Political Thought, Spirituality and Socialisation

All of the political theorising to date, all the opposed factions with equally good will, the socialists, communists and anarchists, not to speak of the libertarians and those who chase after democracy as if it were once a part of their body, all of them desire to find tools of analysis, with which to form a future best befitting their vision. Inherent in their theories are various ideas about the human and society, and the artificiality or permanency of each. The thinking is groping in the darkness of the future: how do we govern ourselves, should we be governed? How should we structure our communities? Each theory, it seems, is open to criticism, can be denounced by examples in history or references to current trends in behaviour.

What none of them have ever considered, although they all have had prodigies that have come close, is the profound effect of socialisation in determining how man will live in his community. The implication is that we cannot really draw conclusions from observed human activity, and we are unable to know what limits are set upon the possibilities for human organisation and activity.
This essay proposes that the particular forms of organisation and structure are of secondary concern to the well-being of human communities. What is of prior concern is the extent to which humans recognise the inherent value of each other as beings, which are firstly self contained spirits and lastly functionaries of a community. If socialisation were to take place reflecting ideas which encouraged an almost fearful respect for each other, born of knowledge of the greatness of each other, then society would run well no matter what mode of governance is employed.

What is being proposed is not really social engineering based on the introduction of artificial paradigms. There is information existing which presents the essence of the human being as being separate from the material reality which we assume is final. If this spirituality is included in the ideas of society, broadly, people will see each other as entities only temporarily embodied by matter. This idea is the ‘missing link’; the hidden truth; the liberation of humankind.

If the consensus were to support such an idea, an oligarchy could not function. It would not find ideological support in lower classes, on which it relies. What’s more, they could not exist in the first place because their own socialisation would have to be separate from the rest of humanity. The oligarchy can only exist because they and we are socialised together, for the most part.

If consensus thus changed, society would net accept the amassing of surplus by one at the expense of another. Society would not accept the idea of profit taking for personal luxury. As we become are aware that the material reality not the end of us, we will have more and more disdain for this idea that personal luxury is more important than others’ subsitance. Society would not accept that some people inherently deserve a greater share of nature’s boons than others, based on their social ‘role’ (doctor, garbage collector, etc.).

A lack of impetus for specialisation might be the concern of some at this point. We imagine a world full of hairdressers but without doctors. This imagining, however, we can dismiss. We are again taking our society as a constant variable, underestimating the strength of socialisation and the artificiality of materialistic society. The need for doctors in such a society would be drastically reduced. Products cheaply manufactured and mass marketed as necessities are a great cause of illness in our world; and Social artificialities are a great cause of depression.

The proposition is that with the weight of economic stress lifted from the individual’s shoulders, and empowered by positive ideas about their own potential, and with greater access to particular forms of training, he or she would be more able to follow interests or dreams with creativity and energy and a desire to contribute something of their ability to others. Also, current perspectives of some jobs being more important because they tend to more immediate needs will be lost to history. Think of it this way: the current system of medicine rests entirely on the shoulders of the system of garbage disposal. One cannot exist without the other. Both serve each other at the same time as serving all people. Some people just prefer different levels of demand in their occupations. The garbage worker might have several very interesting and stimulating hobbies to which he prefers to direct his creative energy.

In any case, the details of social organisation can be overcome if the basic paradigm is in place. The process of the growth of this paradigm might be slow, but it might not be as slow as we might think. Our social capacity for speedy ideological and structural change has been shown before. What we might see as natural forces inhibiting this change might merely be a lack of social impetus for change. Hence we see change as a slow process.

One thing which must be upheld is this: social change must not be forced according to a minority’s ideology. Social change must be a progression for which society adds its consent through ideological change. Although we can say that the change is in some respects immediately needed, we can also see clearly that in fact social ideologies do not change when society is forced to change to fit a certain ideology. The lack of ideological cooperation from the individual in a system which assumes it, creates a situation like what we saw in China under communism: a perversion. The individuals in China never took upon themselves egalitarian ideologies, they only took up the ideological rhetoric and used it for their personal gain. Likewise, if we were to impose the creation of social institutions and constitutions that required the anti-materialistic ideologies as outlined above, individuals would have none of the social protection from materialistic behaviour. Just like from the outset in communist China, power and privilege were simply socially shifted, and never abated.

Posted on November 17, 2006 Modified November 17, 2006