Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Individual freedom versus collective oppression as the determinative conflict in a hierarchical society
By Denis G. Rancourt
[This is the opening chapter which sets the interpretive framework for Rancourt's tentative new book about the big lies that determine individual self-image in our First World dominance hierarchies (draft freshly completed, working title: "All Lies").]
There is no denying the first reality about humans. We are social beings, first and foremost regarding the forces that determine our lives. Our societies are hierarchical and, when not constrained by geography or balancing natural forces, spontaneously grow in size towards more hierarchy and fascism.
A recent antidote against the runaway excesses of Western monarchical and religious hierarchies has been the development of an ethos of individual freedom, spawned in the Enlightenment and anchored in mid-layer economic independence from the top hierarchical predators.
Enlightenment teachings were immediately integrated within the state apparatus of dominant powers; most notably in Prussia which also developed a first and most effective public education indoctrination system, on which all public education systems were quickly modeled.
These are manifestations of the first law of modern Western sustained hierarchies: The system strives to optimize an effective use of potent individual motivation while simultaneously striving for growth in size and more hierarchical control.
The anarchic thrust of self is society’s primal motive force and hierarchical society is the main attenuator and destructor of self. Such is the defining internal battleground of the modern hierarchy-on-steroids, otherwise known as the “free and democratic society”.
Society offers the individual an identity within its structure, an identity that cannot be refused. The only alternatives are escape to a competing hierarchical society or physical death.
The most advanced modern systems of control that realistically vie for global dominance minimize internal threats by offering – to a chosen needed replicating sector (the middle and working classes) – an energetically sustained and constantly evolving illusion of individual “freedom”, within an accompanying illusion of “reasonable” bounds on freedom. All others are expendable and are eliminated. The hierarchy has strong motive to eliminate all who do not readily accept the imposed personal identity; rather than maintain or attempt to integrate such threatening and ideologically-polluted sectors (aboriginals, economic apartheid survivors, etc.).
The illusion must minimally include regular occasions for release, at-least-moderately positive self-image within the hierarchy, and biological reproduction or an acceptable substitute. Compliance is also professionally managed using psychopharmacology (establishment medicine, etc.), and is constantly maintained by the mental environment and indoctrination industries (media, education, etc.). The system adds a widespread illusion of potential for personal advancement and meaning and rewards for particularly dedicated service (managing others).
That is society as it would be obvious to any outside observer, as obvious as when we observe a bee hive, an ant hill, a bird colony, or a pack of mammals. And this, therefore, is my interpretive framework for providing critiques of the specialized and most often professionalized areas of science, medicine, economics, law, and politics in the broad sense.
Denis G. Rancourt is a former tenured and full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He practiced several areas of science (including physics and environmental science) which were funded by a national agency and ran an internationally recognized laboratory. He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals and several social commentary essays. He developed popular activism courses and was an outspoken critic of the university administration and a defender of student and Palestinian rights. He was fired for his dissidence in 2009. His dismissal case is in court hearings that will extend into 2012.
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Rancourt, instead of turning left to go to your neighbour's house, you're turning right and traversing the globe in order to arrive at the same destination. Be careful of crossing the ocean as you might drown.
To put it simply: "Individual freedom" is, by it's very nature and intrinsic meaning, subjective. Each individual decides what constitutes his/her freedom. If that freedom is threatened, then is that individual prepared to fight to regain his/her freedom? If not, then his/her inaction CONTRIBUTES TO / CREATES collective oppression. The collective, then, restricts the individual from acting freely and to fight to regain their freedom once he/she resolves to fight, because the individual, identified as a member of the collective, threatens the safe-haven sought by the rest of the members of the collective, and as a result the collective become hostile to the individual seeking freedom.
Through death at the hands of the hierarchy one's freedom can be immediately realized and achieved in an instant - if death is the only means. However, if one can live as he/she wants in the presence of the hierarchy, then one has achieved freedom and gives hope to others wishing to do the same. If one has no need to break a "law" that is enforced by the hierarchy, then that "law" doesn't exist for the free person. The individual free person sees that "law" as non-existent, neither positive nor negative, as it is of no consequence. However, that "law" has life within the collective. The collective gives it life. And so, it is from the collective that the person desiring real, true, and subjective freedom is dead while living. The collective remain in the collective as long as they see ghosts and hierarchy uses those ghosts to keep people in the collective. But the free person, no longer seeing ghosts, is beyond the reaches of hierarchy. Should they die, they die free, even if they were to break a "law". The breaking of a "law" is the realization of freedom.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
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