What does “society” mean? Can we as humans live without it?
(Can we as humans live with it??)
i have been attentively watching what the latest studies on the human brain are finding, to see if they reaffirm the concept that we as humans, are basically a blank sheet (can go either way….. good or bad )
That seeming to be the case, we might say then that:
“it is our society and social rules which make us a species that can live and work together cooperatively.”
Each new study seems to confirm this.
The whole idea that there is some other thing or force else at play other than society, when it comes to our human values, morality and ethics often seems to only confuse us and be a divisive force. But in fact it is our social rule structure which allows us to function as a workable “we”. This “we” is groups, which have rules of membership.
If we look at history, these 3 things (human values, morality and ethics) are different in different societies, so the concept of some existing “eternally correct social norm” are not backed up historically or culturally. That is a true human myth.
All this is to say that basically, society is made up of rules limiting humans individual freedoms to:
“acting in a way which does not harm our neighbors”…….
and inside that framework, we are free to pursue our individual goals…… this system could be stated as:
“a solid rule structure where we can live together without harming (killing) each other.”
Let’s face it, in our human lives, our goals are based in:
1.) me…..self centered
2.) my….family centered
3.) my beliefs
4.) my “group”
Admit it… it is true.
No one would argue that this is simply common sense, and no reasonable person would say that this is something that should be changed…. this universe requires survival skills…. the human form is self centered and could not be otherwise. We only become aware of other folks needs (expand our boundaries) when society forces us to do so, where “me” and “mine” becomes “us” and “ours”. We were built this way. It simply is fact.
Social rules were developed and put in place by our earliest human ancestors, and are now taught to us by our leaders and our groups, and are enforced by whatever “government” enforcement forces we choose to put in place.
So, when you have hundreds or thousands of “me”‘s living in close proximity, there of necessity needs to be rules, defining what that “we” means and how it functions.
It seems the more “me”‘s that are living together, the more rules are necessary….. (but on the other hand, that also poses a threat to our individual “freedoms” as the libertarians point out)
We need BALANCE.
Without those rules, defining how “we” live together, and make all our individual selfish goals work cooperatively with other folks selfish goals, cooperating in “group goals” and “society goals”, then this is chaos and anarchy. (Not living together without killing each other)
Now, there are some folks who seem to think that anarchy is better than a social system ….. using excuses like “first break down the existing system and then build a new and equitable system”…. but really…. won’t the “new system” be the same one (same shit, different day) as what we have now, but with different faces on it? (Likely the new leaders faces would look strangely like the current leaders of this anarchy … we all KNOW this.. bin der dun dat)
Society is “humans creating limitations and rules to protect “us” from “others”, and to protect others from us.”
Inside this framework, a limited freedom can function.
We get that, right?
This is what we have as options. (Unless someone brings in some fairytale saying otherwise)
Of course, when the rule structure becomes something that controls us, and not vice versa, then we need to change it, and we need a mechanism which can be used to change and tweak, without falling into too much chaos.
On the other end, governments or rulers seem to develop until they reach a point where the folks under them revolt. (this also seems to be simple human fact backed up by history)
We see many instances of this in history…. in fact history is simply a wash, rinse and repeat story of “hail Caesar” , “love Caesar”, “start to hate Caesar”, “kill Caesar”, ” find new Caesar” , “put new Caesar in power”, “Long live Caesar”…… “hail Caesar”….. yada yada yada
So, we seem to be at the “hate Caesar” stage currently.
Essentially, what we as humans actively need, is to keep updating our social rules to meet our ever-changing circumstances.
This is logical, reasonable, and sensible.
What system have we developed which meets these needs?
That actually, is our current conundrum…..
Perhaps we need to look at what our concept of what a perfect society is. No, not a utopia…. truth is, we are always one step away from anarchy on one end, or tyranny on the other ….. but it is our social rules which stop this from happening!!! We get that right?
What, in fact, do we wish to have a functional society look like?
In a nutshell…..
1.) freedom for “me” and “mine”.
2.) necessary limitations on “you” and “yours” that protect “me and mine” from “you and yours”.
3.) Therefore, then (equally) necessary limitations on “me” and “mine” that protect “you and yours” from “me and mine”.
4.) Protection of “us and ours” AND “them and theirs” from being harmed by the very social system we have put in place.
5.) A structure which allows us to change and alter this social system as is deemed necessary to suit our changing environment.
6.) methods of checks and balances built into the system to keep it from either becoming ineffectual or tyrannical.
We have built law systems and government systems to work FOR us, to keep this whole living system in order.
Let’s not reinvent the wheel….. it has taken us millenniums to get here…… we need to use this correct format, which we have in place at this time….. and keep making it better using the methods already put in place….. we can’t have one group or one individual dictating what the society does not want. (see above “in a nutshell”)
There are those, like myself, that believe the only system better than democracy, is personal responsibility of the “me”‘s…….
That has also been called naivety….. but it is true.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
(seems common sensical, right?)
i personally would only have one thing to add at this point….
“Stop electing the guy or gal that has the “goldest” tongue….. good orators OFTEN do not have our interests in mind….. but we just seem to keep electing them over and over again. Lets quit choosing in this counter-productive manner…..
What characteristics should our leaders display?
The same “values, morality and ethics” as principles which we want our society to reflect.
Our governments and officials must have the highest of standards to give us a chance at the freedom we wish to have.