Is social independence equal to social progress?

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The Voice of Time
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Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by The Voice of Time » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:49 pm

I have been pondering for some time about the zeitgeist of this hypermodern society (note: things might differ from your own countries) and the emergence, or should I say prevailing, of new forms of social life that continue to show new faces, but with at least one very interesting feature to it: while the importance of each individual to any other individual has seemingly decreased overall, with the substitutionableness of individuals and the pluralization of choices (I dunno but this might be much more prevalent in massively inhabited places in the world) the importance of each individual as for their humanity however has increased, with the emergence of strong international, national, regional and local institutions that provides help and services for their citizens and other people alike, combating suffering and raising ableness and individual empowerment.

In a way we live in an age of the individual, but this same individualization has created a counter-ego-centric sphere where the ego through the cultivation of emotional exposure has included in itself people who seemingly have no direct materialistic dependency relationship to the emotionally exposed individual, in so forming emotional ties between "symbols of humanity", that is, symbols that refer to a sense of humanity, humanness, to other people and their being in the world, and those other individuals themselves. Symbols of humanity can be emotional ties to groups of other people, sympathy with people suffering any specific form of pain (hunger, censorship, autocracy), or even hatred of things you have never seen or been near. These things are not new, what's new is the extent to which these things are decided upon by the individuals themselves and are not indoctrinated by some authority, like church, state, parents, or school-teachers. Individuals embracing the vastness of other individuals into their psychosocial life and even their economic sphere of life (international charity, financial aid, tax-money or aid foundations or corporations taking on projects and the likes abroad).

From this I want to question a possible tendency for social independence, the lightening of the relations we have (from heavy and socially immobile ones) and the expansion of options and opportunities in relations, to also lead to a form of social progress. I have some biased belief in this tendency, which I've been working on for some while to sort out, but here I want to put forward the question if whether or not it is simply not also a condition underlying social progress, to uproot our relations and exploit our social resources from more diverse and abundant sources and from more diverse and abundant forms, to acquire a psychosocial and emotional security for the individual. As a counter-argument there seems also to be a lot of messy transitions, how far these extend and whether they are not just unhealthy anomalies remains a question I cannot answer, but anti-social behaviour in the form of trivialization of other people seems a particular problem that plagues bad school environments and but also extends into grown up life for some people with the willingness to not care about other people but treat them as unimportant in an equation, as trivial, and their emotional and psychological life as uninteresting. Much could be said that things weren't better before, but this form of behaviour remains a constant threat under a society that doesn't bind people in sufficiently strong bonds (bonds strong enough to be exploited for repression of disrespect for instance), and while I suspect it is strongly, at least in my society, on a reverse course to diminish and slowly vane, it remains a strong hindrance to progress, and in the most extreme cases perverts progress, like else harmless technology perverted into destructive weapons.

Another counter-argument to social independence leading to social progress is that the more lightweight relations become the less meaningful they become. Well my argument back towards this is that meaningfulness is not necessarily a positive trait, and if ones relations aren't meaningful to one then that's a fact and not a loss. Given true abundance and access of options and choice, the ways in which you will make meaning out of forming and maintaining relations will depend upon the state of your needs (the needs of the other individual should be part of your own needs if you have developed a sense of other people's state of needs, and so doesn't stand to contradiction).

As the lightening of relations develops further, one will also see that people are able to exploit (read: use with care) each other much more deeply and be willing to invest more in other people because the fear of loosing will be less. In other words, the more ensured our psychosocial and emotional and even economic life is from dangerous turns, the more we will invest in developing those psychosocial and emotional aspects of life so as to attain maximum benefit per unit of danger we allow ourselves. Naïvety flourishes in safe societies, and it reaps a nourishing fruit, to be metaphorical.

Any objections, comments, disagreements?
Last edited by The Voice of Time on Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by Skip » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:44 pm

As promised, i'm answering. But i'm not reading that whole screed! It's just plain too much work.
Structure, simplify, summarize.
substitutionableness
???

What are the basic dependent social relationships of human history?
I make them: child on parent, individual on family/clan; family on community; leader on followers.
So, if you're sating that large, anonymous social organization replaces the family structure, it's partly true.
That help through social agencies liberates the individual from personal obligation to his helper is also true.
Does this mean we have a greater range of individual potential?
That depends on the efficacy and availability of social services.
Does it mean that society becomes atomized and alienated?
Yes, insofar as it also undermines the cohesion of family and community structure.
Does individual identity become stronger or weaker?
Again, it depends on the values of the culture.

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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by The Voice of Time » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:08 pm

substitutionableness is a self-descriptive word so I'm assuming its not the meaning you are questioning... you want to suggest a more standard way of conveying the same meaning as my (maybe neologistic) word does?
Skip wrote:So, if you're stating that large, anonymous social organization replaces the family structure, it's partly true.
That help through social agencies liberates the individual from personal obligation to his helper is also true.
Before anyone assumes I'm not stating that "affection" vanishes when I talk about the proliferation of options and opportunities, rather that the magnifying (lack of options reduces time spent with other people than a primary group like family or friend circle) and coercive forms (adult interest in children, like a father who wants his daughter to learn an instrument or mother who wants her son to play sports or teacher who wants the child to do lots of homework, enforces the child to turn their attention towards adults instead of themselves and those they like) of affection, magnifying and enforcing of affection, that is reduced, following softening policy making and egalitarian public service accessibility and technology development (capitalizing on the politics and zeitgeist).
Skip wrote:Does this mean we have a greater range of individual potential?
That depends on the efficacy and availability of social services.
In Norway they are both quite extensive, as with all the other Nordic countries. Social mobility is quite high. Although efficiency is a matter of debate, it's like complaining about a line in a McDonalds restaurant. Even if it's long, it basically gets you what you want in a decent enough time, but you could always want it more efficient.
Skip wrote:Does it mean that society becomes atomized and alienated?
Yes, insofar as it also undermines the cohesion of family and community structure.
Well not sure if I like the term "alienation", it's a bit old-fashioned for my taste. It's like saying that because I stop listening to a specific type of music an loose interest in it I become "alienated" from it, when basically, I've just acquired the taste for something else, and alienation seems inappropriately value-laden when it's not such a big deal overall.
Skip wrote:Does individual identity become stronger or weaker?
Again, it depends on the values of the culture.
I'm not sure identity matters in that way to prove my point. Individuals can be extremely nationalist and still be extremely socially independent. However, their identity will not be very independent but tightly dependent on the state and day-to-days of the nation. Same could go for other things. I don't think there is any necessary dependencies between social independence and identity independence. I don't think culture has too much to say, btw, as it'll always be an individuals preferences that really stands out in a shaping of identity, although lack of options and opportunities will narrow the outcomes of identities within, especially small and confined, societies.

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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by Skip » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:28 am

In that case, i haven't grasped what you're after.

(PS Efficacy and efficiency are different words, not a typo. "sating" was a mistake, which i noticed but could not correct, as the site went dark just then.)

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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by The Voice of Time » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:15 pm

The Voice of Time wrote:From this I want to question a possible tendencation for social independence, the lightening of the relations we have (from heavy and socially immobile ones) and the expansion of options and opportunities in relations, to also lead to a form of social progress. I have some biased belief in this tendency, which I've been working on for some while to sort out, but here I want to put forward the question if whether or not it is simply not also a condition underlying social progress, to uproot our relations and exploit our social resources from more diverse and abundant sources and from more diverse and abundant forms, to acquire a psychosocial and emotional security for the individual.
This is basically what the text is about.

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The Voice of Time
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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by The Voice of Time » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:16 pm

Seems like I've lot to learn about English subtleness ;)

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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by Skip » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:53 am

Subtlety.
tendencation

If this is what it's about, what's it about? I.e. WTF does tendencation mean?

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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by The Voice of Time » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:15 am

well don't know where I get it from... seems I duplicated the word "tendency", and created it from "tendence" which I've wrongly thought of as a verb (because sometimes it's used in a verb-ish manner, like "this tendence towards x", which has similarities with sentences like "this talking about x"), and did with it what people do when they take "relax" and makes "relaxation".

Found this notice in the dictionary though:
(This definition is from the 1913 Webster's Dictionary and may be outdated.)
and a further telling that "tendence" is an obsolete spelling of "tendency". Maybe I've been reading too many old books xD

I can't minimize the text any further, it's already abstracted. If you don't understand the rest of it, I'm not sure I can help you, unless you have any specific problems. It would help if you didn't say "WTF" and just said you didn't understand because "WTF" sound like you're angry or shouting.

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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by Skip » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:51 am

Sorry, didn't mean to shout; that should have been "wtf". Indeed, i do not understand, and you cannot help me.

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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by HexHammer » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:39 pm

zeitgeist = demagogery = circular logic = bad!

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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by The Voice of Time » Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:38 pm

HexHammer wrote:zeitgeist = demagogery = circular logic = bad!
You wish to contextualize that?

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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by HexHammer » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:08 pm

The Voice of Time wrote:
HexHammer wrote:zeitgeist = demagogery = circular logic = bad!
You wish to contextualize that?
I think it's better that you like to your source material, so we can have a more focused discussion.

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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by Skip » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:32 pm

Voice of Time -
This is just a suggestion: Suppose you tried starting a topic with smaller words and simpler concepts, and built up, once the basic concept had been grasped by your readers. The problems of vocabulary are discouraging.

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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by The Voice of Time » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:51 pm

Skip wrote:Voice of Time -
This is just a suggestion: Suppose you tried starting a topic with smaller words and simpler concepts, and built up, once the basic concept had been grasped by your readers. The problems of vocabulary are discouraging.
I do that too x) But sometimes when I'm on a thought-train it's difficult to stop, too much momentum, but I try to keep things as intelligible as possible.

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Re: Is social independence equal to social progress?

Post by HexHammer » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:55 pm

Yearh this thought train seems to run so fast that it passes the station of serious discussion, I'm still here waiting.

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