Systematic Gerrymandering of Declared Threats and Legality of Response


Anthony Judge – TRANSCEND Media Service

Opportunistic Exceptionalism Underlying Promulgated Rules of Governance


The crisis of governance and its eroding credibility is highlighted by a confluence of several factors, all variously questionable. These might include: assertions of threat, assertions of proof, assertions of principled response, claims of legality, and assertions regarding adequacy of democratic supervision.

Of particular concern is the manner in which these factors are variously defined and reframed according to unquestionable need. The underhand manner in which this is done bears comparison with the process of gerrymandering characteristic of the manipulation of political constituency boundaries.

The purpose here is to summarize these issues and their interrelationship. It follows from their earlier consideration from other perspectives (“Big Brother” Crying “Wolf”? But them “wolves” are a-changin’ — them’s becomin’ “werewolves”! 2013; Vigorous Application of Derivative Thinking to Derivative Problems, 2013; Ungovernability of Sustainable Global Democracy? 2011; Emergence of a Global Misleadership Council: misleading as vital to governance of the future? 2007).

Curiously the current period is witness to a situation which those upholding themselves as “good guys” are enabling very “bad things” to happen — whilst others they have framed as “bad guys” are enabling very “good things” to happen, as upheld by some. The difficulty for the “good guys” in authority is that their power to misrepresent now makes it impossible for them to prove with any credibility that they are themselves not actively engaged in enabling “bad things” to happen.

It is however strange to note how dependent the current complex of conditions is on a definitional process which could readily be challenged as arbitrary. It could be said that the framing of threat, legality and proof effectively hangs in each case by a “conceptual thread”. Alternatively, the question could even be asked as to whether the structure of the crisis bears some resemblance to an inverted conceptual pyramid — one standing precariously on its peak. This vulnerability — a form of meta-stability — suggests that the problematic complex is readily susceptible to reframing, whether deliberately or as a consequence of an emerging crisis.

Debate regarding democratic oversight, especially in response to the level of electronic surveillance, has highlighted its inadequacies and the extent to which those defending it are currently part of the problem rather than of the solution. It can therefore be argued that much greater use should be made of tools commensurate with the complexity of the problem, such as simulation, as a means of detecting vulnerabilities and rendering them comprehensible.

There is every justification for the increasing sense of paranoia cultivated by conspiracy theorists. As described in the classic by Joseph Heller: Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you (Catch-22, 1961). The argument concludes by considering together the attitudinal options of paranoia in contrast to metanoia and hyponoia. Whilst reference is widely made to the former, the subtler comprehension suggested by metanoia and hyponoia is seldom mentioned but merits attention with respect to consideration of any change of mindset required in order to thrive in present circumstances.



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 8 Oct 2013.

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