Arguably, at the heart of effective communication and thus the ability to impact hearts and minds are two elements, namely, subtlety and thoughtfulness. As Lao Tzu said in regards to the importance of subtlety: “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.” And in regards to thoughtfulness, Lao Tzu argued that if there was one quality or virtue that reigned supreme over all others, it is the quality or virtue of thoughtfulness.
Communication is also a form of commitment to a certain cause or idea, and commitments are seen to be more authentic and genuine when done in a public manner. Obviously, knowledge leads to an intuitive understanding of such social and strategic complexities, but as mentioned before, knowledge is gained more through experience than anything else. Experience also extends into something that is known as “Eidetic Memory,” which for many individuals and groups is arguably something hereditary.
As mentioned before, what drives highly intelligent and successful people more than anything else is the impulse to foster a “Prisoner’s Dilemma” of their own before being drawn into the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” set up by others. However, and more often than not, such a complex scheme is often carried out and executed through simple means, namely, through the enabling of food and pleasure seeking more than anything else. As Rumi wrote in a poem titled “Cuisine and Sex”:
You risk your life to feed desires,
yet you give your soul only short grazing spans,
and those grudgingly.
You borrow ten and repay fourteen.
Most of your decisions can be traced back
to cuisine and sex.
The fuel basket goes from one stoke hole to the next.
Six friends hoist your handsomeness
and carry it to the cemetery.
Food changes going from table to latrine.
You live between deaths
thinking that’s right enough.
Close these eyes to open the other.
Let the center brighten your sight.
Thus, the “fat cats” who enable the food and pleasure-seeking at various levels of society are essentially the ones creating the “Prisoner’s Dilemma.” In turn, if a participant or player in a game can overcome the pull of what Rumi called “Cuisine and Sex,” then in a sense, the participant or player can overcome the “Prisoner’s Dilemma.” As a result, lobbying was never designed or intended for a Lockean system of government, and game theory gives the main reason for it, namely, so that the system is not held prisoner to the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” contrived by those outside of the system.
Another important point to make is that there is a fundamental difference between the “Cuisine and Sex” which Rumi notes as driving and motivating many intelligent people versus the aesthetics and beauty which many of us are seeking. The aesthetics and beauty many of us are seeking is implied to a certain extent in one of Rumi’s poems titled “I Have Such a Teacher”:
Last night my teacher taught me the lesson of poverty, having nothing and wanting nothing.
I am a naked man standing inside a mine of rubies, clothed in red silk.
I absorb the shining, and now I see the ocean, billions of simultaneous motions moving in me.
A circle of lovely, quiet people
becomes the ring on my finger.
Then the wind and thunder of rain on the way. I have such a teacher.
And as Hannah Arendt once argued, there is virtually no difference between a president and scholar on one hand and an ordinary person or layman on the other hand because of the basics and fundamentals. In fact, once a president or scholar loses sight of the basics and fundamentals, the ordinary person or layman becomes superior to the president and scholar as long as the ordinary person or layman adheres to the basics and fundamentals.
Arguably, the global media have mastered – or are in the process of mastering – the art of fostering a “Prisoner’s Dilemma” before being put into one. As mentioned in a previous blog post, the global media has four basic functions:
- Surveillance of the world to report ongoing events
- Interpretation of the meaning of events
- Socialization of individuals into their cultural settings
- Deliberate manipulation of politics
It follows that “the manner in which these four functions are performed affects the political fate of individuals, groups, and social organizations, as well as the course of domestic and international politics.” Obviously, the various global media houses compete with one another through various ways and means. But as a young person once told me, the best business and enterprise is often the one which does not need advertising or marketing.