Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ideology and Closed Systems

Grims Hall on Ideology and Closed systems.

Only problem with this kind of analysis is Americans are a non-ideological sort and institutionalize change management as a science in our culture.

We constantly knock down pillars and it's why I found working for the Defense Department so interesting. The organization is based on asking: what do you do when the pillars of command get knocked down? What do you do in the fog of war when the plans go awry?

Here's Grims writing on the response changers get from the old believers, and why it feels like we're not speaking the same language.
The same thing is at work in these political models. Your most effective political operatives are good at applying reason to questions within the model. "How does this political coup fit within the model?" is one such question. "What does the model suggest as the right response to rising gas prices?" is another.

Yet the reason they adopted the model wasn't rational -- it is tied up with emotional thinking about what kind of person they want to be and also what kind of society they want to have. These are the very questions that Aristotle said might not be able to be addressed wholly rationally, or possibly even at all rationally.

This is why the "changer" gets hit with a heavy emotional response when he begins knocking down the pillars of the system. It is because, at base, the real supporters of the system are invested based on deep emotional attachments to the ideals. They can be wholly clinical about applying reason to events, fitting them within the system and devising a response. Applying reason to the model, in a way that undermines it, moves you into an emotional field, and they will have an emotional response.
What's most revealing about this whole dialogue between Grims Hall and Neo Neo-con is the whole sense of how thinking is deeply changing at the moment.

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