One of our most overwhelming impulses as humans is to belong to a society. The pain of shunning is the most powerful coercive tool we employ against each other. Shunning can motivate people to take their own lives or the lives of others. Solitary confinement can rapidly destroy mental health. An infant left without human contact can have all of their physical needs met and still grow up with physical and mental damage. The need to belong can be used to overpower principles, deep rooted morals and self-interest. History has repeatedly proven that the majority of people can be coerced to do almost anything to themselves or others by the need for social inclusion. The desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves is frequently expressed as a motivation for action and duty to society a frequent excuse for compliance.
Most people are born with ambition to reach their own full potential in the areas which interest them. Autonomy, the ability to choose ideas and society for ourselves and the freedom to spend our lives in the way that seems best to us is a basic human need. A society which locks people in or out due to location of birth or ethnicity and roles which are presented as the only acceptable paths require rigid conformity which does not suit our wide diversity of characters and abilities. Accepted diversity is not just morally just or strategically wise, it is also necessary for a complete society to fulfill all the roles required or desired. Diversity gives society the benefit of as many viewpoints and potential solutions as possible.
We once had a chance to achieve a balance between autonomy, diversity and society. Many societies of interwoven dependencies worldwide had the potential to evolve and allow both autonomy and society for all. Instead we created a global, sectarian, stratified class system where everyone must strive for the same goals and all but the few setting the goals would fail.
The trade economy has denied the value of any work benefiting those in need of assistance and denied the value of resources in non-western countries. Both caregivers and resource rich continents are depicted as being in a state of perpetual begging for handouts from the wealthy despite the obvious fact that no one needs the wealthy and everyone needs caregivers and resources. The same power that once denied ownership by the commons with the homesteading principle now denies the rights of homesteaders in favour of foreign multinational corporations. Laws are stratified to ensure the powerful have superior versions of everything, including immigration rights at a time when much of the world will need refugee status from drought, pollution, conflict and natural disasters. Even natural life expectancy is unapologetically higher for the chosen strata. The world is being funneled through a eugenics program of a previously unimagined scale.
This callous and deliberate exclusion of most of humanity, even for moral nihilists, is ignorant and ill-judged. Our only hope of a livable future is in a singularity produced not from technology created by a population of self-appointed Übermenschen but from the collaborative creativity and experience of all of the diverse minds in the world. Where very recently a qualified tradesman could, and was expected to, understand everything related to their field, it is now increasingly difficult for one human brain to comprehend the overall workings of any complete system much less the interlocking detail of every system globally. Given the required tools and societal structure, we could create a resilient collaborative network that could act as a real hive mind. We could audit, bridge and develop complex original thought and create solutions with the speed required to solve the urgent problems we face today.
Every revolution in history has simply installed new faces on top of the same paradigm. Societies ruled by the majority create oligarchies of Great Men, those two standard deviations above the mean in every field, just advanced enough to impress and not advanced enough to baffle, always from the tiny demographic group accepted as rulers. The voices and ideas outside the circle of demagogues, the ones that need and drive revolution in every case, sink back into oblivion. It is evident that if we are to stop the endless cycles of revolution, or even survive another cycle, we will have to change the paradigm. The current corporate empire is eager to install the latest messiahs who will promise reform which will retreat to moderation and then back to the status quo or worse. As we can already see, this population is once more leading us past democracy and back to the deeper prison of fascism. This time it is essential that we go deeper and create a genuinely new system, not just new messiahs and new names for old tricks.
Excerpted from Autonomy, Diversity, Society.
Reblogged this on In defense of anagorism.
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Thanks so much for the time and effort invested once again in mapping out society’s inherent ills and joining together the dots, offering solutions (this is what separates your work!).
The last paragraph resonates with me just a little moreso than the rest simply because it’s something I’ve quite literally been screaming from the rooftops for some time now, albeit nowhere near as eloquently.
Please, keep it up – your work is essential.
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