The Disunited States of America

Context: Republican plan could embed destructive US foreign policy

What a curious world this is where the aesthetic ambiguities of political self-interest are quite prepared to embrace such dissociative pathologies (and personalities) as would have shamed their forebears into abject silence. In some ways we might assert that this is symptomatic of a historical moment in which the logical consequences of accelerating technological and cultural change, diminishing attention spans and a hyper-inflating referential (i.e. information) space leave all ends of a(ny) political spectrum grasping for salience and anchors upon which to assert self-determination.

More than this, though – there may be more or less concrete logical reasons why proliferating uncertainties breed reactionary adversarialism(s). Complex information and energy-processing systems tend towards the reproduction of the environmental circumstances that bias their own sustainable continuity. In this context, it is not a matter of personalities or ideologies so much as that the autonomously self-propagating computational system of US politics has assumed the lowest-energy configuration and cultural-encoding by which it might most effectively reproduce itself. For better and for worse, this is an autonomously self-propagating rationale.

The next step up the ontological ladder of interpretive sophistication might be to acknowledge that the information system that constitutes the whole messy kaleidoscope of political difference is priming it’s transmission medium of minds and material artefacts for optimal self-propagation. That is, while we might assert some threshold level of neurophysiological predisposition and an even larger effect of acquired cultural or historical orientation and partisan bias – the antithetical turbulence of these narrative information systems actually constitute to the sustainable continuity of a larger interdependent totality that is itself endlessly reproduced through this distributed ideological disunity.

In this way, those passionate attachments and sociopolitical pathologies (on both sides of this eternal schism) can be seen to be necessary components of the self-propagation of a gestalt unity. Further, that this whole system of complex narrative entropy not only reproduces itself through those individuals and tribes, but it reproduces those individuals and tribes as enthusiastically passionate political subjects. This is likely to be a particularly unpopular practical assessment of the meta-political facts.

More context: Irony and Outrage – The Polarized Landscape of Rage, Fear, and Laughter in the United States

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