Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sure this is an old chestnut, but at least its completely insane

Social transformation-
or the abolition of society

by Feral Faun

"Society...1. a group of persons who have the same customs, beliefs, etc. or live under a common government and who are thought of as forming a single community... 3. all people, when thought of as forming a community in which each person is partly dependent on all the rest" Webster's New World Dictionary

Nothing we "know" can be assumed to be true- none of our conceptions of the world are sacred and we would do well to question them all. Many anarchists talk about creating a "new" or "free" society. But few question the idea of society itself. The conception of society is amorphous- and so more difficult to deal with than particular aspects of it like government, religion, capitalism or technology. It is so ingrained in us that questioning it feels like questioning our very nature- which makes it all the more necessary to question it. Freeing ourselves from the character armor that represses our desires and passions may very well demand, not merely the transformation of society, but its abolition. The dictionary definitions above show society to be a single entity made up of individuals who are in a condition of (at least potential) dependency upon each other- which is to say, who are not complete in themselves. I see society as a system of relationships between beings who are acting (or being treated) as social roles in order to reproduce the system and themselves as social individuals.

The dependency of social individuals is not the same as the biological dependency of infants. Biological dependency ends once the child achieves adequate mobility and hand-and-eye coordination (in about five years). But in those five years, the social relationships of the family repress children's desires, instill fear of the world into them and so submerge the potential for full, free, creative individuality beneath the layers of armoring which are the social individual, beneath the psychic dependency which makes us cling desperately to each other while we despise each other. All social relationships have their basis in the incompleteness produced by the repression of our passions and desires. Their basis is our need for each other, not our desire for each other. We are using each other. So every social relationship is an employer/employee relationship, which is why they seem always, to one extent or another, to become adversarial- whether through joking put-downs, bickering or full-fledged fighting. How can we help but despise those we use and hate those who use us?

Society cannot exist apart from social roles- this is why the family and education in some form are essential parts of society. The social individual doesn't play only one social role-but melds together many roles which create the character armor which is mistaken for "individuality."

Social roles are ways in which individuals are defined by the whole system of relationships that is society in order to reproduce society. They make individuals useful to society by making them predictable, by defining their activities in terms of the needs of society. Social roles are work- in the broad sense of activity that reproduces the production/consumption cycle. Society is thus the domestication of human beings- the transformation of potentially creative, playful, wild beings who can relate freely in terms of their desires into deformed beings using each other to try to meet desperate needs, but succeeding only at reproducing the need and the system of relationships based on it.

"A pox on all captivity, even should it be in the interest of the universal good, even in Montezuma's garden of precious stones." Andre Breton


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