Two Mindsets – and all Authoritarian

                I think there are two sorts of mindsets, one that sees things, life, as a process, or a vast bunch of interactive processes where things are all in motion. Things change, interact, and adapt with other things and the environment; things are always coming into existence, or fading from existence, if a thing exists, it is because it is being created, actively, I mean that if the processes that create a thing are not in force, the thing will not exist. Creation is a dynamic, always happening thing. Social things, in particular, exist because we create them and support them, we create our human social world continually with choices that we make, by the things that we do.

                The other sort of mindset sees things as static, as existing or not. These things are, and those things are, and these other things are not; this mindset sees things as they are, in the now, and in a way, this is a very practical way to view the world. People with this sort of outlook have little trouble making decisions and getting things done. These two views correspond in some ways to all the other dichotomies of life. We could say, quite easily, that the fluid, process-based view is linked to liberalism, plus, it is apparent that the process-oriented view fits very tightly with evolutionary thinking, while the static view may easily be seen to lend itself to conservatism and even religion.

                  Of course, while avoiding politics in this book, I haven’t kept my attitude secret. The thesis of this book is more liberal than the liberals, in parenting terms, on the spectrum from permissive parenting to authoritarian parenting, I am not in between but left of left, more permissive than the permissive. From where I am on this issue, just about everyone, the permissive and the authoritarian types alike are all just more or less authoritarian. Is that clear enough? Authoritarianism and permissiveness are both the same in this: they both make the same judgment of what is right or wrong, and they both come from a place of entitlement where they feel they have the right, the power, and the responsibility to either forbid or permit. They are both based in authority, and authority is an unequal division of human rights. In terms of parenting, I think our children are not our property, nor are they our slaves or employees. In the circle of life, they are us, people like us. We were them, and they will be us; I think we have no right to make decisions for each other like that at all, and – the point of this book – certainly, absolutely no right to hurt each other to enforce those decisions.

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