Thursday, April 22, 2021

When Society No Longer Benefits

 One of the things any society is built on, I would propose, is the idea that belonging to the society is worth more than not belonging to the society.  In a way, a form of Rousseau's social contract, whereby individuals surrender their individuals rights to a greater whole and in return reap the benefit of that society.  

In reality of course, we all believe in this because in some fashion or form, we practice it all the time.  We join and then unjoin clubs and associations because they either fulfill or do not fulfill a need or purpose in our lives.  We sign up for services and cancel them because either the do not fill the need or they no longer provide a service that we required.

In all of this, we think nothing of it.  We do not agonize about the canceling of service ("Oh, Netflix, how can I let you go?") or even deciding to discontinue a club or activity ("It is not you, <insert name>, it is me.").   We just do this.  It no longer fills the bill, and we let it go.

So what happens when a society stops meeting the need?

This is one of those questions we are not "supposed to ask".  The assumption always has to be that society is necessary and needed - along with the corollary that government is always necessary and needed.  Without them, it is posited, the world simply cannot work.  It will slip back into the primordial chaos of The Abyss.  

But is it not a fair question to ask what is that society or government doing for me?

Yes, Yes, I know - John F. Kennedy's quote "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."  Which was fine, perhaps, once upon a time.  But times change. Societies and governments change.  And the benefits that each of us reap from them also change.

I suppose I asking a question which is fundamental to the existence of our society:  what benefit do I gain from it?  And if I reach the point of not gaining benefit from it, why do I support it?

I am sure there are those that would make the argument that I do benefit through things such as food I can be assured to eat, water I can drink, sleeping at night without fear, business laws that require honest reporting, and so on.  And you can make an argument for that - at the same time admitting that many or most of those benefits derive from the local government, not the larger one.

But if they would make that argument, then they must accept the counterargument as well:  my money is drained away on social programs the fail and debt that ever increases; my rights are steadily pushed away; my moral stature depends no longer on my own actions but how others judge my actions.

I again ask the question:  If in the benefit/debit columns of my interaction with the government and society I reach a neutral point or even a point where I no longer deriving benefit, what impact does that have on the social contract?

People participate in things because it benefits them.  When they are no longer benefited, they will drop away and drop out.  And those that somehow counted on all of that support - financial, moral, even just the sheer weight of population numbers - will be surprised when their great dreams and plans come to naught.

15 comments:

  1. Shaddup, you!!! You are an economic unit and that’s it!!! Stop being so selfish!!!!

    In the dark world of crime thinkers and heretics - you would be called a ‘normie’ - just a guy that wants to go to work, pay his bills, keep his nose clean, and earn enough to care for the family and maybe have a little left over for the finer things in life. Don’t rock the boat, work hard, and stay positive because if you play by the rules now, you will benefit later.

    And this is what they call the ‘red pill’ moment. You can see the system for what it is, you can see the people exploiting it for who they are... and other dark thoughts and doubts arise as you ponder The Matrix you are living in. Answer these questions you ask yourself.

    If you come to a nasty set of conclusions... you’ll actually be glad you took the red pill. If you remain sunny and naive and optimistic... that blue pill will cause you no end of grief in the coming days.

    We all seriously need to think about this stuff and think long and hard about what we are going to do about it. I think we have serious problems with our ruling class that can nylon end one way...

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    1. Is it the red pill moment Glen? Gee, I thought is was going to be more gothic and gloomy, with the long leather coat and cool sunglasses and everything. It seems to...anticlimatic.

      That said, this feels more and more like what is being said: "Do this. Believe that. It will all be okay. You just work hard and leave the "hard things" to us."

      The easiest way to bring a titan to its knees is to do as little as possible to maintain or support it. At some point it collapses under its own weight. The skill needed is to avoid being taken out in the fall.

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  2. Anonymous7:16 AM

    "In vain man's expectations, God brings the unthought to be."
    Julia

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    1. "The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
      but Victory belongs to the Lord." - Proverbs 21:31

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  3. I've often wished I could drop out of things from which I receive no benefit, mostly due to national mandates. But more than once, I would have regretted it later on as circumstances changed in unforeseen ways. And therein lies the catch.

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    1. It does Ed. I can also think of thinks I have opted into that cost me money and time which in retrospect I should have opted out of. So there is not necessarily a hard rule.

      One interesting application - perhaps not directly applicable to us but to those right behind us - is Social Security. We all "opt in", and yet there is always the reasonable concern (happens every year like clockwork) that it will run out of money at some point. There are those that will be definitively impact - the young, who will likely see not benefit - or on the other side the old, who risk losing the money they spent years paying into the system. One reasonable question would simply be "what if you just gave me the ability to manage that money?" Truly, in the society that we are living in and continuing to evolve into, Social Security is less of an old age pension and more of a payment for lots of different things, including old age.

      I did the math once - Given my likely lifespan, I end up with more money overall if I take it at 62 instead of waiting until I am 70. But that begs the question that if I had the money removed (participating in the system) but had the freedom to place it (instead of being dictated to) how much better could I have done?

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  4. My head hurts a bit after reading this, but I think I get your point. But if this “society” of which you speak no longer works for you, what’s the answer? Relocate to another one?

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    1. Apologies for the head hurting Bob - that is surely not the intent.

      You ask a good question, one that - if I was a better thinker perhaps - I would have a better answer to. I think the answer looks a lot like "build your own and live in that", but I need to ponder some more.

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  5. You just summarized Atlas Shrugged...

    I'm reaching the point in my life where I'll be dropping out of the workforce, taking my tax dollars with me. If the Left gets what it wants, I'll be a 100% taker, and a near-0% contributor. Honestly, our generation will be the ONLY group who will benefit from all of the "free stuff..." Everyone else will be paying for their healthcare and whatnot along with everyone else's healthcare and whatnot. And the illegals; they'll just continue to ride the gravy train in ever greater numbers.

    Sometimes all you can say is "Stop. Don't. Come back,"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9ZD3_ppcPE

    ...and let nature take its course. You won't even need to say "Toldjaso." The good little Socialists will hear your voice REVERBERATING in their ears, as they work more and more while getting less and less...

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    1. Did I, Pete? I think Rand did it with a lot more aplomb them (and much better prose).

      Funny thing - I think I am about 10 years or more behind you, but I am effectively looking at a similar situation. The likelihood my pay will increase at a rate faster than inflation is almost zero, and the reality is I only earn less from here on out, not more. If they seek to gain income based on something like a VAT, they will find I can buy very little; if they seek to gain income based on earnings, I know the number I need to survive (which is much less than I make) and given inflation, will continue to drop me in their tax brackets.

      It will be fascinating when those that are clamoring for all these things suddenly realize they are expected to pay for them somehow.

      Indeed: "Stop. Don't. Come back."

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  6. In this final period, the empire turns on itself, treating its people as the enemy. We are in the final period. The war is HOT.

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    1. Just So, you reflect a thought which I have tried to put to words but have failed to. The same powers that be that show themselves weak and faithless with enemies and those that break the law show themselves as tyrannical and overpowering to their own citizenry. Were this a person, we would call them a bully or an abuser. The same words, apparently, cannot be used of a government.

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  7. Not much I can say because I think I agree with you. It's just I need society right now to finish my home. :-\

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    1. Fair Enough, Linda. We shall try and hold back the deluge until everything is done then!

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    2. Thank you, TB. :)

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