This has been a long tradition since the rise of liberalism and capitalism that a wave of regimentation of political opinions has been inevitable. I would term it as a more ‘European Approach of Political Regimentation (EAPR)’ since Europe may be considered the mother and source of Western civilization. By Europe, I mean the continent of Europe, the UK, Iceland and even the Russian region (Eurasia), which does not include China and Central Asian region (which was under USSR control before the aftermath of the Berlin Wall incident). This approach involved our psychological, individual and political sides in a deterministic manner. For centuries, we have discriminated people as ‘Tories’, ‘Leftists’, ‘Communists’, ‘Nazis’, ‘Neo-Nazis’ and even some terms which I would intend not to even mention due to their existent vulgarity and impropriety. In general, we have created and democratized this culture of political regimentation that even noble political ideas like Secularism, Pluralism, Liberalism, Conservatism, Multiculturalism, Globalism and Cosmopolitanism are losing their purpose. Some people go too far and make it a Westphalian-Eastphalian political battle, like US v China, Russia v UK, Guy Verhofstadt v Nigel Farage, Narendra Modi v Rahul Gandhi, Gantz v Netanyahu, Boris Yeltsin v Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan v Gaddafi, and even nasty examples like Indira Gandhi v JP Narayan, Morarji Desai v Pranab Mukherjee and even Dr Manmohan Singh v Sitaram Yechury. Even in the Media, we see these imageries like Sean Hannity v Mehdi Hassan, Arnab Goswami v Ravish Kumar, Arfa Sherwani v Rohit Sardana, and even Rajdeep Sardesai v Rahul Shivshankar. In the academia, we see it like Jordan Peterson v Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy v Jai Panda, Shashi Tharoor v Vinay Sahastrabudhe, Justice DY Chandrachud v Justice SA Bobde and so on. It seems a blockbuster movie but has never a real happy ending.
This ‘us’ v ‘them’ debacle, predicated on the very understanding that
if we adopt conservatism at a larger canvas, we are anti-diversity, anti-minority, anti-rights, anti-liberalism and maybe anti-life sometimes so to speak. However, Nigel Farage, the proponent behind the propaganda on Brexit politics said this once, and I agree with him — direct democracy needs representation. Steve Bannon, a right-wing political commentator agrees with him, along with British Journalist Piers Morgan. However, that does not legitimize any of the global rights in general. Also, we have the socio-economic side of people, like Abhijeet Bannerjee, the Nobel Prize Winner, Greta Thunberg, Noble Peace Prize nominee, Malala Yousafzai, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and many other personalities who focus on a more democratic, economically balanced world. However, we have another league of people, who are Centrists and Normals. They are same in many aspects, like being connected on real issues, they have the potential to unite Liberalism and Conservatism at any possible, and even have balanced approaches in issues of politics, law and economics. However, we are seeing a rise of polarization of the global left and the global right, where even normal and centrist people are unable to make their way. In this article, we will discuss these questions, in general:
- That whether we need the existence of EAPR under the Kantian Model of understanding?
- That whether economic rights dominate civil, political and social rights when they are centred to the political competition and development of a state?
- Can we Unite Liberalism and Conservatism for a Greater Good?
Kant, EAPR and the Dunning–Kruger effect
Let us deal with the first question and ask ourselves -
That whether we need the existence of EAPR under the Kantian Model of understanding?
Immanuel Kant is perhaps the most lucrative political philosopher in issues of War and Peace. For a good deal of time, the utility of conflicts and disputes have changed conventionally. Earlier, kingdoms used to act belligerent, while the idea of a just war was alleviated with time to endorse a constructive world where Responsibility to Protect became an impeccable concept. We can also infer that the sovereigns in general, have manipulated the hierarchical significance of rights of natural persons. It is true that under the Social Contract Theory, which is obsolete for a greater reason, civil rights crystallize natural rights and reproduce many other human rights, like social rights, economic rights and even data rights, in a market economy concept. While Kant proposed a republican model, which we have seen in the Four Freedoms and United Nations in the near future, it would be imperative to understand that the Westphalian (ethnocentric) order due to its very nature of judgementalism — is depriving meaningfulness in its own culture, political development and the global consciousness that drives humanity. Let us understand this section of Perpetual Peace by Kant.
“No Treaty of Peace Shall Be Held Valid in Which There Is Tacitly Reserved Matter for a Future War”
Otherwise a treaty would be only a truce, a suspension of hostilities but not peace, which means the end of all hostilities — so much so that even to attach the word “perpetual” to it is a dubious pleonasm. The causes for making future wars (which are perhaps unknown to the contracting parties) are without exception annihilated by the treaty of peace, even if they should be dug out of dusty documents by acute sleuthing.
Furthermore, Kant, on republicanism and democratic consent, enumerates,
Juridical (and hence) external freedom cannot be defined, as is usual, by the privilege of doing anything one wills so long as he does not injure another. For what is a privilege? It is the possibility of an action so far as one does not injure anyone by it. Then the definition would read: Freedom is the possibility of those actions by which one does no one an injury. One does another no injury (he may do as he pleases) only if he does another no injury — an empty tautology. Rather, my external (juridical) freedom is to be defined as follows: It is the privilege to lend obedience to no external laws except those to which I could have given consent. Similarly, external (juridical) equality in a state is that relationship among the citizens in which no one can lawfully bind another without at the same time subjecting himself to the law by which he also can be bound. No definition of juridical dependence is needed, as this already lies in the concept of a state’s constitution as such.
The validity of these inborn rights, which are inalienable and belong necessarily to humanity, is raised to an even higher level by the principle of the juridical relation of man to higher beings, for, if he believes in them, he regards himself by the same principles as a citizen of a supersensuous world. For in what concerns my freedom, I have no obligation with respect to divine law, which can be acknowledged by my reason alone, except in so far as I could have given my consent to it. Indeed, it is only through the law of freedom of my own reason that I frame a concept of the divine will.
Kant, in general, has given a republican (and representative) aspects of democratic consent and the concept of rights. He has enumerated that a constitutional republican (and representative) polity is centric to the very understanding that civil rights emanate other rights, which are social, economic and political in nature. The Kantian understanding is constructive and libertarian but rooted in the presumption that peace must be perpetual. He enumerates:
For these reasons there must be a league of a particular kind, which can be called a league of peace (foedus pacificum), and which would be distinguished from a treaty of peace (pactum pacis) by the fact that the latter terminates only one war, while the former seeks to make an end of all wars forever. This league does not tend to any dominion over the power of the state but only to the maintenance and security of the freedom of the state itself and of other states in league with it, without there being any need for them to submit to civil laws and their compulsion, as men in a state of nature must submit.
Now, the political culture that demands scientific humanism also appeals a limited kind of mass humanism as well, which is different in different regional polities across. When the existential basis of civil rights and liberties are settled in a state, the political rights of a state can emanate with a more fluid political space. Now, the Kantian understanding poses inference that a more republican polity would control the fluid of political space and since democratic consent is emanated from the people, the system of indirect democracy gets the amorphous form of consent from the individuals it secures. However, it often becomes difficult to keep people accountable who are a part of the indirect democratic system, ie., judges, legislators, policy analysts, ministers, head of state and others. Thus, constitutional morality enables a dissected yet coherently valuable coexistence of both indirect and direct democracy in a state, keeping morality as the mere basis of the coexistence.
Read Constitutional Morality, the Glass-like Idolatry of an Unknown and ‘Free’ Soul of a Constitution, Cannot Last Long in India
However, the Kantian utopia itself is not protected by Constitutional Morality (CM) because of the Left-Right dichotomy. Leaders in democracies reckon that differences do exist, and so they divert the catalyst between the irreversible & continuous chain reaction between direct democratic and indirect democratic systems respectively, which is constitutional morality. However, we must know that CM itself is interpreted under conflicting political notions due to the rooted political culture of socialism v capitalism, fascism/communism v monarchy/oligarchy. This us v them game is often seen as a method to silence the problem that no one is being heard.
Democracies fail to maintain Immanuel Kant’s vision of perpetual peace because of the lack of trust ecosystem in indirect democratic systems, while direct democratic systems, led by mass humanism, lack ethical autonomy among the individuals to uphold individual accountability and responsibility in a clever and reasonable way, which I call the Machiavellian way.
Now, the role of the Dunning-Kruger effect comes into being. Let us however first understand the diagram of the 1999 paper and then discuss.
Researchers took a simple grammar ability test and assumed that an actual test score may show that the individual may have much ability, but at coordinate 3, watch out. In all the three graphs, coordinate 3 is followed by a coordinate 4, towards a positive slope, but while the Actual Test Score unaffected growth, the perceived test score and perceived ability coordinates show themselves too steep. Researchers say:
We propose that those with limited knowledge in a domain suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach mistaken conclusions and make regrettable errors, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Although we feel we have done a competent job in making a strong case for this analysis, studying it empirically, and drawing out relevant implications, our thesis leaves us with one haunting worry that we cannot vanquish. That worry is that this article may contain faulty logic, methodological errors, or poor communication. Let us assure our readers that to the extent this article is imperfect, it is not a sin we have committed knowingly.
This is true.
Factions from the so-called left and right act judgemental, defeat the Kantian and Machiavellian warnings of constitutional redemption and defeat the meaningfulness of notions of balance and reasonability. It often happens that those who exercise power and rights respectively in a particular roster fail to balance themselves and respect their inner roots and purpose. For example, a law may prescribe economic rights to legal entities recognized by law (by custom, foreign inference, legislation, the law declared, etc.) and may regulate the economic power acquired by legal entities. However, an ecosystem of economic rights and power may fail miserably. That happens with socialism and capitalism in general. Having a view of being a sceptic is essential for democracy, but a judgemental view does attract nothing but contempt and hatred among people. The left thinks it knows everything on rights and economic hardships, while the right assumes that it can arbiter on sovereignty and civil issues way better than any other. The left stupidly assumes that if a system fails, then it must revert back to normalcy or must get out of the course completely. The right thinks the same, with an exception that they estimate a system’s failure as a representative issue, and believe in conserving it maybe via ignoring how to fix it.
The left relies on the political question, vehemently whether a society or a political organization is radical enough and can bring radical changes or not. The right assumes that wisdom is better than ignorance, but fails to garner a rational and improved form of wisdom based on action-based consensus, even if consensus by principle is not achieved.
However, the world needed a sphere of both progressive and traditional values. Liberals and Conservatives, from their psychological and original ends, contribute in every sphere of life possible. Still, even if the symptoms of a Dunning-Kruger effect are visible among people, then we must stop discriminating political upfront into a dual model.
Instead, I propose a quadruple model of political bandwidths. if we have to deal with the political spectra. Let us assume as per the diagram above that there are 4 classes of political mindsets of the people, the Left, the Right, the Center and the Normal. The diagram explains the preconceived ideas, movements and even some common and nominal characteristics of all the 4 traits. We have to assume that the model in a 2d-form may seem to show 4 corners of the political spectrum equal in the design. However, we have to assume that these 4 political concepts may overlay upon one another and may form a tie-in arrangement (vertical), which means that these political schools may form a hierarchy in a possible format possible. It may sometimes happen that the bi-products of these 4 political concepts, be it whatever, may be formed by a merger of these 4 concepts with time in a political space.
If we understand this model, then we can realize the following:
- That ideological religiosity and subjectivity has no place in real political developments;
- That an identity group may feel some reluctance to displace itself, but that reluctance has a natural life cycle, which must not be altered;
- That regimentation of political opinions is not the correct way to deal with individuals;
- This model is not conclusive, but speculative of indicating that a 4-tier model is sufficient enough to categorize political ideas;
- The model is neither exhaustive, which means it can strive at its best to discover and locate more experiments in the art and science of political ideology and political groups. The model is a follower to the Overton Window model in Political Science 101;
The Hierarchical Paradox of Rights: A Disorganized, Amorphous Cluster
Here goes the second question.
That whether economic rights dominate civil, political and social rights when they are centred to the political competition and development of a state?
In various constitutional democracies, including India, we have recognized the jurisprudence of fundamental rights in a more liberal, extended and elongated manner. Taking the Indian example forward, I would not be complete to explain how the Indian Supreme Court has used (and misused) the conception of fundamental rights at a higher and relevant level. From exploring the Utopian, Ecocentric and Anthropocentric avenues of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, to expanding India’s ecological commitments, we have seen shuffling of applied human rights and their pure legal formulations in a deliberate, beautiful and optimistic manner. However, we are facing times of constitutional redemption, and this, therefore, would be imperative to understand as to how we can resolve the hierarchical nature of rights in general?
In precedence to the first question and its answers, I would like to continue the analogy of the Dunning-Kruger effect here as well because, in matters of adjudication, it becomes quite difficult for us to decide the predicated future of a declared law and its jurisprudential correctness, validity and affirmative reasonability. This, I adore and endorse as a Machiavellian approach to deal with the judicial side of constitutional redemption. Now, how does it work and what could be the assumptions? Here we go:
- That we have to assume that there cannot be a permanent, isolator, captive and irreplaceable legal solution to an applied issue related to constitutional rights, when a disorganized hierarchy of diverse rights may adjudicate their uncertainty of action and advocate their own test of volatility in matters related to legal entities who can enforce and those who can exercise fundamental rights accordingly (example — the Basic Structure Case, the Sabarimala Verdict);
- Now that a cluster of rights is understood in a layer-centric approach, then we can extrapolate these constitutional rights, whether recognized or not in a more liberal, pragmatic, and reasonable notion, where we have to keep ethical reservations to the dysfunctional repercussions that the life cycle of laws declared by the court may cause inadvertently (example — Right to Privacy case in India, Ram Janmabhoomi Case, the Sabarimala Verdict);
- Every law and its giver, declarant, as well as implementer, are cohesively responsible to foster an Ecosystem of Ideologies that drive them (or that may not; assume them to EoI). In order to make constitutional morality in nation-states’ polities relevant and stronger, the ecosystem of ideologies must be harmonized by pragmatism and rationale, where it is not just the role of the obscurity of the law and its subjects & actors — but also of the channel of communication that connects the components of an indirect democratic establishment, and the political legitimation that it shares with the legal entities who may be the parties of influence by the indirect democratic establishment (in simple words, those legal entities who are affected by the indirect democratic establishment);
The solutions I propose based on each of the assumptions are as follows:
- Give preferential and equitable treatment to the cluster of rights, declutter them, adjudicate them with a progressive, pragmatic and productive vision, in order to answer two questions: (a) that whether the adjudication would improve the status quo, and (b) that whether the adjudication has to reform and replenish the status quo;
- A Judicial Institution in any constitutional polity, like the Executive and the Administrative bodies, must be more involved with the people and other legal entities when it comes to public diplomacy to a limited level. It certainly does not mean that a judiciary system must cater and render its plural or collective political points like members in the Legislative and Executive establishments generally do as a part of their conventional strategy for public diplomacy. I believe an ethical, transparent, rooted and realist approach of connecting with the people, without imposing any utopian academic tenet, with relevant legal and emotional intelligence — if is assumed and learnt by a judge or a member of the judicial establishment, then that person can improve his credibility way easily and restore the trust that the judiciary must-have. It may seem like a school book thing — but by principle, we must not have judicial establishments that are isolated. Instead, we should have those establishments trustworthy by a stronger (and relevant cum discernible) separation of powers based on a jurisdictional model, where they do not superimpose their tenets of politico-legal understanding on the state and that their check and balances model itself is predicated on the assumption that the threshold of check and balances must be reasonable and not fragile;
- Avoid constitutional redemption — or at least make it negligible. Do not make morality the yardstick of legal and ethical formalism. Rewire and look into the interoperability of the life cycle of a declared law by addressing these questions in mind: (a) that whether the bi-products of the life cycle are dysfunctional; (b) whether the scope of interpretation envisages undue advantage to lawyers to sabotage the diverse pragmatism that the declared law and its section could reflect and direct for a limited purpose, which lacks productivity and reasonability for the life cycle of the declared law as well as of the indirect democratic system; and © whether the guiding flux emanated by a declaring law divulges and damages the harmony that the EoI must retain in order to balance the purpose of the declared law;
- A reasonable methodology is required for the judiciary so that they can connect with the people. A Judiciary is fallible if it thinks it can assume the status of an idol. Instead, it should be on the ground as the juristic eagle that does not fall prey to societal materialism and obscurantism. Do not isolate from the public. Instead, connect with the most disadvantaged communities first, then those who know you pretty well in a regular manner, and then those, who may not be disadvantaged, but do not even know you;
- A Judiciary has to share some political legitimation with the people, even if the life cycle of the declared laws may not share the same. There is a stark difference we must make out. If we start believing that the judicial establishment has an ideology, then we are flawed. Only the Legislative and Executive branch of a Government must exercise an ideology, whether political or apolitical. The Judiciary has no right to exercise any ideology, but yes, both the making and implementing organs must have reasonably limited rights (not power because the executability of power still can be converted into a zero-sum and that the rights can gauge the propriety and primacy of power execution) — which of course, the judiciary can reasonably check and balance in. Instead, the prima facie role of a judiciary should be to maintain the harmony in the flowable ecosystem of ideologies, either by any possible ethical and legal means;
End of the Left-Right Political Class Conflict Paradox
This question is lucrative but not naive.
Can we Unite Liberalism and Conservatism for a Greater Good?
The answer is 100% yes. Liberalism and Conservatism, are the very anthropological tenets of human evolution, reproduction and resistance. Both of the ideas must not be considered as political ideologies; instead, they must be considered as normal, genuine and truest yet amorphous forms of mass humanism. From cultural to secular aspects of human life, we are guided by both of these ideals, so here are certain self-help based solutions which individual humans should adopt:
- Do not think that social media’s flashy posts and reactions define your thinking. For an ignorant person, it may seem very simple, but rather it could be oversimplified for human beings because the vertical communication methodology that the social media has adopted for years is limited because it behaviorally manipulates and constructs our very ethos of communication with people. That is what and how Slack, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram replicate. Digital literacy is, therefore, an absolute necessity;
- If you feel that there is a contrarian view/dissent/opposition against your posts, views or anything that you do or are associated with, then calm down, alert, but do not react immediately. It is a practicable affair and so it is obvious that it would take time to adopt, but better is it that is it adopted. Kindly be patient and get to the roots of what is debated or discussed. Sometimes, criticism may help you a lot to discover the fallacies within your association, your views and other bi-products that connect you with the continuum which is opposed or not subscribed to. In this way, you can positively in a productive and optimistic way, and purify the human continuum of discussion, conversation and relationship;
- Throw your ideology (especially the political one) either into a dustbin, or digest it properly. You are self-responsible to own and wear an ideology in any sphere in your life because you also acquire a cognitive and analytical ability with time to drive your consciousness properly. Thus, try to avoid the loophole that the Dunning-Kruger effect suggests effectively, embrace the Overton Window model in a positive way in order to harmonize the ecosystem of ideologies from your own side. If you think you have something competing to others, then prove it or calm down and recollect it. If you intend to compete, then you have to ask yourself this: whether my attempt to compete would be reasonable or a vicious cycle of unhealthy, despicable and unreasonable debating with a person or not;
- Play, sketch and practice the tenets of your ideology in a constructive manner so that the ideology itself does not become obnoxious to your own self-development. You can be communitarian and/or individualist and decide the course of how will you shape your ideology in practice. Try to calm down any excitability you feel and recollect it properly, and if you act, then act with the best reasonability and ethics you would assume. Maybe you could do something which is not correct, but at least you will train yourself and then you can control the ideology that makes you. And this does not limit to politics only — it can work anywhere, even in your lifestyle and management ethics;
I personally conceive that the world must end the concept of Left-Right as soon as possible and end the idea of regimentation of ideologies. Once that happens in a proper course, a better future can be sought. Nevertheless, my proposition still can guide towards the course we need to go as soon as possible, for the benefit of all — really.