Actually haven’t listened to Cream in a very long time. This was probably more closely linked to 1775 and early Athens but without the parochialism that was inherent in all pre-networked eras. You’ve identified what is most important, I think, and that is complexity of distributed processing allowing the administrative units to be small enough to be, mostly, harmless. But the reality of all this was first obvious by exactly the opposite as small revolutionary/terrorist groups are as powerful as the old nation states with huge military machines. In fact they fight to a draw if the small doesn’t win outright. This is somewhat obscured by the psychology warfare technique of declaring victory and going home. That is the origin of alt facts.
But on the geopolitical level isn’t that the great change that has completely disrupted everything? A lot of what I’ve been thinking comes from aikido. It is more logical to use the forces that are coming against you rather simply trying to block them. The collapse of the US political system is a result of the exhaustion and corruption of fighting against changes that have already happened.
But who will be the referee? The changes that are forcing us into very different patterns provide some understanding of that. Complexity and diversity are becoming recognized as essential. We are all part of many overlapping and increasingly non-geographic communities. Because those are immediate and directly connected they build a matrix of diverse values, morality, and compassion. The old was unitary authority via empire, nation, religion, language. We are already well beyond that and in the midst of the transition to multiplicity of personally selected layers of influence and authority. Hence the old are weakening and failing by being irrelevant. For the most conservative people this is not visible yet and if it is it looks like chaos because they don’t recognize diverse authority because it is not unitary. Whether they can be satisfied (most can I think) with their own selection of a matrix of virtual communities and learn to live with many others or if some need to physically self-segregate is the challenge we are facing now. There are clear indications of migration in America to areas that better fit an individual’s political and social tendencies. But complexity mitigates the old problem of isolated communities.
I’m including a quote that I received from Bill Everett this morning responding to another of my responses on empathy and compassion. I’m still thinking about this and will include Bill’s source below it. This is on systems in information technology:
“Roles requisite to the adequate functioning of subset systems will continue to increase in both kind and number. Fulfilling each role requires maximizing the particular set of values requisite to its expression. And yet no one role can be fulfilled unless all the other roles are being adequately met. This means that the diversity of values guiding action will increase. Furthermore, the present era of radical change will become intensified as the character of roles needed to meet new functions also changes. Thus, in the presence of this increased exposure to value conflict, there will be required an augmented awareness of the necessity for others to maintain value sets differing from one’s own. . . .”
Here is the full source:
I quote from the paper by J. B. Calhoun “Space and the strategy of life” published in the journal Ekistics, volume 29, 1970. This paper was “an abridged version of a longer article of the same title which served as a basis for Frontiers of Science Lecture III presented December 30, 1968 at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at Dallas, Texas.” The quote is from the section with the title “7. The Compassionate-Systems Revolution of 2018 A.D.” on pages 431–432.
I’ll just leave this laying right here . . .