It’s like a way of managing large numbers of people, organizing social systems.
It’s not really about individual feelings and individual will and determination.
It’s about managing herds of people, essentially.
Now, it sounds so negative when I say it that way.
But for many practical, everyday purposes, this is very useful.
This is useful management of resources, management of collective concerns.
And because the numbers of people are so large, the scale is so much beyond any individual, it becomes this almost kind of a mechanical system of human management.
And for all the practical benefits that it has, there’s something about it that even when I say it in these words, I mean, it sounds terrible.
Nobody wants to be a cog in a machine.
Nobody wants to be managed like a line on a spreadsheet.
But that’s part of living in this world of big institutions and systems that we’re part of, that we are cogs in a social machine, we are lines in a spreadsheet.
That is part of how our lives are managed and run.
And we’re being so managed that it can take us away from those feelings of being an actual individual human making choices and having experiences.
As far as all the practical concerns go, it’s a useful thing, and yet, when all of it is added together, it takes away from that simple consciousness of human experiencing world, that simple, one-on-one, basic, real life of being a person and living a life.
Because we have so many people being managed in this big system, it becomes this whole kind of impersonal mass, and we become like elements in some kind of factory, in a system.
So all this it seems to be an inevitable consequence of being part of a big system.
And there’s something about it that is just not sufficient.
It’s not complete.
I don’t advocate total rebellion against it, because for practical purposes, there’s a lot of benefit, but it’s incomplete.
Being a cog, being a line item, is not complete.
We need to find ways to feel alive, to feel independent, to feel like we are making decisions that actually matter.
As much as our lives are controlled from outside, they’re not completely controlled from outside, from around us, from the social environment.
We’re not completely controlled by these conditions.
We have the ability to choose some direction in our lives.
So whatever it takes to have that feeling, whatever it takes to remember that we are autonomous beings, beings that can make choices.
We can’t let that slip away for any level of convenience, I believe.
That even if it’s on a purely symbolic level, I mean, is choosing Coke or Pepsi- I mean, that’s like the extreme example of the choice that you can make that is a meaningless choice, but it’s still a choice.
I hope it doesn’t get to that extreme of the only choices we can make are those kinds of meaningless choices.
You know, is it Instagram versus Twitter or something.
Some kind of meaningless choice.
And I don’t know, maybe you can say there is some meaningful difference there, maybe more meaningful than Coke versus Pepsi.
But we need some way to make choices that count.
We can’t allow ourselves to simply feel like we are cogs in the machine, even if we partly are.
But I believe we aren’t completely machine cogs.
We also have this independent, autonomous sovereignty to be able to make choices and face the consequences.
And that, somehow, we can’t get away from that.
Our lives are not full and complete without that.
So I’d be curious to hear how you feel about this.
And is there some way of bringing out this sense of personal sovereignty?
#autonomy #personalchoice #humanity