Over the years there have been a good number of warnings on the dangers of excessive social conformity. People need to find a way to break the shackles of the mental prisons they are in. Who really needs to go through life in a boxed in mindset. The warnings I speak of come in the form of stories like The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, 1984 by George Orwell or A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. There are other examples that also show what happens when social norms aren’t questioned or nothing is done about them. I get a good laugh from George Carlin and agree with a lot of what he had to say. His observations of the human condition were right on the button.
I don’t see what is so wrong with people communicating with each other as long as no harm is planned or done. These rights are hard won but they can be taken away from us slow enough so that we really don’t notice. The USA is currently the leader in permanent spying on its people. Soon enough it will be a global phenomenon. With technology getting “better” and “improved” law enforcement agencies won’t be able to resist on getting on the act.
Fear mongering will be used extensively to keep people in the US versus them mentality. Instead of letting people be themselves, authorities seem to want to push us into predetermined patterns of behaviour, social conditioning if you wish. We should be afraid, very afraid. Don’t think you’re not doing anything to warrant their attention. What if the next knock on the door, email or phone call is from the authorities wanting detailed information on your doings?
History shows us numerous failed attempts to push people into correct thinking or re-education from either religious or secular systems. Examples are the Catholic Church, fundamentalist religions, Hitler’s Germany, Communism under both Stalin and Chairman Mao. The latest is Quebec in recent weeks. The efforts never stop.
I do like multi-centralism in that various groups of different ethnic groups can peacefully co-exist. I do have problems when one group tries to convert all groups and people into some kind of “pure” faith. These types of conversions never last long as they are superficial at best. Some converts figure they have something to gain by becoming party liners and become snitches, ratting to higher ups on supposed “crimes” no matter how far back in history they go. It just must lead a lot of people to live on the fringes of society not wanting to bother with mainstream society.
In our post 9/11 society I see old fears rising up under new wrappings. Coercism for state sanctioned identity cards remain the same throughout history. Three slogans appropriate for these days are: Privacy means Treason. Innocence means Guilt. Freedom means Subversion. We could very well be asking for this as a society to live in. As much as I want to live in a world where “live and let live” is the golden rule, we as a species may have gotten too far away from it to ever return to it. People seem to have lost the tenacity to take charge or responsibility for their own life.
Part II of the article is here: SOCIAL CONFORMITY – PART II