the Culture Bomb

Political memetics

Politics are a hotbed for memetical evolution via natural selection. Any political stance is a meme that is locked in battle with competing memes seeking supremacy over a population. Throughout much of the modern world, the biggest opposition is between which economic system is better: capitalism vs. socialism. The idea? Private vs. Public ownership of business, management, means of production and allocation of materials. These are extreme points of view, and currently no nation has ever been wholly capitalistic or wholly socialist.

And I invite anyone to prove otherwise. Because memes compete to be incorporated in a persons “belief-space”, conflict arises within a person, within a nation, within a world that attempts to not allow for the merits of both systems within an ideology. But the truth is there are merits to both systems, and they do exist side by side even now, one hand naturally washing the other except in cases where the brain tells one hand to refuse.

Additionally there are two types of opposing political systems: Democracy and Totalitarianism. Democracy being a system in which the people rule and totalitarianism being a system in which people are totally controlled. Again, no country has ever been wholly democratic or totalitarian. Because these are extreme points of view as well. However, with the advancement of technology, both may be on the horizon. Imagine decisions in a country being made by trending on Twitter, while most of the population is more interested in voting for reality shows. Imagine a population being controlled through social/genetic engineering, chemical manipulation and cybernetic implantation, to create a population of programmable super-soldier automatons.

Now to narrow it down yet again, let’s look at political parties. In the U.S., our black and white mentality has led to there only being two viable political parties. Republican and Democrat. With a little light reading one will discover a plethora of various parties in other nations with much more repute. Read up on factual Canadian and U.K. political parties. 

Observing political memes is a great way to isolate the impact that memetics has upon the culture at large. Memes are invented and put into practice, failing or succeeding based on the ratio of success or failure of the majority. Cultural evolution is a long winded process, and even though there are minor setbacks, or changes in direction, overall civilization is shown throughout history to be moving towards a more democratic, socialist, and liberally global society.

One can revise the 2nd law of thermodynamics and easily create an analogy to introduce the “2nd law of cultural dynamics”.

2nd law of thermodynamics: Energy spontaneously tends to flow only from being concentrated in one place, to becoming diffused or dispersed and spread out.

Now, replace energy with power of political control or even absolute authority. Nobody has absolute control, but if you piece together the matrix of socio-power, one can notice it growing more complex(diffuse) as time goes on. The individual truly has power now, and yet memes spread through numerous varying guises that instigate and reinforce political apathy and antipathy. Thus power is concentrated more fully in the hands of the few.

Now for another analogy. Politics are the means with which we govern ourselves in such complex societies. Apathy and antipathy towards politics is analogous to a child not knowing whats good for them, throwing a tantrum, refusing to eat their carrots, to clean their room, to share, to play nice, to go to bed, to turn off the t.v., go outside to play (exercise), to save their allowance for that thing they really want rather than frivolously spending on that instantly gratifying treat. Does any of this sound familiar?

This entry was published on October 3, 2010 at 11:20 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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