Social Control

Society is like a machine. It has numerous systems within systems and a cycle of its own, but like a machine it has a problem when it is tampered with unduly. Things move slowly in society, generally in line with what is acceptable at the time for the most people.

With machines, old hands know when to step in and make small changes to keep it in order, but novices see the machine going out of specification and decide things are going wrong, or they are not happy with how fast they are progressing so make major quick changes that they see as a move to rectify this. Each major change make the fluctations larger and result in the operator making bigger changes to compensate for this. The gradual change towards what is better is lost and the system varies tremendously going from one extreme to the other and in the end nobody is satisfied with the result. So it is with allowing a minority to make major changes in society. There is a distinct advantage for the minority, but the whole loses out, in the end a large enough group declaring they have had enough of what is happening and ending in revolution. Basically, people are loath to change, and allow things to happen if they are comfortable, but if you make enough people unhappy with their situation they will be prone to take drastic steps.

A number of societies are now putting in place strict public controls using modern technology to enforce this. The idea and image is enforcing stability, but behind the scenes people are working up clever ways to get around the controls or how to pervert those controls for their own ends. With so many conflicting ideas of what is correct you will always get a wide variation in solutions to problems, restricting those giving rise to moves to destroy the system completely in an all or nothing choice. And people quite often choose the nothing option and anarchy over all.

The whole question is based on ‘why society?’ Society is a social contract. You get advantages of society and to do so you obey societies rules. But people get together and co-operate if it is in their best interests. It is not a self given truth that you must have society and that co-operation is automatically the right thing to do, especially if there is no return on the contract. An unfair contract is an unfair contract, so to stick to any of its terms when you are obviously disadvantaged by them doesn’t make sense. The view that you must live in society is for societies benefit, but if that society produces no benefit for yourself, where is the advantage? You then follow the rules for societies benefit only, not your own.

This is the social contract, where society has to give at least a certain amount back to each member, but if society is prepared to neglect the obligations of its contract then it must suffer the consequences of this. You can punish a member for not sticking to its rules, but if that member gains no advantage then there is no moral imperitive to do so, only the one sided version of those morals of people who do have an advantage.

It all boils down to ‘make enough people unhappy and things will happen.’