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Eristic Escalation

So as of last Thursday, SA has an additional 2 weeks of lockdown, bringing it to a total of 5 weeks (for now). Who knows what the government will decide at the end of the month. There have been so many conversations about how brave our government has been in taking the decision to extend lockdown, to protect its citizens. But has our government been shortsighted in doing so? Most governments have adopted the rhetoric of “we are at WAR with an invisible enemy” or “we are fighting a non-conventional target”. We are not at war with anyone but in a world where governments have become more and more redundant there is nothing like creating a line between them and us (although this one is invisible) to stir up some nationalIstic sentiments and bring in a dependency (worst of all it’s enforced) on governments again. I’m not anti government (I do however believe that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely) but we need to understand that a nationalized emotional response to lockdown has another side to it. Most of our population (80% of it) lives hand to mouth. Most of our economy is small business driven and employs large sections of the population. if people don’t work, they can’t eat and they can’t live. Add to this the enforced limiting of movement and confinement and you have a threat larger than the coronavirus insidiously waiting in the background. Hungry, cornered animals act out of desperation. Human beings respond the same way. We shouldn’t be afraid of Covid19, we need to fear its posthumous societal effects. Think about whats happened the last few months in the world. Our rights have been severely infringed upon and we’ve accepted it because we’ve been told it’s for our own and the good of others. But for how long will we be complacent in our acceptance? How long before we realize that lockdown has made us all weaker? Enforcing a lockdown on everyone has given the sick, old and frail a chance against Covid19 but it’s tied the hands of those strong enough to support and look after the most vulnerable in society. It’s made everyone more fragile and fearful. It’s put us in state where we are more susceptible to being manipulated. The Law of Eristic Escalation proposes that the stronger the imposition of order, the stronger the escalation of chaos. It’s why dictatorships never last. If you enforce limits on a society, they will rise up to resist the limits. Think communism, raising kids, action/reaction or circus animals going on the rampage. The more you enforce your will on someone the more they will resist. It cannot be any other way because imposition from without will only lead to resistance from within. We’ve been told we can’t move around, we can’t have access to alcohol, cigarettes, services and for most us we can’t make a living. If you’ve seen news clips of bottle stores being looted, you should get the idea of what Eristic Escalation is and what’s still coming for us as a country. The Taoist sage, Chuang Tzu, probably expressed it best by saying “The more laws there are, the more crime there is.” I’m still enjoying the quietness of the world. I’m enjoying the time with my family and the time to just be. There is however a tiny spark in my brain In response to being treated like a zoo animal. It’s in the amygdala to be exact. This section forms part of the limbic system and assesses threats in my environment. If it’s senses something harmful my HPA axis activates. My body is primed for fight or flight. Blood is squeezed out of my prefrontal cortex (making rational decisions difficult) and the thought of survival dominates all others. This is our individual response, can you imagine a society’s actions in response to feeling threatened? This piece isn’t meant to be all doom and gloom. The world needed to desperately change and so it has because of a virus with a fancy name and intense, sensationalist media backing. When life goes back to a new normal 😁 hopefully change will be for the best but if it isn’t we should remember the natural law of Eristic Escalation. When the new laws, that are extensions of lockdown policy, are made official (and they will be) to “protect us” let’s remember that a united eristic escalated response will get us further than just individual resistance. The ties that connect us as humans have been tested but will be challenged even more so over the coming post Covid19 months. Let’s not forget that when spiders spin their webs together, they can tie up a lion. Chat soon

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