The Right, The Left, and the Competent (Able) Lawrence Gold

You've got your left and you've got your right.
If you take away your left, your right is left, right? 
~~ The Gold Brothers

Well, it turns out that the terms, The Right and The Left, politically-speaking, have actual descriptive value; they have useful meaning.  This piece is about that meaning, so you may better understand the predicament of our civilization.

The useful meaning comes, surprisingly, from the sides of the body and the way we, as humans operate. Roughly ninety percent of humans are right-handed, so ten percent exist as reversed exceptions to this explanation.  Still the metaphor and the explanation are apt.

Here's how it goes:

In the main population, right-handedness is a matter of
  • the known
  • the reliable
  • the able
  • the predictable
  • the strong
  • the competent
That's good enough as a start.

As the sub-dominant side, left-handedness is a matter of
  • the less known
  • the not-so-reliable
  • the not-so-able
  • the not-so predictable
  • the weaker
  • the not-so-competent
Politically speaking, the Right Wing (generally called, conservatives) goes for what they consider to be the known, the reliable, the tried and true, the predictable, established sources of power, and established authority.  That's what they conserve -- and in times of healthy stability, it works.

Politically speaking, the Left Wing (generally called, liberals or progressives) consist of the innovators, and so, the unknown (or not-so-well-known), the untested, the unpredictable, those on the outskirts of power, and those with new answers not validated by the established authorities.

The Right Wing, being predisposed to the known, mistrust the Left Wing. They see the Left Wing as destabilizing, as unreliable, as less intelligent than they. The Right Wing tries to reinforce the Status Quo, with which it identifies, and to do things the way they "have always been done," and anything other than that is suspect or wrong.

The Left Wing, being predisposed to the new, responsive to the need for change, view The Right Wing as oppressors, dominant and entrenched. The Left Wing works to change the Status Quo and they see The Right Wing as always taking over and preserving the Status Quo -- to the benefit of those who want to do things the way they have always been done, who are already at an advantage.

We are not arguing, "rightfully" or "wrongly", here. We're just describing attitudes, as they happen to coincide with handed-ness.  See the fit?

Now, here's the odd predicament: it happens that there is a healthy Right Wing, a healthy Left Wing, and an unhealthy Right Wing, and an unhealthy Left Wing -- and each lumps the healthy forms in with the unhealthy forms, making no intelligent discrimination between them, condemning both forms.  They're both considered, "matters of choice", nothing more, and considered defensible under the banner of "freedom" (for themselves), rather than of merit.

The Right Wing is Right -- Sometimes
The Right Wing's approach works as long as the Status Quo is sufficient to manage situations at hand. In a crisis, The Right Wing tries to restore the Status Quo, and that's the role of a healthy Right Wing.

However, in the lifespan of every civilization, there come challenges that are bigger than can be handled by preserving the old ways.  Faced with such challenges, The Right Wing is not "conservative" (regardless of how it it called), but incompetent, a hazard to civilization, the continuation of which requires intelligent change.  An incompetent Right Wing is an unhealthy Right Wing, and an incompetent Right Wing is a destabilizing and unreliable force, just as it regards The Left Wing to be.  In times of crisis beyond its competence, the Right Wing is unhealthy in refusing the Left Wing.

However, the Right Wing, being committed to Status Quo, tends to deny that challenges are bigger than can be handled by itself. Rather than incorporate the progressive orientation of the Left Wing, The Right Wing resorts to denial and reinforcement of its own interests, and so is incompetent, just as a right-handed person would be if refusing to use his left hand when the situation calls for it.  It attributes to the "underclasses" its own stalwart self-interest and unwillingness to change under the labels, "laziness", "criminality", and "something-for-nothing free lunch."

The Left Wing's approach works as long as the known, the "credentialed", the tried and true, and the powerful -- i.e., The Right Wing -- supports it.  However, in a crisis, The Right Wing not only refuses or undercuts such support; it denies that its Status Quo is legitimately in question.

It's a case of incompetence shielded by dishonesty -- or to use the "handedness" metaphor, it's a case of incompetence and assertion of competence -- which together amount to incompetence.

So, The Right Wing is incompetent, afraid, and dishonest and The Left Wing is weak because unsupported by The Right Wing, which holds the entrenched power and resources.

The Left Wing Should Be Left -- Sometimes
An unhealthy Left Wing, on the other hand, seeks influence by overthrowing the Right Wing and, in memory, has enforced social experiments to huge detriment of mass humbers of people for whom it should have been the champion. In so doing, members of the Left Wing have sought their own Status Quo and sought to become as entrenched as the Right Wing had been. You take away the right, and the left is right, right?  As history has shown us, not so much.

We Need Both Healthy Right and Healthy Left
Both Wings are a problem because they're one-sided -- i.e., under-educated in terms of the potentials available in the other -- and so see each other as opponents, rather than as resources. Neither rightfully controls the power landscape. Both see their relationship in terms of a fight.

You can see the stupidity of the situation.

A healthy Right Wing and a healthy Left Wing need each other -- need the Right Wing in times of stability and need The Left Wing in times of change.

Now, let's look at the current world situation.

How and Why
The word, "crisis", means, "crossing" -- "turning point". 

Multiple crises are converging on human civilization (not to mention the entire biosphere), crises resulting from
  • over-concentration of wealth in the hands of a Right-Wing few,
  • disappearance of the middle-classes (increase of the lower classes),
  • overpopulation and over-demand upon natural resources, 
  • religious-fundamentalist (ethnic) violence, abominably called, "ethnic cleansing", rather than attempted genocide,
  • the danger of high-tech weapons falling into the hands of rogue states and individuals, 
  • climate change and its effects on the food chain, 
  • degradation of food quality due to growth in soils depleted of nutritional value over decades of use, 
  • overfishing of the oceans, 
  • mass extinctions of species and ecological collapse (or at least, drastic change),
  • world-wide economic instability, 
  • appearance of antibiotic-resistant disease organisms,
  • and toxification of our environment by petrochemical pesticides and industrial from industries that funnel wealth to The Right Wing.
Nice, huh?

This convergence of crises is beyond the capacity (and willingness) of The Right Wing to manage; these are new challenges outside the competence of the tried and true and destined to produce unprecedented change. The Right Wing needs The Left Wing, now.

However, The Right Wing wants to enforce business as usual, which, in the long run, it cannot because of the magnitude of the changes; yet the unhealthy Right Wing in power refuses the influence of The Left Wing.

Crises Reinforced by Dishonesty
The Right Wing, at least publicly, denies the scope of these crises, denies climate change, treats the mass-extinction of species as either irrelevant or as normal, asserts its right to the overwhelming majority of the wealth, resorts to military force to quell the uprising of Third World cultures, and resorts to control of the mass-news-and-entertainment media to regulate the middle- and lower-classes to its own liking.

But that is not all.

It's not that the Right Wing doesn't believe that multiple crises are upon us; it does "see the writing upon the wall".  However, this unhealthy Right Wing conceals or minimizes the scope of these crises in hope of itself surviving while everyone else goes to perdition. The unhealthy Right Wing entertains the delusion that it can survive in enclaves of wealth somehow immune to the planetary changes upon us, and without everyone else -- meaning without the economic roots of production and consumption upon which its survival depends. It's population control in a negative sense -- done stupidly, incompetently, and self-righteously.

This unhealthy Right Wing (at least in the U.S.A.), is secretly committed to a program that it sees as insuring its future survival: that of wiping out the Left Wing and the middle- and lower-classes -- or of letting it die out: "Live and Let Die".

The unhealthy Right Wing
  • uses mass-surveillance to monitor the Left Wing, 
  • uses laws and privilege to funnel wealth to itself, 
  • throttles financial resources that might be devoted to education, health-care and infrastructure, 
  • directs those resources to military preparation or to further concentration of wealth,
  • controls the mass-communications media to keep the mass of the population pacified and ignorant of the situation, 
  • supports corporate license to damage the larger population and biosphere for the sake of profits, 
  • and uses money to control the political power structure to maintain these courses of action.
Above all, the unhealthy Right Wing makes the gigantic mistake of thinking that educating the masses will lead to a shortage of jobs and loss of wealth, rather than to an increase of human knowledge-ability-and-problem-solving resources.  Education leads to wealth-production, but the unhealthy Right Wing misses the lesson of its own experience.

The Right Wing is dedicated to the Status Quo and to entrenched power because it lacks the mental capacity to entertain views outside the tried and true, the known, and the powerful.  It's like a right-handed person who, totally inept with his left hand, disparages it.  Power and control ("Money") are his measure of well-being, but he doesn't think to bring his other half up to speed. Thus, he stays inept. He (or she) fails to see the larger picture (while thinking that (s)he does see the larger picture), and that is his incompetence. It's the same incompetence as that of the Central American Indians when the Spaniards arrived; they couldn't conceive of what was coming, except in terms of the familiar, because what was happening was so far outside of their familiar frame of reference -- and we know what became of their civilizations, even as of the North American Indians.

In a period of crisis, The Right Wing is deficient without The Left Wing; The Left Wing is deficient without The Right Wing.  Only together, in their healthy forms, do they have the resources, mental capacity, and force of will to pass intelligently and competently through the crises converging upon us.

Those in their unhealthy forms, Left or Right, do not deserve the power that is in their hands.  Thus, remove it from their hands.

Full-Spectrum Somatics The Right, The Left, and the Competent (Able) Lawrence Gold

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