The Parergon of Party

When we consider the idea of the perception of a whole, be it of an image or any cognitive structure, we need to consider what is the primary focus, the ergon, and what is not, the parergon.  This is often framed as the figure and the ground, the picture and the frame.  The most salient example of this in our daily lives in this country is our view of the political landscape. To view the reality of the political whole of this country it is necessary to understand the concept of the figure/ground because each extreme picks a different figure, or focus, for the same picture and leaves us with the figure/ground paradox of the current political parties.

On the left we have the focus on the government regulating big business, on the right we have focus of reigning in big government, on the far left the focus is dismantling big business, and the far right the focus is dismantling big government, but there is fifth focus.  The fifth focus is thought to be a perceptual impossibility, but is actually quite common among the artists that are trained to shift and hold multiple foci.  In this fifth view, the far right and far left join in the thought that big business and big government have become the same beast.  They see the Necker cube of the system going into and out of the page and balancing in the plane of the page between sweeps. The fifth focus sees almost no difference as they move toward the mean, the balance is a two dimensional world.

The fifth focus gives some unique insights. It sees that the key to the growth of big business and big government is both the figure/ground paradox and the contention that it cannot be resolved.  The resolution of the paradox would dissolve the false dualism that holds the right and the left as ideological enemies and allows the abuses of both business and government to continue unabated regardless of which side happens to be in power.  The commonality of both sides is the desire to be in control regardless of whether they ever achieve their stated goals, and as long as that is true, the people will never be in control. You go, then I go, is really a polite game of let’s not show what is really happening.

The fifth focus reveals that if we deconstruct the legislative process then we know that the stated goals of neither illusionary side ever get out of committee.  They talk about the parergon earmarks, but that is only a parergon of the real tragedy.  Read any bill, or law, and you will see that this line is for big government, this line is for big business and this line, out of The Waste Land, we are not allowed to understand, and only serves to heighten the ambiguity for the future legal challenges.

Let me take one modern example of how this works, the fourteenth amendment:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Any reasonable person can see upon examining the legislative and judicial history before and after the fourteenth amendment that it is the pharmacon of the ills of modern society.  It forms both the legal backbone of our individual freedoms and the tools for corporations to take them away.  There is no right answer here.  There is no truth here.  It is an illusionary dilemma which will not be fixed any time soon.

2 responses to this post.

  1. @ishtarmuz For me, the truth is in the Center and prevails in the long run, despite Left VS Right political bi-polarity.

    We are evolving to a level of conscious awareness that sees the limits of bi-polar thinking and recognizes the multi-dimensional actuality of connected reality. But we must evolve beyond fancy talk and fancy words. Let us do what we can to bring about a real revolutionary transformation in the present state of property relations.

    Get involved! Join the Humane Liberation Party online >


  2. Yes, I am working on breaking down the false dualism of the right and left which keeps each side in its place as they are robbed blind. I am also working on ways to say this more simply and effectively. This piece was just an introduction I wanted to get down as I worked on the idea.

    Your work is valuable and a much needed movement. Keep up the good work.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: