E Pluribus Unum

By Amit Goswami, PhD

The definition of political science according to Merriam-Webster is as follows:

Political science: a social science concerned chiefly with the description and analysis of political and especially governmental institutions and processes. 

No one thinks of this particular behavioral science as a hard (quantitative) science with predictive power. Yet honest and persistent political analysis of the intricacies of government, whether in Washington or in our several states, has served as a thermometer of sorts. Are we okay, or are we in some danger? This last year of nearly constant alarming developments, stemming from the Trump presidency and an increasingly subversive Republican Party, has left the country-at-large fevered and in crisis.

A fundamental concept of political science is the notion of the nation-state, certainly a complex concept, commonly regarded as follows, again from Merriam-Webster:

Nation-state: a form of political organization under which a relatively homogeneous people inhabits a sovereign state; especiallya state containing one as opposed to several nationalities.

It seems that the Grand Old Party that Americans could once trust to vigilantly protect our financial solvency and our national security, has become its own nation-state. It no longer purports to represent the interests of a diverse people. It specifically protects the interests of a free-wheeling corporate America while pandering to traditionalists’ fears that predominately white, Christian, decent Americans will be overtaken by the interests of an irreligious, indecent intelligentsia and its odd allies, infidel foreigners and undeserving blacks and Latinos. 

Moreover, the current state of our declining democracy is readily discerned in Republican efforts in early 2018 to suppress voters’ rights. For example, consider the Pennsylvania State Legislature’s resistance to redraw what the Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined were gerrymandered congressional maps. One Republican state representative, Cris Dush, had threatened to impeach the judges demanding the new maps. Or, consider recent moves by the Justice Department to uphold extremely stringent voter I.D. laws, formerly found to be discriminatory, in Texas. Also, don’t forget the madness in Wisconsin, where Koch-supported Republican governor Scott Walker resisted special elections, required by law, to fill vacant legislative seats, because Democrats would win.

In the quantum worldview, there is the domain of potentiality characterized by oneness that is unconscious in us, and then there is the domain of separateness—manifest actuality—where, I the subject experience you as an object separate from me. So, in spite of the obvious separateness and in spite of the fact that we each are indeed selfish separate individuals, there is undoubtedly, a potential oneness that I share with you.

The concept of state, a fundamental concept of political science, implicitly depends on oneness, e pluribus Unum, out of many, One. Certainly, Democrats understood in 2016 that we were “stronger together,” however, the party failed to impart an economic message that would rally voters to Democratic candidates. It is difficult for men or women to focus on civil liberties while struggling to keep the lights on and meals on the table.

The fact is that the movement of the unconscious affects the conscious. If you and I don’t heed to our unconscious oneness in our interactions with each other, our movements will be out of synchrony with the movements of the unconscious. The society would be in chaos, right? This is exactly what is happening today; our worldviews are divided into two polar opposites. Each of the two political parties see things according to a different worldview that excludes the other, so the two parties cannot communicate, and politics is at a standstill.

Republicans follow a basically conservative worldview of old world plutocracy. Until recently, most conservatives tacitly accepted that America couldn’t roll back the clock and go back to the old world; that would not be realistic. But recently, conservative thinking is rapidly changing in America.

Pushed back in time sufficiently, the human societies of old were plutocratic, controlled by a few, and the control was passed on via heredity. How did the collusion between the aristocratic plutocracy and religions take place? In the West, the concept of unity consciousness was condensed into an image of an almighty God, a king of kings. This gave the king and the aristocracy the authority they needed. They were the representations of God in the realm of separateness.

Isn’t the idea of one group of human beings superior to the rest antithetical to the idea of oneness? It is. But evolution in its early stages had survival necessity built into it. Unfortunately, this has produced some very stubborn hardwired-in tendencies in our brain that today we call instinctual negative emotional brain circuits. One of these negative emotions is domination: Whoever dominates the most survives the longest. Republicans do not believe in evolution, but they do believe in domination, in elitism, in perpetuating separateness.

Remember, the unity is only in potentiality. It is in our future. Evolution of life is an uphill battle of a movement toward unity while in separateness. The politics of today is part of that struggle. In this struggle, Republicans favor the movement toward separateness.

Democrats are usually perceived as liberals. The liberal motto is to liberate us from dogma, religious dogma, dogma of superiority defined by heredity etc. Liberals typically fight religious dogma by relying on the institution of science; they fight the dogma of hereditary superiority with the philosophy of humanism—all humans are equal. Bur bear in mind that the new base of the Democratic Party — African American and Latino — is deeply religious. So implicitly, Democrats must evolve to respectfully embrace spirituality should they wish to be the bearer for the movement toward unity.

Science that is supposed to liberate us from dogma has itself succumbed to a dogma, the dogma of scientific materialism based on the belief that all phenomena are material phenomena. In particular this dogma eliminates the domain of unity consciousness entirely. There is only matter moving in space and time, the domain of independent separate objects.

Can humanism work hand in hand with such a dogma? Obviously not. Our humanistic values come from our connection to unity; exploring them is also our way back toward unity. Without a drive toward unity, these values have no utility. Witness the rise of hierarchy again among Democrats, hierarchy of the higher educated versus the lower educated, a hierarchy based on merit or intellectual ability to handle (often unnecessary and artificial) sophisticated concepts, call it meritocratic. Hierarchy breeds domination and other negative emotions with it

For Republicans, the change is equally drastic. One good thing of old about religion being part and parcel of your worldview was that you implicitly accepted spiritual values, albeit within the hierarchy of God and aristocracy. This restored some balance between the levels of the hierarchy. Unfortunately, today, even if you oppose science, you live in a modern society based upon the technological successes of science and cannot help but be influenced by science. In this way, an erosion of values has taken place among Republicans. Witness the rise of racism and sexism among Republicans. Witness the acceptance of immoral political figures whose outlandish disrespect for the law and cruelty to women and even children (think Joe Arpaio and Roy Moore) has woefully compromised the Republican Party, especially intolerable as the “Me Too” movement deservedly picks up steam. Finally, ever since when have evangelicals found battery against women, pornography, extramarital affairs, and finally collusion with Russia as par for the course in a candidate? Money has become the new symbol of power. In this way the Old-World aristocrats have been replaced by nouveau riche businessmen at the center of Republican power. 

This relaxing of decency and intoxication with power culminated in the ascension of Donald Trump, a liar and a racist-sexist-homophobic, as the Republican Party’s standard bearer today.Since the Democratic Party’s worldview confusion was far greater in magnitude than that of the Republicans, Donald Trump won the general election.

So, we scramble. Totalitarianism is looming in America. Fascism is looming in America. These things are already prevalent in some places in the world; there are several countries right now where democracy is being replaced by dictatorship. It can happen here.

Autocracy is not scientific. There is no criterion in the natural make up of a human being that makes one of us a priori better than another. Your genes don’t make you better, nor does your color, creed, education, muscles, sex, sexual preference, not unequivocally. Thus, Thomas Jefferson offered us the following principle: “that all men are created equal.” The quantum worldview offers us a perspective by which we can interpret this truth to the betterment of all. The quantum worldview also demonstrates that this truth is scientific: All people are created with equal potentiality. Both the original and the scientific statement of equality imply that democracy is more appropriate for human society than autocracy.

Democracy is an acknowledgement of the implicit oneness in the conceptualization of a nation. If we formulate politics according to the quantum worldview, we can save democracy.