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posted by Marten Kuilman alias quadralectics on Thursday 3rd of September 2020 08:33:22 AM

Upper left to right: Karl Marx (1818 - 1883), Adam Smith (1723 - 1790), G.W. Hegel (1770 - 1831); Lower left to right: Thorstein Veblen (1857 - 1929). Gyorgy Luckacs (1885 - 1971), J.M. Keynes (1883 - 1946), Milton Friedman (1912 - 2006). Abstract - PhD (2013) - Quadralectics Christopher W. Smithmyer Nova Southeastern University, 2015 - 752 pages Quadralectics is a study of the magnitude of conflict that occurs when a society shifts from one socio-economic phase to another. The purpose of this study is to quantify levels of conflict due to societal shifts in order to better prepare for the results of the conflict. This study uses a hybridization of qualitative meta-synthesis (QMS), recursive frame analysis (RFA), and Grounded Theory (GT) research methodologies to survey the historical record for instances of social change and then comparatively analyzes the resultant conflict. The heart of the Quadralectic study is the Quadralectic paradigm which integrates four dialectic models to create a four-dimensional space in which known forms of socio-economic phenomenon exist. The model is similar to a house with rooms, each room is a socioeconomic phenomenon, and the further rooms are from each other, the more conflict is created by the change. We call these movements transitions. Once in place, the Quadralectic model can be used to forecast conflict during periods of social upheaval and allow for the domestic and international community to be better prepared to respond to said conflict. --- Smythmyer’s Quadralectics - A Reply – by Marten Kuilman - September 2018. Every occurrence of the word ‘quadralectics’ arouses my interest since I coined the word in the early nineteen-eighties of the previous century. I had busied myself for a couple of years with an intellectual quest to understand the complexities of life. After several failed efforts, the penny dropped (on the 31st of March 1984): division and movement are the crucial components in every communication. And a four-division in a circular environment would be the most practical tool to understand the ever-expanding brine of information known as knowledge. A further theoretical examination resulted in the birth of a ‘quadralectic philosophy’ (KUILMAN, 2009/ 2011). The kernel of the new approach consisted of two theoretical four-divisions shifting along each other. Measurable shift-values were produced at the intersection of the division lines (of the various quadrants). The sixteen values formed a sequence, which can be expressed in a graph. This graph represents the receding and approaching actions that take place between communication partners in any conceivable interchange based on a four-division. It took another sixteen years – after the introduction of the internet in my life (Dec, 1999) – to start a worldwide search for ‘soul mates’. The initial harvest at the start of the new millennium was poor. The oldest referral to the term ‘quadralectics’ was traced back to 1996 when the term was used in an (anonymous) article about the enigmatic writer Thomas Pynchon and his novel “The Crying of Lot 49’ (1966). Two years later there was also a lead to Taoist sources as recorded by Roger T. Ames (1998, p. 169). Kent PALMER (2000) mentioned the term for the first time in a scientific environment in several articles and later in his Ph.D. (Quadralectics of Design, 2009/2010). He was a system engineer, who put an emphasis on non-dual forms of thinking. It was clear - although I could not follow some of his terminologies - that he was concerned with the same widening of thinking as proposed in my quadralectic endeavors. Over the years the use and occurrence of the word ‘quadralectics’ on the internet grew steadily – not only due to my own contributions. At present (2018) some 38.200 results are recorded (in 0,50 seconds). And Smythmyer’s Ph.D. on ‘Quadralectics’ was in 2013 a new star in the quadralectic firmament (SMYTHMYER, 2013). A shining star, well written and a great piece of work. It was a pleasure to read such a clear display of socio-economic currents and individuals (with Marx as their leading actor) from the past to the present – capped off by the introduction of the ‘infant theory’ of quadralectics. Maybe the title of the Ph.D. is slightly misleading since the main subject of study is not the quadralectic method itself, but the application of a particular modus operandi (four-fold way of thinking) in the field of economy and sociology. Smythmyer indicated (p. 51) that he moved on new ground when he coined the title ‘Quadralectics’: ‘Hegel and Marx thought in two dimensions, this model worked in four. As a tribute to their works, I selected the title Quadralectics, as a symbol of a system with four parts in a four-dimensional matrix. Now all that was left was to create a way to take this theorem and forge it into a theory.' In the next part of this essay, I will try to incorporate Smythmyer’s understanding and utilization of the term ‘Quadralectics’ into my own interpretation of this particular form of four-fold thinking. The reading started off on the wrong foot. Shivers went down my spine when, early in the book (Ch. I), the word ‘quadralectics’ was connected with conflict and proposed as a tool to measure and predict the magnitude of aggressive encounters. Furthermore, quadralectics is seen as an integration of four dialectic models. Both descriptions are way-out of the interpretation of ‘my’ quadralectics (KUILMAN, 1996/2011). In fact, the roots of my epistemology can be found in the critical rejection of historical writing in terms of conflict. The rhetorical question: ‘is it possible to write history without the unsavory markers of conflict?’, was asked early in my life. And my subsequent intellectual development was geared towards finding an answer to that question. One of the achievements of a quadralectic worldview (as I see it) is its ‘neutral’ character – in contrast to lower forms of division thinking. Therefore the ‘conflict’, which is present in every communication (or ongoing history) is incorporated in quadralectics – but it is not the leading agent. ‘Conflict’ has to make a cognitive move from its common dualistic understanding to a quadralectic environment. The nature of conflict is rooted in a misunderstanding of division thinking between the communication partners. Its cause has to be redefined in terms of incomprehension rather than the measure of the implementation of force. After the initial shock of Smythmyer’s introduction, it soon became clear that our mutual suppositions (as expressed in the name ‘quadralectics’) had – as far as the basic mechanism goes – a lot in common. He describes ‘conflict’ as a ‘transition within a paradigm of interconnected socioeconomic elements’ (p. 14). This definition leads directly to the importance of ‘shift’. Displacement, as a result of movement, played a crucial role in the conception of ‘my’ quadralectics in the 1980s. The transition/shift can be measured, either within the paradigms and/or the division environment (the Technological Coefficient versus the Communication Coefficient). I wholeheartedly underwrite Smythmyer’s stimulating objective (p. 20): ‘By increasing the objective capabilities of defining socio-economic paradigms and status shifts within those paradigms, quadralectics will be more useful for the analysis of current socio-economic shifts, thus allowing for better preparation in the case of any conflict that may or may not happen’. The literature review (Ch. II) is the Master Template in which the great names in socio-economic history provide the substratum of research. Smythmyer’s idea, I presume, is to find ‘the beginning’ in communication with thinkers like Hegel, Marx, Friedman, Luckacs, Veblen (my favorite) and many others (including Adolf Hitler and Ross Perot). Most of these thinkers operate in the realm of lower division thinking (dialectic) and are therefore unable to see the potential of the area ‘in-between’. Many of their theories and observations are the result of creative thinking, but only within the limits and the confinement of an oppositional straightjacket. Smythmyer’s intention to ‘broaden the lens’ away from a dialectic research and a bifurcated universe is exactly the viewpoint I took in the early stages of my research of the four-fold. However, to see ‘Quadralectics’ (only) as the relationship between conflict and social change (p. 51) is, in my opinion, to narrow a view. The ‘four parts in a four-dimensional matrix’, as envisaged by Smythmyer, are bound to become the essential tools of modern, post-dialectic thinking. The choice of this epistemology is appropriately chosen. But the application of a general and a specific form of quadralectics – as a philosophical framework - should be noted. The use of ‘quadralectics’ (or even ‘quadralectic theory’, p. 124) in the socio-economic context is just one of the many fields of knowledge were the specific way of four-fold thinking (quadralectics proper) can be applied. The very moment the X-as (first dimension) is divided in Anarchy, Feudalism, Capitalism, Socialism and Communism and the Y-axis (second dimension) in Plutocracy, Hegemony, Capitalism, Populism and Communalism a (subjective) valuation frame is introduced (based on either control of means of production or the control structure of wealth). There is nothing wrong with these choices, as long as it is realized that the divisions follow a linear trend from maximum to minimum. Capitalism is on both X- and Y-axis nicely tucked in the middle - implicit pointing to the Golden Mean, the zenith of beauty, consisting of symmetry, proportion and harmony. When ‘hegemony’ is ‘near the middle of the paradigm’ (p. 194/195) it implies close to be ‘good’ and versatile. This viewpoint might be true, but only within a dialectic inspired discours. This bickering should not disguise the fact that Smythmyer gave a brilliant and clear exposé of the various human organisations and their power structures. But I have the feeling – mainly because of the linear character of the subdivisions – that the ‘neutral’ side of (theoretical) quadralectics is ignored. Quadralectics - as a specific form of four-fold thinking - requires a different perception. It poses a cyclic nature versus the linear disposition (of the dialectic). The different mindset implies that dialectic notions, like the beginning, middle and end and such notions as ‘a Golden Mean’, need a new understanding: there is no beginning, middle and end on a divided circular line. We can only speak of a ‘First’ and ‘Last’ visibility – and have to understand what that visibility means. Also the ‘Golden Mean’ as a comparison of two lengths of lines becomes redundant in a circular setting. Dialectics uses the two-division as its guideline (and tool of analogy), while a quadralectic communication applies the (arithmetical) result of a shift between two four-divisions as its base for valuation. The difference is immense, but if one is unable to see outside the dualistic framework, it is neglectable. A comparison with Newton’s approach to physics and Einstein’s improvement (by introducing the speed of light) is relevant. The statement (p. 169) ‘Marxism is the key tool in the Quadralectic paradigm’ looks, with good will, like a facsimile of the dialectic encounter of the two four-divisions in an embryonal quadralectic environment. It cannot be denied that the quadralectic model pays tribute and incorporates the two-division in its genetic history. Division and movement (shift) are the basic elements of its being, but not necessarily in an evolutionary way. Dialectic evolution is completely different from quadralectic evolution. The first is a line, the second is a graph. However the phrase ‘to create an interrelated structure to explain and predict social changes within the socioeconomic paradigm’ is also feasible in the operational phase of a quadralectic epistemology. A further visualization of two types of control (of the masses) is given in Chapter XIII. The five-fold control of means of production (X-axis) meets the five-fold control of the structure of wealth (Y-axis). They form the first and second dimension, A reinterpretation of Aristotle’s Forms, in Part IV, makes up the third dimension. The Forms represent ‘a pattern of known socioeconomic phenomenon’ (p. 218). In particular the action of ’filling up the gaps (,,,) to fit into the quadralectic paradigm’ is a sound piece of original work, despite the fact that the methodology can be criticized from a (theoretical) quadralectic point of view. The full picture (on the Z-axis) consists of a nine-fold division (from simple to complex): tyranny, monarchy, meritocracy, technocracy, aristocracy, egalitarianism, mob rule, democracy and polity. The above-mentioned lattice (or three-dimensional arrangement) moves through time to bring in the fourth dimension. Or, like Smythmyer put it (p. 220): 'we will see how they require only a temporal element to become a complete four-dimensional model.’ In Part V (not in the list of contents, but given as Part VI) the long-awaited moment was about to happen: the calculation of the conflict coefficient. The introduction of the Ph.D. (p. 20) promised a magic wand, which could predict the magnitude of a conflict within the socio-economic paradigm. If only that could be achieved then the world would be a better place… The introduction of Morgan’s three stages (savagery - barbarianism - civilization) comes as a deception. (MORGAN, 1877). The descriptions in terms of a condition humaine is prehistoric and simplistic. On the other hand, the ten-fold scale of conflicts (with a linear increase in violence) can be helpful. The actual calculation from the shift in a socio-economic phenomenon towards a real conflict number (using -1, 0 and +1) is, in my opinion, insufficiently described. The map in the appendix (as promised ‘for those of you who are visually oriented’, p. 303) is not given. Maybe it helps to clarify the number of spaces (shift) ‘a society moves through the paradigm to figure out its conflict number’. Despite these shortcomings (for me), I understand the principles behind the generation of the ‘conflict number’. There are reminiscences to a quadralectic approach (of shifting four-divisions), but I would not call the procedure of the creation of a conflict number ‘quadralectics’. Values are still generated in a linear environment (and often based on a subjective understanding of ‘high’ and ‘low’ and entities like minimum and maximum and the rigid digital world of plus (+) and minus (-). Three (linear) axes moving in time do not make a quadralectic cosmos. The quadralectic (scientific) reality consists, in my view, of an observer who used the universal communication graph (CF-graph) in the changeability of the partners in a the communication. The universal character implies that any juxtaposition between whatever sort of topic can be put to the quadralectic test. So, a comparison between certain socio-economic manifestations and the occurrence and intensity of a conflict and subsequent violence is a viable research option. All we have to know are the boundaries of visibility in place and time of the communication units. A form of ‘intensity’ can be measured as soon as these boundaries are established. The place on the CF-graph provides (by analogy) a fairly confident picture (within the given communication) what is going to happen. So it is not the actual figure (CF-value) which determined its worth, but the place on the graph. Place is in the end more important than time. Although in the understanding of quadralectics the place (on the graph) is also the time… A glance on the Theorems of Quadralectics (Appendix I) gives a certain preoccupation for (Neo)Darwinistic ideas. One cannot fail to notice statements about survival (2, 6), choice of desirable traits (3, 8), genetic material (5), natural selection (9) and sexual selection (11, 12). I have no clue as to what these theorems contribute to the subject at hand. Is it an effort to understand the nature of conflict? Is it a revival of the survival of the fittest? It is hard to say, but whatever explanation: it has little to do with quadralectics. A closer look at the bibliography is relevant. The writings of the classical, communistic leaders are out in force (Lenin, 13 entries), Mao (29), Marx (15) and Stalin (14). Fortunaly Stephen Gould, a much more amicable researcher, got 7 entries. Thornstein Veblen ’Theory of the Leisure Class’ (1899), Michael Young’s ‘The Rise of the Meritocracy‘ (1951) and James Burnham’s ‘The Managerial Revolution’ (1941) are sadly missed. Maybe their writings did not fit into the ‘conflict’ model. All in all, Smythmyer’s Ph.D. is a refreshing study, which gives a deeper insight into the way human beings live together. The outset to combine expressions of conflict with a particular socio-economic phenomenon is challenging. The intention to use a wider scope is prize-worthy, but the name ‘quadralectic’ is not fully appropriate. Suggested literature AMES, Roger T. (Ed.) (1998). Wandering at Ease in the Zhuangzi. Albany: State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-7914-3921-6/3922-4. BURNHAM, James (1941). The Managerial Revolution. What is Happening in the World? New York: John Day Co. KUILMAN, Marten (1996/2011). Four. A Rediscovery of the ‘Tetragonus mundus’. Falcon Press, Heemstede. ISBN 978-90-814420-1-5 tetragonusmundus.wordpress.com/inhoud/ KUILMAN, Marten (2009/2011) Visions of Four Notions. Introduction to a Quadralectic Epistemology. Falcon Press, Heemstede. ISBN 978-90-814420-2-2 wordpress.com/view/visionsoffour.wordpress.com MORGAN, Lewis H. (1877/1974). Ancient Society, or Researching the lines of Human Progress from Savagery through Barbarian In to Civilization. Gloucester MA, Peter Smith. PALMER, Kent D. (1994). The Fragmentation of Being and the Path Beyond the Void. Apeiron Press, Orange. archonic.net/apeiron.htm works.bepress.com/kent_palmer/2 - (2000). Reflexive Autopoietic Dissipative Special Systems Theory: An Approach to Emergent Meta-systems through Holonomics. archonic.net/autopoiesis.html dialog.net/htdocs/homepage.02/autopoiesis.html - (2010). Emergent Design. Explorations in Systems Phenomenology in Relation to Ontology, Hermeneutics and the Meta-dialectics of Design. A thesis submitted for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy School of Electrical and Information Engineering Division of Information Technology, Engineering, and the Environment University of South Australia, 28 September 2009. SMYTHMYER, Christopher W. (2013). Quadralectics. Nova Southeastern University, 2015. The Seven Swords of Strategic Business: Companion Book. VEBLEN, Thorstein (1899). The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions. YOUNG, Michael (1951). The Rise of the Meritocracy. --- Additional remarks Table of Contents does not mention the Chapters. The latter are introduced on p. 18ff. Chapters and parts become a confusing mix (for me). My reconstruction of the table of contents is as follows: Part I - ? Introduction Ch I - no heading, just description under ‘Chapters’ Ch II - Literature review Ch. III - Methodology Part II - Theory – is not mentioned in the text (p. 65) but called ‘in Chapters’ Introduction of Theory At p. 67ff a division in parts (I – IV) is given Part I – Marx Part II – Plutocracy etc. Part III – Aristotle Part IV – Technological Coefficient But where do these parts fit into the table of contents? Ch. IV - Of the Applied Methodology Ch. V - Theoretical Overview Part III - Of the Marxist Dialectic - is not mentioned in the Contents as Part III. Ch. VI - General Principles Ch. VII - Of Anarchy Ch. VIII - Of Feudalism Ch. IX - Of Capitalism Ch. X - Of Socialism Ch. XI - Of Communism Ch. XII - Conclusion Dialectics = Conclusion of the dialectic Part III Quadralectic Vertices = Part IV in the text (p. 170) A figure to show the outlay and division of the X and Y-axes would have been helpful. ‘Quadralectic vertices’ point to four (4) vertices (tetrahedron), but the text continues with a five division (Plutocracy, Hegemony, Capitalism, Populism and Communalism) Ch. XIII - Introduction = Introduction to the Quadralectic Dialectic. Ch. XIV - Of Plutocracy What happened to Ch XV – XVI? Ch. XVII - Hegemony Ch. XVIII - Of Capitalism Ch. XIX – Of Populism Ch. XX – Of Communalism Part IV Aristotle – In text: Aristotle’s Form Ch. XVI - Introduction - should be Ch. XXI (see above) Ch. XVII - Tyranny - should be Ch. XXII Ch. XVIII - Monarchy - should be Ch. XXIII Ch. XIX - Meritocracy - should be Ch. XXIV Ch. XX - Technocracy - should be Ch. XXV Ch. XXI - Aristocracy - should be Ch. XXVI Ch. XXII - Egalitarianism - should be Ch. XXVII Ch. XXIII - Mob Rule - should be Ch. XXVIII Ch. XXIV - Democracy - should be Ch. XXIX Ch. XXV - Polity - should be Ch. XXX Ch. XXVI - Development - should be Ch. XXXI Ch. XXVII - Conclusion Part V - Missing Part VI - TC - is part VII in text Part VI - Navigating Part VII – Catharsis ---- Corrections p. 22 - p. Chapter 1 (Arabic) is written as Chapter I (Roman) p. 22 - White et al – capital W p. 22 - Freidman - Friedman p. 23 - duel = dual p. 24 - as Maritian states – who is Maritian? p. 38 and p. 39 - Freidman = Friedman p. 40 - these there element = these three elements p. 95 - by an large = by and large p. 102 - destabilize = destabalize p. 103 - form of society p. 105 - pleas not = please not p. 106 - Doctor = doctor p. 109 - maintianed is = maintained its p.112 - now = no law or rule p.114 - 369 sensence unclear De Dion diamonds – de Beer diamonds? p. 119 - her = here is an article p. 129 - There is not real strong king = there is no real strong king p. 131 - invasion – s p. 132 - Myan = Mayan p. 134 - structure – s p. 139 - Di Vinci = Da Vinci p. 148 - for person gain = for personal gain p. 151 - not test = no test p. 159 - many socialism = socialists doe = do p. 175 - heav? p. 180 - can buy out a for profit corporation p. 188 - A excellent example = An excellent exemple p. 189 - duel = dual p. 193 - Brittan = Britain p. 201 - the people thought he building = through the building p.205 - the focus in on keeping – the focus is on keeping p. 214 - at out disposal – at our disposal p. 218 - filling the in the blank – filling in the blank p. 246 - have and have not’s p. 252 - in a capitalism (2x) p. 254 - Velbin = Veblin p. 257 - a intrinsic worth = an intrinsic worth p. 260 – as simple as p. 293 - Out western civilization = our p. 294 - ho = how p. 296 - the survival or the artisan = survival of the artisan p. 297/299 - Brittan = Britain p. 300 - one the decline = on the decline p. 328 - Jon Elster = John Elster



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