Basics of Balancism 1: Realms of Experience
Balancism puts the human experience of life at the centre of attention. We go through life understanding the world based on how we experience it. These experiences are very complex, and our level of awareness limits our level of understanding the complexities of life.
Previous frameworks have focussed primarily on three aspects of how we experience life: how we relate to others socially, economically, and politically. Other aspects are discussed alongside these three, but never really elevated to the same level of importance. Balancism aims to rectify this, acknowledging that all aspects of the human experience have an equally great potential to impact our quality of life.
IND: The first realm of experience is that of the individual. The way we experience life individually consists of experiences on a physical level (pain, hunger, etc.), emotional level (fears, trauma, etc.) and rational level (understanding/misunderstanding.
SOC: The second realm of experience is that of society. Every individual partakes in some collectives with others. The collectives we partake in are communities we belong to. It is important to understand that these circles can be of very different sizes and of very different types. This makes identity such a complex topic, because no overlap is universal.
ECO: The third realm of experience is that of economics. Our local and global systems of economic relations exist to serve society. Whenever a system brakes down, new ones are automatically developed. We relate to others by our needs, desires, and the materials and labour we are willing to exchange. We try to define what ‘value’ is in a universal sense, by developing a currency, only to find that in a different place and/or at a different time, that currency does not yield the same exchange. Our experience of the continuous exchanges inevitable to keep ourselves fed, sheltered, and satified shapes how we experience life.
POL: The fourth realm of experience is that of politics. The power to decide anything belongs exclusively to each individual in a purely anarchist setting, but it is pooled in political structures for large numbers of individuals in societies with structures of decision making. Once such a structure does not allow us to participate, or it no longer serves the group as a whole, it has become oppressive. Our relationship with power continuously affects our experience in life.
ENV: The fifth realm of experience is that of the environment. The environment consists of the limited number of atoms available to us, and how these are structured. Due to the physical aspects of the first and third realms, I have chosen not to call this the physical realm, but it does already illustrate how these realms of experience or connected. Climate change and global warming perfectly demonstrate the complexities of this realm: the limitations are far too abstract to grasp for any individual simply looking at the world around them. Centuries of research have led to a growing collective understanding. Our awareness of environmental limitations strongly affects our experience of life, even if it is exceeds our understanding: if a nearby river dries up, it affects our experience of life, whether we understand the causes or not.
Balancism as a framework to understand the world acknowledges that events inevitably touch on multiple realms of experience. With a Balancist analysis, we will automatically be invited to look into any potential effects in the realms less obviously affected by the event or phenomenon. That way we can better understand the world, and be more conscious of the outcomes whenever we try to improve something.
The goal of Balancism as a framework to improve the world is to achieve balance within each realm, as well as between the realms. SOCieties should connect INDividuals without oppressing them; ECOnomic gains should not be achieved to the detriment of the ENVironment; and so on.
Future writings will go into how Balancism can be developed to better understand the world, and how the framework can be applied in the world to improve our experience of life.