Wednesday, January 22, 2014

expectation as the root of authoritarianism, part 1

Everything I write is either too obvious or too opaque. I don't know where that line is, but this is probably more on the obvious side, or not.

At the root of authoritarianism is expectation. Example. I'm typing something on the computer and the wife says something about paying a bill. I get annoyed because I'm in the middle of something, but quickly hide it, because I know she's just doing a normal thing that I'd do myself, i.e., talking to people. But the annoyance was there and the reason -- and here is my insight, or not -- is that I expected to not be interrupted. The expectation is there and consciousness has little to do with it. Pretty obvious, so far, I guess.  

Here's another example, perhaps building to a point. I'm walking with one of the kids, committed to the idea that their desires are as valuable as mine, or more so, and they're playing, aimlessly, like bubbles dancing in the wind. But I want to go to the store. And even with my non-authoritarian principles, I get annoyed because goddammit, I want to go to the store. But that's not it, exactly. I expect to go the store. I've already grasped it, made it my own, like Steve Nash expecting to make a free throw as he's shooting (before he's made, or missed, it). The expectation comes before. Well done, Aristotle. You can't understand systems without teleology. 

Now let's say you're minding your business and someone punches you in the face for no apparent reason. The relatively simple body cells are pissed off, because they were expecting something else. Closer to consciousness, irritation develops because this was a human consciousness who screwed up your expectation of not getting punched and such things as human consciousnesses operate in terms of an expectationality that has to do with self-serving blame games and trying to manipulate other human consciousnesses to act in accordance with local expectations via what is known as ethics. The response to hurricanes that mess up your day is quite different. Human consciousnesses and hurricanes don't relate like that.

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