Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Nuclear family, privacy, neurosis, isolation, self-loathing, consumption ...
If we came together in small groups to live and collaborate (like we're built to), that'd crack the oligarchs' armour.

What's the first product of this perverse need for nuclear families? Palaces for the oligarchs and the priests ... and then castles.

What's the primary product of nuclear family-style housing? Isolation and loneliness ... the antidote to which is /consumption/.

If anybody has opinions concerning communalism, let me know ... just visit CityZen.
(If you're in Canada, I can start working with you as early as October 1.)

A reader of LiveJournal Threads of Change replied:
> But what stops the power-hungry from 'conquering' these
> small, defenseless collaborative tribes?

The first thought is invincability?!

I was talking about the pleasure of collaboration, and friendship, and sustainability

The terror we've taken in to ourselves, that's definitly part of the problem, and thoughts of conquer or be conquered are likely to undermine any sane and healthy alternatives. (Nothing like notions of absolute security to give rise to more conflict!)

Another (kytty) had commented on the reply:
> How is it any safer to be separated still further into
> nuclear families?

There really is something to the thought that "preception is reality"; having been raised in a situation that's empoverished socially, I'm likely to see people as being in one of two groups: those who are trying to conquer me, and those who are there for me to conquer. That's basically unworkable, but if I withdraw from the community and create my own space ("A man's home is his castle"!) then I can get an impression of being lord and master ... safely distanced from those who should really be and, for most of our history, have really been as though members of my extended family.
When a thirsty person starts drinking salt water, they end up thirstier and wanting to drink more ... it's madness. IMHO "splendid isolation" is like that.

Kytty replied again:
> Yeah, a stratified mentality leads to brutality for the sake
> of maintaining or gaining status in the system, but a
> cooperative mentality leads to a sense of satisfaction in > having supported the self by supporting the "other"
> since all are viewed as a cooperative whole.
> Conversely, hurting the "other" is the same as hurting
> the self in a cooperative mentality.

I think knee-jerk "to be conquered / trying to conquer me" think is a sadly reduced version of very normal mammalian rank relations ... who's in charge?
IMHO socialization is learning the traditional methods for working with this stuff ... like listening more than talking, like not bragging about one's advantages ... how to get along with others. (Would a nation of people who were really, truly, actually /nice/ be a global bully? I can't but help that foreign policy of what some feel deeply and what most of the rest are willing to put up with as "normal", or even inevitable.)

You're right about that satisfaction ... I'd like to think that most everyone has an experience of having "done good" ... that inexplicable flush of, ummmm, feeling well!
Who would chose acquisition of material goods by over-work rather than feeling good, and well, by co-operation. But the fact is, pessimism is like the drop of ink in a vase of otherwise clear water. (I think we can deal with concern and worry easily enough, but fear that pessimism concerning human nature has become epidemic ... the stuff of self-fulfilling prophecy.

"Hurting the other" is similarly subtle: I bet we all have the sour experience of having been hurtful, and the edgy neurotic twitchiness that comes with cobbling together some BS set of excuses.
Imagine this: a situation where I could lose it, acknowledge that, and be greeted with appreciation for my honesty and frankness!! In that sort of situation, we'd end up talking about fear, and wounds, and pride ... about how we share our humanity. Oh my, talk about the stuff of sanity and well-being ... and who would dare say we are /not/ capable of such wholesome behaviour, except someone who is intent on proving a wicked lie about our species?

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