Gossip, Power and Culture

Gossip, Power & Culture - The Engine of Society

07 February 2017       ACB Wilson, BRLSI Philosophy Group


If on the whole humans are law abiding, intelligent and compassionate, how can one explain corporate greed and continual warfare? Tony Wilson’s chillingly objective explanation is that if we can get rid of the Platonic fantasy that as Hegel said ‘man rises to God’ then two perceptions fall into place. First, that all social creatures; from microbes to humans must achieve assembly before they can perform. Second, that this performance always conforms to a three-phase mutually trumping feedback control loop similar to the game ‘Scissors, Paper and Stone’. The idea is referred to as ‘assembly and performance thinking’. The three phases of performance have various guises, typically: Review (for Gossip), Act (for Power) and Learn (for Culture).
An impressive series of explanations follows from these two perceptions. Assembly mechanisms explain bullying, looting, bureaucracy, law-making and morality, while performance mechanisms elucidate culture, the balance of powers, the nature of God and the dynamics of inter-group action.
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Gossip, Power and Culture Feb 2017.docx