Building a society is complex. I’ve been thinking a lot about foundational principles and building from there up to a complete philosophy. Once you have a complete philosophy, it seems you can base a society on that. There are a few key things I have realized while doing this.
- You don’t need to start from scratch.
- You can learn from others.
- Creating group cohesion is essential.
- Different people want different things.
This makes the topic of creating a society extremely difficult. I am not going to say that what I am espousing is right for all societies. The thing I am positing is that it is right for the society I live in. I also believe that the postmodernists trying to redesign society in an image that seems undefinable is a terrible idea.
You don’t Need to Start from Scratch
When looking at things from a foundational perspective, you tend to want to be able to recreate it from scratch. That isn’t needed with a society. It may actually be something that is harmful for a society.
Instead of wanting to redesign how people view everything, you should look at what they already believe. If they believe in behave in a certain way, that is a good indicator to how they might accept behaving. How they will accept themselves behaving is a good indicator of how they will accept others behaving.
I feel a compelling desire to want to build a society as a utopia. The problem here is that this utopia usually relies on people behaving in a certain way. I don’t think you can force people to do things they don’t want to. This is especially true in the long term.
We’ve had a lot of forms of society throughout human existence. It has been evolutionary. One type of society existing allows the next type to exist.
I think it is tempting, on a societal level, to want to keep moving forward. If you are to a point where moving forward involves starting from scratch and making people behave in certain ways and believe in certain things, that is going to suck.
Religion and Ethics
As a side note to the idea of starting society from scratch, you do not need to have a fully formed ethical system with underlying justifications for everything. I am not sure that you can have a basis for ethics that everyone understands without religion as the underpinning of the system.
This doesn’t mean we need religion in our society. We are not starting from scratch. We can use a simple principle like “behave in an optimal way that doesn’t interrupt others doing the same” and have people logically conform to it. Obviously, there are some holes in that, but it is effectively what we have been doing for a long time in the United States.
As an example, someone who asserts that no deities exist at all and it is provable will have problems deriving a lot of ethical and moral answers. On the surface, they will be fine, but there is a huge amount of thought needed to actually understand why they think and feel in a certain way. Believing in a deity is a much simpler path to understanding your reality.
When looking at society as a whole, there is no reason that the atheist cannot exist within it. He has chosen a harder path. He can still meet the requirements of society to be a productive member of it.
This could be explored much further, but it leads in well to the next point.
You can Learn from Others
On a personal level, I think we all know we can learn from others. It is impossible to imagine we would be anything without having learned from other people.
The same can be true about societies. We can learn how to have a productive society that results in a place that is good to live in. We can see how other societies have done it.
On a personal level, the atheist may copy his ethics from the Christians without realizing why he has done it or maybe even that he has done that copying. As a society, we should model our laws on what works elsewhere.
The alternative to doing so is a complete experiment. Copying from others is still an experiment. We do not know how those things we are copying will work within our society.
A complete experiment (with no control group, usually) is to implement a societal change that has not been tried before. Generally, even if a societal change has been tried before, some time to see what the long term impacts will be is important.
I am not really interested in running societal experiments. The current trend towards postmodernism and rioting as a veto of the crowd for someone’s right to speak are dangerous things. They are experiments that we don’t know the result of.
It is okay to copy others. We don’t need to run experiments unless we are desperate to make things better. Maybe I am missing why people are desperate to change things in regards to race and gender relations in this country and people have lived horrible, irredeemably bad lives who will be very happy and productive in the new society the activists are shouting for. I am more concerned that a large portion of the country will wilt under the new regime.
This is several novels of exploration on its own, but is also another good transition.
Creating Group Cohesion is Essential
There will be different groups of people within a country. They will divide themselves along every conceivable border that they can create. If no borders exist, they will be created. It seems essential to our tribal nature that we have someone who is labeled the “other.”
The best thing we can hope for is that the “other” is a group that isn’t within the country. If we divide who is the other by fault lines within our own country, it will result in a society that doesn’t function properly.
The optimal thing for societal cohesion would be an alien invasion. If the aliens started lighting houses on fire with ray guns and eating babies, everyone would suddenly forget about their differences and fight the aliens. Who cares if Tom next door is a Colts fan when there is an alien fucking destroying the planet?!?!
Unfortunately, all evidence points towards people needing to have an other. I am not sure of a way to create an other that doesn’t involve humans being on the outside of the group. If wolves were super threatening, they could be the other that we fear. But, as it stands, it has to be humans.
This is a problem, since people will find the other within their own lives if there is nothing else. This is why we see the political and racial divide in the country. There must be an other.
Different People Want Different Things
I don’t believe this is controversial or something that requires an explanation. I do believe implementation is difficult under some systems though.
Beyond the group identity, there must be a personal identity. Holding the group identity above the personal identity is a problem. Holding the personal identity above the group identity can also be a problem.
The trick is to allow someone to pick out their individual likes and dislikes with the minimum amount of interference.
This starts with the government. The government shouldn’t force people to do things. Another step past this is that the government should stop people from doing things that harm others. Outside of this, the individual should be allowed to find what they want to do.
Some of it won’t be productive. But, that is self correcting. Not being productive results either in a lack of meaning for the person or a lack of money.
The trick is to make it so people don’t fill up their time by making a group of people that they define into the other within their own community. As long as they channel their efforts towards something that is productive, the majority of people will end up healthy and happy.
We know this from our past society. We know this from other societies. It isn’t something that is controversial. It is capitalism.
Summary and TL;DR
Life is pretty fucking good right now. Postmodernists who want to change society don’t really have a clue what the end result will be of their changes. Marxism failed and those who are wielding critical theory seem to want to bring it back. Postmodernism by itself is a mess and an experiment. Once you add Marxism, it is an experiment that we should strongly suspect will fail and result in the deaths of millions if not billions of people.
TL;DR: Quit being a pussy and trying to change society unless you really know what you are doing.