The Endless Flow of Society: On the Topic of Society
The Endless Flow of Society is a piece I wrote throughout October of 2015. On the topics of society, religion, mental health, and government, I put my own “personal philosophy” down for people to read. I debated what to do with this piece. I considered publishing it as an e-book, putting it online as a PDF for everyone to read, perhaps getting my local newspaper to put it up bit by bit. I’ve been debating this with myself since I finished it, but I’ve decided to post it as a series on my personal website. So, I give to you the “manifesto” of my mind, a collection of unedited thoughts of mine.
ON THE TOPIC OF SOCIETY
- A Brief Introduction
2. On the Topic of Society
- On the Topic of Religion
- On the Topic of Mental Health
- On the Topic of Government
- A Conclusion
Imagine a river, if you will.
One that has been a roaring and swift moving current, flowing endlessly since the beginning of human thought. Within the river is an endless, oftentimes incalculable amount of individual drops of water – all of which band together to form the river itself. These individual drops of water within the river are the people – along with their ideas – of our society. Of course, when one sees the river, one will not see it for the individual molecules which create it as a whole.
They will admire it – or fear it – as a whole. The analogy presented here is an amazing reference towards our own society. To most, and to history itself, the individual droplets of water – the ideas, the people – that make up the strong current of our society are unimportant. We see failed revolutions as what they are; ideas that were either unfathomable or unworthy of domination within our dominion of direct thought. We see massive casualties in a war not as names but as statistics. We see things as a whole, not on a one-to-one level of idealism which would allow us to see how the whole actually became to be. We see this on a daily basis, within the hidden curriculum of our education system and within our own judgmental prejudice.
What matters to us is the river. Not the independent, microscopic drops of water which, without, the river would not exist. Now, to us, the river will always look the same. Day after day, year after year, era after era; the river looks the same to us all. We see nothing more than an endless stream – reflecting its surroundings, of course, but still nothing more than a river. However, what cannot be seen by us – or in some cases what is refused to be seen – is the nonstop growth of the river. Little by little, day by day, the individual drops of water, each representing an idea, a concept, a revolution, a person just like yourself, erode the banks of the river. Thus, we allow for growth along with destruction. Our own society begins to chip away solemnly at itself through the ideas that continuously fight from within. This, of course, is the continuation of the ideological war on our psychological sovereignty.
We as humans all have this drive to be individualistic – unique and unbearably separate in essence of mind, heart, and soul from our counterparts in society. We desire to be ourselves, unique in every aspect. We have intentions that create some intensely complex interactions between our own human agency, our concept of individuality, and the sociological fact that we are bound to each other with every fiber of our existence. While we, as individuals, strive to grasp onto individuality – whether this be through the ways we think, the ways we act, or what we produce – the essence of humanity is social connections which lead to the need to interact. Our drive for autonomy – of independence – is in a constant state of tension with our need for others – our need for interdependence. This is exactly what happens with the individual drops of water that create the roaring current of the river aforementioned. Without the water, the river will not exist; and without the river, the water has no meaning.
Thus, we see society. The birth of society, the birth of the river itself, is composed of institutions designed with one intention: to get everything done. It is our government, an institution, which creates and enforces new laws and keeps the citizens safe through an utmost important social contract. It is our school systems which keep the future generations aware of the hidden curriculum and knowledge. Etcetera, etcetera. These institutions faction in and therefore thrive by getting control of the individuals, who do the work alongside other individuals, in order to keep the institution going strong.
And thus, as human beings with an urge to create individuality, we create a personal philosophy: a sense of self in participation within the institutions. The river then continuously flows, with each droplet of water being completely different in essence than every other, but working together simultaneously with the same basic needs, wants, and desires to keep the current – the society – flowing. This collective endeavor perpetuated and preserved through the mere essence of ourselves allows dominant ideas, institutional progress, and the eventual widening of the river of society.
When the majority of the droplets from within the so-called “River of Life” agree on specific topics, we have a social consensus – and the river’s waters are crystal clear and calm. When we, as the droplets, disagree, we sense social conflict – and the river’s waters begin to seem choppy and hazardous. The river, regardless of human interest, will continue to widen. However, faster and more dangerous flows within the water allow the banks to erode at a quicker pace. With erosion comes to flow of more ideas – more mindsets and philosophical diversity – in order to create what every human being in the mental standpoint of disinterest desires: change.
But why do the droplets of water wish to change the banks of the river? Why do humans wish to overthrow their society over disinterest? Look towards any revolution: whether it be through the Russians of the 20th century or through the French or Americans of the 18th. Institutional corruption. Those foundational structures of our society – the institutions which grab hold of massive amounts of individuals in order to gain status – are caught within a sociological scandal which grab the attention of the usually short-minded civilians that go along with the statuses above them. Change is requested first, and most obviously the institutions refuse to acknowledge change in fear of showing weakness. Eventually the change begins to present itself, and with an overwhelmingly majority of the citizens within the society – the drops within the river – agreeing on problems, the social consensus arises from the social conflict against the institution – the government. Or, how Marx and Engels put it, the bourgeoisie.
But scandals! That’s one of the problems within our study of news, whether it be through current events or historical transitions. The news within our society – usually dominated through the personal philosophies of the institutions, such as for-profit organizations or the government itself – has the audacity to add the word ‘scandal’ to just about anything. This twist causes news to be too much to handle to those already short-minded civilians, and political confusion erupts through the rivers.
A modern example would be the suffix –gate being added to every scandal, no matter what caliber of sociological offense, just because of the political confusion and chaos which plagued the psychological sovereignty of our personal philosophies after the Richard Nixon political “scandal” in the 1972 Watergate Scandal. Resulting in the resignation of the American 37th President, the legacy of the –gate has made its way into the journalism and news to the point where the average drop of water in the river doesn’t remember where it arises from.
Many consider it to be a term which symbolizes or literally defines the term scandal itself. These “far-reaching” problems have been labeled as an embellished noun due to one example that set the standards for everything afterwards. Climategate, Hackgate, Debategate, the dreaded topic of Gamergate, and the literally worthless argument concerning Fangate, along with thousands of other examples, continue the legacy of the embezzled example of and dedicated suffix of scandal, despite the original concept meaning quite the opposite.
The media, along with those who encourage the institutions supporting it, allowed this transgression. A perfect example, in the lightest of ways, on how the language of our society was forced to reshape itself after a common misrepresentation of symbolism. But of course, what is created by man – or by many a man within the institution – can be reshaped and shifted by the same environment. It is that how society, the river, can be reshaped by the individuals, the water. It is that how society can be reshaped and re-dominated by new ideas or a shift within the majority of what society had created itself.
Now, on that topic, the “idea”, if you will, that every majority is perhaps a good change is incredibly mistaken. It was a majority that allowed the worst mistakes of humanity to formulate themselves over and over again. Most don’t tend to realize the recycled, nonstop content of our very own history. Those who refuse to accept the constant swirl in our society, the “recycled” water within the river, are condemned to face it again and again. Is every revolution not just the majority deciding upon a consensus within the conflict? Is every change, good or bad in essence, not just yet another progression making a mark in the society it was birthed in? Is every war not just a social conflict in which more statistics will be named between two forces – two institutions made up of individuals working together – living within the same world? The majority within said institutions have usually allowed such things to occur.
What we see is an endless resetting of everything within society, the widening of the banks which allow broader ideas and new majorities to stake their claims. However, between resets – which may disguise themselves under liberal progressions, modern morals, or completely different standards – we have what is known as a transitional period. In which the Old Society begins to collapse, and the New Society forms from the crevices ripped through the foundation of its predecessor. This period of time can be seen as an unstable social outcome, where individuals begin to separate themselves from the highly successful institutions in order to connect with their personal philosophies. To connect with their individuality and form new institutions – those who rival the power and social status of what already exists – with those who agree with the same set of standards created by social conflict, thus creating social consensus within these in-groups. The ideas ring – down with the Old and up with the New!
Understanding the Old and the New – no matter what the topic may be – can be easy if one realizes how the Old becomes the New and vice versa. An Old is a New that has either lost the interest and therefore the influence of the majority, and the New is what replaces an Old after a transitional period; whether that be through revolution, political conquest, etcetera. For example, take a look at the French Revolution. The absolute monarchy of King Louis XVI can be seen as the Old – it had once been the New to the society that had founded it, but lost the influence of the Third Estate after unfair taxes and incapable leadership. The transitional period can be seen as the Revolution itself. Then, after the political uprisings changed hands from the Estates to the Jacobins to the Thermadorians, we could perhaps list the final New as Napoleon Bonaparte. Of course, Napoleon would eventually lose the influence and interest of his people as well, and we can see this as another example of the New becoming an Old. It is a never ending cycle that is supported by history, by society, and by knowledge.
We are currently living on the brink of a transitional period.
The river is widening before our very eyes, and we are noticing the beginnings of ourselves, as individuals, slowly separating from the institutions we have created time and time again. As previously stated, the institutions thrive on the aspect of controlling the majority – those individuals who share the importance in widening the River of Life. Whether this be through censorship of those ideas which are thrown into the abyss or the succumbing of personal individualism, the institution will do anything to maintain control over those who have allowed it to for this long. While the individuals are factored in, forced to lose their grips on the desire for autonomy, they are thus in control of whether or not the entirety of anti-independence succeeds or fails. The institution, as an essence or as a hierarchy, understands this. It as an entity understands that by losing individuals, it loses the majority; and thus the personal philosophies of the oncecontrolled individuals stem away in critique towards it. Eventually, the social conflict (in the minds of those belonging to the institution) and the social consensus (in the form of change) collide in a stupendous battle for revolution, creating a new movement that begins the recycled material of history once again.
We are refusing to be conscious towards this shift – noticeable in the political spectrum, in the growing outrage in the communities we live in (such as the Black Lives Matter movement), in the suboptimal destabilization of tolerable nature between that of the in-group and that of the outgroup. The topics of religion, government, mental health, and education are being crippled by the transition of our society. Is this necessarily a bad thing? To some yes, to some no. The different perspectives belonging to our in and out groups show radical changes in opinion that divert aspects of fact. Thus, the shift continues. We are between the social conflict and the social consensus. We are between the institution and the individuals. We are between the top layers of sediment being eroded by the river and the layers from beneath showing.
In essence…we are the widening of the river.
While those before us, those who came up with ideas and inventions which contributed to the erosion of the banks, were in a somewhat stabilized institution; it is we who live in the transitional period of change. We are witnessing the recycled nature of history right before our eyes, and yet the only thing on most of our minds are celebrity gossip. One can see this as the deevolution of our intelligence, which will be discussed later. Just as we collectively forget the fauxsuffix of –gate when it comes to our scandals and news, we have collectively forgotten how to notice the collapse of the institution and the proper moments in which individuals may be free to begin anew.
We sit between that of the Old and that of the New. The Old being the current institutions, crippled by the transitional period, which feverishly cling to the power they hold onto in order to pump social propaganda back into the individuals they have held control over for so long. The New, on the other hand, being something we have not given birth to yet. The next “generation” of institutions, those of which will recycle the concepts seen over and over again until the cycle renews itself yet again. The individuals, for some period of time, will gain sense of autonomy again. The separation – the growth of extreme personal philosophy – that individuals will show to the Old will be the beginning of the New. This big bang is what begins every movement, no matter how small and unsuccessful or large and dominating, which leads to every revolution and, eventually, the birth of the next New.
We are all individuals. Even the highest authority of the institution are mere individuals when separated from ideology. All individuals strive for the same thing: independence; however, all individuals are pawns in a game of interdependence chess that allow the institutions to thrive. This is what the foundational structures of human nature can be boiled down to. This is what the foundational structures of our own society can be boiled down to.
This is what we can be boiled down to. By saying this, one might be able to question the importance of the institution. Does the individual need the institution? The answer is simply yes. Society, the river, would not be able to function without a method of functioning. Individuals alone cannot create anything, let alone the mere beauty (or horrors) of a river. Individuals together cannot create progress, only arguments. Individuals together with an institutional hierarchy can share majority rule, create the cycle of sociological advancement, and allow the births of new ideas.
We can compare the struggle of man and men, of individual and institution, to that of a house. The individuals are the walls, resting on the concrete foundation of independence and interdependence and holding the roof in place. The institution is the roof, keeping everything underneath “safe”. Both aspects are important. What good is a house without a roof, and what good is a roof without walls?
Eventually, the walls start to feel oppressed by the roof. Cracks of personal philosophy – the sense of self – sprout under the pressure given off by the autocratic forces above. This makes the roof lopsided, weaker and less dominating over the dominion it holds beneath it – the interior of the house perhaps being labeled as society. The roof eventually begins to leak, creating social conflict with that of the out-group and social consensus with that of the in-group (in perspective of those individuals who desire change). The roof, unable to support itself after losing the influence it had over the walls below, will fall. The walls, in sense of not having desired protection or the nature of interdependence, then allow another roof to form. Thus, the fall of the Old and the birth of the New.
We are witnessing the roof leak. We are witnessing the Old begin to lose its ability to hold influence over the majority. We are witnessing the spread of personal philosophy against the institution, against everyone who disagrees, in an attempt to reform the individual independence – of autonomy, of singularity, of uniqueness – that will never be able to strictly control us for eternity.
But why? The values of the Old are being twisted and reshaped by the collapse of the four enterprises that inform the future members of the New. We are seeing a destruction in the Four Columns of human interaction:
Family is losing its meaning with high divorce rates, single parents, troubled homes, and etcetera. We lose core values that had once been relied upon by the Old, leading to the problems of influence, and rely on the others.
Religion is, as explained in later pages, quickly succumbing to that of personal philosophy centuries after the transitional period, allowing new thoughts to break through the theological stages. Some individuals consider this good, others – with different personal philosophy – bad.
Community is becoming less aware of itself, with neighbors ignoring each other, Good Samaritans becoming rare and obsolete creatures, and the submission to paranoia – of the destruction of ideas and the execution of thought.
School is, as explained in later pages as well, continuously teaching the Old’s methods –that of either hidden curriculum or of modern morals – but are slowly being mistreated by the concept of knowledge, the de-evolution of our intelligence.
And thus, the destruction of the institution is eminent. The river’s banks are reshaping, forcefully eroding by the loss of core “values” and “morals”. The house’s foundation is watching as everything above begins to slowly collapse. The Four Columns crack silently, but oh so loudly, as the meanings and morals they had been meant to symbolize slowly get lost to the very abyss that suppresses ideas that go against the majority. Perhaps we are seeing the destruction of modern morals and values, or perhaps we are seeing them temporarily relocated in order to begin the cycle of history once again. Regardless, either way, the scenario remains the same.
The river is widening at an astonishing rate. The house is collapsing steadily. We are witnessing the transition of society. We are the ends of the Old and the beginnings of the New. We are witnessing the individuals, one by one, flock to new in-groups to flee from the institution. We are the change, or in the very least the foundations of it.
But we don’t even recognize it.
Perhaps the institution has done a damn good job at hiding it to such an extent now, or perhaps we aren’t ready for the change just yet. Perhaps we, collectively, are still asking for such change nicely, expecting the Old to back down and lose influence and show weakness. Perhaps we, collectively, are past that point and are in the progress of creating new movements as a final attempt before moving to the concept of revolution. Perhaps we are waiting for the cycle to continue itself, but what if the cycle is waiting for us?