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A brave new world in politics

by Kene Ezeaputa 6 days ago in opinion
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Where progress is not a privilege

A brave new world in politics
Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

How does your car work? You look at a car and you think the key triggers the engine, which delivers power to the wheels and provides energy for the car's system. But in actuality, the engine moves the transmission, which moves the car, and the car battery is what electrifies the car. When we encounter something we don't understand we simplify it. Another example is your music player - which you have no idea how it works - so you generalize just enough to conceptualize it. You think tapping a music file from my library allows the file to be played through my speakers, but that doesn't account for Bluetooth or translating the the data file into audio. Both the car and music example are lacking deep understanding because they are generalizations. Generalization has become a necessity with the increase of complex gadgets and systems. But that habit, despite its benefits, has a fatal flaw. The quintessential example is in politics. There is no doubt that the issues we face today are more complex than our predecessors. The issues of privacy in the information era, capitalism, medicine, climate change, totalitarian regimes with nuclear weapons, globalization, abortion, wealth inequality, and the role of the government are all issues that are multifaceted, complex situations . But because of our habit of generalization, we don't see them for what they are. We just distort, deflect, and delegitimize problems in order to fit them into our narrow problem-solving toolbox. By doing this, we failed to address the issue in its totality. Generalization is what causes polarization. As individuals, we are inherently different, so our generalizations can exist on a wide spectrum. This creates a problem when we come to the table to discuss issues - we all have a fundamentally different picture of the issue. We need to do a better job of respecting complex issues for what they are. The first step to unraveling our simplifications is by seeking out alternative solutions and developing a solid understanding of the underlying topics. For example, when discussing nationalized healthcare, we must explain the pros and cons of the Canadian and UK medical systems. with a basic understanding of economics, profit market failure, key players in industry, and the history of nationalized and private medicine. The prerequisites are steep, but worth it because these issues will affect hundreds of millions of people. Solutions can't be one-size-fits-all - people and policymakers must realize the issues of today are more nuanced and adapt accordingly.

Step one: Admit the issue is complex.

Slept two: Bring well educated people to discuss - not debate - in good faith.

Step three: Schedule multiple in person meetings.-If the issue is truly complex, you will need time to debrief, Fact Check and reflect.

Step four: Establish common ground.(Agreed upon history, facts.)Then abstract up to build a framework.

Step five: Codify ideas and share them with other people to test the their legitimacy

Step six: repeat.

Example: The issue of capitalism in modern society

Facts include: Countries have an incentive to prosper economically.

Most countries have some capitalistic elements.

High levels of wealth inequality has destroyed societies.

What gets produced? How much and who produces what are fundamental economic questions.

The fastest growing economies have utilized a capitalistic system.

Talents aren't distributed equally.

Resources are scarce.

In a completely free market system, market failures exist.

Abstraction: Though capitalism is great because it encourages growth and innovation while raising the standard of living in a semi-predictable way. That growth incentivizes people to do extraordinary things, but it isn't equally distributed. The people at the top grow faster than those at the bottom. To avoid radical instability, there needs to be a reliable way to move wealth from the top to the bottom. (Examples are progressive taxes and charities.) Mental incompetence and addiction are common among the bottom 10% of society, which makes life harder for them. And if society is to flourish, those people must be taken care of. The middle class is not focused on day-to-day survival like the bottom 10-15%. They need a reliable means of advancement through life and society to be content. (Education, careers, and stable financial markets are examples.) Those at the top ought to be incentivized to create more wealth for the betterment of society. and move resources down the social hierarchy.

This is a simple example of admitting issues to be complex, establishing agreed upon facts and abstracting up to create a framework for more nuanced discussion around the topic of capitalism in modern society.

The most important step in the process above is discussion in good faith—being committed to solving, or at least moving towards a solution, not for your ideas to be proven right or wrong. This is how we right our wrongs and move forward into a brave new world.

In good faith

Kene Ezeaputa


About the author

Kene Ezeaputa

Trying to do my best

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