As I watched Sam Harris' TED talk I was reminded of something I wrote just prior to the Presidential Election of 2004 (below). It makes a point of understanding why some of these traditional, rigid political and religious systems exist to begin with. But, it goes a step further to understanding how we can break out of these patterns. As much as I enjoyed Sam Harris' talk as an important step in the right direction, it also seemed like a judgement of certain political and theocratic institutions and societies without compassion for (not for some of their inhumane acts, which are hard to justify) but for how they got and remain there (out of fear). To fix the problem, we have to understand why it exists.
From an essay written just prior to the Presidential Election of 2004
Bridging the Gap: A Complex Adaptive Solution to the Great Political Divide
by Lee Chazen
Historians of science often observe that asking the right question is more important than producing the right answer. The right answer to a trivial question is also trivial, but the right question, even when insoluble in exact form, is a guide to major discovery.
The cowboy mystique in American culture
The central figure in the story was described as, “the totally free man, free to dominate everyone because he gains his boundless strength from nature and expresses natural law. Responsible only to natural law, he is free to judge whether man made law is to be obeyed or broken. He is aware of the way in which evil men often manipulate the laws of civilization for their own wicked ends.” Already, a theory was beginning to develop in my mind as to why this type of man and philosophy appeals so much, but it became eerily evident that this phenomenon was taking place now, before our eyes.
Visualizing a complex adaptive government