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Law of Eristic Escalation

Posted by phil_pollard on May 29, 2015 at 6:15 PM

There exists in society a law of social behaviour called the Law of Eristic Escalation. The law is derived from the chaos theory and states that when somebody in society attempts to impose a rule or value on that society in order to bring order and governance, an equal and opposite social force will emerge to initiate chaos in the governance of disorder.

An individual who attempts to impose this order could be considered an eristic avatar, like Mahatma Ghandi, and because nature has made it such that where growth and development is maximal on the border of chaos and order, there exists contrary opposite value systems in human values and society to fulfill this continued development. So whatever one person is dedicated to and wants to build, somebody else is dedicated to destroy.

This can show up in technicians wanting to advance technology into the future and utilise resources, and ecologists wanting to slow down development, hold onto the past and salvage resources. This can show up as pro-lifers and pro-abortionists, capitalists and socialists. These complementary opposites work as expressions or repressions of social values. Whatever the collective society represses, a selective society will express. Whatever the collective society negates, a selective society will affirm. This keeps the balance of build and destroy active, so society can continue to adapt to changing environments. Society requires socioplasticity to evolve.

This same complementary opposite law applies in human physiology. Anabolic and catabolic, mitosis and apoptosis, reduction and oxidation, and parasympathetic and sympathetic. These complementary opposites are essentials inside our physiology, our individuality, our family, our corporate and inside all levels of social dynamics.

Since the family is the fundamental unit of social structure this same law applies with the family dynamic. Inside a family, if one is the ambitious one and tries to directly control their lives, the other family member will just go with the flow and take it as it comes. If one strives for wealth, the other will be a great spender and consumer. If one is outspoken, the other will be an introvert. Welcome to the hidden order of the family!

So, growth and development and remodelling demands expressions and repressions of human values as pairs of opposites. Even in companies, there’s the over-worker and the under-worker, the outspoken and the withholding, the one that exceeds expectations and the other that barely lives up to expectations. Leaders and managers must know how to master the management of these paradoxes.

So to expect and desire a one-sided world will only frustrate. If the repressors of society are labelled good, like in chastity, the expressors will be the villains. If the repressors are labelled villains, the expressors will be labelled heroes. Just like for the haves and have nots, if the collective are repressed economically, the selective will express their wealth. So too for intelligence and all other aspects of human behaviour. The more extreme these poles become, the more unstable the society. The more moderated they become, the more stable.

Leaders who can recognise this hidden order do not become trapped in or fooled by the Law of Eristic Escalation, expecting only one side. Seeking that which is unavailable and trying to avoid that which is unavoidable is a source of human suffering. Embracing both sides of life is the secret to fulfilment within the individual and society. Just like within you, trying to get rid of half yourself in order to love yourself is futile. You are wise then to love both sides of yourself. So too for society.

The second you take a stance, an equal and opposite stance emerges and you become a victim of circumstance. Once you understand the Law of Eristic Escalation, embrace both sides, transcend the paradox, as a great leader you get to dance. Great leaders embrace and master the management of such pairs of opposites.

- Dr Demartini


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