Friday, May 06, 2005

Chirol Made Me Do It

Chirol has had several, evolving posts on ism's in an effort to provide a way to assess a lot of what's going on in the world. It was very interesting but the categories and the diagramming was not something that fit well in my mind. There are a couple of deficiencies, also. One, as best as I can describe, is it doesn't convey routing through the various parameters on which the rise, maintenance, and fall of governments are viewed. Two, it doesn't convey time, and when I say that, I suppose that means being able to help in historical analysis, monitoring and future predictions.

I know Chirol's posts weren't intended to be complete or final; they where intended for stimulating investigation and analysis. They certainly were for me and in keeping with both his intentional provocation to think about it and my principle of not complaining about problems without also suggesting solutions, here's an alternative. I'd like to know what you think, even if you think it is just a nicotene and caffeine induced cognition.

Let me tell you why I don't like the -isms. -Isms mask fundamentals and they also mask purposes. The most glaring example is nationalism. While it is sometimes an ideal it is rarely used for that purpose. Rather it is most often used for garnering or maintaining power. While this is not the only example that persuades me to shy away from the -isms, it, and others, made me consider its components. For lack of better terms, let me use Personality and Appeal which are the only two I have been able to draw out from the -isms. Personality is the person or persons who desire the power. Appeal is the means to acquire the power. Using these two instead of just the -isms allows for seeing variations and evaluating both them and the whole process. It also allows things to fit that otherwise don't, like military dictatorships, because MD's will tend to occupy more than one field. More about that next.

What puts the government in power? What keeps it in power? There are two sources -- popular sustenance and military maintenance. You can have one or the other or a combination.

That is about it, except for evaluating it's success -- is it stable or unstable?

When I looked at diagramming at this superficial stage, I settled on a circle diagram. That's cool because it helps to convey time in addition to inviting someone to test a government anytime with respect to the circle rather than inviting someone to place the government somewhere in the diagram.

Now I had to breakdown each component in the circle. This is what I have not completely considered. Here is what I have now:

Instigation: Personality, Anti-personality
Appeal: Rights, Religion, Unity, Personality, Ethnic, Family, No-rights
Support: Popular, Military
Success: Stable, Unstable

Another thing about the circle thing. Whereas the cascading box diagram tends to illustrate a trend towards democracy, my circle diagram, fitted as it is, makes no such assumption. A word about the two end appeals -- rights and no-rights. Communism and democracy are polar opposites. In that way Chirol's diagram helps to see that. It is also nice to see C at the top and D at the bottom -- it conveys the natural state (D) at the most stable point and the most unnatural (C) at the top. Anyway, one says everyone has rights to power but no one gets rights, while the other says no one has rights to power but everyone gets rights, at least in general and as far as it lends themselves to an appeal. I equate Rights to Communism and No-rights to Democracy.

I would attach a diagram but it would take too long to create. Maybe I'll put one up later, or if Chirol finds this utterly fascinating and, possibly, an even better concept, he might put one up and carrying test it out on all the states he has done with his diagram. I'm pretty burned out thinkig about this.

Below is a couple of test countries I sent through the circle. But first let me note some things to consider. First, don't think you have to choose one or the other in a box. It could be a sliding scale as in Instigation, or several as in the Appeal box (it is sometimes worth putting dotted dashed and solid lines as you go through this box to indicate the predominant appeal) and maybe sliding again in Enforcement and Success. As to the Appeal breakdown, Family, e.g., monarchy is dead, though it's poorer cousin, sheikdom, which relies on Family and Ethnic is not. For the FE Appeal to work though, you need to add, No-rights via bribes. So, too, the merged appeal of Family and Religion vis-a-vis divine family, caliphate, yada, yada, yada, are pretty much dead. The reasons I mention these, and I could include Communism, too, as dead, is what I might call the experience effect. You can only be Appealed to in this manner so many times before everyone realizes they suck and if you can get a high profile one, neighbors don't have to experience it personally to know it sucks. It doesn't mean you can't have the flash-in-the-pan Hero, which is raw Personality but that Hero still has to have a successful Appeal first and Hero usually comes when Unstable approaches 100%, if it comes at all. There are some other instances of Hero, but I think the government has to be a high Personality or a faux high P manufactured as a competitive Appeal.

Here's two countries China and Cuba. For now, I use Caps for the predominant category and small is if it partly contributes. Using dotted, dashed, solid lines are better visual descriptors.

China:
Rise to late 60's:
Personality; Rights; Popular/military; S/u
P; R; P/M; S
P; R/u; M/p; S
Maintainence 70's & 80's:
P/a; R; M/p; S
A/p; R; M; S/u
A/p; R/U; M; S/u;
A; r/U; M/p; S
Maintenance Late 80's & 90's:
A; U/n; M; S/u
A; U/n; M; S/U
A; U/r; M; S/u
Recent:
A; U/r; M; S/U
A; U/r/e; M/p; S/u
A; U/r/e; M/p; S/U
A; U/E/r; M/p; S/U

[To See Diagram, Go To Right Sidebar, Top "Interesting Subjects" Drop Down Menu, and Click On G-Diagram. It will come up in a pop-up window that you have to resize a tiny bit.]
There's An Image Problem!


A couple of points: Since Mao and his Cadre died off, it has been anti-personality, primarily to prevent the change from Communism/Authoritarianism via a combination of P&M and particularly a P that is military. China has relied on Military more than Populous enforcement ever since and has had to thereby juggle Appeals in managing Stability to keep Populous from overwhelming Military.

Cuba:
Cuba's rise was P;R;P;S and quickly went to P;U;M;s/u ever since and to tell the truth, I don't think it is much more than a Hero, and a military Hero at that, backed up by a military which includes is a shitty no-rights appeal. When Castro dies, the country will transition to Democracy quickly and because the military is impotent against populous enforcement. I could be wrong but that might be because of the rating you would have to give Cuba for what I'd call natural personal survival. Thomas Sowell noted in a book, I forget which of the many that I read where he explained it, if you don't have to plan anything to survive, your tendency will be not to. You will also tend not to change or, for that matter work. If, whenever I am hungry, I can walk a little bit and find something, there is no reason to plan or work. If, however, I can only do that 3 months out of the year, I will plan and work. Cuba is in a good geographical position for low need to plan or work. Low need tends towards stability. N. Korea on the other hand is high need which tends towards instability, thus necessitating more control by such things as appeal and enforcement. Maybe that is why Castro's Cuba is so long lasting -- it has the minimum no need to plan rating. Gulf States supplemented their very low rating with the eventual finding of oil and it sustains the populous (read: tribal) bribing for sufficient support. That's temporary and those governments are eventually doomed because the oil is not renewable. Maybe this rating should somehow be a box on the circle.

One qualm I have about what I've defined now is how the Military Dictatorship runs around the circle, For this most common authoritarian government, either P instigated or A instigated. e.g. South American governments like Chile/Pinochet, or say Pakistan, am I missing an Appeal for when the MD are persistent? To one degree or another they can Appeal but just as often have no Appeal. Is the Appeal usually just Stablitity? I can see MD just being a desire for power for it's own sake and the hell with Appeal, or MD can be transition to democracy if the military retain's it's status as Hero. That puts it close to Family not unlike Monarchy and Figurehead Monarchy. Turkey is a good example/test for what fits in this regard:

Rise:
P (Attaturk); U/nr; M/p; S
Maintenance:
AP/p; NR/u; P/m; S

The interesting thing here is that the Military has little desire for ruling power because it has such a high Personality Status, like a Figurehead Monarchy. It will remain that way until such time as a Personality comes along to compete with it or should I say compete with its persona -- Ataturk. (Funny, I googled to confirm the name and its spelling and one site listed Ataturk's lifetime as "1881 - forever.")

Well, this is getting way too long for an e-mail or a post. Try the circle and see what you think. The nice thing is that you can run Democracies through this also.

Hmm, I'm thinking I might need a double box at Instigation to identify catalysts for change. This would allow for a Hitler, American Revolution Founding Fathers, Ataturk, Simon Bolivar, Lenin, ; successives like Gorby/Yeltsin; impositions like US in Afghanistan and Iraq; deaths like Alexander, Arafat, Hariri.

Update: I did a diagram, but I have forgotten how to upload it. I'll keep trying.

Update II: I put the diagram in below the China runs. (Thanks to Plunge for the reminder on image linking; it meant I didn't have to look it up.) I made a few small changes to the end of the 'China: Present' runs because I accidently slipped into an N = nationalism thinking mode when that should be U for Unity because 'No rights' uses N.

Update III: I coded in the link to the diagram but it does not show up. The code works for the image at the top of the web page and for a pic in a much older post. The only thing I can think of is that the src address has a tilde in it and when I add it via "edit html", it converts it to %7E, which, of course, is not the address. Bummer. Any suggestions?

Update IV: Okay, I cannot wait to figure this problem out so I put it in the top "Interesting Subjects" drop down menu in the right sidebar. The diagram will show up in a pop-up window when you click on it in the menu. You might have to resize the window a little.


2 Creaks:

Blogger Plunge creaked ...

A diagram would make it much easier to follow. I'm not sure how you would normally do this in blogger. I would make it a graphic of some sort, save it to a server, then use the {img src="url"} tag, replacing the "{}" with "<>" thingies.

Interesting post, although a little hard to follow.

5/07/2005 8:40 PM  
Blogger Dusty creaked ...

I don't use blogger for this, Plunge. I used to use Hello but it required me to keep the 'puter on all the time. I upload it now but I forgot the method to put it in the folder via FileZilla. Once I refigure that out, the diagram will be on in a jiffy.

I suppose it is hard to follow for someone who didn't spend 8 hours thinking it up. It's burnt on my mind's retina though.

Thanks for stopping by, Plunge, and I appreciate your comments.

5/08/2005 2:05 AM  

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