Thursday, May 24, 2018

Individual Freedom versus Group Authority

The western archetype of individual freedom and free-market capitalism limited by some minimal state authority seems to be a very successful archetype today despite the persistence of many unequal outcomes. Archetypes are the unconscious neural patterns that determine how people actually choose outcomes and make decisions as opposed to rational conscious narratives by which people often describe their archetypal choices.

Over the last 40 years global literacy rates and education levels have both been increasing, global life spans have been rising, and per capita GDP has also been rising and all three are indices of successful human development, the HDI. However, the success of the archetype of individual freedom does not mean that there are no inequalities of outcomes and injustice and tyranny and so it is necessary to have ongoing civil discourse about the relative roles of group authority and individual freedom that lead to acceptable inequalities of outcome. The success of the archetype of individual freedom with minimal group authority contrasts with the abject failures in the 20th century of the Marxist and Fascist archetypes of tyrannical states that all limited individual freedom.


In fact, pollution of the air, drinking water, and ocean are all still problems...albeit all declining. Species are still going extinct, certain group incarceration rates are still too high, and there is still a growing inequality of wealth outcomes. Naturally, there are no perfect archetypes and so there are really only archetypes that are more successful at reducing human suffering and misery and there are no perfect archetypes that reduce all suffering and misery. There are only archetypes that demonstrably reduce human suffering and misery and those archetypes are of individual freedom and capitalism.

Although inequality of wealth in a population can increase crime for that population especially when some inequality in wealth may be due to the tyrannical injustice of one group over another, which breeds resentment and conflict. However, when wealth inequality comes from the personality and physical traits of group individuals, in particular, the traits of high IQ and conscientiousness show a very high correlation with successful creation of wealth. The neo-Marxist notion that the inequality of wealth is always due to the tyranny of the rich over the poor as victims is a very pernicious archetype that persists even today. While it is true that there must be some limits placed on wealth inequality to minimize conflicts, neo-Marxist notions of tyrants over victims have resulted in the failures and deaths of the USSR, Maoist communism, and Pol Pot Cambodia, among many others. In contrast, the archetypes of individual freedom have resulted in better lives given its limited group authorities.

Every civilization has its hierarchies of competence and there is always some fraction of individuals who are suffering, anxious, miserable, and lonely. As a result, a few can be therefore angry about and ashamed of injustice and inequality within a group hierarchy and this few can then feel entitled to inflict anxiety, suffering, and misery onto others. Civil discourse can reduce the underlying inequality of this misery, but only if the vengeful individuals are competent in civil discourse. Otherwise, there are various other strategies people have for assuaging their vengeance as a result of inequality such as counseling, therapy, coercion, or even incarceration for criminal behavior.

Equality of opportunity for members of a group does not therefore necessarily mean equality of outcome. Each individual of a group has a different competence and that means that there is a hierarchy of competence within the group that follows from the personalities and physical traits of individual consciousness. Competence hierarchies necessarily result in inequality of outcomes and reducing inequality necessitates some kind of group tyranny over individual freedom. However, there is an acceptable level of inequality in every group competence that results in a balance between individual freedom and group tyranny. An acceptable level of inequality versus tyranny in a competence needs to follow from an ongoing civil discourse that becomes part of the conscious group narrative as well as part of the unconscious archetypes of group members.

With the chaos of individual freedom comes order from individual responsibility and so the chaos of individual freedom is necessarily limited by the order of the state. State authority must remain as minimal as possible in order to sustain the archetype of individual freedom and responsibility.

Groups necessarily promote their authority over individual freedom and groups must then indoctrinate their members with both conscious narratives or dogma as well as unconscious archetypes in order to sustain the group identity and hierarchy. Therefore accepting group authority necessarily reduces individual freedom and all groups must also then have some responsible limit for their authority, narratives, dogma, hierarchies, and unconscious archetypes. There is a further group responsibility to tolerate a certain amount of individual freedom even in the face of some kind of absolute moral archetype that can otherwise result in excessive tyranny and injustice.

Here is a chart that compares China, U.S., Russia, Namibia, and Norway across 14 different dimensions of inequality that include freedom, diversity, per capita gdp, life span, and education. These metrics come from a variety of sources and those of incarceration rate, education, life span, and per capita GDP are all normed to the U.S. to allow comparison on a single scale of percent relative to the U.S.

As is so often the case with inequalities, there seem to be a large number of tradeoffs among these five nations and these tradeoffs represent our global economic world order with the limited set of these five nations. It is immediately obvious that although the U.S. has both high freedom and income, Norway has even higher freedom and income. The U.S. has a high gini, but China and Namibia's ginis are even higher. The U.S. has a great deal of diversity, but Namibia has even more diversity. The U.S. has the highest incarceration and education rates but Namibia has the highest poverty rate by far.

Weighting these 14 dimensions with personal freedom gives an optimized global economic order with a population growth of 0.9%, a gdp growth rate of 2.5%, an inequality gini of 43%, education of 10.8 yrs, $37,700 per capita gdp, and an incarceration rate of 48% of U.S. What this means is anyone's guess...


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