February 28, 2024

George Monbiot suggests we can see human values as clustering around two poles, extrinsic and intrinsic (To beat Trump, we need to know why Americans keep voting for him. Psychologists may have the answer, 29 January). There might be something more at play.

In 1980, physicist David Bohm wrote about explicate and implicate orders in reality. Before the advent of quantum theory, said Bohm’s colleague and biographer, David Peat, science dealt with the order of space and time, separation and distance, mechanical force and effective cause, which Bohm called the explicate order. He posited a deeper order, more congruent with quantum theory and closer to our unconditioned thought. He called it the implicate or enfolded order.

Previous attempts to grasp this “something” beyond us include the terms immanent and transcendent, emerging from Latin into Late Middle English. More relatable with Monbiot’s exposition: in 2009, Iain McGilchrist published a book whose subtitle is The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. Hard-going but preferable to contemplating your actual Trump.
Janet Dubé
Peebles, Scottish Borders

One element that encourages the glorification of wealth, power and success is the ubiquity of game shows. There seems no end to the ingenuity of programme makers in finding ways to pit individuals against each other for fame and financial rewards.

A competition that celebrates deception, such as The Traitors, seems particularly invidious. However, they all push the value that winning is the height of ambition, reinforced by lots of razzmatazz. I detest the whole exploitative lot of them and despair for the fate of the planet, which will depend on cooperation to survive.
Hazel Davies
Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside

The two-party system, George Washington remarked in his farewell address of 1796, “has perpetrated the most horrid enormities and is itself a frightful despotism”. Donald Trump is only the denouement of a divisive, despotic, binary polity: “binary voting” in elections and binary voting in decision-making.
Peter Emerson
Director, the de Borda Institute

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