I started early this week, to think about preparing a very innovative dinner, maybe on Friday, maybe on Saturday. I googled for a “revolutionary” meal. In fact what I wanted to cook was an authentic social revolution.
I searched throughout the news in the last months, getting at least a couple of promising options. I had made up my mind, and decided to move forward, inviting some friends, but then I realized I didnt have at least half of the required ingredients. It wouldn’t have been an issue, if the missing spices would be obtainable in my surroundings.
We are convinced or better said, persuaded, of being part of an organized and structured society. There’s no room for the unexpected, meaning by unexpected, evil. Society has, however, enough room for unpredictable events, which are somehow tolerated by citizens as a price to pay, for the benefits of civilization, should they come from within. It’s a “give and take” game, with more or less equality beyond some fluctuations and cycles, that had also been accepted as part of the deal.
But what the recent events in Egypt, Middle-East and Spain have shown, is that the revolutionary movements are driven more by a middle class that doesn’t want to lose the acquired privileges, rather than by a firm conviction that the world as we know it must stop.
We are still more like a flock of sheep being kept safe and alive for somebody else’s purposes and held together by means of few sheep dogs and even less shepherds. As long as we are taken out to pasture, we don’t really mind about how legitimate our democracies are. We can negotiate part of our freedom, if we still get our salaries, or else, unemployment benefit in return.
It’s annoyingly obvious we are still getting confused about what society is, what it ought to be, and even worse, what we aspire it to be. We constantly mix in a very rookie way, with absolutely no critical thought at all, our wishes or our points of view with what the “objective” reality is leaving unveiled. We are at the cutting edge of our respective professions, we handle everyday state of the art technology, but we still lack of sufficient severity, to become aware of where the true solutions to our society must be sought.
The most efficient organizations we are able to achieve today, at the beginning of the XXI century, are just small groups overlapping and having random connections according to each one’s interests at any time. There is still considerable amount of literature, trying to deal with the difficulty of working in teams, even when aligned behind common and agreed aims.
We cannot thus, think that there is full agreement on Democracy and procedure of governments, I’m sure any discussion would not resist the least analysis, without finding that the most basic concepts are becoming dissolved: Humanity, human rights, equality of opportunities, developing world, true democracy, faith, crisis, etc.
So, today I find more comfortable to describe Society as a mixture of individual aspects, erratic, like in a Brownian motion necessarily diverging due to each one’s interests, and with no true purpose of reflection on free will or the status of Autonomy in Society. This approach to a conception of Society, that will inevitably reject the idea of harmony, cohesion or brotherhood between people, is hard to swallow, but let’s face it, it’s more honest with the outcome of civilization and actual progress of mankind after 5.000 years of history, than the illusion of people having the power.
How can societies possibly work then?
How do they manage to result in a more or less predictable course?
We could say that the only consistency comes from the links between people, which are not laid in terms of empathy but convenience. Human beings are gregarious just because the other has something that may benefit me. Once I get what I want, my “brother”, my “neighbour” becomes disposable and new targets have to be searched.
The other reason is that power agents in society (being it leaders, government, corporations, bank system) settle a mainstream, while at the same time fixes a maximum diversion degree. Anytime we want, we can put to the test the fact that whatever or whoever might attempt to break out this unwritten and unsaid “envelope”, will immediately attract “forces of law”, but more effectively, will receive automatic rejection and skepticism of peers, like antibodies sent to attack strange “invaders” within it’s own body.
A revolution should be based on a situation that reached a critically unsustainable status, and since the new paradigms are already on sight, provokes immediate action. There is not a single second of time to be wasted under the same structure, once the right path has been found.
Civilization and revolution constitute an oxymoron.