Deconstructing “Change”…

So… what IS change?  Why do people want it?  What do people mean when they say they want CHANGE?

By Felix Burton (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

So…. what is change, other than that nearly worthless stuff in your pocket? Admittedly it adds up after a while. Various charities including the indigent know that bit of math. Banks are known to take advantage of it, too.  If we view our circumstances as dire, I suppose, then any change might shake things up.

So,  what do people think change actually is?

What is the nature of change? It is not a simple thing.  Is change an illusion? Is it real? Is it constant, or variable? Under what circumstances do we see undefined change as good?          If it’s so obvious, than people should agree. One might suspect that it depends on one’s political inclinations.   If something is not defined, then it must be easy, right?

By Triplegold3000 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Triplegold3000 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

That’s the problem. We think it’s so obvious that explanations are not necessary, and disagreement is a sign of mental illness.

Really it has to do with philosophy. Yeah, I know. But it does. And this is where politics and philosophy collide like the pissed off rams they are.  Marching and protesting do not change anybody’s mind about philosophy.  What makes matters worse, that philosophical disagreement is used as a wedge to put EVERYBODY under the heel of an oppressive government.

By Chem538w10grp8 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Our disagreements divide and conquer us in the ensuing confusion.  The other problem is our agreement directly affects the health of future freedoms. If we don’t agree, we wind up with the same problems all over again.

These are the meta rules, so there can be no confusion about human nature, or the definition of words, which is what philosophy is all about.  See how the Republicans will compromise with everybody but their own people.  See how the Democrats keep reiterating it’s importance but fail to even negotiate.

You just can’t trust people who want to rule.  Because with that desire come the temptations and vice of every dictator in history. Oh, little things  like purges and genocide.

I’ll wait while you refresh your memory. It’s hard to conceive in a land where things have been so good for so long, that prosperity and freedom is not the natural way of things. Even people who should know better seem to think that what we’ve known will not change.  Even after we’ve driven past that precipice.

By Chem540grp5f08 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

News flash. Change is NOT always good. Change is frequently bad, especially when you’ve had it so good.

There is one thing you can be certain about– rulers not bound by principle will try to get away with whatever power they can.  Little test balloons go up everywhere to see how far they can push their desires without blood in the streets. Ultimately they don’t care about other people’s blood– only the blood of theirs and their own.  I don’t see members of congress (or the executive branch) lining up for martyrdom.

By Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Antonin Scalia – The Oyez Project) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ooops. Maybe I was mistaken. He was seen wearing one of these….

Hans Holbein the Younger [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

With the rest… knows, maybe they want revolution.  But they know that whomever fires the first shot, will be the villain.

Change is constant. It’s always around us. Stability is not an illusion, but a homeostasis,  regular progression of managed change that manifests a pattern. This maintains a situation of stability because each step relies on things known to be true.  But changing those conditions leads to situations made of… we know not what.

By F l a n k e r, penubag (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Without those trusted pillars in place, the changes become unpredictable and obvious.  The only things that do not change are immaterial, such as principles, mathematical constants, and forms. A triangle will always have three sides and three angles. The number two will always have two grouped elements, etc.

Natural Law is the body of constants of observed reality on this planet.  Even if science allows you to “break” some of those laws, this process will have unintended consequences. They will be unpredictable, and should be examined very carefully. Just because it has one immediately good outcome, doesn’t mean we should do it.

Beating someone over the head and taking their money might allow me to pay to save the life of my child dying of cancer. But is it a good policy for a stable productive society?

I have a suggestion.

public domain Source: Wikimedia Commons

This also includes killing genetically complete human beings who don’t look like human beings. Does that mean we can destroy a part of the brain in a person so they are pliable and peaceful, for example? You are only killing tissue, and everybody knows that cancer is tissue, too.  Every decision builds expectation for a given precedent. Even if each event seems separate, law is built on regular patterns that lends itself to a given climate. Kill a small insignificant person on habit, and the next larger size is in danger.

Once you are confused about change, or rights, or what is good, a stable and productive society can’t be discussed coherently. By ignoring and disparaging the philosophy, we have surrendered our most important asset.  The basic definitions our highly successful society relied on, are in disarray. We are so confused we can’t even trust ourselves to remake it anew.

So if we can’t rely on tradition, if we can’t rely on ourselves, if we can’t rely on rulership, or even the meaning of words– what’s left?

That’s right. Whatever the strongest wants.

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