The system is what we do to ourselves

In the last few videos, I’ve been talking about this world of systems and institutions, and being industrialized and part of a system, a machine.
And it can easily sound like it’s some kind of alien entity, and it’s really easy to look at it this way, but I don’t think it’s this way at all.
It’s easy to see “the government” as like this force that sort of comes in from outside and does all these evil things, or maybe does magical good things as well, depending on your perspective.
The government can be this sort of entity from outside that either is there to make your life miserable and enslave everybody, or it can fix problems and make everybody’s life better.
And you know, the same thing you could say with things like school, educational institutions, even businesses as well, big businesses, these massive corporate forces.
And it’s easy just to see it as this external thing.
I mean, you could go full alien and it’d be like David Icke with the lizard people, being ruled by lizard people.
Just make them full-on aliens.
That really highlights this idea of there being this foreign entity that we’re being controlled by.
And you can think like The Matrix, where they’re actually aliens, and they’re harvesting us.
And you know, this is a very evocative way of looking at it and imagining it, but I think that the reality is kind of more mundane, more everyday.
When I talk about this idea of being managed and taken care of and controlled, you could say, from outside, or from this force, these forces around us, really we are doing this to ourselves.
And it’s not even an entirely negative thing.
It’s like society is like this collective program where we kind of program ourselves to act a certain way and do certain things and carry out certain activities.
And we benefit from that, or we can.
And what keeps us in line, I think, and keeps us part of this whole system is that we feel social ties to it.
We kind of regulate ourselves because we don’t want to be isolated.
An isolated person is usually unhappy and weak.
A person who is socially connected, whatever that means, somebody who has happy communal ties, is typically going to be happier and stronger.
It’s not automatically true, but it generally is.
And generally deciding that, you know, “I don’t want to follow the rules of society.
I want to do my own thing and do something different”: if it’s considered harmless, then it might just be considered eccentric and you’ll be left alone, but if it steps on certain shared beliefs of society, then it could be seen as positively harmful and something that has to be eliminated.
So choosing to make personal decisions, choosing autonomy and sovereignty and saying “I am going to make my choices to live outside the machine”: looking at things that way leads very easily to being socially isolated.
And that is very difficult to deal with for almost everybody.
And even those few people who genuinely really just don’t want social interaction, which I think is very rare to truly be the case that we don’t really want it; we might have varying needs for it, but a true isolated person who wants to be isolated seems to be hard to find.
But even if we really didn’t need any kind of social connection at all, it would still be very inconvenient to actually live as somebody who is socially isolated.
It’d be difficult to get anything done, get what we need to live.
So we keep ourselves within certain parameters, within certain boundaries.
We stay inside that, because that’s part of this social agreement that we have.
And that seems to be usually a better choice for almost everybody.
But of course, sometimes what people are doing, what is the “accepted” way, the standard way, may really go against what we really believe in our personal choices.
And then we are brought into conflict on this.
So that’s an ongoing dynamic, I think, and over time, everybody has this dynamic, certain ways that they’re kind of chafing with convention, and there’s sort of like a give and take and a push and pull that over time, with everybody having this, sometimes these conventions change over time.
Culture, society, changes as a result of all these little individual conflicts and choices that people are making.
So from a social point of view, this is how I see the way that the system we live in, the social world we live in, how it carries on.
So that’s why sometimes when I listen to myself talking about, you know, these topics of “the system” and “government” doing stuff, and it can really start to sound like it’s about some kind of foreign entity.
But really I see it as something that we all participate in, and it’s for the most part something that we do to ourselves.
And so it’s up to each of us to find that balance of how much are we going to compromise to get along and to make life smoother, more comfortable, and more cooperative, versus where are we going to decide to sacrifice that and do what we choose to do no matter what.

#thesystem #conformity #autonomy

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