Society is broken | mrwinstonsmith's Blog

Many many years ago, I have no clue when, society was born. A group of men (yes men, if women were the first, then we would be living in a matriarchal society, which I am not convinced wouldn't have been better) got together and decided to just talk out their troubles. Man A didn't like it when Man B hit him over the head, and Man B agreed he wouldn't like it if it happened to him. Man D also agreed he would find it unpleasant. Man C, who was a masochist really enjoyed it, but kept quiet because he didn't want to be excluded. So together they decreed that they would not hit each other over the head anymore because it is wrong. And so the first societal rule was made.
Now I don't know this was the first rule, but it makes sense that it was.
After this first meeting, everyone, except Man C, was pleased that they weren't getting hit over the head any more. So pleased with themselves they were, that they decided to make more rules, and soon there were thousands, many didn’t even need to be said, the basic rule "if I don't like it, then no one likes it, if I like it, everyone does" could be referred to if they didn't know a rule to fit any situation, and so even more rules were made without even trying.
Soon society was running smoother than ever and everyone's lives were improved, there were some small problems, like with Man C, but on the whole, society was a VAST improvement on how things were, and was as close to perfect as anyone could ever have dreamed. Things were good.
Then times changed. New technology, larger groups of people, new challenges, and new rules were added to accommodate the changes. This was all ok, the rules were no longer perfect, as some rules that people followed were now out of date, but it was ok, because they were still better off with it than without. But times kept changing, and more and more rules were made, but very few were ever unmade.
Soon, there were billions of rules being followed by society, a decent percentage of which made no sense in modern society, but things kept changing, rules kept being made, and people kept following the rules.
Now let’s skip ahead to the present. Thousands of years after the first rules were made be it only a couple thousand or hundreds of thousands, who even cares. The point is that for thousands of years, rules were being made but never unmade. Society has changed to become almost unrecognisable from its original state, and not for the better.
Let’s go back to Man C all those years ago. He liked getting hit, but because he was the only one, it was ok for him to keep quiet about it, and for society to agree that hitting was wrong. But now that towns are easily reach hundreds of thousands of people instead one or two dozen, there are many people who enjoy getting hit. These people are not hurting anyone, except each other, and they like it so no harm done. But buried deep in society is the idea that it is wrong. So these people are rejected as deviants, as bad people. This is just one of tens of billions of examples of how societal rules are no longer appropriate for the modern world, but by no means the least problematic.
Let’s take racism. Once upon a time, a white man saw a black man and saw that he was ignorant of many things Mr White took for granted. Mr Black enjoyed his life, and was probably as smart as Mr White, but not knowing of things he had never seen (duh) he was thought to be no more than an animal, and so Mr White sold him.
Eventually Mr White and is friends realised that Mr Black was just as smart as Mr White, and so they were freed... eventually. To stop Mr Black's tragic circumstances ever happening again, a rule was made that no one should ever call attention to the fact that Mr Black was black. Now however, this rule is widely unnecessary as we all still know Mr Black is black, we just don't care. However, we still follow the rule that we can’t talk about it, so the rules that initially kept Mr Black safe is now keeping him different, because we all have to walk on eggshells around him, whether he wants us to or not, because if we don't, society calls us deviants, and bad people.
Now we have seen 2 obvious examples, let’s see a more complicated one.
Let’s say that your friends invite you out to town at 7pm, to have some drinks. You haven't seen them for a while, so you agree. You then walk into town and find that the first pub you went to is totally full. So you excited at the day out want to check out some other pubs, but your friends all want to go back to one of their houses and play video games instead. You don't like this plan so you now want to go home. Social protocol states that if you now go home because they didn't choose your plan, you are just being a baby. This rule was designed to stop assholes forcing their own way on others.
Now let’s look at this again. You are 2 hours and 3.6 miles into a disappointing night, and you are right back where you started, with a very boring plan ahead, but you came out to be with your friend’s right? so don't be a baby. Just because you didn’t get your way doesn’t mean you should just ditch your friends, right?
But what if you were initially invited out at 9pm to play a bad video game on a tiny screen with friends after you just walked 3.6 miles and are kinda tired? No one would blame you for saying no, and rightly so.
So societal rules here are now calling you a bad guy if you don't agree to plans that really aren't that appealing.
Or how about the old classic.
You are at home, and you have friends over, you are quite poor, and all your friends are pretty well off, however, with your meagre income, you have managed to get a respectable home. You are now hungry, but societal rules dictate that if you have food, you must offer your guests food too. This rule was made so that the rich affluent people who used to invite people to their home often would share their food, and not just taunt the poorer of society. 90% of the time this is a good rule, but in this case, when a poor guy is hosting, not such a god rule. You don't have enough food for all of them, and can’t afford to give it to them if you did. You could all order food, which would mean you only have to pay for your own, but you can’t afford that either. So to avoid being a bad host, you don't eat. Societal rules have now forced you to remain hungry in your own home because you are playing host.
The men at the first societal meeting would be appalled. All these rules that we follow were made by the majority a long time ago, in order to make life better. But they are almost all out of date, and often have the opposite effect to that which they were intended, and this is all ignoring the minority that the rule was bad for in the first place.
So here we are, thousands of years down the line, and all trapped by a set of rules that are exploitative of the minority, and largely out of date.
Let me drop some knowledge on yo ass. (I use this phrasing satirically, but there is nothing wrong with using that phrasing seriously, the majority just finds it annoying, so it is now only done by “bad” people)
-Masochists are not mentally ill.
-Male porn and Female porn are equally good/bad.
-You and your black friend enjoying a racist joke does not make you a bad person.
-If you don’t enjoy socialising in large groups, that does not make you a loner.
-Being clever does not make you a nerd.
-Being a nerd is not a bad thing.
-Being stupid does not mean you are worth less than a smart person.
-Being physically weak does not mean you are worth less than a strong person.
All these things are blindingly obvious when you stop and think about it, but all these things are contradicted by societal rules.
And last, but not least, my closing statement your honour, there is another set of rules that was made by the majority and has been added to over time: The Law. Everyone knows that the law gets things wrong. It is largely a force for good, but it is so vast and self-contradictory, it has been added to so many times, that a clever lawyer can use it to make good people pay and bad people free. Societal rules are just as flawed as the legal system, and makes JUST as many mistakes, except that societal court doesn’t even need proof, if the majority say it, it is so.
So societal rules, the glue that holds us together, is used, every day, knowingly or unknowingly, to make the majority conform to an identical set of principles, and squash out any individuality, whilst at the same time crushing the minority underfoot as it goes. These rules, made to enhance the human experience have become oppressive, exploitative, homogenising, and a hindrance to every free expression. Living without rules would be anarchy, but the rules we have at the moment is a dictatorship offensive to our basest values*, and most don’t even realise it.
So next time I break one of your precious societal rules, stop and think for a second, as to whether or not what I did was actually wrong, and if it wasn’t, then just shut the fuck up and let me get on with it, or better yet, think for yourself, and break a rule or two of your own.
*I’m assuming that freedom, democracy, and the rights of the individual are still our basest values, but if I’m wrong, don’t hold back.

This Blog Entry's Comment Board (3 comments)
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Posted on 11:11AM on Mar 4th, 2013
Well sayed, I'd vote you for president :)
Posted on 11:25AM on Mar 4th, 2013
I hadnt read this in ages, i forgot it wrote it, not that my opinion has changed at all :P
Posted on 06:29PM on Sep 20th, 2013
*smiles* i like this... very well thought out... great job. ;)
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