Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Importance Of Balance

I want to demonstrate why a balanced society needs to be comprised of predominantly “average” members. Suppose we have a dozen groups of 12 hens each and are assessing the egg production of each. We start by recognizing the top hen producer in each group. Then we recognize the top group of the 12. Counting the eggs of the top producing hens from each group will produce far more eggs than counting those from the top group. Now, the question is, what would intuitively seem to be the best way to put together 12 hens in order to maximize egg production?

Many will likely say it would be best to place the top hen from each group to maximize production. But this would be wrong. Why? Because this disrupts “nature's equilibrium". Though this strategy seems plausible, actually what happens is anarchy. The top hens of each group are successful because they are the alpha of their group. Fighting inevitably ensues when all the alphas are placed into a single group! Because of this “subversion from within”, little or no eggs are produced.

Now it is true to say dominance in their respective group was responsible for their success, but dominance itself only functions properly when there are relatively few alphas so as to avoid this “butting of heads”! Herein lies the wisdom of a balanced society being comprised of mostly, dare I say, “meager” members. It is only through interaction with so many “meager” hens that allows the top producer of each group to prosper.

The question is, who wants to be but a “meager” member of society? Very few if any though we can reasonably assume this is what most of us are made to be in order to accommodate “nature's equilibrium". This leads to one of the fundamental problems of any society: most rulers are not good rulers because they are not fit to rule, rather they are only overly motivated to do so. Why? Because as I've said before, nobody wants to be merely “average”.

In Socrates Republic, he very nicely explains why a fit ruler should be interested in, above all, what is best for society as a whole (this being comprised of predominantly “meager” members). In this case, should any ruler be perhaps meager himself so as to best relate to and hence best serve his predominantly “meager” citizens? 

On the other hand, what chance might a “meager” ruler have in possessing strong leadership abilities? As is often the case, hardly ever do things go according to what would be ideal (not the least of reasons being the fact that there is no consensus as to what is ideal anyway)*.

Perhaps the best strategy in life might be to be who you are as opposed to attempting to become who you think you ought to be? The question is, who are you?

*This yearning we instinctively have for society to follow one cohesive and ultimately arbitrary ideal is likely where the "idea" of a perfect God originated. For it gives us a sense that "we" have the right answers to everything and that upon death we will be united in our ways with "perfect God"! Contrast this to the alternative of humbly accepting differences in opinions and convictions, many of which are no less right or wrong than others, and attaining peace with this realization. In this sense, we can humbly accept not getting everything OUR way. Of course Burger King would disagree!

In summary, I think it profoundly wise for each class to recognize the importance of the other(s). Though we spend much of our precious resources antagonizing and infuriating one another with our divergent goals and ideals, it seems necessary in order for nature to balance itself properly.

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