On Progressivism and Conservativism - A look at the phenomenology of micronational inhomogeneity is a 2000 word essay written 30 May by Jacob Tierney, then Foreign Secretary of Renasia. It looks at one specific rift, issues that occur due to it, the implications for homogeneity (a value assigned to the quantity of tolerance and acceptance in the community) and how trends in homogeneity create a pattern of conflict in the community.
In our modern micronational climate, we have begun to see a resurgence of an old feud. Splitting the relatively homogeneous nature previously present in our community, and polarising this melting pot of ideas, both inter- and intramicronationally. This polarising separation is the perceived dichotomy between the ability and want to make progress and move forwards, and the yearning need to preserve the past and entrench a form of culture to keep our perspective.
It seems that these two camps are unable to accept that either, in the aforementioned case, we are able to make progress with the baggage of past events and the need to be contemplative such events, or in the latter case, we are able to hold onto our past and remain aware of it in the face of the shifting sands of the neo-micronational political situation.
This FALSE dichotomy is the kind of destructive philosophy set that has been seen before, and there are very few of the major players in the community who are entirely absolvable of responsibility. However, what recompenses for such previous lapses of judgement and domination of 'Us-and-Them' mentality is their efforts to prevent such separation witnessed again.
The split between ideologies is often one that, as I hope to show, has previously crushed the ability for micronations to collude for the greater good and should not have. I write this not as a holier than thou observer, in fact, I have been one who has been a trigger previously. I have been the one who has lusted to impede and halt people I have seen as diametrically opposed to my stand. Yet I make my stand here to serve a reminder to those old enough to know that this a course that is as incorrect as ever, and to serve a warning to those young and foolhardy enough to believe that the smallest of pushes in a volatile area isn't enough to waken the now long sleeping rift.
For if these messages are not heeded, the split may recur to haunt the community again. I thought that, perhaps, after the original black season, we might have overcome this, but it seems we are still stuck in this cyclic war cycle, on the brink of the abyss and once more readying to enter the breach to serve against those who sit the other side of the imaginary line.
The fact that we need the continue and march ahead in progress is one I think, that scientifically, technologically and culturally people have no opposition rationally against. However, the second that one begins to supply such thinking onto the stage of political thought, you are branded and certain doors are closed to you. Just why is this?
There are any number of reasons that one might find amongst the organic and shifting community at anyone time, but it seems that certain baselines occur and these will be discussed here;
Firstly, many have argued that people, naturally, fear change. a natural apprehensiveness is felt on any major change, new jobs, new houses, new cities. All these evoke that odd anxiety that perhaps you have shifted into a situation you are less happy with, instead of as planned, a boulevard of new opportunities. And political change evokes this as well. Sticking with what you know is simply a keep safe, a why fix what isn't broke mentality that has evolved to make sure we don't endanger stability.
Yet to this, it has been argued that no progress occurs without risk. In the 1950s, we had the petrol-driven car, it worked well and it granted the ability to move from A to B. The internal combustion engine, however had certain inefficiencies, and ineptitudes which made it, perhaps, a lesser candidate for large numbers of applications. Enter the newer electric motors, and their high efficiency. They are slowly entering our world, and they are perhaps more viable. However, this conservative ideal of playing safe is impeding it. This should not happen, and neither should the micronational metaphorical equivalent.
Secondly, it seems to be a partial view that those who would move us forward would have us make room by destroying that which was before, that which we already have a space for in our lives and an attachment to. I hope I do not put you off, however, I have another metaphor to explain why this should not be taken at face value. Near Renasia, in a large city, stood a car park. A 1960's bland behemoth, it was scheduled to be taken down in order that a new, 21st century work could be installed, in the form of a large shopping centre. It generated a huge rift, those who would have the car park stay, for the simple fact it was embedded in their world view, and those who would have the new centre for the simple fact they wanted centralised body for their needs. However, after the centre was up, the opposition faded as they realised that, despite their attachment to the car park, they could incorporate this new building with its convenience. The point being that sometimes one's opposition to change obscures one's objectivity.
Progressivism, however, is not without its own problems. There are a few problems that stand out as having a particular weight.
Firstly, progress requires money, and as such, progressivist states often have higher tax rates. If it happens that the progression does not definitely benefit those most displaced by such higher tax, the situation tends to breed civil unrest. This can lead to a serious problem and lend weight to the conservative appeals.
The supposedly opposite to this progress is the idea that we must conserve what has come previously. An argument that few can really attack in cultural or historic sense. Conservation is a term and ideal we all agree is for the best ecologically. And yet conservativism is often attacked as being a mentality of those who would keep us in a form of Dark Ages. Certainly a fringe might wish for such things, but this is, to my knowledge, not a majority ideal, and to display it as such is a massive fallacy.
Opposition to conservativism abounds, mainly on the basis that it is uncaring, it would hold its ground at the expense of the ability to help those in need of help, that it would rather stick to what it knows than risk failure with the promise of improvement. Yet it can be argued in opposition that it is sometimes the case that to attempt to change radically to help those in need, one may throw out the baby with the bathwater and end up in facing a disproportionate risk, endangering others rights and need.
Converativism is also not opposed to change per say, merely to the radical change sometimes pushed by progressives. This is understandable, radical change sometimes moves at a pace which forgoes the ability of the political system to recover before attempting change. A form of organic growth is preferred, slowly changing in what has been argued to be a stronger system due to the fact that it must, to survive, lie at a point between extremes, and must be able to tolerate considerable change in the political climate.
However, the rigidity with which the principle must not be absolute. Sometimes, as has been previously shown, radical change is the only option and those who oppose it fall victim to the 'dead weight' conservative stereotype. This is unfortunate in most case, but not entirely unjustified. Those unable to judge when a break from party line is necessary are perhaps lining themselves up for such labels.
The Rift Between The TwoEdit
The problem that occurs with these two is not their internal faults. It is the fact that we see the massive conflict between them at set times, a form of transition into discontent. The destructive boundary between the two is a result of the fact that if even a slight conflict occurs, it opens the old wounds that run deep in both camps. Thin ice no man's land is what creates the unstable balance. The situation is akin to a candle sat atop a powder keg. A simple thing, for example a tiny break in homogeneity occurring shifts the metaphorical candle to begin to tip. It can be the seed of a much larger mechanistic set of events, until we stand at the tipping point, flame precariously over the entrance to the keg.
This leaves us with only two real options, either actively prevent the extremely unpredictable mechanism that takes us from a minor event to the edge of disaster, or attempt to suppress the formation of tiny clusters.
In the first scenario, we will need, as a community, to conduct and intensive internal review of home these things occur and form a consensus on the most efficient methods of tackling the political Rube Goldberg mechanism that drags us to the breach. This will require complete co-operation from the entirety of the community and may in itself provide a crystallisation event and create a catastrophe it was trying to prevent permanently.
In the second scenario, a large faction of the community would have to act to try and enforce homogeneousness or incentivise the act of creating a homogeneous system. This would minimise the opportunities for crystallisation events to impact the stability of the community.
The Elastic Homogeneity ModelEdit
Even if we look at the idea that crystallisation events never occur and cause homogeneity to fall rapidly, we are left with a rather startling pattern that I have named Elastic Homogeneity Model. Based on Elastic political theory, it states that inhomogeneity (Homogeneity−1 or ¶) slowly fluctuates, between a tolerant and complete evenness of 0 at the midpoint of peace time, to 1, the perfect breeding ground for war events to occur. This happens as the memory of previous large scale war fades and we become complacent with our current circumstance of homogeneity.
Some even, as suggested by Nick Maggiore, in his St. Charlian Observer article 'Carolinians And Conservatives', begin to yearn for war. It seems we reach a point where, as he has identified, "The world is unsatisfied. The world wants another war". A new generation of precocious youngster unable to correctly wield tact exacerbates the situation but is not the sole cause. It seems that the drama and excitement caused by a war is simply too much for some people to keep in check and they begin to clump to like-minded, though not necessarily similarly intentioned, conglomerations.
Such people serve to activate these factions, and polarise them. This cause the opposite to crystallise out of the 'ideological solution' of the community, and triggers a break down in homogeneity, causing a rise in ¶ and creating a breeding ground for the kind of mentalities shown earlier. This simply destabilizes the community.
What's more, this model allows for criticality events, where, returning to the ice metaphor used earlier, after each freezing, the ice is thinner than ever, the healed wounds too vulnerable to stand the minimal shifts so commonly seen. Black march, Dark April and Cold June are examples of one such singular event. More recently, a Second Black March has occurred and a second Cold June seems to be imminent. Such rhythm is not proof positive, but places evidence safely in Elastic Homogeneity Model's court.
It would seem that, with the microworld being such a fine balancing act to some extent, we have reached the point where the field of
Micro-phenomenology has become necessary. It seems that to conquer the seemingly chaotic metaphoric weather system of micro-politics, we must create it's equivalent to meteorology. Micro-phenomenology will give nations who employ it a foresight, but it will cost them time and expertise.
Nevertheless I feel it's benefits outweigh it's risks and that it must be employed as soon as possible to help us maintain peace. Perhaps we can have true stability soon.