Monday, August 2, 2010

Irrational Rationale, Part 2


It is difficult to see the economy failing, and even more difficult to calm irrational fears when it is. However, the momentary fact of a depression in available resources is not evidence of a continuing trend. Chris Brady, co-author of the book Launching a Leadership Revolution, compares most people's irrational rationale in politics with the actions of a novice pilot in a stall.

A "stall" is a term used to describe the situation of a plane whose wings have stopped producing lift. When this happens, the plane follows nature and falls out of the sky. Novice pilots, like people uneducated in political history, do the exact wrong thing by attempting to make the plane climb higher. Instead, the plane must be plunged toward the ground—whereby increasing the pressure under the wings, and regaining lift.

Despite volumes of political history containing such political stalls and the crashes resulting from mismanagement of the situation, the problem persists. Just to be clear, when I use the word "politics," I am referring not just to government or even corporate hierarchy, but to the entire gambit of human interaction on the rational-mental level.

I think it's because we forget how often things change. When things are up, we expect them to stay up. When they are down, we fear they will stay down. This is completely irrational, yet we decide policy based upon these irrational projections. When we assume things will continue to get worse we dispense blame and seek desperate, immediate remedies. When we assume things will continue to go up, we use it to justify instant-gratification.

This instant-gratification in every area political life leaves us inevitably vulnerable to compounding debt, then unpaid debts on the books of financial institutions, and finally some manner of economic collapse. Of course, this leads to an entreatment of the government for bailouts—an action which does not erase debts, but merely spreads them among the taxpayers. The result, of course, is that taxpayers who were formerly just barely making minimum payments, now can no longer afford to do that. And the cycle continues.

But economic policy is not the only thing effected by irrational rationale in political life—though it is the primary means and motivation. Both social justice (the punishment of criminal citizens) and national security (defense against aggressors from abroad) take whatever opportunities they are given to expand beyond their proper borders.

It is easier to build prisons and expand upon the specific laws that can put people into them, than it is to fix the problems of society that cause people to commit desperate acts. While this assertion is a simplistic view, and there certainly are deranged individuals that need to be locked away, the vast majority of crime can be prevented with a better social system—education about human nature, and more freedom—not less freedom.

While certainly a necessary and proper role of government, national security can be used to justify forced democracy. It is easier to utilize money and guns to force a structure of government on a difficult to deal with, and difficult to understand people. The solution, of course, is to do the hard work of seeking first to understand, then to be understood. Only upon such diplomatic ground, can difficult human interaction be smoothed out. Again, this is simplistic, as military defense and offense are a necessary response to aggression.

However, there is more to human nature than can be set down in the program of a political machine...


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

No comments:

Post a Comment