Power and Love (and Brexit) - Barry Oshry
1. Power and Love
Whole human systems – nations, in this case – express their Power by differentiating – elaborating their differences from other nations:
Our nation is different: we have a unique history, character, and purpose.
And nations also express their Power by individuating – maintaining their separateness:
Our nation is an independent whole: we set our own direction;
we function independently of other nations, uncontrolled by them.
Nations express their Love by homogenizing – elaborating their commonality with other nations:
We are like the other nations, having much in common with them.
People are people.
And nations also express their Love by integrating:
We are part of a whole; we are committed to the purposes of the whole; we interact with one another in common venture.
The history of war – little wars and catastrophic wars – is a history of Power without Love –
nations differentiating and individuating, becoming foreign to and separate from one another,
while homogenizing and integrating – commonality and connectedness – are submerged.
World War II was one such catastrophic war. 60 million dead, Or was it 80 million? Catastrophic either way.
3. Peace: A Love System is born
Catastrophe, as it often does, called for change.
Never again. Make Love, not War.
And so was born a European Love System of nations.
A Love System is a system of nations homogenizing (each nation elaborating its commonality with other nations – commonality of vision, purpose, language, and currency) and integrating (becoming parts of an integrated whole, submitting themselves to mutual influence and control, working together in common venture).
Love reigns. There is peace among the nations, but winds of war within.
4. Power versus Love within
Within each nation, there is a tension between pro-Love people and pro-Power people.
For the pro-Love people, this Love System is liberating; members move freely from city to city, nation to nation.
For them, the Love System is opportunity; their skills are relevant; there is business to be done:
Our wealth is growing, luxury goods are at hand, exotic vacations await. This is the good life.
For the pro-Power people, this Love System is a disaster:
Our jobs are gone, our towns are decimated, our skills are irrelevant, our dreams are dead. And the country that we love is gone.
The pro-Love people want to remain in the Love System. The pro-Power people want to leave it.
5. One nation says goodbye to Love
Exit... While, in other nations, there is continuing tension between leaving and staying.
6. What’s next?
The future is uncertain. One possible outcome (it has happened before): All nations leave.
Then, the Love System is no more. And we are left with a collection of nations, each elaborating its difference from the others, and each acting independently of the others. Once more, our world is a collection of nations of Power without Love: nations operating independently of one another. Nations elaborating their differences from one another.
And you know where that configuration has taken us, from time immemorial.
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