Swastika as Dynamic Pattern Underlying Psychosocial Power Processes
BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 28 May 2012
by Anthony Judge – TRANSCEND Media Service
Implicate Order of Knight’s Move Game-Playing Sustaining Creativity, Exploitation and Impunity
This speculative exploration is not about the problematic (neo) Nazi use of the Swastika, nor is it about the use of the Swastika as a traditional symbol much valued in many cultures of the world. However it does suggest further insights into why the Swastika has been recognized in such contexts and why those contrasting uses merit further reflection.
The concern here is the nature of the game-playing in society amongst those empowered to engage in it. More specifically it is concerned with the cognitive and strategic skills associated with such game-playing — whether for imaginative purposes enhancing social well-being, or in the devious and irresponsible exploitation of that well-being. In this sense, rather than preoccupation with the Swastika as a symbol, the concern is with the nature of a well-hidden game of which it is indeed an appropriate symbol, enabling a powerful pattern of thinking.
Of particular concern is why that confidence game is so difficult to identify — to “put one’s finger on” — namely why it appears to operate beneath the level of collective consciousness. Being “under the radar”, it is perhaps consistent with the arguments of John Ralston Saul (The Unconscious Civilization, 1995). Of further concern, is why those who engage in it so blatantly are able to escape any effective indictment — as so well illustrated by the denial of any responsibility on the part of those with key roles in enabling the current financial crisis.
The argument here presents the form of the Swastika as emerging from a pattern of Knight’s moves, both as recognized in chess and as valued in imaginative strategic processes. This is typically named as “Knight’s move thinking” — also recognized in a pathological form, appropriate to the ambiguity calling for recognition. This move has been a key to consideration of the nature of surprise in strategic competition, whether from the perspective of the winner or of the loser. As a potentially key systemic pattern in a period of crisis, the consequence of banning the display of the Swastika then merits further consideration as an inhibition of collective learning. This obscures potential recognition of how crimes against humanity are engendered and perpetrated as well as the nature of a possible key to a sustainable pattern of development dynamics.
The concern here is to go beyond simple acknowledgement of that strategic modality — for good or ill — in order to distinguish a pattern emerging from the variety of such “moves”. This is considerably facilitated by relating that pattern to the Chinese traditional configuration of the BaGua. Of particular relevance at this time is the interface this may offer for cognitive engagement with natural processes. Beyond recognition of biomimicry, this suggests the possibility of “naturomicry” as a means of ensuring a missing psychological engagement with sustainability, as previously explored (Psychology of Sustainability: embodying cyclic environmental processes, 2002).
Quest for more powerful metaphors
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 3.0 United States License.