Oppositional Logic as Comprehensible Key to Sustainable Democracy
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 6 Aug 2018
Configuring Patterns of Anti-Otherness
Annex developing concluding arguments of Elaborating a Declaration on Combating Anti-otherness (2018)
31 Jul 2018 – Democracy is readily to be recognized as a configuration of opposing strategies, with the challenge being the coherence of that configuration. The tendency is to seek to reduce the multiplicity to a univocal perspective as exemplifying the singular “will of the people” — variously marginalizing, out-maneuvering or eradicating any opposing voice. Some initiatives may however be framed as “bipartisan” and there may be obligations to work with “coalitions” of distinctive parties. There is however little quest for subtler insights into more fruitful configurations which might enable and ensure sustainability (Criteria of democratic fairness in voting, 2016) .
Given the nature of disagreement, it is necessarily extremely difficult to enable coherent discourse about incommensurable perspectives. As noted in the main paper, the approach here is to consider that there are various clues to a way forward but these are best understood as metaphors appealing differently according to preferences and cognitive biases which may be inevitable — and necessary. The metaphors are perhaps best understood as complementary and indicative of progressive confluence towards a cognitive nexus whose very nature is a challenge to comprehension.
Sustainable governance may be usefully understood as requiring a form of “anti-language” to encompass the paradoxes and “cognitive twists” involved. As a container this corresponds metaphorically to that imagined as capable of containing the universal solvent alkahest. The design considerations of a container whose content cannot be allowed to come in contact with it are now appropriately addressed in the ongoing ITER project for a nuclear fusion reactor, as discussed separately (Enactivating a Cognitive Fusion Reactor, 2008). It effectively calls for a process of “unsaying” or apophasis, well framed by the Sanskrit adage Neti Neti.
Given the nature of the matter, the following exercise is an effort to summarize possibilities with illustrations and animations, in the light of arguments in the main paper, rather than to imply any form of closure which would be necessarily premature and inappropriate.
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