RADICAL CIVILITY

Legacy Analysis

Analytical Approach

It is ignorant to deny that current analytic systems are dependable and helpful, but it is also ignorant to think that they are complete. Brilliant minds are constantly building on these to fill in the gaps, but these adaptations will always be confined to the underlying assumptions. In an attempt to avoid this restriction, another approach will be taken here: building a new one from an axiomatic base. While this attempt can soundly be accused of hubris, I hope that the logic laid out will not be invalidated by that perspective. To accomplish this daunting task, the following approach will be used: identify generalizable commonalities for communities and use those postulates to deconstruct and rationalize the social effects caused by them.

Axioms

The perceived nature of humanity (and the more broad understanding of “life”) is different for different cultures. Everything from religion to economy is utilized to create and defend a shared medium that can be utilized to preserve and advance the survival of the society. If we are going to construct axioms for this thesis, it must dismiss all these preconceptions and reflect on what unites living beings in general. For the purposes of this conversation, “living object” will be described as “the physical embodiment of a collection of impulses that developed (through evolution) the ability to compete for survival”. Since the axioms are generated by this definition, it is suggested that the reader take a moment and attempt to find counterexamples for the sake of testing its validity.

Preservation of Legacy (Self Preservation)

The ability to compete for survival necessitates the justification of why you deserve life while something else doesn’t. Whether it is done by regarding some personal qualities as more valuable than others or simply declaring it true, our psyche will create a reality consistent with this base need. Self preservation is therefore inherent to all life.

But this begs the question: what is the “self”? Philosophically, there is no universally consistent answer to this. The individual identity of a person will change over time either through experience or demand on responsibility. For example, the self may be extended to those you are responsible for (children, students, citizens, etc) or be restricted to exclude parts of yourself (feet, hands, eyes, etc). Being that it depends too much on personal interpretation, we cannot help to read it without bias. So “self preservation” carries too many assumptions to be useful as an axiom.

Regardless, preservation is a concept that unites all life. Either through biological lineage, ideology, heroics, vandalism, stories, or a litany of other forms; life will strive to embed its existence on the culture it exists within. The more intertwined a sense of self can be within the fabric of reality – be it through myth or action – the more the “self” can force acknowledgement onto others. “Legacy” will be used to describe this attempt at forced acknowledgement: the existential motivator of self identity which can be used as a vehicle for immortality.

It is important to note how the self and legacy differ. First and foremost, it needs to be understood that – unlike the self – there is no origin of legacy. Regardless of the “uniqueness” of an individual, all legacies are a mutation of those that predated it. In this way, legacy is not a product of life, but an independent external entity that supplements life with a purpose.

Similar to how the self will exist within a physical space, legacy must also have a native environment: the metaphysical. While the self is shaped by the experiences of life, a legacy will be shaped by the joint psyche that preserves it, and – by extension – the legacy will mutate and split so that it can thrive in stable communities. While the self is nourished by material needs, legacy is nourished by the consciousness that it occupies. While the self will compete and cooperate with other selves, legacy will compete and cooperate with other legacies.

Different interpretations of philosophy, religion, knowledge, history, communication, politics, and all other cultural aspects are susceptible and utilized by legacies to grow and thrive. It therefore makes sense that these aspects will be defended. But where a “self” will protect material needs with physical barriers, legacy will defend its resources with objectification. Barricading these mythological resources within the fortress of “reality” is the highest state of security a legacy can obtain, so – given the chance – this is what it will strive for. To provide a simplified example of this: there are many who will discuss (for example) religion as objective fact (regardless of how unreasonable it may appear): the legacy these people are striving to preserve and promote has achieved this security and – symbiotically – the legacy will allow them to exist immortally through its preservation.

Perception Bias (Limited Knowledge)

Similarly, survival also thrives when we promote our own experiences beyond that of our competitors. Without this promotion, the acquisition of limited resources will be lost to the quicker reaction of a less considerate opportunist. On its own, this will suggest that greed is an inherent virtue when regarding the continuation of life, but this initially seems contradictory to humanity’s success.

Humans are physically ill prepared for individual competition in nature. Alternatively, strength of numbers will allow greed and initial skill to be less valid. By benefiting both survival (through innovation and pure physical force) and legacy (referenced in the previous section); community will always win over individual promotion. Yet this seems in direct contradiction to the benefits of inherent greed. Without any way to mitigate this divide, humans (and all “herd animals”) would be a living paradox. Fortunately, practical consideration introduces the existence of empathy (and the more ambiguous sympathy) that is portrayed repeatedly with animals that survive in communities.

Regardless, we cannot project what we cannot know, so it seems the promotion of personal experience (and those with similar experiences) for the sake of survival is still justified as universal. It is important to note that – acknowledging this axiom – empathy is based exclusively on shared experiences. As such a person will be forced to deny conflicting experiences if one has to depend on others for survival. Conversely, given the luxury of choosing allies, efficiency dictates that empathy will be attributed to those that appear to have the most common experiences (while often rejecting the differences).

Together, these two axioms supply the ability to survive (perception bias) and the reason that the survival is valid (preservation of legacy). While the critique could be made that additional axioms should be considered, any hard claims would be hypocritical since that would be – itself – based on perception bias.

Social Consent

Relevant definitions

  • Legacy: motivator of the existential self identity which can be used as a vehicle for immortality.

There is an ingrained contention within the declared axioms: a desire to both limit and expand the population of a society. With an elementary perspective: a large community allows legacy to be preserved, yet – conversely – perception bias cannot efficiently incorporate the entire community due to differing experiences. With a bit more complexity, this contention continues to exist: existential threats will allow perception bias to prioritize innovation and production for survival, but legacy preservation will be hindered due to competing resources that are introduced (e.g. a differing morality). The analysis of this dichotomy of growth and refinement is what “legacy analysis” will reference: observing which legacies are thriving in the current conditions and determining how that propagation affects communities.

Before any further understanding can be reached, there is one gaping flaw that must first be addressed: an analyst must be able to obtain sufficient information to utilize the relevant models. Unfortunately, the subject attempting to be described (community) is – axiomatically – unknowable due to perception bias. The conclusion is non-traditional and rudimentary: accept this analysis cannot be performed by a single person or limited group.

It naturally follows that only a combined analysis performed by representatives spanning all legacies in a community can validly accommodate the most people. Furthermore, since it is a natural tendency to ignore differences for the sake of empathy, it is impossible to know when all legacies are represented and anything less than considering the reactions of the full community is insufficient. Although they are not formal, repeatable, nor trackable; by observing the chaotic interactions of society at large, we can gain a glimpse of this analysis in action and – more importantly – we can see trends in the results. In summary, only the ever morphing conclusion of legacy analysis can be fully understood, and these results are what we will call “social consent”.

While – admittedly – the predictive capabilities of legacy analysis for individuals is limited (although hopefully with future breakthroughs this may be improved on), it can anticipate how societies will interact and can be influenced. For example, it is easy to see that the subculture with the biggest platform will necessarily guide the conversation around social consent. This will inevitably result in their specific legacies being promoted beyond – and often in spite of – other’s (which includes the provision of material and metaphysical goods). Thus, practically speaking, this influential group will – almost assuredly – acquire an empowered position and will dictate the perception of reality for everyone else. Those that cannot or will not abide by this reality will be treated as threats; branded “traitors” or “insane” or “criminals”.

Without further simplification, this is not much use. The vaguity and nondescript nature of the results are at best noise that cannot be parsed and at worst will be combed through to justify flawed thinking. It is therefore necessary to consolidate social consent into how it is utilized: what is expected from the group at large, the support for rejecting expectations, and what is implicitly under consideration within the group. These will be called “civil consent”, “radical consent”, and “constructed consent” respectively.

Civil Consent

True cohesion of a community is when everyone has the opportunity and the ability (either known explicitly or because of implicit repercussions) to preserve the legacy they’ve adopted. Providing unity necessitates the provision and defense of non-contested resources within the group. For this reason, communities will naturally internalize successful reactions to historical threats for future security. This inherent protection is the purpose of civility and – for the legacies considered acceptable – it takes considerable introspection to challenge it. 

These virtues are important to keep in mind through the rest of this thesis, because this concept will be used as an anti-hero after this section. It’s presence within a community is both necessary and intrinsic; providing the community with a common platform and guidance through myths and institutions. All underlying neutral interactions in a community will support the reality that civility cultivates; from legal rules to ‘apolitical’ entertainment, an expected understanding of the world is reinforced to provide the ideal environment in which the accepted legacies can thrive.

With those caveats in mind, it follows that if resources (either material or metaphysical) become a point of conflict within the community, civility will exclude some of the more metaphysically demanding legacies to eliminate the threat of infighting. For this reason social changes (eg. a sharp reduction in material goods or a new technology that challenges civility) will proc a communal reaction. This shift will include the rejection of new legacy mutations and an attempt to insulate the community from infringing legacies that could compete within the already stressed habitat. In extreme examples, civility will deny the preservation of any independent legacies and only allow the preservation of the community legacy that is at the foundation of the civility itself.

The core of civility can always be identified by which legacies are promoted by the largest platforms. The reason for this is simple: civility is almost universally acceptable and – in turn – civility will be reinforced by the narratives that the platform promotes. Being that the platform is held as an authority; personal perspective, lies, and context will only serve to create a mythos and further blend civility into reality. In a more broad sense, the longer specific aspects of civility remain unchanged, the more mythoi will be constructed to defend it and thus will become harder to doubt. Additionally, when civility is challenged, if the opposition is sufficiently denied, institutions and mythoi will be created for the intent of objectifying the civility further. The more objective the metaphysical resources of civility, the more justification it will have to grow and manage population size. 

While the theme of this section (showing how the socially implicit defense of accepted legacies is cultivated and reacts) will be referenced almost exclusively within this thesis as a conjugation of “civil”, the broader colloquial reference is much more diverse. Synonyms such as “tradition”, “cultural norms”, “orthodoxy”, “time tested”, “appropriate”, “iconic”, “natural”, etc will always fundamentally appeal to the same underlying justification: the community has already accepted the idea as valid so it is factual. While this claim is inherently true, it is vital to note that the social cohesion provided becomes circular at the moment when it is defended. Civility that is not questioned is practical reality, and reality needs no defense. The moment it is questioned, it stops being reality and enters the realm of subjectivity.

As a final note, it should be pointed out that subcommunities will have their own civility which necessarily complies with the protections (myths and institutions) of the super-civility the greater community would appeal to.

Radical Consent

Whether through advancement of technology, theory, and knowledge or unexpected shortages; civility will continuously need to adapt to a changing environment. This creates fringe subcommunities which are tentatively included when the society is comfortable and quickly excluded if scarcity occurs. Due to this lack of consistent coverage, these communities will often criticize the current cultural agreement and perceived reality as insufficient to their communal needs. This critique of civil exclusion is called “radicality” and – when there is community agreement that the critique is valid – “radical consent”. Insignificantly small occurrences of radicality will be ignored within this thesis for both clarity and simplicity allowing “radicality” and “radical consent” to be synonymous.

When civilities collide, the less established will become subservient and will be forced to – at least when challenged – accommodate the other mythoi and structures. It needs to be remembered that civility is a passive defense, so the suppression and promotion of different legacies are amorally systemic and utilitarian and must not be confused with malice. In contrast, radicality is a critique; a tool needed to remove mythoi and structures from civility for the explicit purpose of including the legacies of the most people. It is irrelevant to consider other civilities that are more inclusive since radicality is only meaningful in the context of exclusive defenses.

Regardless, radicality is always seen as a threat to legacies that have constructed local exclusionary mythoi. Due to their limited ability to independently generate the metaphysical resources needed to be preserved, they are dependent on what civility supplies for their preservation. In the same way that no one would advocate for their own hunger, these legacies cannot support the radical critique. Instead they will elect to appeal to civility’s objectivity. The exception to this is if there is a civility that can both protect the exclusive mythos better and avoid the criticism. In this case, the legacy may amplify radicality for the sake of demoting the old civility and incorporating itself as an advocate of the new one.

Acknowledging that civility will have base exclusionary support and an objectification that radicality is incapable of developing, without support the critique is a wasted effort. In contrast, radicality has two advantages over civility: consistency and inclusivity. Radicality exists only as a critique of civility’s defense, it serves no other purpose, therefore – unless it succeeds in weakening civility – it will always exist. Additionally, the “civil” minded are not excluded from being sympathetic to the radical cause and can actually work from within to show that radicality can succeed while allowing civility to serve its purpose. On its own, the persistent critique will simply be an irritation to the community, but – when joined with the second – a sympathetic critique will consistently get stronger until civility is forced to adapt or lose it’s community.

The allegiance with the civil minded is not without consequence. Any person that is willing to support another plight without gaining benefit from it cannot voice accurately the needs or the full criticism. Due to perception bias, even if the person once suffered due to similar situations, the inability to know the current conditions combined with the adoption of civil objectivity will render their experience inadequate. For better or worse, this also causes many radical communities to be influenced by the stronger local civility and the critique will morph into a less disruptive judgment which – for the most fringe groups – will result in a frustrating disempowerment of the harsher critique.

Constructed Consent

The contrast between civility and radicality are inherently at odds, so – unless a community is to fracture – there must be a means of balancing the critique with the civil dependency. The solution can be found in the community conversation that incorporates both of them. Within the metaphysical realm, if civility can be compared to the walls surrounding a community and radicality a battering ram, then constructed consent would be the structural integrity of the walls. While civility will attempt to dictate the conversation – as is its purpose – it is ultimately empowered by the will of the people. So if radicality’s critique is persuasive enough to the community, the specific defense being attacked will lose that empowerment.

It is improbable that anyone can predict this chaotic flow of unknowable legacy mutations and the constant fluctuation within community perception. In the future – with further understanding of how legacies thrive – it may be the case that constructed consent can be dissected further, but for now only a few superficial points will be presented:

  • Constructed consent will never abandon civility’s core legacy, no matter how large the community can become
  • Only the legacies considered civil can influence the constructed consent
  • The more support radical consent has, the more civil consent will need to change.

As already established, civilities have historic foundations that generated an established cache of metaphysical resources (laws, morality, etc). These will fundamentally support and be dictated by core legacies. As constructed consent adapts to new legacies (both internal mutations and external discovery), the shift in boundary of civil acceptance is primarily dependent on how it affects the gain or loss in resource objectification. If a legacy is introduced that allows access to a large population but causes foundational resources to become subjective, constructed consent will likely consider this a loss. In contrast, if radicality introduces a legacy that can already be included with no alteration to the metaphysical resources, then constructed consent will shift the civil boundary without recourse. In summary, including additional legacies is not a zero-sum-game.

It should follow that legacies with no community support will be irrelevant to constructed consent since there can be no effect on the confidence that the civil defenses (i.e. mythology and institutions) depend on. These external legacies are forced to develop their own civility which will attempt to compete for the community (either through ideological competition or material destruction). Due to the risk of becoming fringe, the legacies most susceptible to the ideological competition will become radical and constructed consent will be influenced.

For the situation in which constructed consent evaluates the inclusion of the new legacy as not worth the objective strain on the resources, the civil competition will continue. The radical legacies will have to evaluate the better position: remaining under the fringe protection of the more objectified civility or assuming the new civility which offers a more native and fundamental protection. Recursively as long as the radicality continues to appeal to fringe communities, the civility will slowly suffer with the radical critique gaining support and the opposing civility becoming more objective. If constructed consent determines that inclusion of the new legacy (and castration the opposing civility) has the risk of rendering the current civility completely subjective, the growing external civility will eventually overtake the community and the weakened civility will be absorbed forcing it to become submissive to a new mythos.

Civil Radicality

At this point I would like to take a moment to recognize that the discussion so far has been intentionally abstract and theoretical. Unless discussed as an alien idea, the experience of the reader would fundamentally alter the way they perceived it. With that in mind, I would like to take a moment to express my appreciation for considering how legacy utilizes civility, radicality, and the conversation surrounding it. Before moving on to a more practical discussion, there is a request: please take a moment to consider how this metaphysical competition of constructing an objective reality is influencing you [the reader] even now.

This is an earnest plea, the writing will still be here when you are done. Take at least a 2 minutes pause to consider your own consciousness and evaluate if the ideas presented so far can coexist with it.

Assuming legacy analysis was considered during this introspection, it is the hope that the reader has a more practical understanding of how this internal struggle between traditional thought (aka civility) and influence of external ideas (radicality) can interact. Where the argument “your consciousness only retroactively describes why you make decisions” (radicality) contrasts the traditional perspective of “your ‘self’ is a free agent” (civility); the decision concerning “which reality gives you the most ability to thrive?” is constructed consent. Regardless of the conclusion you landed on (likely that you have agency over yourself), the intent of the exercise was to bring the theoretical understanding into the practical realm.

Continuing to reflect on this inner conflict, it should be apparent that radicality will only gain support when civility causes ideas to be suppressed. By contrast, defenders of civility will never acknowledge the harm caused as valid or meaningful. Given that you believe that this statement is read under your own agency, what we believe is true is fundamentally a practical conclusion that relies on itself for legitimacy.

To say this with more generalization: radical efforts only exist because communities are harmed under the reality that civility constructs. By contrast, the civil minded are incapable of acknowledging the radical communities as valid. Within the constructed consent of the community, any argument based on the premise of civility would be practically motivated and logically circular.

While both supported with civil praise (eg “patriotic” or a “good citizen”) and expected, the unquestioning defense of civility will lead to an inability to empathize with those that are neglected under its protection. Under the fullest belief in civility, there will be a demand that even sympathy for radical ideas is an affront to the objective truth that civility proclaims. This final state is what is meant when someone demands “civil radicality”.

A full indoctrination into the belief that civility is not only appropriate, but necessarily true will only allow one thought: radicality must ONLY exist within the confines of civility to be valid (which makes sympathy with true radicality impossible).

Radical Civility

There are rational defenses to the radical claim “I am not in control”. For example one could say “It doesn’t really matter who is controlling me since I feel like I am” or “I must have agency or none of this matters”. These are not civil arguments. Quite the contrary, these statements can only be made if the civil reality of “I’m necessarily in control” is temporarily set aside. If convincing, these responses will become part of civility’s defense, but they can only be generated originally through constructed consent.

Although it is a revisiting of the previous sections, it is important to acknowledge that supporting radicality is not necessarily a denial of the civil validity, but only an attempt to treat it with the same subjectivity as the alternative claim. Communities are much the same way: portions of a population can come to the conclusion that civility is beneficial while promoting radicality. There may be deeper civil assumptions they are relying on, but – unless those are critiqued as well – those premises are practically objective.

All this is pointed out again to clarify one thing: those that support radicality are doing so because they are willing to be critical of civility, not because they deny it. While there are legacies that will lose the ability to be preserved if the aspect of civility they depend on is to become subjective, this cannot happen without the general community perception that the mythos is invalid. To demonstrate this virtue of practicality, the radical idea that “a metaphysical puppet master is controlling your consciousness” was never a real threat to your reality. Even if the objectivity of your agency is treated as subjective, the entire rejection of it has no practical gain and accepting servitude as civilly valid will only revoke your identity and purpose. The practical gain in committing to the “trade off” was never an option.

In short, systematically promoting the recognition of radical consent is not denying the utility in objective reality, nor is it an inherent advocation for civility’s removal. Even though avatars of civility will necessarily describe allies of radicality as “ungrateful” or “offensive” or “impractical”, in truth the radical are only wanting to consider reality subjectively so that legacies will have the best chance of preservation. The expectation that all of society can and should treat civility as subjective when challenged is called “radical civility”.

At this point it would be negligent to ignore a critique that is typically brought up regarding the advocates of radical civility: the paradox of tolerance. To paraphrase: being tolerant of intolerance will result in greater intolerance. This makes the assumption that exclusive civility is fundamentally more objective. According to what has been laid out so far, if bigory is accepted within a more objectively inclusive community then it will be necessarily submissive and will cast aside all mythoi that conflict with the objective metaphysical resources lest it become irrelevant. So (in spite of the logic laid out with the paradox) the anticipated reaction will be that – all things being equal – whatever legacy the bigotry is promoting will be preserved better under a larger community. Legacies will adopt the more protective civility (radical civility) and abandon the irrelevant one (bigotry).

In an idealistically simple display of what this would look like: within an insulated community that accepts everyone, a bigoted stranger joins.  They will manufacture discontent and create myths of harm so that their bigotry is justified. Since the community is axiomatically accepting, reality is subjectified and the perceived harm is evaluated by the community (which would ultimately side against the bigot since the bigotry is less practical). At this point the bigoted defenses become more subjective and – unless the legacy is to become surreal – the person will be forced to suppress the bigotry and adapt to the community mythos eventually causing them to abandon it entirely. 

All this assumes that exclusion is the subservient civility.  If it is the other way around and bigotry was objective, then it would necessarily reject all advocates of radical civility due to the subjective threat it produces to the metaphysical resources.

Even with this justification, it needs to be noted that a community claiming to be radically civil will not be able to avoid defensive hypocrisy and a perceived need for competition. In a more practical rendering of the above example, there will be historic mythoi that the bigotry will be able to objectify. While this suggests that accepting exclusive civilities will find a foundation within the existing hypocrisy and utilizing radical civility is actually a Trojan horse for the worst of history’s outcomes, this is a circular argument for civil radicality. In contrast there is the equally circular claim from radical civility: since exclusion will always exist due to practical community defenses, and legacies can always thrive better with a wider community; it is optimal to fundamentally institutionalize radical civility in order to allow the most legacies to thrive. Which bias is individually chosen fundamentally depends on the metric we judge culture by and how much current civility is promoting you. The usage of both extremes (and all intermediate combinations) within society gives us what we see practically.

Practical Discussion

Relevant Definitions

  • Legacy: motivator of the existential self identity which can be used as a vehicle for immortality.
  • Civil: inherent community approval
  • Radical: Motivating or acting in opposition to inherent community approval
  • Civil Radicality: expecting social critiques to be limited to civil action
  • Radical Civility: expecting a community to oppose inherent approval

Now that the language of the analysis and the general concepts have been laid out, it is useful to see how this can be applied to more practical community dynamics. By starting small and working up, hopefully – under an amoral context – complex social dynamics can be understood with a less gilded perspective, allowing the conflicting motivators to be seen more clearly.

Additionally, many of the historic narratives the world has established within its own civil mythos will contradict the narratives described here. The reader is urged to attempt reading the following without moral evaluation, but only to understand how the civil institutions provide a framework for life to find purpose within.

Local Examples

While the main focus on this thesis is humanity, it will actually be easier to start analysing society in a less complex example that has already implemented (in general) a working system. The following scenarios will be presented in the order of increasing internal conflict.

Disclaimer: these are not meant to be all encompassing nor discussed from “an expert” perspective. There will be complexities that are overlooked and unfair generalities.  The intent of this section is to provide (within a scope of limited accuracy) a narrative in which the language above can be applied and normalized.

Drones

Whether it be bees or ants or any other colony that works as a single unit, these communities have an extremely limited civility that the entire community can – and needs – to abide by: survival and expansion of the community to combat natural threats.  No individual “person” has a drive to produce new legacies that may threaten the objectified civility of the community (either directly or even tangentially). It is only through this civil stability that the colony can reach an equilibrium with the external environment. While it seems chaotic, the legacies of the individuals are dictated by the civil authority in what can be allowed.

There are times in which this fails due to a catastrophic disruption of the community (which may include corruption such as fungal manipulation) or changes within the external environment disrupting the equilibrium. If the threat is internal, the colony – practicing civil radicality – will attempt to eliminate all radical oppositions to civility. If the threat is external then the colony will engage in war as dictated by its civility and it will either kill the threat, be killed, or establish a new equilibrium in which the internal civility can coexist with the civility of the threat.

This works well for large communities as seen in the success of insect colonies, but it also inhibits adaptation to large scale change due to the lack of robust radical experiences.

Cells

Recalling that creating and preserving legacy was introduced as a biological concept necessary for justifying survival (instead of simply a generational inheritance), it is meaningful to see how it applies to the basic building blocks of life itself: cells. These communities have evolved with a similar limited scope to the civility found in drones since the greater survival is dependent on the “individual” fulfilling the duty literally written into its code. While this may seem irrelevant since legacy is typically discussed as responsibilities, characteristics, narratives, or other metaphysical inherited remnants of the past instead of RNA sequences; it is important to see that legacy inheritance via biology is a natural extension. While cell reproduction perpetuates individual legacy, any mutations within the cloning process are neither promoted nor necessarily rejected. As long as the mutations still can operate civilly (allowing the cultures to function), changes are not rejected. This has the potential to be good and bad for the overall community. Whether it be a mutation that – for example – eventually helps to reject toxins or – in contrast – a cancer that will cause harm, the mutation (through evolutionary training) will attempt to find its place within the community so its legacy (the mutation of the code) is preserved.

Similar to the benefits of civil radicality within the “drone” section, cells will utilize a civil mythos to efficiently identify radical threats which were previously encountered, and the single cell which poses the direct threat will be destroyed. Unlike the previous section, civility is allowed to be tested through mutations which allows a more robust ability to adapt to unexpected external changes increasing the capability to survive and thrive. As such, cells are neither civilly radical (as drones are) nor can they be described as radically civil since it relies on institutionalized defenses to ensure survival. Through this, life can both be preserved and adapt over time (e.g. macro evolution) while ensuring a stable system. It should also be noted that if new legacies ever become radical (opposing the civil scope and causing potential harm or inability to operate), the body will go through an internal conflict which has either the risk of death or – more likely – altering the internal equilibrium of the organism to be more optimized within a different environment and updated civil defenses.

As a final note, it could be considered that the subconscious of a person is a manifestation of the constructed consent of the organism as a whole. It is reactive to the needs indicated by the community: pain is an indicator of identifiable civil conflict (either internal or external), while hunger and or thirst (as well as the rest of the survivalistic urges of the body) are a reaction to needs that the cells are indicating. Moving forward with more complex systems, understanding constructed consent as “oftentimes inexpressible wisdom of the community” can be helpful to understand the ambiguity and necessity of it.

Family

While this section will be more in line with how the typical notion of “legacy” is considered, it should be noted we are still using the same definition as before. In this light, it is also important to see that a legacy will not start with any individual person. There is always unknown civil inheritance that people are unaware of. Like all civility, the longer it goes unopposed the more it is institutionalized and objectified via mythos and expectations/rules. The culture a person is brought up in is no different than the genetic sequence inherited by the cell. It is only through outside influence or anomalous mutations that the expected legacy will be changed and possibly become radical.

It won’t be denied that humans are complex, but to avoid any ambiguity beyond that which is inherently built into “legacy”, we will define “free will” as “the ability to consider and incorporate foreign legacies”. In other words, freedom or liberty is the ability to critique our own motivators and the truth of our perceived reality. For many this is not – nor can it be – a choice. Whether this be due to absolute essential needs being denied or an expected comfort being taken away, it won’t matter if the individual cannot obtain the conditions they expect.

It is also important to see that the conflict between family members is due to the non-compliance of civil radicality. This is often due to conflict of two civilities and the perception of at least one party to believe that “family” is synonymous with “civil dictation”. This is often detrimental to the broader cultural development of a child since the legacy they grew up with is in conflict with their personal experience of reality, thus an existential ultimatum occurs: choose to adopt the civility of the family (which could result in an abandonment or restriction of the “self”) or become radical and attempt to expand the civil reality to include the new perspective.

Human ingenuity (which leads to new technologies), educational foresight (which can identify upcoming external catastrophes), exploratory discoveries (which leads to new understanding of external dictations), language advancement (which will further give clarification to individual experience), or other enlightening progressions can all undermine existing mythoi of the family and give the newer generation insight that the older lacks. As such, the inability for a family civility to remain unchanged beyond a single generation is practically impossible unless the outside culture is rejected. This can last temporarily and the civility will construct a mythos that will harden to change, but – if the civility ever comes in conflict with the broader community – this reduced freedom will likely cause the legacies to be wiped out or it will fundamentally alter the larger community creating a new equilibrium (as with the organism in the case of the cells).

Due to the limited number of legacies within a family and the narrow scope on how those legacies will differ, the “traditional family” is either strictly radically civil or civilly radical. While not fair to consider this a direct comparison to the implementation within the broader society, it logically follows that – everything being equal – the coherency and comfort of the family is increased when radical civility is practiced due to metaphysical adaptability when challenged. In contrast coherency and comfort is decreased under civil radicality due to inevitable conflict and rejection. 

Communities

Although this parallels the “families” section, the number of local civilities that are interacting with each other are much more numerous and broad. For this reason, civility is less strict and radicality is always present to some degree. This also has the reverse effect that entire subcommunities can be forced into obscurity as long as the majority can institutionalize their own legacy or – more importantly – are convinced that they can institutionalize a legacy they believe is theirs.

Similar to the past sections that adopted the historical preservation of a created mythos, communities will do the same.  The clear distinction between the two being that communities necessarily have to be more broad so diverse legacies won’t be excluded to challenge the civil dictation. As long as a group can collectively conform to a civility, then fringe subgroups will adjust for the sake of survival when possible. When able to be included, fringe legacis will be mutated to conform, but it will remain as unchanged as possible (which aligns with the inertia expected within civility’s preservation).

In contrast, there are instances when subcommunities are fundamentally unable to conform – either through material needs not being met or conflicts in mythoi – and civility cannot be extended without risking its own subjectivity. In this case, there will be a new civility created to defend the neglected legacy. When the conflict is shared with multiple people or is able to garner sympathy, a radical critique of the original civility is formed and critiques of the “state” will follow. Similarly, it will be the reaction of civility to manufacture a dependency on the critiqued legacy so it will be defended.

It is important to note that within legacy analysis, there are no such things as “bad actors”. Any action that cannot be understood is the result of perception bias of the observer. Due to the axioms initially proposed, every action is assumed to be driven by the adaptation, acceptance, or promotion of legacy. The more a mythos misaligns with reality, the more it shows a conflict between the perceiver’s civility and the civility being perceived. At worst, the perception of reality has been deliberately and systematically constructed in attempts to dissuade any sympathy with radical legacies that civility cannot include but are threatened by.

It should be fairly obvious that – like legacy itself – the perception of civility is dependent on the experiences and teachings a person has lived through. This will lead to the constructed consent and – by extension – civility of a community to fundamentally be driven by those with the largest platforms. It additionally follows that tradition is less important than the perception of tradition and (similarly) civility is less important than the perception of civility. Ultimately, it is the manipulation of this perception that most of society centers around. With this understanding, “reality” should be less thought of as an objective supernatural medium to live within, but a personal construction of local inputs filtered through our accepted civility. Which leads to the troubling but inevitable realization that reality is constructed by the institutions that surround us.

Historical Narratives

With the risk of being redundant, this is a reminder that this section is not an in-depth approach to understanding the mindset of any nation. While attempting to be accurate, most of the motivators described will be a single – possibly flawed – understanding of elementary history. To reiterate – the reason for including this section is to show (within the narrative of history presented) how legacy analysis can be used for people more knowledgeable than myself. Being that this is described through the lens of philosophic continuity, many common understandings of history based on artifacts and internally generated narratives surrounding it may conflict with what is provided.

The USSR

After the Romanovs fell to the increasing need for worker comfort within imperial Russia, the previous strict civility of the dynasty was still fresh in the minds of those who were ruled by it. Even with no authoritative entity to fall back on, the aspects of the community cohesion that were objectified (morality, agency, responsibility, etc) were not challenged, thus remained after the change in civility. Regardless and in spite of attempts to fulfill a Marxian ideology of equal distribution of labor ownership, these civil dictators ensured the legacy of a centralized protector (which was institutionalized in the previous government) persisted through the leadership of the socialist party. This was seen with the heavy handed approach presented by Lenin and his successor (Stalin) to ensure that the capitalist ideology was defended against and therefore stamped out instead of allowing them to be equally influential.

On a separate note, the nationalism that was necessary for the institutionalization of a dynasty’s mythos was also metaphysically unopposed. The conflicting and hostile view of capitalism and the effects of imperialism (which was being promoted by most of the developed countries) further justified the need of a strong centralized uniter. The compounded need for national insulation (due to protection and economic independence) dictated a rejection of external cooperation. All of which contributed to the construction of a legacy that promoted success of “an unaided superior state” above all.

While inherently true that other industrialized countries would have pushed their own legacy (capitalism) given the chance to exploit trade (as it had with many other less stable countries), the protection that self induced isolation provided had the cost of limiting the amount of resources the region was able to obtain. To solve this resource deficit, there was a drive to become economic allies with non-capitalist countries. This led to the cold war: capitalist countries recovering from two world wars competing with the economically isolated USSR for economic resources in weaker countries. While neither could outright point to an explicit physical threat (beyond the mutually assured nuclear destruction), the lack of material national comfort (which could not be internationally justified) was threatened on both sides. Additionally, the lack of resources within the public also caused radical voices to start to emerge within the USSR. These were quickly squashed since it conflicted with the expectation of civil radicality that state pride necessitated.

If promotion of this civility had continued after Stalin and someone else had taken up the mantle, the inertia of the USSR (and the civility built on the Romanov dynasty) may still exist today. Alas, Stalin only relinquished power through his death, further objectifying the civility within the citizens. It is no surprise that the ability to hold the country together weakened when civility was adjusted by a series of leaders (ending in Gorbachev) to contrast with the heavy handed Stalin/Lenin approach. The increased democracy forced – within the public – the same ultimatum that children go through within families: choose between empowerment of the individual self or defend the authority, pride, and protection that was civilly dictated. With the new environment which allowed radical consent to flourish, the material needs that were limited had to be quickly expanded to meet the call for individualistic comfort that was previously suppressed due to the – now questionable – need for national seclusion. Trade was inevitable, and with it came the undermining of the foundational national legacy of “an unaided superior state” that held the USSR together.

In short: due to the rapid shift of the leaders that neglected the inertia of the cultural civility, the metaphysical resources became subjectified and the civility of the state dissolved into fractured local authorities. With no overarching civility to hold them together, the country fell apart. Eventually, it resolidified under a new mythos (which was very similar to the old dynasty while utilizing the scoicalist party structure) with a new branding: Russia.

Nazi

The late 18th century saw governmental shifts of power from monarchies to representative rule. For each country that converted, regardless whether this was a forced or peaceful transition, the territorial legacy of the old dictation merged with the communal appreciation of the distributed power. The resulting civility was a nation with strong borders and an appreciation for allies. As such, World War I could be seen as a war of fallen monarchies trying to prove they can still protect themselves and a test of recreated alliships.

When the war ended and Germany surrendered, the pride of national supremacy dictated that the majority of the blame was placed on the loser (which logically meant that they had to pay for reparations). Additionally, the treaty also destroyed the German border and outlawed the engineering production that the German people excelled at. Regardless of how intentional it was, this reaction left the German people both economically and existentially decimated.

While the victorious countries of Europe could take WWI as justification that nothing was lost in the democratic dispersal of authority, those that suffered the loss saw the metaphysical resources becoming drastically subjectified and fringe communities being increasingly abandoned by the limited civility. This gave rise to a counterculture that praised a legacy of biological superiority of the first reich (the Germanic Kingdom) that was all but forgotten. While the authoritarian mythoi of the past was practically insufficient when competing with distributed power of democracy, the new fascist reality demanded civil defenses that could manipulate the populace into rejecting empathy with “inferior” communities. This was found in a constructed consent void of objective metaphysics pulling from every culture to create a new reality that fit the practical justification of excluding others. Conspiracy theories, alien mythoi, historic religious iconography; everything was used to construct a worldview that could singularly be used to justify the German superiority and that empowerment was promoted through a new objective reality.

After two decades of frustration and rebuilding under strained resources, the refined metaphysical protection of the Nazi party’s civility practically overtook the Wienmar republic’s more accepting worldview. The exclusive civility was institutionalized and it’s new mythos rejuvenated a cultural pride that was on the brink of being lost. At this point every person that rejected the new civility was treated as a threat due to the “corrupting influence” (aka egalitarianism or genetic corruption) that destroyed the “rightful” hierarchy of the past. It was ideologically consistent to use these new “criminals” as slave labor and ensure the superior race had the resources needed to take its rightful position in the world. Hence, the concentration camps were inevitable for these “traitors” and “subhuman” peoples.

When treated as objective truth, the acceptance of deservedness within the new purified superiority demanded that non-pure communities deserved to be subjugated as a natural conclusion. As noted, by ensuring comfort (through increasing resources and a decreased population) there was practical reason to further objectify the fascistic civility. Additionally, it protected the metaphysical resources by segregating the radical communities; destroying any chance of radical consent since empathy through cooperation was impossible. Civil radicality was officially accepted and – like drones of an insect colony – the ability to employ different legacies (aka liberty and freedom) were stripped away.

Unlike the nationalistic cohesive protection adopted by the surrounding countries, the mythos of the Nazi civility was independent of geographical restriction. The deservedness of increased comfort was unopposed by other claims of genetic superiority (but instead only found the commonly accepted claim of democratic agency) so there was no need to respect the forgien civilities as valid.

The reacting clash of civilities resulting in World War II is well known, but more interesting is the question “is there any way Nazi Germany could have reached an equalibrium with the rest of the world?” I would argue “no” unless other fascist civilities developed within other countries to counter the claim of genetic authority and reinstate a geographic limitation to their claim of superiority. The mythos of Nazi deservedness was foundational to the civility it held, so democracy (and its rejection of biological “rights”) was considered illegitimate. It should be noted that the fascistic civilities needed to counter this idea started to develop in other countries during WWII (as seen with segregation of races out of fear), but fortunately these civilities never fully came to fruition (even if there are hints of them protecting legacies of biologic deservedness still today). Further and most importantly, the mythos of fascism is an amalgamation of reactive defenses that are internally inconsistent. It cannot self-sustain without a foil; even if everyone was converted or segregated, there would still be a need to find dissenters so the flaws of the mythos wouldn’t collapse under its own weight. There is an ongoing organic effort to create a consistent reality via further complex narratives (aka conspiracy theories) where these civilities still exist.

The USA

The build up to the US revolution was fundamentally driven by ideas of the enlightenment most apply seen in the phrase “right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” which was a direct reference to John Locke’s belief that every man has the right to life, liberty, and property. Further the assertion that “all men are created equal” directly undermined the monarchical civility that the leaders had divine authority which others lacked. As such, the pre-revolutionary colonies pushed a narrative of a new world which would prioritize radical civility and promote all citizens.

This ideal was immediately undermined by the people driving the rebellion. It wasn’t commoners that were being mistreated, but the wealthy community that saw an opportunity to gain more power and independence from regulation. A cry of “authoritarianism”, “overtaxation”, and “oppression” was used to rally the public to reject the distant rulership. As a foreshadowing of things to come, this critique wasn’t applied to their own lives regardless of the forgien civility they still accepted and promoted (especially when it came to slave treatment and seizing land from the natives).

The war was won and the US claimed its independence. The construction of the government was in many ways revolutionary at the time, but when contrasted with the initial values (e.g. egalitarianism) the influence of legacies passed down by the monarchy can be seen. As with all civilities, the legacies of those with the largest platforms were prioritized. Through laws such as “white male landowners” being the only ones that can vote and the “three fifths compromise”, the meaning of “all men” was redefined to be “european landowning males” legally ensuring that their power structure was institutionalized (implementing aspects of the civility they had just escaped). It is important to note that – if they had been driven by their claimed ideals – they could have adopted aspects of the civility of the natives that were familiar with the environment or the growing population of imported Africans rendered indispensable while constructing the new nation, but they did not. Instead there was an organic national identity of “the individual is to be respected beyond the masses” and any attempt to empower the public in spite of an individual is an assault on their individual freedom. This simultaneously rejected the monarchical rule for those with pre-generated privilege and reaffirmed it for those that had none.

In the less that 100 years that predated the civil war, the civility became objectified: the economy and private land (which was reminiscent of the monarchical power base) was never challenged, division between communities shifted from being “national origin” to “race”, and individual success was promoted in spite of the shoulders of the giants they stood on (community and inheritance). As with the monarchy they came from, the civility ensured platforms were available to those with the most empowerment and the now abandoned civility laid out in the Declaration of Independence (which attempted to establish a form of idealism, universal equity, and empathy) was superficially utilized for those forgien to the US experience. Additionally, the rare success stories were promoted to give the illusion of commonplace success further objectifying the narrative that “anyone can succeed”.

As the nation grew westward, a clash of new civilities formed. The civility of the north became an equilibrium through private land ownership ensuring the systemic starvation for anyone that didn’t “voluntarily” trade their labor for predefined wages. This reality was seen as a threat to the continued expansion of the southern economy that depended on slavery for their comfort. The formation of the Confederate States was the attempt to finally dismiss the illusion of egalitarianism from the founders Laissez-faire civility instilled in the constitution. With the claim of “states rights” and reduction of regulation, the influential aristocrats of the south created a narrative to promote themselves. While unintentional, the transparency within the Confederate economy had the ability to potentially upset the northern equilibrium by unveiling the injustice of empowering the individual over the community. Thus the conflicting civilities resulted in the Civil War. While I hope it is clear, it is worth reflecting that initially neither side was fighting to empower the civility of the Declaration of Independence, but – like the reactive rise of international fascism in WWII – there was a need in the Union to show their civility did not overlap, thus slavery was abolished and that became the moral focus.

After the Confederates lost, the need to conform to the new moral objectification left many legacies weaker than before. The legacies that lost the most status ended up being the most fringe and the most influential, so a stronger radical civility analogous to post WWI Germany was created. The “racism” (that held the same ideological place of nationalism and biological superiority) and inability to live up to expected privilege forced a blended reality to justify their victimhood. Racism was adopted as objectively true and constructed consent manufactured a reality to justify it. The Jim Crow Laws and the cultural backlash (aka civil rights movements) were the natural reaction. In this aspect, the legacies that caused the civil war (rejecting the need for the illusionary egalitarianism vs the understanding it is needed to perpetuate the US economy) continues well into the 21st century. Additionally, this clash introduced a third fringe community: those that want to reject the traditions of the monarchy and fully accept the virtues hinted at in the Declaration of Independence (even though this often was in stark contrast to the US identity laid out by the founders). 

While being in a constant tug of war between increasing equity and further institutionalizing hierarchies, one thing remains constant to the US: the focus on the individual. Even the egalitarian civility still allows for the reality that systemic concerns can be conflated with individual action, so civility – in all its forms – has never allowed the critique of this cornerstone. Even when massive civil rights struggles were in the forefront of history, there were always counter revolutions to oppose the idea of “community empowerment” and opted instead to focus on the leaders rather than the group. The movements themselves would often fall prey to this same mindset (which was experienced when the loss or removal of a movement’s icon initiated its decay). Even when forced to shift metaphysical resources to accept new legacies, it never allowed the idea of community agency, but – instead – granted only enough individual rights to reduce the radical consent to the status of an ignorable group of radical voices.

Unless the US is willing to engage in this existential change, the idolization of the individual will be it’s identity. This inherently favors that of the pre-empowered voice (as it always has) leading to a citizenship that will constantly be exploited. If this is true, the US will continue to expect the illusion of radical civility applied to continue granting personal freedoms (such as voting rights, marriage equality, and economic justice) but only with additional barriers created to overcome (such as businesses that are “too big to fail” or segregating communities of immigrants to be treated as enemies). Media (both fiction and non-fiction) will continue to focus on “heroism” and “villains” while unable or neglecting to outright identify cultural influences.

The majority of the people will continue to sink further into equal poverty while being convinced through the combined national narrative that individuals are succeeding and poverty is an individual issue (as opposed to a cultural one). Systemic bigotry will continue to shift in forms so demographic infighting will continue while an aristocratic group will remain unchallenged and continue to solidify. Further, explicit racism and sexism (while still existing on a personal level and causing personal disagreements) will be held up as institutional icons of moral progress. People on average will achieve equality, but in terms of legacy no one will be metaphysically stable enough to be free (adopting instead the objectified civil limitations refined by the aristocracy). An ideological feudalism will be established and everyone will accept it as reality as the serfs did under the monarchy. If, on the other hand, the peoples of the US decided to reject the national identity and become radical to individualistic domination, the legacy of the monarchy could possibly be removed, but like the Revolutionary war that created the “free states”, I fear the cornerstone is too institutionalized to allow peaceful transition.

In Other Words …

At this point it should be incredibly apparent that this is intended to be abstract. Since the desire is to lay a loose groundwork for others to carry forward, I was hoping to make a work without my own culture or flaws written in beyond what was necessary. While I hope I accomplished that, I can understand if the high mindedness of it left some wishing for a more grounded approach. For that sake I’ll summarize it here, but I urge you to only take this as a flawed and simplified conversion. 

We start with life: it competes, and the better it can compete and win over others, the better it can survive. Due to that competition, our ancestors ended up being selfish (developing perception bias) and self assured (developing unfounded pride). In the same way that organisms that lost the ability to reproduce couldn’t biologically persist, competing identities demanded these attributes if they were to be adopted by others and continue on. 

Over time this creates imprints on the community influenced most by those with the biggest platforms. And those legacies turn into morality or law or myth ensuring they will survive as long as the community exists “in the right way”. Those that are destined to conflict with the community are therefore branded “uncivil”, but – in truth – they simply have their own civility (and with it a different morality and myth).

The easiest way to see this is the difference of religious conflict: even though most of the believers don’t know the full extent of the theology that “defines their reality”, they know the points they need so they can be accepted by their community.  They know how to be “civil” in their local circle (even if it seems monstrous to the wider community), because that’s all they need to be validated. Even if this leads to real world conflicts, it won’t matter: adopting the legacy of the religion comes with the cultural fusion and leaving it results in cultural isolation.

Of course civilities have to adapt. Technology and knowledge will always threaten to invalidate the legacies of old, but the further civility it has been accepted as “the truth of reality” (objectivity) the less it will need to. Even if leaders change or nations fall, the civility that is expected will remain as long as the community does. For another practical example we can look at the Roman Empire: even though it is long dead and the myths and legends changed, the remnants of its legacy can easily be seen still to proliferate in the modern “Western” world.

It is through promoting the neglected legacies that surround us and understanding that our own lives are driven by a flawed understanding of reality (which excludes others), can we start to be more inclusive and free. That last part – “freedom” – needs to be justified since most people consider “freedom” to do “what I want, when I want”. Legacy analysis suggests differently. In contrast, it suggests the typical understanding of “freedom” is actually entrapment: it is allowing others’ legacies to dictate your actions fully and you then are a willing slave to their objectivity. True freedom is the ability to validate others and choose from the plethora of legacies that “being civil” would have limited you from choosing.