On ‘Quantum Social Science’ (Part Four)

An important part of being an intellectual or researcher or scholar is to ask the right questions. It is quite noticeable that bringing up the question of whether capitalism or socialism works best for America is a foolproof way for certain public figures and public intellectuals in America to stoke popular emotions and passions, which in turn garners these figures and intellectuals a certain degree of attention and publicity. However, such attention-seeking and impositions of ego miss the mark in terms of what a contemporary intellectual or researcher or scholar should be asking in the type of economic, political, and social climate we are currently in as an international community and international society. 

Plus, when fifty or sixty families dominate both American government and American society, the question of whether grassroots capitalism or top-down socialism works best for America is less relevant than asking how attitudes and lifestyle have been impacted by what is essentially a feudal or “neo-feudal” system. As a result, the issue of attitudes and lifestyle takes precedence, and this issue transcends a defunct and obsolete dichotomy and intellectual exercise such as the one dealing with the debate over whether capitalism or socialism works best for people. And as history has shown, feudal systems can go through dramatic economic, political, and social upheaval when technological changes and evolutions take root. In turn, the technological changes and evolutions we are experiencing now are unprecedented in history. 

Thus, the fostering of a “quantum mind” in a feudal or “neo-feudal” environment is an odd occurrence or phenomenon which perhaps has little to no rational or scientific explanation, even though globalization and technology can enable such an occurrence or phenomenon to take root on a larger scale. And as Alexander Wendt subtly noted in the conclusion of one of his latest books – the title of which is “Quantum Mind and Social Science: Unifying Physical and Social Ontology” – the issue of “science” and particularly the study of the human mind is becoming more an issue of ontology and metaphysics rather than an empirical or “scientific” issue. And as mentioned before, in the postmodern environment that we find ourselves in today, the four competing “ontological states” are liberal, populist, Marxist, and religious in nature. 

But one of the major problems which exist in “quantum decision-making” and is a problem which carries over from the “classical” approach towards decision-making and strategy is the issue of choosing or making a tradeoff between “incommensurate alternatives” or “incompatible observables.”  The best answer or solution I could find for this problem or question is the axiom or principle which states that “strategy changes with context.” Assigning preference or value to “incommensurate alternatives” or “incompatible observables” in an “indefinite state” such as the one we find ourselves in at the moment is not only pointless, but eventually, the assignment of normative preference and value to incommensurate and incompatible alternatives and observables is overridden by the pressure and weight of both context and situation. 

And from an international relations perspective, both “critical international relations theory” and a “quantum” approach to international relations converge in the sense that the directionality or trajectory of both schools is arguably the protection of pluralism from both an intellectual and social standpoint. To a certain extent, postmodern thought translates into an elucidation or re-examination of perspectives and viewpoints which have long been marginalized as a result of mainstream liberal and hegemonic discourse, such as indigenous thought, postcolonial thought, Eastern thought, and environmentalism. But with the diminution of liberal ontology and the elucidation or perhaps even the resurrection of marginalized ontological perspectives and ontological states as a result of the postmodern age comes a certain degree of social turbulence and social upheaval which in turn offers no clear-cut, rational, or “scientific” solutions towards overcoming the ontological turbulence and upheaval that has assumed a global scale as a result of advancements and evolutions in globalization and technology.  

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