Friday, July 31, 2015

Political Forces and Win-Win Scenarios

In politics, two sides of an issue – any issue – are typically representative of the interest that speaks to each side. Thus is the case with both business and labor, as well as political forces allied with business and labor. The intelligent solution is not to pick either side, but work with both to maximize their benefits and minimize their flaws.

Any interest – business and labor being two out of many – is capable of both right and wrong. Business produces prosperity; it can also operate in short-sighted and corrupt manner. Workers make products that business sells; they can also do a shoddy job or make unreasonable demands. Both business and worker, being part of the human world, are capable of both the positive and the negative; and the rightful solution is not to side with either interest but work with both to maximize the benefits of each and minimize the flaws of each. The same calculus needs be applied to the way in which business and labor interact and how their shared activities impact upon the world.

We see the same thing with nature and civilization. Neither nature nor civilization are good or evil; they are both part of reality – one as not created by human beings, the other as created by human beings. Both produce both beneficial and destructive outcomes. Nature means anything from the gazelle to the AIDS virus, and civilization means everything from San Francisco to Linfen. Neither nature nor civilization are good or bad. In each is capacity for both. Nature is not, as some claim, only resources or only there to serve man; it exists in its own right and contains amazing variety and richness that people have yet to be able to replicate. And civilization is not, as some claim, evil; we see in it some excellent thought and excellent workmanship that provides people with valuable technologies and convenience.

With men and women, public sector and private sector, science and spirituality, business and art, we see similar outcomes. Both men and women will always be with us, and it makes no sense to side with one or the other; it makes sense to encourage good behavior in both. Public sector and private sector are both there by public demand – one at the poll booth the other at the marketplace – and it likewise makes no sense to side with one or the other; it makes sense to incentivize, and keep, both to beneficial and transparent practices. Science and spirituality are two ways to attain to knowledge, and both are capable of both wisdom and stupidity – stupidity that both sides are effective at checking within the other. And business and art vitalize, respectively, productive and creative capacities; and when the two work together, the result is a legacy of embodied beauty.

I am not just advocating the middle path, as the middle can be found in any number of undesirable places. I am advocating the positive middle path aiming at win-win scenarios. I am advocating seeing the core of legitimacy in each political interest and recognizing it for what it is, while also checking the inevitable capacities for wrongdoing that we will find in any human interest.

The solution to bad thought is better thought, and the solution to battle among interests is figuring out what each side is right about and correcting what each side is wrong about. That way we will have the best of all worlds. Business and labor, public sector and private sector, men and women, science and spirituality, and business and art, are all capable of both rightful and wrongful outcomes. And the task becomes to support them in what they are right about while confronting what is wrong with each.


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