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Or... Sprinklers + Pyramids?

Ethical & Political Maslow

Many of us encountered Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory somewhere along the way, but from what I've seen, the profoundly lofty (singular) Ethic of the model generally is still buried well beneath the base of that classic pyramid.

The levels essentially trace our own evolutionary path in deeply individualistic psycho-social terms. Tree swingers. Clans. Safety. Security. Roles. Family. Trust. Intimacy. Friends. Group respect. Confidence. Self- esteem. Possibility... Hey, what's in it for maniacal monkey me?


That highest plateau -- a smaller pyramid unto itself -- posits a heady challenge for any advanced primate: what a person CAN be, one MUST be. We must assume, for the sake of civility, social order, & justice, that the happy murderer may be a “good” choice for that individual -- the veritable “best of all possible worlds” from the actual matrix of multiple choices of highest self-interest being made simultaneously -- but, uhmmm, not so good FOR the other. Oops. Dead. Hey, it was “a good” move for me, at the time... Again, if ethics is the science of the morals of the individual, politics is the science of the morals of the many. What's missing in Maslow's sleek design is the social impact of that possible path: the poly-ethic of the individual choice. Yup, politics.

Clayton's FRG, or frustration-regression principle, claims if higher level needs remains unfulfilled, one may regress to lower level needs that are easier to satisfy. His is a relatively recent "addition" to the geometry via a metamorphic tidal pool: frustration of needs directs tidal flow back down to easier-to-get needs while progression pushes the ebb upward toward yet higher needs (read: Western “success & happiness”). About 7 billion+ definitions on that one... What's in a smile?

Our current state of affairs, the health of Our USA Democracy & much else, registers dismal at best. That singular pyramid up top? It wants yet more. That can include & most probably does include every one of us. Perhaps too often we'd all like something better. We consume more than we produce. We live in the credit future. Understandable, culturally & biologically: we're neurologically wired to pursue a predictably better future. We can imagine what's ahead. We can plan for it. We can act upon those plans. We can get it done. We seek Ideals based on experienced Values. Was the belief good for me? Religion & politics are inextricably kindred souls. Our capacity with symbolic possibility built civilizations galore. And, it'll tear 'em down.

This same geometric model of assumptions can apply quite easily to political candidates & what values each of them holds that Attracts like-minded, chattering monkeys. Why some trees in the canopy overflow with similar vocalizations should frighten that other group upstream. Old news.

Clayton sounds more like a ground-dwelling pragmatist to balance the "categorical imperative" ethic of Maslow. "Must be?" That's a tough mandate, unless it's ONLY for one's own self. The assumption that we desire more of ourselves -- & we have Free Will to do so -- is pivotal to both. Human nature may not always rock, but our potential always does: Ideals.


So let's park a rotating, moving sprinkler on top of Maslow's pyramid. The "ideal" geometric shape to represent the literal flow of matter & energy from any of us is the TORUS. It flows up front the center, out in all directions, then recycles one's fluid course back up through its base.

So, yes, I vote for an oblique vortex torus atop that pyramid. It's truly a Constitutional image.

 

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