed its duration."

And in Hexagram 23 (Disintegration, Deterioration, Collapse, Decay), top line (6) changing:

"Wing: The forces of Deterioration have ended. The power will return to persons of worthwhile vision, who will again win the support of others. Inferior persons are destroyed by their own evil, for without power, negativity is self-consuming."

The "light" referred to can be taken to mean that which has existed and will continue to exist for all time, beyond the immediate destruction. Some folks call this eternal light God, or Source, or the Universe.

There are also Hexagrams 1 and 2, which become one another when all the lines are changing. Hexagram 1 is an active, masculine, creative energy, whereas Hexagram 2 is more responsive, receptive and feminine.

"Resist not evil, but overcome evil with good."

LB said...

Did you happen to see CNN's Anderson Cooper's interview with Michael Brady, an eyewitness to the shooting of Michael Brown?

I agree with others who've said he comes across as a very credible and neutral witness. Though he doesn't claim to have seen or heard everything, what he did see (or claims to have seen) sounds pretty terrible. It also seems to back up -or at least, doesn't invalidate- the results of the autopsy arranged by Michael Brown's family.

The shooting of the mentally ill man with a knife in St. Louis really upset me! In my years working in special education, I had to call 911 many, many times. I always made a point of giving as much information as possible, including pertinent information about the individual(s) involved.

The police officers who responded were familiar with many of our students and most of the time did a great job of deescalating dangerous situations.

While I understand the police have a legal right to protect themselves, I wonder if things might've turned out differently had police, instead of (immediately) pulling out their guns, tried addressing the man by name and/or began their interaction by asking him how he was doing . . . Apparently the man was known by members of the community, though I don't know how much police were aware of. Maybe nothing.

Twilight said...

Gigi ~ The introduction of Hegel into the mix was possibly a mistake in the first place, I think, in this context.

I still think there's some obscure theory or "law" that would fit a situation where potential to breed resistance then brings forth an opposite chain of action and events.
One of these days I'll likely come across it accidentally - and will try to remember to come back and update. :-)

Twilight said...

LB ~ I know nothing at all about I-Ching, but the details you've provided do indicate similar ideas to the situation in question. Interesting!

No I haven't seen any TV coverage apart from John Oliver's at the weekend. I'll watch the video later - thanks for the link.

These are two terribly sad cases, and came so quickly, one after the other, and soon after the Eric Garner choking incident too.

I can only repeat my comment on the earlier post on this - there's something sadly wrong at the heart of things in the USA. A disease that needs to be treated, and soon.

LB said...

Twilight ~ By chance, I just now found what I wasn't able to when I left my original comment about the IChing.

This interpretation of the top (6th) line changing of Hexagram 23 (the line and hexagram I referred to earlier) comes from Richard Wilhelm:

"Refusing the fruit offered by the serpent, he gains a carriage when the snake swallows its own tail and the light is restored."

mike (again) said...

Astrologer Leigh Oswald stated, “We are shocked when we suddenly have discovered under Pluto in Capricorn, that the power bases often tacitly sanction a prevailing culture that is much less than fair or sensitive to all. What is the definition of a civilised society? That is a big question now and it is not a question that is asked, as we assume we live in one, whilst not questioning the criteria.”

From Wiki
"In 2008, federal police employed approx. 120,000 full-time law enforcement officers, authorized to make arrests and carry firearms in the United States.

The 2012 Bureau of Justice Statistics' Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA), found there were 17,985 state and local law enforcement agencies employing at least one full-time officer or the equivalent in part-time officers.

In 2008, state and local law enforcement agencies employed more than 1.1 million persons on a full-time basis, including about 765,000 sworn personnel (defined as those with general arrest powers). Agencies also employed approximately 100,000 part-time employees, including 44,000 sworn officers."

From Wiki
"As of August 21, 2014, the United States has a total resident population of 318,599,000, making it the third-most populous country in the world. It is very urbanized, with 81% residing in cities and suburbs as of 2014 (the worldwide urban rate is 54%)."

We live in a very complex society, Twilight. We have gangs, cartels, terrorists, and just plain criminals...along with mental disorders, family feuds, and lovers gone wrong. We have a criminal justice system in place to police, prosecute, and punish the guilty. The general population and the criminal justice system are prone to corruption and other deviations.

It does seem that the police forces that have made the news recently have gone overboard in establishing order. Likewise, I view the news and see example after example of rogue citizens that I sure don't want on the loose. We have to be careful that we don't use a couple of criminal justice abuses to generalize our entire system. We also should not view several individuals that did not yield to the police as required by law to prosecute the police.

It works both ways in our current society and Leigh Oswald may proffer the better perspective by asking what is our definition of civilized. The question is appropriate to both the citizens and the enforcers.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Thank you. Sounds like the return of the Sun at winter solstice.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I hear what you're saying (or see what you're writing) - and agree that it's unfair to judge a society on the three incidents in the news recently.

I still am of the opinion that there's something sadly and badly wrong here though - the statistic we should be considering is where the wealth of this country - in whose hands? A minute - less than minute even, fraction of the population.

No country has equality - that'd never happen, but here, any semblance of attempt at balance is gone. (I wasn't here in earlier decades, but from what I've read things were better then than now, by far.)

There's the root of so many tragic incidents, allied to the remaining racial tensions which ought to have disappeared many decades ago. Really! It's shameful.

Those two things, in tandem, are the disease. (IMHO)

Gigi said...

I thought this would happen with Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries.

We would see a lot more of the iron fist and not the velvet glove.

Twilight said...

Gigi ~ Yes, if fits. I wonder, in some other dimension, with Pluto in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus, whether it'd be a reversal - the people with the iron fist. In this dimension that mix will be in place around 2023.