A companion blog, The Metacognition Project, has been created to focus specifically on metacognition and related consciousness processes. Newest essay on TMP: Goals and Problems, part two

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Political Incompetence

What is political incompetence?  Is there some level of it that causes us to seek another more damning term?  How about not realizing the essential design of the forces that operate in our present world?  Think of the game of jenga, an orderly structure is gradually disassembled until it falls.  What if one player pulled out blocks based on some idea of how gravity, friction and momentum work utterly unrelated to their actual functioning.  That person would (1) never win, (2) never know why and (3) be no fun at all to play with after the sheer wonderment of the first (very short) game.

In jenga all that happens is about 30 to 40 little wooden blocks fall down.  The present political incompetence is acting to destabilize a complex of power relationships that, if sufficiently perturbed can only be restored (in a new form) by the testing of every raw force available.  If two people armed with shotguns make a deal to play Parcheesi to settle their differences, it is unwise to tip over the board; it may well be that they would see none but the first option rather than try to calmly find another substitute for a shoot out. 

No one in their right mind would attack a nation, make that two nations, that had done nothing to them (invading Afghanistan because of al Qaeda would be equal to invading Italy because of the Italian mafia; actually less well justified since al Qaeda was then primarily a Saudi organization).  No one in their right mind would destabilize or remove governments without some serious consideration of the disruption of power relationships – even by moronic accident.  No one in their right mind would attempt to corner another nation in such a way that it must forego its most vital interests, especially one with a huge army and nuclear weapons. 

There are only two explanations for such things: incompetence or an agenda secret from the people, an agenda secret from the people and that does not include the people in its considerations other than as instruments.  And in a natural irony, the later would be the greatest of incompetence.  I think we need another name for this administration and its secret underbelly.

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