Intellectual and Political Development

Intellectually, Dino grew up an environmental of frumpy tweedy classical liberalism, as the world of higher ed seems to be full of this intellectual bias. To paraphrase: “if you are not a socialist at 20 you have no heart. If you are still a socialist at 40, you have no brains.” He read Marx at 14 and started moving to the right from there.

Dino found that the Canadian parliamentary gave too much power to the party in power without sufficient checks and balances. All too often, in parliamentary systems governments are brought down for moving in the extreme without popular support only by the threat of uprising. He became progressively Libertarian, but never gave up the ideals of liberalism.

In the late 90’s he came across Paul Ciliers Complexity and Postmodernism. Systems theory informed an entirely new way of understanding the political process, portraying the world as a complex adaptive system with homeostatic mechanisms preserving the status quo. The forces that brought us to where we are in the world today are most important in understanding the resistance to bringing about social change, no matter how desirable that change may seem. It seems to Dino that this is the proper meaning of conservatism, with its regard for history, tradition and a “natural” hierarchy.

Whereas a lot of political thinking seems to start with an ideal and proceeds from there to intervention and policy implementation, complexity seeks to understand how systems produce the current result before considering the need for change. First one must acknowledge the the world as it is exists reflects the proper balance of diverse interests pulling in different directions. Sometimes change comes as a revolutionary step, but more often tiny incremental movements create out-sized systemic change; the so-called butterfly effect. According to systems theory, change is inevitable in living organisms and organisms that fail to adapt are soon dead. So everything must change, including how people rise and fall along social class, the growth and decline of industries and the ebb and flow of our social order. The application of systems theory to politics can come from either the left or the right, as Eric Liu has pointed out.

If Dino Ramzi describes himself as a conservative, it is via a systems-based understanding of Burkean conservatism. If he is a Libertarian it is because of his Canadian experience with intrusive government. He rejects Liberalism as a goodhearted but naïve and idealistic approach to the world, risking more unintended consequences than true, vital and meaningful change in the world. He equally rejects the current US “conservative” paradigm as a distorted and restorationist re-interpretation of the word.