On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 8:12 PM, Bruce A. Metcalf <bruce.metc...@figzu.com> wrote:
> But occupying the time of the vast hordes of bored and restive > non-creatives will be a challenge, and it's a challenge I have not yet seen > addressed anywhere this side of Orwell. A good and stable society offers something for all to do. There's a pyramidal shape to the psyche of most humans and to most societies, starting with the vast base which is in survival mode (At least 80% of humanity still lives on less than $10 a day.) It doesn't matter what the current tribal game is, monarchy, communism, anarchy, econo-narcissism aka capitalism, this base will be primarily occupied with the meat and potatoes of life, with little hint of flavor of the prevailing tribal game. A smaller tier will focus on maximizing sexual desirability and social status within the structure of the current game. Which usually means growing up the ranks in a party structure in a dictatorial game, or growing rich and handsome in an econo-narcissistic game. Stagnant lotus eaters can exist anywhere in these levels, but it is a very temporary phase, they will either get pushed up or down eventually. A still smaller tier will seek personal fulfillment through the exertion of will - by bettering themselves through mental and physical exertion - not for economic or social reward, but for the sake of the activity itself. Typically such people might accumulate advanced academic degrees, or, run marathons or climb mountains when they don't have to, to name a few examples. There are tiers above this to do with being selflessly loving, kind, generous, inward looking, intuitive, wise, creative, holy, saintly - however, society historically usually ignores these populations as being too small to be of consequence. Trying to plan a new social order is like trying to dig up a safe passage for a river in flood. No one wields enough power to shape the landscape or wisdom to predict a safe route. Left unimpeded the river flows through the easiest route with the least obstructions, which means it avoids tall mountains and favors the low lands. In the case of the human psyche this means a partiality towards survival, sex and power and an avoidance of tall peaks like creativity, wisdom, kindness and unity. A creative and wise society can only evolve when the low lands are completely inaccessible. For this reason a largely creative or wise society is impossible as long as there's bottomless consumption and consumerism for example. All Governments (somewhat benevolent dictatorial opiate structures) are like check dams, they eventually break down, but as long as they exist they are useful in lessening the trauma of the flood. Everyone knows a dammed river grows turbid and stale, and can't remain dammed for too long anyway - hence Arab spring, Occupy Wall Street, anti-beef riots, Pepe the Frog etc. and its opposition, secret prisons, NSA panopticons, legal marijuana, caliphate, libertarian and hindutva dreams and social media echo chambers. Ideally societies would invest in making the low lands unattractive and the tall peaks accessible. Which would obviously mean eradicating poverty, globally a cost of $5 trillion or so, roughly the bill for the American led War on terror so far. The bill is far lesser to eradicate poverty in a single country, like the USA. Far easier and worthy than an NSA Panopticon or a manned mission to Mars. However it is not in the interest of government structures anywhere to completely eradicate poverty, one of the primary levers of social control. Some poverty eradication can be attempted from time to time, but with the awareness that none of the structures of social control would work well without poverty. Meanwhile, when a large number of people used to being successful in the game are suddenly sitting on the benches, not actively participating in economic success, universal basic income or affordable healthcare will do little to calm them. It's natural they will turn to a change agent, a revolutionary demagogue who unleashes them on the check dams of the game only to build new check dams down river. Since nobody is making the low lands unattractive, this is the cycle of imprisonment of society since nearly the beginning of time with a few isolated golden ages.