At the heart of my work is my intention to reconcile ideologies. I believe that every ideology is based in an instinct that is natural for a person to have. Just as it is natural for people to have a great spectrum of feelings, from love to sadness to hate and beyond, it is equally natural for society to hold within itself a grand spectrum of ideologies, representing the mass collection of these feelings in groups of individuals. As feelings are to individuals, ideologies are for societies. These ideologies, like the feelings of individuals, can be based in hate and narcissism, as was done with fascism, or love and altruism, as can be argued with communism. Like love and like hate, which are emotions natural for every individual, depending on the context in which they are placed, these ideologies are equally natural for society. This being so, rather than condemning one side or the other, I find it more productive to ask, “How can we encourage and nurture those ideologies that we find desirable?” Condemning hatred does little to solve its origins.
In order to settle the disputes between ideologies, I have found it necessary to create a sort of “super ideology” which encompasses them, and explains their interactions as part of a larger compatibilism. In other words, my project has been to understand the perspectives of many ideologies, and to figure out how they can interact in a healthy manner, without encroaching on others, while also being allowed to play out their own perspectives to its fullest possible extent. To accomplish this, I have delved into many areas of knowledge, and have taken it upon myself to write a great extent about my findings, both objective and intuitive. My book has come from this struggle in my life to put the pieces together. It can be difficult at times, due to its multidisciplinary nature, but it is more rewarding than it is difficult. I have found that it has provided me with much psychological comfort, but it has also provided the grounds for much responsibility.
The Evolution of Consent: Collected Essays
The Evolution of Consent: Collected Essays is a collection of twenty-four essays, ranging in length from 1 1/2 to 58 pages each. The collection is a deep work of philosophy, exploring tough questions and delivering even harder answers. Much of the work is interested in reconciling the often unwanted facts of reality with our visions of something more ideal. This is done both in the context of cosmology— that area of knowledge concerned with the Universe at large— and in political economy.
In the “Prologue” I spell out the nature of the book. It says,
“This little book of essays isn’t partitioned, but it perhaps has two inseparable aspects: one which is more metaphysical […] and the other more physical […]. As I hope to make clearer throughout the book, in essays such as “Class Antagonism and its Metaphysical Implications,” these two aspects, though admittedly different, are not disconnected. Rather, they are quite interrelated.
The Evolution of Consent will decidedly espouse and promote a doctrine of spiritual pantheism and political panarchism, more specifically dualist pantheism and geo-mutualist panarchism. This book will clarify the meaning and intentions of these worldviews, and unite them and solidify their co-dependence. They are treated both separately and together.”
These two ideologies— dualist pantheism and geo-mutualist panarchism— lie at the heart of the book, so I’d like to describe them for you in short.
Dualist pantheism reconciles the philosophical and cosmological disputes relating to what there is and how to know, commonly known as ontological and epistemological positions. For instance, dualist pantheism, rather than picking sides between atheism and theism, finds the working qualities in each perspective. It celebrates both scientific phenomena and spiritual noumena as aspects of an existence that can be hinted at, but which we can never describe in its full complexity. Dualist pantheists regard God and the Universe as being fundamentally the same thing.
Ultimately, I make the argument that living beings are driven by goals, and are therefore teleologically determined. That is, life is driven by the future rather than the past alone (as inanimate objects). For instance, the laws of physics can explain quite well what direction and how far a ball will go once it is hit, so long as the circumstances are under control. The choices of living beings are quite another story; they are not so easily predicted. A bird, if we were to hit the poor creature, would face the physical momentum on its body, but it would also make the choice of how to respond. A bird has an opportunity to catch its balance, it isn’t merely tossed about like a stuffed animal. To know the outcome before it occurred, we’d have to tell the future. Such would not be a scientific endeavor, but a working hypothesis. Spirituality must be understood under such terms.
All living beings express a degree of free will. It is this freedom of will that we associate with the human spirit, and which animates us. It’s not just us; all animals are animated. Freedom of will is not only a matter of consciousness, but also of biology. Living beings are composed of genetic mutations, which are considered to be “random.” This randomness can be associated to freedom of will, which is passed up from the quantum scale to ours by way of the hydrogen bridge. This same hydrogen bridge is what allows for the complexity and uniqueness in snowflakes. Life, being composed mostly of water, likewise expresses uniqueness and complexity.
Being determined by the future means that living things seem quite mystical, and are often best described under such terms. Scientists still don’t know what it really is to think or feel or make decisions. Spiritualists of various sorts offer wonderfully interesting hypotheses. Scientists may suggest something is random, but this is merely an admission of not knowing. There is a reason we don’t know, not knowing isn’t just a “brute fact” (Leibniz’s Principle of Sufficient Reason demonstrates that brute facts are of no use). The cause of not knowing can be explained through rational spiritual models. We don’t know, because mutations are conscious phenomena, passed up from the hydrogen bridge. The direction of mutations come from the future, which we have yet to access. When we do access it, the future is seen as something new, and something which sprang, hopefully, from us (or at least from something we get along with!). The process is actually quite mystical for the experience.
In many ways, dualist pantheism is my project to reconcile the beliefs of theologists and spiritualists and those of atheists and scientists, because I believe they both have something to offer, and because I believe they are both natural perspectives to have. In other words, I believe people believe the things they do because of the situation in which they are placed, both externally by way of their environment, and internally by way of their genetics, which make each person unique. To suggest to someone that they should not believe what they do, so long as the belief does not disregard others’ well-being, is to curse their very being, and to place one’s values before their own. It is natural for sense-oriented people to study material phenomena, and to hold science up high. Science is important, and has provided much important knowledge to the world. It is likewise natural for intuition-oriented people to study mental noumena, and to have a high regard for spirituality. Spirituality, too, has provided the world with much value. All too often, the ideologies of scientism and spiritualism clash. Dualist pantheism reconciles atheism and theism into a self-determined and free Universe, which could just as easily be called God. They are considered one and the same.
Similar to my project of dualist pantheism, geo-mutualist panarchism is my project to reconcile ideologies, but this time in the area of political economy. It reconciles the differences between anarchists and those who believe in government (“archists”), and similarly the economic differences between socialism and capitalism. Allow me to explain.
Anarchists believe government to be any institution which holds an exclusive, inequal, or non-participatory monopoly on the use of force. That is, any institution that can hurt a person, without facing consequences, is considered by an anarchist to be a government. For this reason, anarchists see government as something which is to be opposed at all costs. Government, of course, is not to be mistaken for organization; the anarchists are strong proponents of organization! Anarchists want participatory organizations, rather than hierarchical ones.
On the flip side, statists, those who believe in government and support it as a virtue, believe that government can be good or bad, but that any institution that provides law and order is a government. By this definition, even the participatory organizations of the anarchists are governments, even if “good governments.” Statists believe it is not a matter of government or not, but of good government or bad government.
Both sides can offer reasonable arguments for their positions. The problem is that they are using differing definitions, and definitions that are really quite hard to reconcile. Anarchists suggest that particular institutions that dominate others are governments, while peaceful institutions are not; statists suggest that any organization is a government, good or bad. These two views are mutually exclusive.
Panarchism, the view that everyone should be able to choose the rules under which they operate, reconciles the views of the anarchist and statist, by allowing them the space to play out their own systems. Panarchists recognize that statists consider the projects of anarchists as attempts to construct a new state, and that anarchists do not believe there can be such a thing as “good government,” because, to the anarchist, to govern another is to dominate them. Panarchism solves the problem by allowing them to practice their own systems, taking away the need for agreement in the first place. In a family, many disputes may be solved by providing rooms for individuals to live separate lives. Shared spaces, where people are forced to compromise, can get ugly. Likewise, in our country. If we must all compromise all of the time, without the space to play out our own subjective preferences to their fullest extent, we will always have conflicts. It is best to allow people to play out their own interests and at their own costs.
Panarchism resolves the disputes between anarchism and statism, while geo-mutualism resolves the clash between socialism and capitalism. Geo-mutualism can be considered a form of libertarian socialism, otherwise called “free market socialism,” or “voluntary socialism.” Geo-mutualism promotes a socialist society by way of the free market, and actively opposes market regulation and taxes. Instead, geo-mutualists believe the problems of society can be solved by a proper system of banking, and a new system of property rights.
A geo-mutualist society would be a society wherein people run their own businesses, either alone, as partners, or together in larger democratic cooperatives. It would be libertarian, because taxation and market regulation would be unenforced, but it would be socialist because it would be worker self-managed, and would lack poverty and war.
In practice, a geo-mutualist society would function in this manner: One would join the group of their choice—Democrat, Republican, Communist, Green, anarchist, or what have you— or act as a free agent. The group or free agent declares themselves by signing up with a civil registry service, which is an office held in common by all, but which performs no decision-making other than registration services. The group, now declared as a government or anarchist society as desired by the participants, goes to two more offices, one to acquire interest-free credit, and the other to acquire a lease for land, by way of public bid. This allows every group to have land on which to practice their values, and the money with which to make exchanges and settle disputes.
Some societies may be thoroughly geo-mutualist, and I believe these societies will hold a competitive advantage to the others, but there may also be internally socialist and capitalist societies, who interact together in a geo-mutualist fashion. While the larger society will not impose taxes, there is no reason the smaller and more voluntary units cannot impose taxes on their members, regulate markets, encourage communes, or on the other side of things, even to promote the interests of landlords and capitalists; the question is whether or not such a society is desirable, and has the means of acquiring members. I do not think they do, so, though I don’t personally find a strict socialism or capitalism desirable, I’m not afraid of letting them try. I believe a thoroughly geo-mutualist society is the best society in which to live, and the best society in which to live requires little to no guns for its enforcement. People join it voluntarily, to gain in its benefits.
Both dualist pantheism and geo-mutualist panarchism are revolutionarily pluralistic. That is, rather than looking for one solution, and pressing it onto others, they look for the manners in which many solutions can be tried out, while relating to one another in a healthy way, despite the differences between members.