[From Mike Acree (980515.1400 PDT)]

Bruce Nevin (980513)--

It appears that the bullying coercion that we have been discussing is
encouraged and cultivated in some human social arrangements, and in


social arrangements its dysfunction is patent from even an individual's
self-interested perspective. This is a most encouraging answer to the
question "How, in fact, can people get along with each other, if not
through some kind of coercive system?", an answer that is not obvious


within a competitive, low-synergy culture with its mythos of


competition, and dominance, an answer that may appear (from within that
perspective) to be an appeal to weaken ourselves as a people, our


inviting conquest in our turn; but an answer that grows more appealing


we ask ourselves what is the point of living after all, and what is
rewarding in it.

Just wanted to acknowledge that this paragraph (and the preceding
quotation) holds for me more emotional appeal than my own posts about
private protection agencies and the like. The latter ideas have the
possible virtues of being concrete, limited, secular, practical (?), but
they do proceed, as you suggest, from a more atomistic and defensive
position. Conceivably these two visions of society, fully realized,
might not look so different in practice; but I'm not sure about that.
There's an interesting tension here, in any event, between the
individual and the social (or something larger); I'm not sure whether it
resides just in me or may also be present in some unresolved issues of
PCT. I'm thinking particularly of Bill's (and my own, and Maturana's,
etc.) struggles with solipsism. The profound individualism of PCT seems
to me philosophically compelling, as the place we have to start; but I'm
not especially drawn to the atomistic theories (those of the
Enlightenment) which have usually been its social or political

Enough incoherent rambling; take this just as a sympathetic nod (also
difficult to convey by email).