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The Primary Triad: An Overhaul of the Egoist Hierarchy of L. Ron Hubbard’s Dynamics, Through Ayn Rand’s “Anthem” and Viktor Frankl’s “Will to Meaning” by Melvin Davila Martinez
Key Takeaways: The first three of L. Ron Hubbard’s Dynamics (the totality of which is often portrayed as eight concentric rings within one another) are (1) Self, (2) Creativity/Family Activity, and (3) Group Survival. Through Ayn Rand’s “Anthem”, and a brief consideration of her Objectivist philosophy, the flaws of their portrayal as anything but intersectional, codependent modalities is exposed as a fantasy due to the human condition of existential anxiety and a “will to meaning”, as proposed by Viktor Frankl. This act of exposing is redressed with an alternative proposal: an illustration of the first three Dynamics, which I term the Primary Triad of Hubbardian Dynamics, as a circle with thin, successive, repeating stripes, beginning in that order, and still able to be integrated into the remainder of the Dynamic structure of concentric circles.
Imagine a human existence of complete solitude. Compare it to the interconnected relations of modern life. Consider the aforementioned state of solitary existence when it is compounded with the psychological chaos of readjusting from a social lifestyle to a wholly individualistic one. Such a switch is antithetical to the activity of the human, the social animal. One of the fundamental drives of self-reflective human beings is the “will to meaning”, or finding a reason to live, termed “logotherapy” by Viktor Frankl. Due to this existential anxiety–the fabric of which this analysis is embedded in–such a switch (from social life to solitude) would be absolutely detrimental to an individual. However, the alternative to whole-cloth individualism, or content existence for the purpose of self alone, hereinafter termed egoism, possesses not the objective value so desired. Altruism, the binary opposition to egoism, means sacrificing one’s self for the benefit of others in some mode. In logical consistency and extension, it is choosing suicide to promote something for others, both in the singular and plural sense, and possibly for matters as trivial as diving into a sewer to retrieve a pebble of little sentimental worth; whether it has sentimental worth or not, though, is besides the point, for the fully-expressed altruist helps others with the sole justification that it will benefit at least one other. Appropriate for different contexts, neither egoism nor altruism need be considered mutually exclusive in their results. These two concepts are best approached dialectically, as an oppositional binary ripe to be synthesized into something greater, something of long-term fulfillment for mankind. This synthesis is best approached by L. Ron Hubbard’s Dynamic theory.
Hubbard’s Dynamics theory lists, in a hierarchical fashion though all are important (Hubbard has said) for human fulfillment, the components of relational human experience in which the basic command of “Survive!” is, in rational circumstances, obeyed. The Dynamics comprise: (1) Self, (2) Creativity/Family Activity, (3) Group Survival, (4) Species, (5) Life Forms, (6) Physical Universe, (7) Spiritual Dynamic, (8) Infinity. Before proceeding, it is worth noting that Hubbard, founder of the science of Dianetics, and of the Church of Scientology, never established a connection with the Eighth Dynamic, rendering his position on a supreme power, a deity, a god, mum. Though it is of no particular consequence in permitting the isolation of Dynamics for reconsideration, it is interesting that even its historical usage enables this framework to be used in a secular manner. Thus, the Eighth Dynamic, and the Seventh for that matter, may be pushed aside. For as Ludwig Wittgenstein proposed in the Seventh Proposition of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”. Much like Friedrich Nietzsche affirms in The Antichrist, such matters as metaphysics and the spirit and intangible higher-powers constitutes a series of faulty presuppositions.
Further, in consideration of Hubbardian Dynamics, the first three are of paramount importance. This is such, for interest in the survival of one’s species is often desirable, but objectively so chiefly when it threatens one’s Group. Nuclear disarmament is a good example of this. In other words, obviously one should favor the survival of the Group(s) they attach themselves to, and if said Group(s) comprise the entirety of their Species, then it follows that the Fourth Dynamic would be in one’s interest. Even at the expense of the Species, however, the survival of one’s Group(s) is of utmost importance. What purpose does a Species serve to an individual if it does not contain any Group for said individual? The following analysis, established within a three-pronged structure of Self, Creativity/Family Activity, and Group Survival, shows that it is only in the intersectionality, in the codependence, of these Dynamics that both meaning, or value, may be attained and understanding of fundamental human needs is achieved.
To continue the introductory thought experiment of this essay (that of a hypothetical solitary human existence), it is useful to summarize the plot of “Anthem” by Ayn Rand, which shall be interpreted, and thus serve, as a negation of the conception of the first three of the Hubbardian Dynamics as concentric circles within each other. While Hubbard never denies these first three Dynamics’ intersectionality and codependence, and rather extends these conditions to all of the Dynamics, having said that all Dynamics must be met to arrive at a point of human fulfillment, both the illustration of the first three Dynamics as concentric circles, and the discourse in which they are used, blurs the meaning of them.
“Anthem” is a work, a novella, of dystopian fiction, set in a world where the concept of the individual, and its accompanying linguistic signifiers (“I”, “Ego”, “Me”, “Myself”) has been ruthlessly suppressed, by a collectivist authoritarian government, into near oblivion. That is, until the protagonist of “Anthem”, Equality 7-2521, is assigned (per custom) to be a Street Sweeper. Following his discontent over how he has been intellectually marginalized, he soon discovers an abandoned subway tunnel and retreats there daily to engage in scientific experimentation. Eventually he is exiled by the government for his endeavors, with those assigned to be Scholars rejecting Equality 7-2521’s (re)discovery of electricity. So, he flees into the wilderness, followed by his love interest, Liberty 5-3000. And like the song by The Postal Service, they take upon new names and start a “brand new colony”–becoming a modern Adam and Eve–that recognizes the value of individualism.
But no matter the romantic, the psychosocial, connection between Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000, without some overarching society, or without some existing Groups they can affiliate with, their existence would become lonely and fraught with the pangs of emptiness. Such would have also been the fate of Equality 7-2521 researching in secret for the remainder of his days. Such would have been the fate of Equality 7-2521 committing himself to society, to some Group, even if it were one that he liked. Value is not to be found in the isolated fulfillment of the respective first three Dynamics.
Again, meaning (value) is to be found only in the intersectionality and connectivity of the first three Dynamics: (1) Self, (2) Creativity/Family Activity, (3) Group. Illustrated, this series of relations is best illustrated as a circle filled with thin, horizontal, successively repeating stripes. This is such because it is not possible to prioritize one facet alone, save in the initial ordering of the Dynamics in the striping pattern as beginning with Self (for physiological processes) and Creativity/Family Activity (essential love and emotional connection with one’s kin).
Unlike crude hedonism and egoism, however, Rand’s objectivist (the name of her philosophy) ethical prescription, for individuals to act in their rational self-interest, accommodates this reconsideration, this new Primary Triad of Hubbardian Dynamics.
The Primary Triad may be integrated into the remainder of the Dynamic structure of concentric circles.
The ideal nation-state would facilitate, through financial incentive and subsidy, the citizenry’s connections with the Primary Triad.
Originally published in the Times of Israel on Wednesday, September 10, 2014.
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