Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dualistic Boundaries

Dualism, the condition of opposites, plays a large role in N Theory. Dualism is embraced as a necessity. Dualism defines the world through contrast with the opposite concept. Black is clearer when contrasted with White. Republican positions are better understood by American voters when contrasted with Democratic positions. Health is valued when placed beside sickness. Peace is fully appreciated after the ravages of war. Grace is adored when it replaces boorish self-interest. Harmony is delightful when it follows discord.

If Dualism is defined by opposites, then there must be a boundary between the two polar terms. The boundary between black and white is gray. The boundary between U. S. political parties, Republicans and Democrats, is occupied by Independents. N Theory argues it is at this boundary that change occurs, just as in a black tunnel when enough light enters to allow the walls to reappear and enable a lost spelunker to reorient. Likewise, two adversaries cannot understand the other sides' position unless they travel far enough to stand on the other side of the boundary. A child will never understand why a parent is asking them to behave unless the child is allowed to slip on the parent's shoes for a moment. 

There are numerous Dualistic Boundaries that must be crossed for conflict resolution to occur. For parents who want their children to be successful, the parent/child boundary  should be straddled whenever a teaching moment occurs. In economics the Business Sector/Government Sector boundary should be heavily traveled. In politics it is important members spend more time on the fence than on building fences. In international relations it is important leaders understand as much about their country as those countries that threaten them. Gates are more important than walls. Open your hearts and hands to paranoid fence builders. Beware of countries that build warships.

In economics the importance of dualism is to realize one side is material and the other immaterial. Although the two opposite positions clarify each side and make the contrast vivid, one is right and one is wrong; or both are wrong and the best solution is a compromise. To arrive at the best solution requires intelligence, a good ear and a willingness to cross the boundary and look at the problem from all possible perspectives. The ability to meet your adversary and listen to his argument makes a great leader.

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