Solutions arise from dissent
Published: Jul 10, 2022
Updated: Jul 29, 2022
Dissent is an evolutionary process necesssary for surfacing the best solutions, writes Charles Hugh Smith in his latest post Why Nations Fail.
Squash the dissent (either formally or through social networks) and you lose the chance to avoid failure. And yet, corrupt regimes always choose to suppress dissent.
They hamstring the capacity to “adapt and evolve,” so their nation becomes brittle and prone to failure.
This blog post comes on the heels of the tragic collapse of Sri Lanka. While many factors played into Sri Lanka’s downfall, suppression of dissent and rigid government policies that decimated agricultural yield seem like predictable accelerants.
- “We can understand variability as competition: mutations compete with the existing system’s coding and the most successful variants spread because they outcompeted existing processes.”
- “In human political systems, this constant flow of competing variability is dissent and the competition of ideas.”
- “The irony is that the suppression of dissent is the suppression of competing ideas that generate systemic stability via rapid adaptation. Stripping their nation of dissent is in effect stripping it of the dynamics of successful adaptation and rapid evolution– precisely the traits a nation needs to navigate eras of rapid change.”
He concludes: “Many and perhaps most nation-states will fail as their elites suppress dissent and new ideas that threaten their power but which ironically are the only means to evolve successfully to rapidly changing circumstances.”
The same can be said of any organization, group, or community, right?