Degrading Spiral Global Dynamics

A

Anonymous

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Degrading Spiral Global Dynamics.

It's an effect that can be noticed at nearly all of the world's political hot-spots.

The theory is that there is a large place, and the smallest fraction of it will be at war, or at least political strife, with the large place.

Then take that smallest fraction as the new large place. Within the new large place the smallest fraction will be at war, or at least political strife, with the new large place.

This continues to spiral down for several levels at nearly all of the world's hot-spots.

Take Europe. Europe/British island group/Ireland/Northern Ireland/Catholic areas of NI.

One could take these examples steps further by theorising pro-British elements within the Catholic Areas, for example.

Another example in the Middle East. The Middle East/Israel/Gaza/Israeli settlements.

Another example the sub-continent. India/Sri Lanka/pro-Indian factions in Sri Lanka.

At the smallest tips of these spirals is where socio-political explosions occur.

It's very chaotic. I'm sure there are other examples of these degrading spirals.

Any comments?
 
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Anonymous

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Let's see if I've got this right;

1. Human beings have tendency towards factionalism - i.e. the need to identify with a specific group as a part of their personal identity and at least partially define that group in negative terms by reference to opposing outside groups, whether those group/s actually engage in opposition or not.

2. Internal dynamics/external influences cause the orginal group to divide into smaller subgroups and conflict arises between these subgroups while the earlier conflict involving the orginal group may or may not continue.

3. It is the smallest individual groups where conflict flashpoints orginate.

Probably the tendency towards factionalism is evident in places where there is existing conflict or stress caused by poverty, prejudice, repression, etc. In areas where there is a decent standard of living, no real existing conflict, at least some political freedom and individual rights are observed I'd say the tendency is more towards consensus and conformity. People tend to get very conservative about the status quo when they think it is in their interest to preserve it.

I think your idea does have some merit; it points to some of the underlying processes that lead to and perpetuate conflict. But at the same time I think that the ultimate driving force behind conflict is to be found in the premeditated actions of people, particularly those in power. Eliminate poverty, establish representative, open, honest government, give people the respect and freedom they deserve, work for the resolution of existing disagreements and control the arms trade and conflict will wither on the vine.

At least that's what a soppy, woolly-minded, bleeding heart liberal like me thinks.
 
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Anonymous

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Yep, that's the sociologist's point of view, well put.

I prefer to explain mathematically (if at all possible). It's more definable, and less subjectable to political bias.

Like "driving force .. found in the premeditated actions of people, particularly those in power". Of course that's right, but aren't all people acting in a mathematical way really? Following their personal path of least resistance?

And so their mathematical actions combine with the whole, so that patterns can be discerned at the macro-level, for example as above.

The point "eliminate poverty, establish representative, open, honest government, give people the respect and freedom they deserve, work for the resolution of existing disagreements and control the arms trade" is the right sociological viewpoint, completely. But when I see that these things exist nowhere in the world, and have never existed, I'm thinking that trying to hold back the tide is a difficult thing to do.

Perhaps an approach from a new perspective would prove fruitful.
 

rynner2

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As human populations are quantised, you eventually run into quantum uncertainty - ie, you arrive at a faction of one person, and then you don't know what the silly bugger will do! :D
 
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Anonymous

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Posted by MuscularSpasm

But when I see that these things exist nowhere in the world, and have never existed, I'm thinking that trying to hold back the tide is a difficult thing to do.
You're right. I was describing an ideal for which I have no plan. As for mathematically modelling human behaviour, I think this has it's limits, although it can undercover some startling patterns. I just thought of the theory of history that Isaac Asimov described in his 'Foundation' books, but I can't remember it's name.

New perspectives? Definately. I admit that developing theories of human conflict and how to resolve or avoid them is beyond my limited intellect. And as Rynner pointed out the complexity involved may make that idea an effective impossibility - like tracking a snowflake through a blizzard.

Still, this is the FT forum and I'm sure someone will come up with something unprecedented!:)
 
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Great comment Rynner.

The great thing about identifying patterns like this is that you can approach the problem like it was engineering.

It seems that the current method people have of fixing these spirals is to start at the bottom and work up.

Such as fix catholic/protestant, then you can fix NI/Ireland, then you can fix Ireland/UK, then you can fix UK/Europe.

And fix Israeli settlements/Gaza, then you can fix Gaza/Israel, then you can fix Israel/Middle East.

But once you identify a pattern like this, a mathematician might say that one should start with resolving the UK/Europe relationship, then the others would fall into place. As non-intuitive as this might seem.

NOT the easiest thing to do. But it's a starting point.

It seems also that this method of fixing the spiral from the bottom only fractures the spiral to new depths.
 

ArthurASCII

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I recently read the following article

region3.us.mensa.org/newsletters/spiral.htm
Link is dead. The MIA article can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:


https://web.archive.org/web/20040130100156/http://region3.us.mensa.org/newsletters/spiral.htm

which prompted me to further research that lead me to search for a thread discussing Spiral Dynamics on this message board.

I'm surprised that such little debate has been generated about such a complex and all-encompassing subject.

Am I the only person that sees something a bit scary in the whole thing?

It seems more like an emerging religion than just a "model of the development of consciousness and human values".
 
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OneWingedBird

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I once had an article published on the subject of homophobia among some ethnic minorities. Getting into the politics of that would be well OT, but I can't help thinking it shows the same pattern, a minority turning on a smaller minority.

When I was discussing this once someone came out with the old chestnut about 'Big fleas have little fleas upon their back to bit them, little fleas have smaller fleas and so ad infinitum'.
 

tzb57r

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Hmm. I don’t think it is linear like you say. I think it is more pyramidal. Like the labyrinth of science that looks like an arrow with hindsight, so it is easy to focus on the high profile flash points.

Take Europe/UK/Northern Ireland/ Catholic- Protestant
There is more discontent in Northern Ireland than Catholic – Protestant differences, there is poverty, under investment and much higher unemployment than the rest of the UK. The UK itself is wracked with internal differences, the Scottish/Welsh/Cornish Nationalists, north-south divide in England. It just so happens that Catholics and Protestants were/are merrily killing each other that this gets the news. To fix the English attitudes to the EU would require a lot more than getting the provincial problems in NI sorted.

The attitude to the EU is not just bad in England, just look at what happens to EU referenda all around the continent. Eire had to ask the people a second time to approve an EU bill as the electorate gave the wrong answer the first time (Democracy…I don’t think so). At least the Danes just take it on the chin and move on.

People factionalise all the way down. When I am in the USA I am a European, When I am in Europe I am Celtic, when I am in Scotland I am a weegie and when in I’m in Glasgow I am a wendie. I, like everyone else am proud to some extant of all these titles and hate virtual no individuals (except people from Edinburgh; who are scum :D )
 

Jerry_B

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I must admit that this sort of theory (Spiral Dynamics) all sounds rather silly - i.e. 'we can't figure some elements of sociological phenomena, so let's use maths instead'. Whilst it might make some sleep better at night if such things could be worked out using mathmatics (in various obscure ways) it would ultimately end up chasing it's own tail. Rynner's point sums it up - any time you try and second guess such things, they turn around and do something you wouldn't expect or be able to predict.
 

AlchoPwn

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Let's see if I've got this right;

1. Human beings have tendency towards factionalism - i.e. the need to identify with a specific group as a part of their personal identity and at least partially define that group in negative terms by reference to opposing outside groups, whether those group/s actually engage in opposition or not.

2. Internal dynamics/external influences cause the orginal group to divide into smaller subgroups and conflict arises between these subgroups while the earlier conflict involving the orginal group may or may not continue.

3. It is the smallest individual groups where conflict flashpoints orginate.

Probably the tendency towards factionalism is evident in places where there is existing conflict or stress caused by poverty, prejudice, repression, etc. In areas where there is a decent standard of living, no real existing conflict, at least some political freedom and individual rights are observed I'd say the tendency is more towards consensus and conformity. People tend to get very conservative about the status quo when they think it is in their interest to preserve it.

I think your idea does have some merit; it points to some of the underlying processes that lead to and perpetuate conflict. But at the same time I think that the ultimate driving force behind conflict is to be found in the premeditated actions of people, particularly those in power. Eliminate poverty, establish representative, open, honest government, give people the respect and freedom they deserve, work for the resolution of existing disagreements and control the arms trade and conflict will wither on the vine.

At least that's what a soppy, woolly-minded, bleeding heart liberal like me thinks.
So explain the continued attraction of totalitarianism in the public arena. Political extremism, religious fundamentalism, and the whole Cancel Culture are growing and the old models don't work all that well about explaining what is going on. What is your take, and what is the "medicine"?
 

Frideswide

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@AlchoPwn I think it's unlikely you will get a direct reply, given the status of the member :)
 

EnolaGaia

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So explain the continued attraction of totalitarianism in the public arena. Political extremism, religious fundamentalism, and the whole Cancel Culture are growing and the old models don't work all that well about explaining what is going on. What is your take, and what is the "medicine"?
Some explanation is required ...

The long-lost OP was alluding to his(?) personal take or spin on spiral dynamics. Spiral dynamics was a systems theory inspired approach to an integral "theory of everything" developed by students / adherents of Graves with some participation by Graves himself. Graves' original work was more tightly focused on personality development.

Very generally stated, Graves' work was an example of the influence of general systems theory (a la Bertalanffy) on psychology and social science from the 1950s onward. Graves developed a hierarchical set or series of levels at which development occurred, with the initial / "lower" level(s) being grounded in basic / biological necessities and later / "higher" levels being contextualized with more discretionary / abstract themes.

The levels within this hierarchical model were referred to as "levels of existence" as of the 1970s, when Graves' students and adherents became engaged in the theory's evolution. A representative presentation of this multi-level model (circa 1974) can be accessed at:

http://www.clarewgraves.com/theory_content/CG_FuturistTable.htm

As I understand it Graves came to view things in terms of a progression in which ever-higher levels were engaged, developed, and accommodated. It was during this second-generation phase that the progression came to be framed in terms of "spirals."

I parse the OP's cryptic statements as referring to a retrograde or throwback or as-yet-unprogressed (i.e., "degraded") situation in which elements of a lower / earlier "level of existence" (in Graves' terms) dominate or define a subset of a given context (population; society; etc.).

This is the most sensible interpretation of the OP's intended meanings I've been able to generate.
 

AlchoPwn

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@AlchoPwn I think it's unlikely you will get a direct reply, given the status of the member :)
It never hurts to ask. Besides, I would ask you to remember that Anonymous is the greatest philosopher to ever live, and one of the most plagiarised.
 
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