Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Three Body Problems

(fm the BC thread "Someday I'll Meet You Again")

I see no conflict between L3's narrative and mine. He describes the expectations of the foot soldiers, the wannabe LBJs or Ickes of the new millennium. My effort was to square the circle between that desire and the more apocalyptic vision put forth by Habu and others.

No event including any which threatens the bankruptcy of the United States can be explained simply as the result of manipulations by powerful interests. Paranoia is a dead end because the evil genius of a virtual enemy will always be one step ahead of any effort to unravel their plans. Similarly 'Great Man' theories of History neglect the real interests and motives of the people who do the work at the behest of the leader in the fancy suit. As an aside a successful 'Great Man' such as Napoleon knew better than to fall for his own hype and always focused on the dreams of the soldiers who did the bleeding for him.

The strict reliance on Occam's razor to ascribe to a complex political movement only the interests and motives of the average member also can miss important signals. In the case of the adherents to the legacy of the Vanguard Left their own myths trace back, like a criminal gang that can trace its lineage back to Quantrill's Raiders, through the agents of the Third International and the Paris Commune to the members of the Committee of Public Safety in 1792. Their belief in the power of a small organized conspiracy to shape history matters.

Finally there is a third potential agency at work that could be acting in a manner that both resonates with the ideological constructs of the foot soldiers of the Democratic Party and could use those who see themselves as a guiding conspiracy for purposes external to those of either the many nostalgic for the New Deal or the few aspiring to the roles of Lenin or Svengali. Foreign powers have interests of their own. Not just Putin or Hu Jintao or whoever is this year's blue suit in Moscow or gray suit in Beijing but their nations are at work.

The world is a complex place. It is a series of interlocking three body problems hurtling through time. We have interests groups and manipulating individuals or small would be conspiracies that operate according to visions or templates rooted in time and dispersed across space. The exist in every society and the more open and complex the society then the more such associations interact. They exist within the self defined boundaries of each nation and are also subject to interference by outside agents, occasionally hostile.

Over time just as the market provides information to produce a Pareto Optimum distribution of goods and services we hope that real information will be processed to support the increased influence of those movements and individuals who most effectively respond to reality. Given the ability of outside agents to distort the domestic political market and the persistence of attachment to historically failed ideological models that hope that the domestic political market will function to support effective responses to real conditions may be misplaced.

We need to conduct effective politics by crafting messages that use our own historical legacy to support a narrative that is as powerful as that of the Left. The fact that it also produces results that are proven over time to be more effective is helpful but not sufficient in achieving victory in the political arena. While we do that to win the allegiance of the voters from those seeking to relive the New Deal we also must expose the efforts of small conspiratorial groups to manipulate the broader movements and provoke crises and also be aware that outside agents may seek to crash the system for their own ends.

There are no easy answers to these problems except the one simple and old one, there is work to do.

Very good post on male responsibility.

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