Society and the Individual


Society and the Individual

One of the reasons we need government is to find a balance between the needs of the individual and that of the society within which that individual is a part. Arthur Koestler in ‘The Act of Creation’ describes the need to fit in, to conform, as a ‘participatory tendency’ within a system. He writes that this is a polarity of attitude, the other end of the scale being a ‘self assertive tendency’.

The polarity between the self asserting and participatory tendencies turns out to be a particular instance of a general phenomenon: namely that every member of a living organism or social body has the dual attributes of ‘wholeness’ and ‘partness’. It acts as an autonomous, self-governing whole on its own subordinate parts on the lower levels of the organic or social hierarchy; but is subservient to the co-ordinating centre on the next higher level”.

Koestler relates these polarities to the extremes of centrifugal and centripetal force, “The former asserting the parts interdependence, autonomy and individuality, the second keeping it in place as a dependant part in the whole”. This balance or ‘synergy’ of part and whole defines not only our role as individuals in a society, but is central to many issues affecting us in a modern world.

One parallel is cancer. When a cell forgets its part in the whole organ or body and starts replicating for itself, its synergy has gone. The participatory tendency is lost and it becomes completely self-assertive and damages the host body. No wonder it is a disease of the Western world and very much on the increase in our synergy-less society.

The point of government is that it is meant to manage this process of synergy, allowing us freedom and self-expression, the ability to lead, to exercise responsibility, to discover – but also making rules so that we can all live reasonably with each other in the larger body of society. Anything more than this is an intrusion.

Our appreciation of what a good life could be is limited by vested interests such as those of the dominant commercial and political system. This system equates the good life with factors like limitless economic growth, consumption, accumulation of monetary wealth and processed convenience foods.

This means that, when confronted by the need to change these assumptions, people feel aggrieved that they are being required to give up the good life. What is actually needed is to reframe the essence of the good life in a new system of living. Evidence is accumulating that moves toward greater resilience actually enhance our experience of the good life. They are not opposing goals if tackled in the right way.

Anthony Hodgson

Unfortunately our representative system of government has grown into an oligarchy. It now intrudes into every level of life and creates rules that benefit only a privileged minority. It has become the cancer, its actions leading to the devastation of the all the qualities that life needs to survive, in the name of ‘Economic Growth’, presently the dominant myth in our culture.

It assumes that there is little need to change the way we live. ‘Economic Growth’ is regarded as essential for our prosperity as individuals but in reality serves only a few. The richest eight people in the world own as much as half of the world’s population. The central tenet in this myth is that in order to grow as individuals, as a society, even as a race, we have to focus on making money. This is a lie that hides many untruths that make up our society and culture.

In order to live this myth we are spending three planets when we only have one, and using the limited resources of our little planet as if it were an infinite income. We are damaging the land, air and oceans and even wiping out the very cultures, like the Kogi, who could help to show us how to live within limits.

Parliament Must Die contains quotes from: A. Greenburg, M.D._Abraham Maslow_Albert Einstein _Alnoor Ladha_Andrew Gwynne _Anneke Lucas_Arthur Koestler _Arundhati Roy_Asgeir Jonsson _Barbara Max Paul Hubbard_Bertrand Russell _Bill Mollison _Buckminster Fuller_Calcida Jethá _Caroline Lucas_Charles the Great_Chief Arvol Looking Horse _Christopher Ryan_Copernicus_Daniel Christian Wahl_Daniel Pinchbeck_Darwin_David Edwards_David Holmgren _David Icke_Dieter Duhm_Donald Worster_Donnachadh McCarthy_Doreen Massey_Doris Lessing_Dr A Bartlett Giamatti _Dr Claire Wordley_Dr Jay Cullen_Dr Kathy Sykes _Dresden James_E C Lindeman_Eckhart Tolle_Edgar Cayce _Edward Snowden _Ethan C Roland _Ewen MacAskill_Galileo_Galtang and Ruge _George Monbiot_Gerald Heard _God in Genesis_Greta Thunberg_Gudrun Johnsen _Guido Dalla Casa _Gustave Le Bon_Guy Fawkes _Henry Cloud _Henryk Skolomowski_Isaac Cordal _J Eliot_Jack D Forbes_Jack Forbes_James Gordon M.D._James Lovelock _Jeremy Lent_Jeremy Rifkin_John Cleese _John Hammell_John Hilary_John Trudell_Jon Stone_Jonathan Bartley_Julian Assange_Karl Marx _Karlos Kukuburra_Ken Ward _Lee Williams _Leonard Higgins_Lierre Keith _Lord Strasburger_M Knowles_Maddy Harland _Marianne Williamson_Mark Boyle_Martin Kirk_Martin Winiecki_Masanobu Fukuoka _Matthieu Ricard_Mogens Herman Hansen _Nafeez Ahmed _Nanice Ellis_Neil Dawe_Nikola Tesla_Noam Chomsky_Olafur Hauksson _Osho_Paul Hawken_Paul Levy_Peter Joseph_Peter Macfadyen_Pope Francis_President Franklin Roosevelt _Rabindranath Tagore _Rene Descartes _Russell Brand_Safa Motesharrei _Seyyed Hossein Nasr_Sigmund Fraud_Silas Titus _Simon Mitchell_Sir David Attenborough_Sir Isaac Newton_Sir Joshua Stamp_Skip Sanders _Steve Kent _Sting_Terrence Mckenna_The Dalai Lama _Thomas Berry_Tom McKay_Tyler Durden_Walter Bradford Cannon_Wendell Berry_William Derham_Yaneer Bar-Yam

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