Reply To: Suggestions of how discussions might be framed

  • Whit Blauvelt

    April 12, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    McGilchrist is in sympathy with popular culture, which has in the last few decades turned largely from science fiction to fantasy — fantasies are based in feudal cultures.

    Given that the LH handles commanding language, the farming family in feudal times often were left to farm on their own schedules, and holiday on the church’s, which came frequently. The basic requirement was only to turn over a portion of their crop to the lord of the land each harvest. Compare the modern, factory- and military-based cultures, where most workers are having to constantly fit work behaviors to what management requests of them. In European feudal cultures the military matters were largely reserved for the lords and their squires, and hired mercenaries, rather than on a general draft. So the typical feudal farmer didn’t need to internalize the “boss” as super-ego. The modern worker is trained through our school systems to be unimaginative, and fit their actions to the words of the boss — as well as other expert opinion when outside of work, as the ideal. It would have been easier to live in and from the RH while tending the fields, while the boss was away at the Crusades.

    That said, McGilchrist also cites research claiming that people are happier today in societies with more unequal distribution of income, which cuts totally against abundant other research on why Scandinavian cultures, with far greater economic equality as well as more leisure time than American or British, are by many measures happier and healthier. So we might wonder if social democracies can, and in some instances are, tilted back towards RH awareness. Additionally, the super-egoic boss is monovocal. Our current political factions, which McGilchrist so deservedly disapproves of, are decidedly monovocal. Democracy, when functioning well in either society or within us as individuals, is polyvocal. When we’re monovocal, the LH necessarily controls as it maintains the monolog. If we appreciate a Shakespeare-style polyvocality both within and without, does that not require we settle back into the RH POV to achieve that?