Where’s the fire? Deep inside, as is the way of the dragon.
The topic of Social Order is a bit controversial. I apologize for any offence that might be given in advance. My ability to anticipate peoples reactions is somewhat poor.
We have a social order even now, though it isn’t something that people are generally conscious of. In our society, it has always been true that people are different from each other. Always has been true and always will be. Humanity isn’t produced on some machine line to any form of standard we can regulate. Even with advanced genetic engineering there are factors they still couldn’t control for. In science, there is no such thing as a closed system, not factually. There is just systems we consider practically closed. Humanity sees their society as a closed system, one dictated by choice, and that positions are held by the merit of the individual occupying the position of privilege. Is this fair to say?
What determines merit? Oh, arbitrarily arrived at social values. Things like money making potential.
How merit is assigned can be a strange thing. It usually is wealth today. Mammon is busy chewing on a great many souls.
Merit can be yours just for being born in the right family. Supposedly, that is true, and if that is the necessary factor then I am born to one of the most degenerate and backward lineages that could be possible. The bulk of my family is mentally ill to a greater or lesser extent, and yet people arise from position of great disadvantage to eventually occupy positions of great respect. I believe Oprah Winfrey would be one example, and J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame.
In India, that sort of thing is nearly impossible because of the cast system. Indeed. That was and to some degree still is true there, as is also the case in many orthodox Muslim cultures, and even in current and otherwise forward thinking Japanese culture. It was the basis of the communist social order. Theirs was a deliberate and structured effort to set everyone to serving the common good, everything for the good of the state, but that failed.
So what is the basis of social order anyway?
People in power try to structure society so they will always stay in power. There appear to be separate yet overlapping factors that determine the social order we create, money, fame, education, race, gender.
Yet how well considered are these values that go into the social order equation?
Very poorly, hence people rise and fall so quickly. This is why institutions, including religion, get so panicky when tradition starts being ignored. Because it calls their societal worth into question.
Why does a social order like the caste system seem to outlive so many others that have come and gone? People want stability more than they want freedom. They want answers and meaning even if it’s all second hand. They want to feel like the world makes sense even if it grinds them under its boot heel. Due to my own disability, I personally don’t have this motivation, not having had the initial experience of a sense of stability in the first place, but that is just me.
An article about the uprising in Egypt said how the quiet majority are afraid of such rapid change. They’re afraid of the shift in social order. Rapid change brings up peoples fear of exploitation. The majority actually subscribe to the notion that it’s “Better the devil you know”, and they will continue to.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.