Tenets of Matchism

(The Executive Summary)

1) Human beings evolved to function best in small bands in vigorous competition with each other in an environment characterized by scarcity of resources (The Era of Evolutionary Adaptation, or EEA).

2) Humans, like all animals, come with built-in behavior patterns that evolved along with our anatomy and physiology because they facilitated gene transmission in the EEA. These patterns of behavior are called Clinations in Matchism.

3) Clinations vary in strength among individuals and they combine with other differences among individuals to generate “personality”. Personality has a large effect on an individual’s behavior and the roles that individual tends to play in society.

4) Clinations and their expression as personality characteristics are frequently maladaptive in modern society because they evolved prior to our access to technology and because our definition of “system success” has shifted away from gene transmission and toward the goal of enabling the well-being (happiness, freedom, sense of purpose, etc.) of individuals and ensuring the survival of our political/economic/cultural/social systems. These new goals are known in Matchism as the Goals of The People.

5) Clinations can be suppressed and overridden with social and behavioral engineering, the extensive conditioning we are subjected to as children being the primary example. Other examples are the development and enforcement of laws, and the various means we have developed to ensure compliance with social/cultural/religious customs. But there is a cost associated with all behavioral engineering, however, both individually and collectively. The more we tried to replace behavior originating from Clinations with behavior constrained by engineered systems, the more expensive it is, the larger the side effects (particularly fear and stress, which can lead to depression, self-medication, and violence and other antisocial behavior), and the higher the failure rate (non-compliance).

6) There is as yet no field of research or specialization of “social engineering” that specifically addresses the issues of our suboptimal political/economic/social systems and our amateurish attempts at behavioral engineering, but there is a vast amount of research in social psychology, anthropology, economics, and other fields that can now be used to create one.

7) Because there is no field of social engineering, our current political/economic/social systems have either been created by amateurs (and often primarily self-interested amateurs) or merely evolved to fit the constraints in knowledge and technology available at some point in the past. In the search space of all possible systems there are a large number of these “local maximums” – stable but suboptimal states that are hard to get out of even if advances in knowledge or technology should allow this. Examples of these are (were) heredity-based monarchies, feudalism, slavery, and a wide range of other aggregations of dysfunctional customs and traditions.

8) Matchism is the process of considering the available research and social engineering technology to determine which political/economic/social systems are the best “match” for our Clinations and our current level of technology. It also seeks to facilitate the transition to those new systems and to direct research and development to enable the next iteration.

9) Among the primary observations of Matchism is that the most maladaptive Clination in the modern environment is tribalism and its various expressions (racism, nationalism, nativism, protectionism, etc.), and that this Clination is thoroughly intertwined with the human moral architecture. If this is the case it would mean that the architecture of the human moral system is inadequate to the task of facilitating achievement of The Goals of The People and so it must be supplemented, and in some cases replaced, by a more robust system.

10) A second observation is that individuals who score highly on the psychological measures of Social Dominance Orientation (SDO), Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA), and Psychopathy are of particular concern when determining which political/economic/social systems are the best match for human beings. Each of these sets of traits is correlated with prejudice, aggression, and corruptibility. The people with high levels of these characteristics are known collectively in Matchism as SDAPs (Social Dominators, Authoritarians, and Psychopaths). SDAPs make up a minority of the population in general, but a majority of “leaders” in all fields.

11) Any form of government that doesn’t take into account these variations in personality is guaranteed to be suboptimal at best and dangerous to The People at worst. Among those that we have tried and found wanting include dictatorship, oligarchy, and representative democracy, all of which are fatally flawed because the characteristics of the people who are inclined to wield power in these systems have personality characteristics (i.e., are SDAP) that make it difficult or impossible for them to act in the best interests of The People as a whole.

12) Because it is now clear that “representative democracy” is just another local maximum and has become an impediment to further progress, a new political/governmental system must be designed that compensates for the inclination of SDAP individuals to take on leadership roles by ensuring that decisions are made not by “leaders”, but by The People as a whole. The best match currently, therefore, is a form of direct democracy where each individual can cast a vote directly when practical and through a psychologically matched proxy otherwise. The new system must be designed to allow achievement of The Goals of The People, harnessing and accentuating Clinations that facilitate that process and bypassing Clinations, and the associated SDAP behavior, that are incompatible with it.

Next: Introduction