Thursday, July 19, 2012

Economic Theory for July, 2012

Even if it is the case that the world is full of corruption and violence, nevertheless it is the case that there is somewhere on some level society. There has to be something that we may legitimately call the "society.” I had to put that in quotes there. Why? I think that this is because such language has been purged. Our culture has rejected discussion of society in favor of the promotion at all costs of individualism. The word “individualism” is in fact rather vague. Now individualism is a good thing, I am not against it. But if “individualist” or “individualism” is fine and dandy, that in no way implies that there is no society; the two exist together, we have just arbitrarily decided against using one of them. In becoming a writer, I at first tried to comply with this dictate; a member of a language group, or a culture, does not have that kind of freedom of choice. You do not get a second choice about which language you are going to use. So, in order to be agood member of my language group, I tried a number of constructions. For example, I tried “population unit.” I liked "culture entity," too. Somehow in the end none of it worked. I just violated my society and thus I returned to “society,” which I now use, and you get that in all my work, a term that cannot by me be avoided. I directly use a word not usually used in practical English language. I am just so radical.
     And the society does exist. Everyone knows that. We are not saying it does not exist, but we aren't supposed to talk about it. In US/America, we do not like to say so. Maybe you don't even notice what you are doing, but you are doing it. "Society" is for ivory tower scholars, and vernacular, but not practical, meaningful use. That the culture wants to leave this unspoken is an everyday fact. What I have to add here, something I would like to say, is that this repression of “society” — as a word — as one part of US/America — is one reason for our national success. Yea, society. Yea, denial-of-society.
     Denial of “society” — the word, the concept, the thing, or whatever (they are all so similar), comes under my discussion of “ideology,” which term I use more or less like Althusser, or Chomsky. And I think it blends into “culture,” I think it includes even cultural components like streets signs, and advertising, and, even, architecture. Ideologically, Americans rejected the notion of “society.” This then helped capitalism to flourish. 
     And yes, capitalism is social. The idea was that we wouldn't talk about it. There is therefore the existence of such a thing as the denial of a society as something that we should ever talk about. As soon as we did that, capitalism flourished. It flourished precisely because it is social. It is OK to be social, necessary in fact. It is just not OK to talk about it. Amazing America.

At some point in time, then, in the interest of simple honesty, shouldn't we start talking about it? It would appear that someone (David B.?) could attempt to bring to light the truth that society exists. Perhaps at some point it will be possible to wrap up this whole business up, to clear the decks. In any case, it is probably important to start the discussion neither too early, nor too late. I cannot know for sure if I am doing this at the right time. I think I am late, though. But this is the time that it is most convenient for me to begin the process of the attempt to introduce the concept.

We live in a society, but we have agreed not to talk about that. That's the pact of America, a part of the recipe that creates America again every day.
     So let's start talking about society. Unless America can allow a little tolerance of persons who have the feeling of human sociality, I do not think we can go forward.
     We will be no better in the end, than the Taliban or the Nazis.

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