2. Dichotomies, Duopolies, and False Choices
3. To Do Philosophy is to Be Hunted by Thought-Spirits
It is only natural that the lumbering, faltering dinosaur, which we call the modern bourgeois Westphalian nation-state, should fall prey to the mass delusion that there is no such thing as “grey area” (I think of it as sort of a selective color-blindness). And so, these dichotomies and duopolies are to be expected in partisan politics.
4. Government Failure Exacerbates Philosophical Failure
It is no surprise that philosophy has evaded the state. Nor is it any surprise that our masters have failed to consider even the most basic rational and logical points about how to run an efficient man-devouring mechanical tiger, which we have been foolish enough to call “the economy”. But freedom-lovers still want to believe that if the state, or democracy, or markets fail, then the people will fill-in the gaps.
If - in the course of developing each of our own unique, personalized ideological philosophies - it is impossible to avoid systematically and methodically categorizing ideas, then the categorization system should at least make sense; should be neither too grandiose, nor too simplistic.
6. The Application of the Dialectic Method to Economics
To understand the dialectical method of discourse, it will help to explain thesis, antithesis, and synthesis a bit more clearly, and to use a real-life example of how the components of a thesis-and-antithesis pair interact.
The difficulty of synthesizing socialism and capitalism lies in the difficulty of “picking-up” the pieces. That's because this need impels us to ask ourselves: Which pieces are we to pick up? That is, which things about socialism and capitalism do we like best? Perhaps just as importantly, which socialist ideas are likely to mesh well with which capitalist ideas? Should we synthesize based on our individual preferences, or based on an objective analysis of how socialism and capitalism work best together? It could very well be that an objective analysis is impossible, and a subjective analysis impractical; only the course of history and the bearing-out of facts will guide us on this matter.
Rudolf Steiner (not to be confused with Max Stirner) proposed a sociological theory called “social threefolding”. The theory supports independence of political, economic, and socio-cultural institutions, alongside freedom, equality, and human rights. Social threefolding aims to foster cooperation between these types of institutions, but with minimal interference between them, and without domination by any of them. In my opinion, it is precisely because of this interference (this blending-together of politics, economics, and society and culture), and the domination of one over the others, that false dichotomies and binary “almost-oppositions” remain so prevalent.
On the political compass, socialism is positioned on the left, and capitalism on the right, while tyranny and authority are “on top” (or “up”), and anarchy and freedom are “on the bottom” (or “down”). Tyranny and anarchy are positioned opposite one-another, just like socialism and capitalism, yet they both appear to be valid syntheses of the two economic systems. How is this possible? Truth be told, it's as simple as “forgetting to carry the '1'”; as simple as forgetting to make room for a fourth idea.
In political speech, “the public sector” and “the private sector” are all too often discussed as a binary opposition. That's why many people think that every mode of running a company, or a government program, or a charity, or resources, must fall into one of these two categories. However, the existence of private clubs and club goods, the distinctions which Pierre-Joseph Proudhon made between personal possessions and private property, the idea that land and raw natural resources all fall under “the Commons”, and the existence and pervasiveness of “private-public partnerships” between government and businesses, show that this “public-vs.-private” dichotomy is nothing more than another contrivance.
Edited and Expanded on January 9th, 10th, and 12th, 2018