The Whole in Favour of the Individual


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Jason Ghionis, December 30, 2016. Original article published on Nov. 6 2016.

The Whole in favour of the individual, implies the individual in favour of the Whole.

a) It is a principle bearing axiomatic validity. If the Whole were not in favour of the individual, then the individual would not exist in the first place.

b) The Whole by virtue of being the Whole, encompasses perfection, also as an axiom, and the individual, as an infinitesimally small subset of the Whole, is by definition imperfect.

In light of the above the individual is faced with two, conflicting choices:

1. Attempt to approximate perfection (which also guarantees the individual's viability at this stage), through their harmonization-alignment with the Whole.
2. “Cultivate” their imperfection,  acting upon it, degrading their innate relation to the Whole.

1. by extension, aligns with the notion of the individual in favour of the Whole.  Which as an inverted tautology, implies the Whole in favour of the individual. In other words, it leads to the actualization of an optimal duality.

On the basis of this syllogistic, any course we consciously attempt to set, must obey the axiomatic principle of the Whole in favour of the individual. And if the Whole ends up working against the individual (something which is already happening), it will be because the individual is working against the Whole. And when the Whole works against the individual, what do you think the outcome will be?

For no reason whatsoever, should we assign a narrow definition to the Whole.  The Whole can not be equated for instance to a short-term cycle of “prosperity” in the Economy.  On the one hand, because the Whole embodies the property of sustainability, and on the other, because it knows of no restriction in time and space. In other words, a short-lived, precarious equilibrium in the Economy, does not identify (or align) with the Whole.

Following this series of thoughts, let us have a look at the notion of universal basic income (UBI).  One of the most potent and interesting ideas, that may be broadly adopted in the not so distant future.

If soundly implemented, UBI could definitely help “unleash” a vast creative dynamic, which is a necessary precondition for a Societal Metamorphosis, which in turn will give form to the beacons we seek, so that we can overcome today's critical stalemate.

As any idea however, the notion of universal basic income can either work in favour or against the Whole, and the individual by extension.

If for example UBI is enacted, funded by society's participation in the profit-making of multinational corporations, as I read in a recent article-proposal by a well-known economist, then each citizen in effect becomes an equity-holder, and their interests will by definition align with MNC interests (rise in MNC profitability => rise in UBI).

One need not be an economist, to understand that if the interests of society align with the interests of multinational corporations, we will self-destruct.

By taking the position of [systemic] devil's advocate for a moment, one could claim that in theory and technically, the idea holds sway.  On the one hand it does not create rampant inflation since it redistributes revenue which is backed by actual production.  On the other hand, apart from the obvious financial benefits to the sum-total of the population, through increasing demand for consumption, it could well help reverse the deflationary trend, which is causing undue damage to pension funds, among other things.

So far so “good”.  If we dig a few layers deeper though, we quickly arrive at the conclusion that with such an implementation, we do not avoid the impasse of the individual against the Whole.  This is simply because the rationale of exponentially increasing profitability (the systemic base of all capital markets), from which it follows that we constantly sacrifice the future in favour of the present, undermines our relation to the Whole, and that eventually works against the individual.  More so in fact, if society in its entirety were to become complicit in resuscitating this warped narrative.

One of the basic problems in mainstream thought is the frequently, imperceptibly embedded worldview of expansive domination (over the market, Nature, others).

It is definitely nothing less than hubris and self-negation, to attempt to dominate, like parasites, on ever-increasing subsets of the Whole. An idea, speaking of which, I heard with my own ears being fully endorsed on the verge of delirium, by a Nobel-laureate-astrophysicist at the “Symposium of the 7 Wise Men” in 2015 in Athens, when he proceeded to classify a civilization on the basis of its ability to extract energy* on i) a planetary, ii) star-system, iii) galactic/intergalactic and iv), inter-universal level ...(!)

Many in bygone centuries, have drawn parallels between the human body and the universe, as its miniature. This point of view is further validated through scientific observation, with all the similarities and correspondences between the macroscopic and microscopic levels of matter.  If for instance we think of the human body as a miniature of Earth, and of human cells as the equivalent of human beings, we become aware of the fact that the cells that attempt to multiply their activity exponentially, destroy the body.

In conclusion, any given construct of the human mind, be it a system, a design, a recommended course of action, must adhere to the principle of the Whole in favour of the individual.  This after all, is the holistic approach.  And as much as one may investigate, irrespective of their starting point, providing they dig deep enough and attempt to view things beyond the narrow confines of our artificial, imperfect systems and fields of knowledge, in some strange way, will always arrive at this principle.

* In reference to the Kardashev scale.