Why is it that ideological, political and organisational ineptitude and incompetence are endlessly reoccurring phenomena? If the longer-term evolutionary or biological history of a living system, including it’s diverse manifestations in and as cultural and political systems, is oriented towards efficient self-replication and continuity, why is it that so many poor-fitting (and indeed – positively destructive) forms of thought and behaviour percolate to ascendancy and power? Is an ongoing and intransigent repetition of organisational or political ineptitude evidence that what we think or perceive is going on in the world is not actually what is going on?
The underlying principle is perhaps that overt computation (as ordered or patterned information and energy-processing) and intentionality in organisational systems is not necessarily a representation of what is actually going on, of what is actually being processed or computed: the inputs and outputs of the superficial functions we perceive are quite misleading. The percolation of ideology and political personality through organisational systems in the way it does leads us to assume that the goal of those systems is oriented towards the outcomes intended and illustrated by the associated rhetorical and political caricatures and theater. This is a very limited perception of reality and while within a certain bounded spectrum of possibility it is true that political goals are (for better and for worse) exactly what they appear to be, there are much deeper logical substrates and principles at work here.
The endless succession of ill-fitting square pegs of ego or ideology into the round holes of necessity and circumstances is not an accident but nor is it a consequence of any particular cleverness on the behalf of the ascendant personalities. Culture and politics are information-processing systems that seek their own (agent-less, blind and entirely autonomous) self-replication through the vast (and at least overtly inefficient) semiotic soup of aggregate human self-interest. Emergent complexity has a purpose and humanity finds itself surfing on (or in) the breaking wave of all of this driving force and self-propagating momentum.
The purposes of nature and physics are much simpler (and simultaneously – much more sophisticated) than our own. The arrival and ascendance of ideological inaccuracy and political incompetence serves a purpose of generating a systemic turbulence that ensures or probabilistically biases the production of entropy, diversity and novelty within those human organisational systems. Even while authoritarian or parochial and hierarchical command-and-control systems proliferate and emerge or oscillate out of the pattern of information and energy-processing (i.e. computation) that is history – they generate the entropy and discontinuity through which the underlying logical principle of recursively self-propagating metamorphosis and self-organisation can occur.
Disentangling the logical facts and organisational principles from the partial-truths of experience and representation is fascinating but is unlikely to amount to much. This world is quite content with it’s own discontent and happy with it’s unhappiness and inefficiency in ways that suggest that removing these endemic bottlenecks may prove catastrophic. There are solutions and possible better ways of organising our world, as there always are, but no one listens to their own best self-interests when someone else presents them with it. The trick may be, like any good narrative, to allow an audience to “discover” the meaning for themselves.
There is much more to be said on this and much more refinement required to produce an articulate response to the topics under analysis. Ultimately, I can not find explanatory closure and completion any more than political or ideological systems can, so it is probably better to continue waltzing with the intractable ambiguity and uncertainty of entropy in the way I have been.