This Text Can Be Found in the Book,
The Evolution of Consent: Collected Essays (Vol. II)
The two philosophies explored in my work most include dualist pantheism and geo-mutualist panarchism. Dualist pantheism, of course, is a metaphysical position, while geo-mutual panarchism is a position relating to political economy. This essay will explore the relationship of the two.
Dualist pantheists believe that God, Nature, and the Universe are all synonyms, and that the Universe expresses itself through dualities. These dualities can be as basic as white and black or as complicated as the differences between atheism and religion, or fascism and communism.
The value in dualist pantheism can be found in its explanatory power and its ability to reconcile otherwise opposing belief systems.
Pantheism, for instance, is a reconciliation of theism and atheism: In recognizing the self-determination of the Universe, pantheism is in agreement with the atheist; the Universe needs nothing outside of itself to be brought into being. However, in recognizing the inherence of consciousness in the Universe, as a principle, the pantheist ascribes this Universe traditionally theistic elements, such as omniscience, omnipotence, omnibenevolence, omnipresence, and the like; the Universe is self-determined, but this is because it contains in itself a will.
In dualistic varieties of pantheism, such as that I am promoting, the two ontological extremes of idealism and realism are also reconciled. Positive reality— the reality that we see, touch, and measure— is an expression of an underlying substance, which also expresses normative ideality, the ideals that we imagine, dream, and conjure.
In the model of dualist pantheism I am promoting, which I am calling simply dualist pantheism, these ontological positions have relative positions in spacetime. Substance can be understood to be at the very basis of spacetime, and the two attributes of reality and ideality are oriented within it; ideality in the future and time more generally, and reality in the past and especially oriented in space. That is, we feel things, and see things, move from the past to the present, but we do not feel and see things moving from the future to the present, we think them, idealize the future coming into being.
The human future is created from ideas. It is ideas about the future—the human spirit— that construct(s) the past reality into a better present. This is a matter of spiritual change (retrodeterminism). Physical change (classical determinism), however, moves from the past to the present. If left to physical changes alone, without mental constructs to guide them, dissipation (entropy) is most likely to occur. The Universe, under such a rule, becomes fated to heat death. It takes ideas, a guiding field of retrodeterminism (syntropy), to fight such a fate, and to bring the Universe back to singularity (thereby establishing a destiny worth fighting for, worth bringing into being). This is not a choice, though we understand it as such; we are compelled by the future to bring it into fruition. Living beings are agents of such a future.
Dualist pantheism has great explanatory potential, not so much because it is something new unto itself, fighting in the world to preserve itself at the expense of others; but because it embraces and reconciles opposing views, relegating them to their proper spheres. Dualist pantheists embrace science, and all that is explained thoroughly by science, but also recognize the limitations of science, particularly in regard to matters of free will and the agency of living beings, which, directed at least in part by “random” (retro-caused) mutations, cannot be predicted. Because dualist pantheists recognize the limitations of science, we recognize the virtues of spiritualism. Spiritualism— recognizing itself as the attempt to understand or have relation with the unknowable— is a more general knowledge-base than science, which strives for rigidity. Spirituality, for the dualist pantheist, is best approached personally, as each person’s spirit is unique. Because dualist pantheists embrace science in objective matters, and spirituality in subjective ones, dualist pantheism has much more consistent explanatory power than strictly scientific or spiritual positions, which, in ignoring the truths of one another, fall short in describing the totality of things (in the most general sense).
Dualist pantheists accept the views of the realist and atheist when describing material conditions as they move from the past to the present, particularly in regard to the laws of motion. However, dualist pantheists also accept the views of the idealist and the spiritualist when describing ideas as they are delivered from the telos (future) to us in the present. Living beings are not determined strictly by the classical laws of physics, because living beings have a will that determines their behavior. This will is oriented in the future, goals relating to matters understood to be good. Because spirituality involves the experiences and revelations of individuals, it is necessarily subjective, and specifics regarding one’s ends should not be pressed onto others.
Geo-mutual panarchists resolve the conflicts between anarchists and statists, and leftists and rightists, in a manner similar to the dualist pantheist resolution of realism-atheism and idealism-theism. Statists and anarchists, leftists and rightists, have long bickered; geo-mutualism, by “transcending and including” (to use the term of Ken Wilber) these worldviews, offers a means of resolve.
Panarchism is the recognition that many of the things that anarchists understand to be states are completely voluntary for many of their participants. Indeed, upon having disputes with a statist, an anarchist—if they are sharp— will realize that “statists gonna state:” such a cat has often lost all interest in outside freedom; it has come to quite like it indoors, despite the protest of many others! If freedom is what the anarchist is after, it cannot be gained by forcing those who are happy out of their contentment (except when such contentment hinders others from like contentment). If not for the statist pressing their preferred situation onto the anarchist, and if dissenters were allowed to leave, the state of the Republican or Democrat, monarchist or oligarch, would itself constitute an anarchy (as anarchists see it, or “good government” as statists do). Interestingly enough, the forcing of anarchy (in the strong sense) onto those who do not want it for themselves, would constitute to the statist an act of imperialism on behalf of the anarchist, something the anarchists are supposed to oppose! Panarchy suggests that anarchists should be free to live in anarchy, and statists should be free to choose that “good government” they most desire. Panarchy, rather than concerning itself with micromanagement of the polity, is concerned with creating the necessary space for a plethora of views to be voluntarily (on whatever level one desires) practiced.
Panarchism, being a positive vision of existence, understands the progression from monarchical governments to democratic ones to be a matter of progress, but also understand that progress is a matter of opportunism utilized under the proper conditions, not just by good ideas. Progress cannot be forced. This being so, governments of the many varieties of statists, and non-governments of the many varieties of anarchists, will relate to one another panarchistically, but will not be physically compelled to practice panarchy internal to their own organizations. Panarchist sub-entities, however, will be welcomed, and—as I see it—will have a strong competitive advantage.
Geo-mutualist panarchism could easily have been called dualist panarchism, because Georgism and mutualism alike share the virtue of reconciling individualist and collectivist worldviews. Both of these ideologies treat labor as a possession of the individual, and land as a matter of the commons. They differ in regard to the management of capital (I tend to agree with the mutualists more here, favoring cooperative companies to employers, which George was soft on). This is in contrast to the communists, who treat land and labor alike as possessions of the commons; and capitalists, who treat land and labor alike as private property of individuals. The communist would leave the individual at the whim of the community, forced to do its bidding. The capitalist would take up the opposite vice, believing land to be privately appropriable, leaving individuals without claim to their own birthright (the commons). Georgists and mutualists, instead, would both prefer individuals to maintain sovereignty over their own efforts, and to have the means to access the wealth afforded us by nature. Land, after all, is not a human creation, but is instead a gift from God.
Geo-mutualism is a form of libertarian socialism. That is, geo-mutualism expresses both libertarianism (usually associated with individualism, freedom of association, free markets) and socialism (in the “small-s” sense, worker ownership of their own labor, access to resources) within its bounds, to the extreme of each. That is, a geo-mutualist economy is not only partially socialist and partially libertarian, but is thoroughly so. A libertarian would be hard-pressed to make an argument that such a society infringed on liberty, and a socialist would become enamored by the worker self-management and equitable distribution of wealth and social power it would create.
Just as no entity will be forced to practice panarchy within its own bounds, but will instead be expected to relate to others panarchistically, the same must be said of geo-mutualism. No government or non-government should be physically forced to practice geo-mutualism within its own bounds, but those who do—as I see it—will have a strong competitive advantage, and a higher success rate, which will direct others to behave accordingly voluntarily, either by leaving their old governments/non-governments or by changing them.
Geo-mutualist panarchism reconciles the differences between statist and collectivist worldviews and those held by anarchists and individualists. It does this by allowing statists and anarchists to practice their own system, allowing each to have access to land, and to control and manage their own efforts. Different folks will make very different choices regarding their own labor, and that land (or land-value) that is presented them by the community. Some, no doubt, will form communes, others will try privately-owned tenant communities; still more will be thoroughly geo-mutualist.
Dualist pantheism lays the foundation upon which geo-mutualism may be built. As Marxists have their dialectical materialism, and as libertarians have the (God’s) invisible hand of the market, geo-mutualism sets atop dualist pantheism. The case is such that the left, while economic idealists, tend metaphysically toward materialism; and the right, while economic realists, tend metaphysically toward idealism: The communists of the left tend toward dialectical materialism, as expressed by Dietzgen, Engels, and Marx. However, the fascists of the right tend toward metaphysical idealism and the occult. Hinduism, for instance, is admired by many fascist types for its caste system. Heinrich Himmler was a neo-pagan. Rudolf Hess was an astrologist. Hitler and Mussolini were likely materialists in their personal views, but they used idealism and occult imagery (such as Aryans, Atlantis, etc.) in their projections, and faked positive relation to the Catholic Church, to appeal to the German and Italian people (idealism has a strong home in Germany, one must remember). Even if Hitler and Mussolini were not themselves idealists, they used idealism to appeal to the mass of fascists below them, who did tend toward idealism. Less radically different, now, we can see also that Conservatives tend toward Christianity and liberals tend toward secularism. Geo-mutualist panarchism, unlike the polarized left and right, is a radically centrist ideology; naturally, it will rest upon an equally centrist metaphysic. Indeed, such is the case with dualist pantheism.
As mentioned previously, geo-mutualist panarchism could easily have been called dualist panarchism. Geo-mutualism, after all, is a matter of balancing socialism and markets, left and right, and other political-economic dualities. Likewise, dualist pantheism could be rendered, not geo-, but cosmo-mutualist pantheism. Dualist pantheism reconciles all into cosmic compatibility.
Cosmo-mutuality is best understood in terms of attribute dualism. Attribute dualism, unlike Cartesian substance dualism, understands duality to be an expression of an underlying unity, rather than a true divide. Implied in the worldview is the understanding that seeking to better understand this unity, rather than getting exclusively caught up in one’s own subjectivity, leads to bliss, or blessedness (in terms of Spinoza). The real and the ideal, extension and thought, are not truly at odds with one another, but are the expression of an underlying substance.
Within the attributes of the real and the ideal can be oriented the political and economic orientations of anarchist and statist, left and right. It is panarchy and pantheism that steps beyond the duality, and reaches toward substance.
Anarchists and leftists, alike, are idealists. Both are inclined to express normative ethics that are rarely practiced in reality. Likewise, statists and rightists both base their arguments on positive reality; statists suggest that government must be used to make change, because “it’s just the way things are.” Capitalists, on the right, argue that private property rights over land must exist because “people are lazy,” not recognizing the fact that capitalism fails to properly reward, and thereby incentivize, labor, seeing things only under the conditions we are currently under, and have been under in the past. Interestingly, as previously pointed out, each is generally inclined to place their political-economic vice atop the opposing metaphysical vice, as if to compensate: The politically idealist left is inclined toward materialist atheism; the politically realist right is inclined toward idealist theism.
A society that best meets the conditions of peace, freedom, and equity—rather than being polarized— can only be found by reconciling the differences found among the ideologies of the world. This does not necessarily have to take place as complete consensus, and everyone acting with absolute permission from the whole of society at all times (that’s ridiculous!). Instead, it means motion toward consensus, all while allowing experimentation, and space for each individual and group (capable of maintaining itself) to practice whatever system, arbitrary or not, behooves their subjective preferences, and fulfills them spiritually. Those experiments generating fruitful outcomes will be duplicated.
A truly free, peaceful, and equitable society must first learn to get along, must find ways to resolve disputes, and methods of distributing wealth fairly. This means creating an organization that affirms and promotes oftentimes contradictory ideologies, so long as they can be maintained at their own costs, and are not actively aggressing on others. Ideology of such a new society must be handled two-fold: The disputes in human societies are not only political and economic, but also metaphysical. A new society must offer resolutions to political economy and religion alike. It must have a boundary-set that is such that Christians and atheists, realists and idealists, Marxists and Evolians, statists and anarchists, can be contained within it, peacefully, fairly, and freely.
All worldviews, which are not outright lies, but which have conviction behind them, are compelled by some very true aspect of existence, even if understanding of the applications of that aspect has been inflated and projected to an unhealthy and untrue degree, and particularly when this means ignoring the truths of others, and sticking to a rigid outlook. Idealists are right to afford consciousness a unique attribute, but are not right to treat is as substance; likewise with realists and the material. Marxists are correct to believe that workers deserve more claim to sustenance, but are not right to include claims to others’ labor (unless under voluntary contract, as in a panarchy). Likewise, Rothbardians are correct to believe that personal control is the most efficient means of allocating labor; they are incorrect to apply personal control to land, to such a point it becomes monopolized under capitalism. The trick of the panarchy is to allow these false premises to play out as voluntary experiments on behalf of the members, in order to establish margins associated with vice, from which others will know to stray in order to maintain a position of virtue. There is no need to restrict such defunct and over-inflated worldviews as hard collectivism or hard individualism; they will simply be unable to compete with those systems which have more virtuous pursuits and methods of management. Natural selection will continue its work.
As society evolves, each era comes with new pairs of political and religious institutions. Hunter-gatherer’s, who practiced primitive anarchy, were animists; horticulturalists, under the rule of a few families within a clan (primitive aristocracy), were polytheists; agricultural people, under monarchy, were monarchists; democratic nations tend toward secularism. Likewise, geo-mutualist panarchism and dualist pantheism, paired with a convivial post-industrial society, will provide the grounds of future political and religious expression.
Dualist pantheism and geo-mutualist panarchism are similar approaches to differing, but related, areas of philosophy. Both reconcile the positive and negative into the neutral. Panarchy reconciles government and anarchy; pantheism God and atheism. Attribute duality reconciles the real and ideal; geo-mutualism the more modal left and right. This is necessary as a foundation to a new convivial society, wherein all can seek whatever fulfills them in their own way.