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Tue. December 06, 2022
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Around the World, Across the Political Spectrum

Of Tyranny and Choice and the Trust in Pluralistic Societies

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Observing today’s world and all conundrums of postmodernism, along with pluralism and the tyranny of choice, one can witness an “era of gaps”, where great lack of common denominators is a contemporary hazard. The situations redefine diligence and empowers individuals to act like agents of change, not solemnly passive receivers. “Now in the era of artificial intelligence, a new underreported challenge has emerged – when will humans become obsolete? If one believes that this question is yet another example of philosophical melodrama, it is important to consider that society will soon have to redefine what it considers to be life itself” (Bajrektarevic, 2020).

In this article I discuss and investigate the idea of unity and pluralism, inclusion nor integration of EU Members and mostly focus on philosophical and existentialistic constituents of stability in the post-covid era of meaning loss. I specially introduce the triad trust-collaboration- mediation.

PLURALISM, ECOSYSTEM OF DEMOCRACY

Many contemporary reflections on the events of last few decades are surmounting the genuine role of pluralism to unfold democratic standards. Major changes and shifts were induced by general alternations of beliefs, conduct and perception. “When our sporadic breakthroughs finally became faster than their infrequent transmissions, this marked a major turning point in the history of human development. Simply put, our civilizations started to significantly differentiate from each other in their respective techno-agrarian, politico-military, ethno-religious, ideological, and economic structures” (Bajrektarevic, 2020).

We can bow to the idea of multilateral and plural, dignifying understanding of many different views, aspects, and perceptions. Unquestionably we as humanity are denoting diversity of views or standards alongside our brutal colonial, postcolonial and post war conditions. Pluralism can be an answer, side off totalitarianisms and one-sided approaches. Since everyone is unique from one another, whilst there are infinite differences in humans, our backgrounds, education, and expectation, we must learn to recognize, interlace, and adapt to historic and social-economic context of our fellow beings. We need to question our grounding positioning and reembrace the idea of “enlightened argumentation”.

Essential question here is, who is managing common denominators of the modern and contemporary pluralisms? Who is translating the gaps of meaning, contexts, and perceptions? To whom we justify our modus operandi? Is there any kind of individual responsibility behind the international clusters and organizations? We do not dispute the idea and practice of pluralism rather searching for unfolded ground, solid in structure and prone to any kind of criticism. But we encounter technological devolvement of human affairs; engendering the idea of biological relativity upholds the question of “what life really is”. For example, “AI now has it all – quantum physics, quantum computing, nanorobotics, bioinformatics, and organic tissue tailoring. All of this could eventually lead to a synthesis of all the above into what are usually referred to as xenobots – a sort of living robot – and biodegradable symbiotic nanorobots that exclusively rely on self-navigable algorithms” (Bajrektarevic, 2020).

Pluralism certainly is an ecosystem of democracy, shielding the subtle nuances of partitions, supporting the core, and distinguishing it from the tainted and awry interpretations. The diligence of modern diplomacy faced with conundrum of believes and brown-nosing interests, outdoes the schism, self-regarding positioning, and frictions in the map of human empathy and wisdom.

This is also a reason why diplomats need to respond to cumbersome media in the wake of interpretative realties attacks (e.g. fake news), lukewarmly summoned in social media and e-worlds.

Today’s pundits are more likely to study neuroscience, philosophy, and anthropology rather solely art of diplomacy against contemporary labyrinth of possible realities, yielding and era where no mind can encompass it all, rather estimates, prescribes, visions, and predicts. And all we can dwell into is a structure of possible scenarios, relying only on our knowledge, clean perception and trustworthy colleagues, social groups, and intimate circles. And we need to search for common denominators where we suggest one of them.

PRIMAL COMMON DENOMINATOR, TRUST

Trust is a new category not just in contemporary workplaces where we need to create environments of psychological safety to support mutual and successful cooperation. As well it is a genuine link in the chain of negotiating in desultory or hostile environments of contemporary global politics.

Since each international milieu deploys a diverse team of people, reflecting their own culture and believes, we need to be aware of a fragile equilibrium to support strong HR inclusion politics. As definitions says, “diversity encompasses the spectrum of infinite dissimilarities that distinguish individuals from one another”. Whilst search for common denominator is a big ask, one must conscientiously foster and uphold focus on things that bind, not separate us. Impactful are diverse surroundings we originate and derive from, that can easily put question mark to our cognition, hence to possible misunderstandings: citizenship status, cognitive abilities, cultural differences, education, ethnicity, family, gender, gender expression, geographical location, ideologies, income, language, marital status, morals, neurodiversity, parental status, physical abilities, political beliefs, privilege, race, religious beliefs, skills, social roles, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, upbringing, work experiences etc.

But if we follow the formula of three stated notions, is clear that what we UNDERSTAND, we can ACCEPT; what we FEEL, we can CO-RELATE TO and what we INTERNALIZE, we can CO-CREATE.

In pursuing the goal of collective abundance and stability, leaders sometimes carry to heavy burden. They need to address collective imagination of peoples and create framework of shared reality, identity, bringing together four particulate and individual dimensions: body (healthy living), mind (smart decisions), heart (trustworthy relationships) and spirit (contribution to the benefit of all) and other important cultural beliefs of EU.

While social scientists classically studied trust, conceptualized it as a mental state and measured as such, they were assuming that high levels of trust reflect a social reality in which people are more trustworthy and tend to cooperate more frequently. Only actors who trust one another should cooperate with each other, e.g., exchange information, resources, etc. Of course, reality is relentlessly far away from stated ideal; entering a cooperative relationship normally requires a certain level of trust, and the same is necessary to sustain that relationship. We have accounts of trust as a form of moral commitment, a character disposition, or a dynamic of ‘encapsulated interests’, where trust emerges as a mutual co-implication of interests on all transacting parties.

These conceptions turn on a notion of trust as a ‘cognitive category’ because ‘all depend on assessments of the trustworthiness of the potentially trusted person.’ (Hardin 2006: 17)

We could estimate that trust emerges as an epiphenomenon of social knowledge: what people’s relationships look like after the fact of cognitive re-appraisals is a sine qua non of the idiom of trust. Can we just bluntly trust, willing to meet all perils of such an irrational decision?

There is more to trust that its relation to cognitive and knowledgeable structures. Trust may be ‘encapsulated’ in reciprocal expectations (Hardin 2006), but it is also distributed in a variety of human and nonhuman forms; it is as much as cognitive category as it is a material one; indeed, it belongs to the realm of the intersubjective in as much as it belongs to the interobjective. It is as much an anthropological object (of theory) as an object of social knowledge. The question of trust therefore qualifies as an anthropological concept.

In this respect we introduce the TABLES OF TRUST.

TABLE 1.: LEVELS OF TRUST

 - Personal, intra-personal, inter-personal

 - Cultural, intracultural, intercultural

 - Social, institutional, organizational

 - National, civilizational

 - Etc.

TABLE 2.: WHOM WE TRUST TO?

 - Family members (wife, husband, children, siblings, parents…)

 - Strangers (B2B, rental business)

 - Officials

 - Politicians

 - Scientists

 - Doctors (MDs)

 - Professors

 - Etc.

 

TABLE 3.: IN WHAT WE TRUST

 - Knowledge

 - Experience

 - Religion

 - Truth

 - Memories

 - Interpretations

 - Histories

 - Projections

 - Wishes

 - Individual cosmologies

 - Etc.

TABLE4.: LEVELS OF TRUST / MATERIAL, SPIRITUAL

 - MATERIAL/visible

 - give-get principles

 - calculations

 - instrumental approach to reality

 - utilitarian approach (usefulness)

 

 - SPIRITUAL/ “invisible“

 - sharing principle

 - higher vision approach

 - reap what you sow (law of karma), cause and effect

MEDIATION (ADR, alternative dispute resolution), VALUES AND TRUST

Collaboration is an old way to work efficiently; at the core of collaboration is trust and exercise of agreed meaning, which can be achievable in many ways, one of which is mediation. Sincerely trust needs to be evident in the relationships – how work is done, how words are spoken, and how the results are driven. Without trust, collaboration falls apart quickly and, sometimes, irreparably.

Before entering any sorts of ADR’s, one must ask oneself the following introspective questions, regarding ones inner inclination towards trust to be sincere, truthful or the opposite:

TABLE 5: ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS BEFORE ADR

HOW DO OUR EXPECTATIONS CHANGE THE BEHAVIOUR OF OTHERS?

HOW DO OUR BELIEFS CHANGE THE BEHAVIOUR OF OTHERS?

HOW DO OUR PROJECTIONS CHANGE THE BEHAVIOUR OF OTHERS?

HOW DO OUR THOUGHTS CHANGE THE BEHAVIOUR OF OTHERS?

HOW DO OUR EMOTIONS CHANGE THE BEHAVIOUR OF OTHERS?

Meanwhile, The Trust Game, designed by Berg et al. (1995) and otherwise called “the investment game,” is the experiment of choice to measure trust in economic decisions. The experiment is designed to demonstrate “that trust is an economic primitive,” or that trust is as basic to economic transactions as self-interest (give and get, get, and give). What about higher visons, missions, and inspiration? Of goodness, sacred and beneficial to all? How can we discern the subtle and hidden pivots of status quo or change in the process of mediation for example? How can we set the grounding for effective collaboration in international set up?

We generally expect the role of the mediator is to consist in assisting the parties, finding common ground and business interests that may be explored to settle the dispute through reaching a mutually satisfactory settlement agreement. The mediator is bound to always keep the substance of the mediation confidential. Also, mediators are independent and impartial and may not be involved in any further proceedings involving the case at issue, or any related case. As we know the European Union actively promotes methods of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”), such as mediation. The Mediation Directive applies in all EU countries. The Directive concerns mediation in civil and commercial matters. Mediation is at varying stages of development in Member States. The role of the mediator consists of assisting the parties in finding common ground and business interests that may be explored to settle the dispute https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/mediation.

So, the mediation as a process needs to be aware of gaps in meaning and trust algorithms described above. The rapid growth of social networks facilitates the exchange of information, whereas malicious behaviours in those ecosystems are also steadily increasing, meanwhile the chances to find correct common denominators vary distinctively. This results in a challenging situation for individuals to trust other parties, mediators or new models and approaches of ADR.P

EPILOGUE:

This reflection on pluralism, trust and collaborations shows the propagation of trust within a chain of trust relations.

The precise selection of trustworthy paths as well as the integration of indigenous values, contexts, and inherent plurality of idioms, shows the significant importance of awareness and mindfulness.

What we allocate and are ready to reflect upon or project in comparison to ability to observe with trust and introspection, is pivotal.

Therefore, trust models play a significant role in the context of social, political, and geopolitical trustworthiness. Inferring the trust levels between two unknown parties is a challenging task, specially in the realm of ADR methods, what would certainly be a major and crucial future agenda.  

Prof. Lucija Mulej, Ph.D is an author, columnist, professor and creator of the non-technological innovations (such as her own method: Connectivity of Intelligences 4 Q )

References:

Hardin, Russell (2006): Trust. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Möllering, Guido (2001): The nature of trust: from Georg Simmel to a theory of expectation, interpretation
and suspension. Sociology 35(2):403-420.

O'Hara, Kieron (2004): Trust: from Socrates to spin. Duxford: Icon Books.

O'Neill, Onora (2002):  A question of trust. The BBC Reith Lectures 2002. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/mediation

A future filled with empty choices? | New Europe

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