The Lemming Complex

It may seem very Mathusian, but creatures on this planet don’t like crowding. This applies to humans as well as other animals. Distrust, competition and stress is observed in any set of creatures that are too closely housed. Most want to have a sense of freedom and roam, but confining them is imposed as a known punishment in human society. People like the society of other people, but at a distance, personal space being important for everyone. When that space is not allowed by fanancial or social reasons major problems and upset appear automatically. Application of extra rstrictions to try to solve this generate even more upheavals until groups have passed a threshold and had enough, evolving into extra violence that means everybody loses out. To not allow people this freedom of action guarantees the system brakes down, being pushed too far.

So, even a considered mild and peaceful society can erupt into chaos if it neglects the needs of its lower members. The consideration is ‘there must be, or anything, is better than this.’

But this plays on the construction of the individual, each having a toleration of closeness. The reason why lemmings are mentioned, is when closeness or numbers of lemmings becomes too much they have strong biological imperative that is quite noticeable. They become very aggressive and set out en masse to new grounds and areas.

Humans seem to have this imperative to a lesser extent, but it is still there. A lot of the migrations to the new world in some ways echoing the behaviour of lemmings.

But what if humans can’t escape and there are no new worlds? It may be that this is the situation in our modern world, people being aware of the problems but knowing no way out and avenues of escape removed.

Mentally, people in society are connected in a common way, but anxiety, entrapment and panic seem to be becoming a part of modern life, even though day to day life threatening problems are less, but systemic problems are more. People are becoming more prone to social problems than ever, hiding away from life where they can and trying to mostly opt out of society, too much being behind closed doors and hidden.

This begs to ask the question ‘is our modern lifestyle and constant checking against societies standards mentally unhealthy and ultimately destructive.’

Also, will we reach a threshold of uncontrolled panic?