MAGA for a day — or here’s how you can really own the Libs

Alan Tabor
10 min readSep 6, 2022

Key points:

  • Schismogenesis is a term from Gregory Bateson, noted anthropologist and systems theorist.
  • It names a ‘positive feedback loop’ that can cause societies to break apart.
  • The term was developed as he observed how gender roles progressed in severe opposition to each other in the Iatmul people — and the Naven ceremony that seemed designed specifically to counteract that.
  • This framework provides insight into the fracturing of the US politics.
  • But how do we work with that?

…schismogenesis, unless it is restrained, leads to a progressive unilateral distortion of the personalities of the members of both groups, which results in mutual hostility between them and must end in the break-down of the system.
-Gregory Bateson, Steps To An Ecology Of Mind

First, I need to testify. I’m a Gregory Bateson fanboy!

I was a newbie analyst/coder in the early ’80s. Bateson, and folks like Stephen J Gould, provided…



Alan Tabor

Berkeley Backpacking Biz Lifer, System Builder, Coder, Community Organizer, Music and Evolutionary Biology Geek. All my projects at