Exploring the Social Imagination

Monday, November 30, 2015

Social Equilibrium in the Social Imagination

According to feminism the so-called “oppression” of women comes from the Patriarchy, the female conspiracy theory that says that human culture has been and continues to be dominated by men who privilege themselves at the expense of women. Feminists claim “The Patriarchy” is systemic, universal, and crucial to feminism and evolved from ancient times.  
Of course, you can find that most feminist thinkers will often talk about the shifts in gender norms throughout history. Yes, they do talk, but it is not true. What can be said as more correct is that “norms” have not changed in any period of history but roles and expectations have varied as subjected to climate changes, and especially access to male populations in a given place and time.

Women have always been female as in having consistent identity (consistent visual attributes) and consistent function as in consistently able to use their attributes to bear children, breast feed them and nurture them; in this way and at the same time, be a supportive partner as well as contributing member of the community in all societies.  

There is no domination in that. There is equilibrium attained through differences; whereby opposing attributes  and opposing function sustain and have sustained mankind. Sociologists have long observed that in all societies and all social relationship/interactions there are enabled necessary social dynamics – subordination and domination. These social dynamics represent the necessary give and take between social actors or particles (metaphorically speaking) that come fundamentally exist in a designed universe which from time to time come together as in collide to create either positive or negative outcomes but that depends on what is positive and negative.  

Which get the value? At the particle level as well as with social actors in the social arena what is positive and what is negative depend on the identity of each and their function in the designed universe. Both have necessary function because of necessary identity which is necessary in order to function in their necessary orbits and or sphere of interaction. 

Is it positive when value is taken from one thing and given to another to create a false sense of equality? Is it negative when value is given to one in order to reduce the value of another so that equality is achieved? It is the state of equilibrium through entanglement that satisfies. Where equilibrium resides is where both positive and negative have enough of what they are as particles or social actors as identifiable as to what they are and are not; yet, both also have the potential to be more than they are in their orbit thereby avoiding entropy, collapse of the system. 

Has one been ignored in the designed universe in their social interaction? Has one been less interactive, less necessary? I think not. Both have over the course of what we call time have been interactive and necessary. There is no oppression in that. There is only equilibrium!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Want to understand Modern Education???

When at university, the students encountered in the classroom were hardly able to write legibly and certainly not what any true scholarly professor could call "well read". Of course, they could argue through learned "word speak" why ideas and theories from the past are wrong and labels for the future are necessary. One might wonder how this came to be. The university "word speak" in the United States has grown out of feminized ideas of social justice. The current diversity program requires essays in gender neutrality/equality, individual rights which declare every person is what/who they say they are whatever that is and that they are normal in their own right.

The going viral video clip titled - Modern Educayshun, is a graphic portrayal of the university "word speak". It is an insightful and creative illustration of this institutionalized phenomenon. As such, all credits due are given to N. Kolhatkar (writer/director)... this is a masterpiece of social observation as it delves into the potential dangers of our increasingly reactionary culture bred by social media and political correctness.  

It cannot be stressed enough that universities today do not provide higher education through logical objective reasoning and discussion applying classical theories but rather instruct on how to walk the straight and narrow institutionalized - feminized world view of "cultural competence" driven by insidious relativism. 

You can check out "Modern Educayshun" video clip by going to youtube and typing in "Modern Educayshun" ~ Written and Directed by Neel Kolhatkar

Monday, November 16, 2015

Vagabonds Vs. Tourists in the Social Imagination

Sociologist Zygmunt Bauman wrote about two types of people in the world: vagabonds and tourists. For him, vagabonds are those who are forced (not by choice) to move from the place of their origin- birth, identity, their place on earth from which they entered and were socialized. They are forced due to economics, political or religious persecution, or plague, or other catastrophe.

You might wonder why they could leave at all even though those circumstances demand it if it is where they call home and feel the most familiar in their being. That is an important point. Abraham left his place of origin. Though he did not know if it was the right thing to do, he followed the direction he was given. In that, there was a loss of connectedness to place. He did so only by faith and in hope of a future. Many still argue about that, saying... who has the real right to live in that land where Abraham was sent. 

Yes, people move and have moved around. It is not easy nor comfortable. For the place you are born is your and will be your point of reference. Thus, the main problem that can arise is for people in such circumstances, becoming a vagabond, is the certain difficulty concerning and facing integration. Vagabonds carry with them their socio-historical and cultural baggage. They are not determined to become a 'new being' in a place but to 'be in a new place' as they 'be' who they are. Therefore, vagabonds are less likely to become like those in the place they end up, for the choice is not theirs. Most often associated with this difficulty of integration is the knowledge they cannot ever go/get back home.

Tourists on the other hand don't have this problem. They move about by choice. They choose to leave their place of origin not because they have to but because they want to. They can do this and choose to do this because they are secure in their person and circumstances (identity and finances) and the very important aspect of being able to. They  do not have the desire to integrate but to live as they are in a new place as a tourist, a visitor. Interesting is that they do not choose to integrate but they don't have to. Because, they have a strong connection to back home and know that they can get back home whenever they want to.

Bauman's view tended to be more economically burdened and or supported when he compared these two types. Some think he failed to look at the range of reasons that people make the choice to leave. Money has a role but money is not the only reason behind one's decision or ability to move by either of the two types. Some can make the choice to stay because the place where they were born is what matters most. Jonathon Kozol wrote did a study about generations of poverty stricken people living in the Bronx.  Many did not accept the idea that they had a choice and in realizing that they did could not imagine living any other way.  Those who had money even illegally gotten, remained in that place where they originated. Money does not dictate that people will move. Many who have money choose to remain in the place they originated.

Point being, people tend rather to remain in the place of their origin. Those that do make the choice to move whether forced to or not will take with them their socio-historical and cultural baggage. Immigrants to the United States did so years ago and still do today. Such baggage 'data' cannot be detached or deleted. This was noted in the research of Florian Zaniecki in his work with William Thomas that resulted in the classical sociological text "The Polish Peasant in Europe and America".

This is and should be the concern of any nation when faced with newbies. Years ago, immigrants had to melt in as much as possible because the connection to back home was either cut off or difficult to maintain. In America's past, we can read of many problems associated with newbies in terms of their full integration. That has not changed. Problems exist and remain due to modern technology which inhibit full integration. Some consider limiting immigration or taking in people fleeing their home. Wouldn't it be better that they resolve issues where they are and in that way, at some point become a tourist? At least then everyone would be making their own choices. And, that would include vagabonds as they would less likely be forced to leave.

Are there people in the world who choose to live somewhere else and choose to fully integrate? Now, that is a very good question. Is that even possible? Could one become fully Japanese if not born Japanese? Could one become fully Italian or Irish or Ethiopian? Perhaps, would like to meet one. The truly more serious consideration is to ask if vagabonds could ever fully integrate and why would they? No and neither would tourists.

Generations later of those earlier vagabonds do integrate but they are not their parents or grandparents any longer, they are different, born in their 'now' place of origin.  And, if they become tourists, they certainly won't be vagabonds. Yet, they and anyone could end up as them. Its not that tourists don't do damage either. They bring with them their socio-historical cultural baggage and corrupt the original information they find in the place they lay their hat... sojourners leave a mark. They don't contribute either to the local economy in any long time situation nor do they truly enrich themselves by being tourists unless they remain tourists for so long they forget where they came from. Is there any 'best practice' when it comes to moving about? That's probably the best question yet.

"God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands as if he needed anything because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men; that they should inhabit the whole world and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him though he is not far from each one of us" ~ Acts 17:24-27.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Freedom to Serve or not to Serve ~ Free to Choose and Be Saved!

In a free market, the social imagination works most effectively. How? It means that it has the most accessible opportunities available that would allow it to fulfill its natural desire which is to understand itself in a wider context while remaining within its own established and necessary boundaries. The social imagination works like any computer program which means that information gets written in an original version and in that has original perimeters. Hence, once a program has been written it is not easy to upgrade or update as certain functions in those upgrades may or may not be compatible with the original version. Does this mean the program should be deleted? Not unless you want to reboot without it and see what happens.

What does any of that have to do with the title of today's post - Freedom to serve or not to serve? Such a metaphor provides a background for people's decisions. All programs have a purpose and they work together in a fluid medium that is tangible and yet with intangible interfacing. Which means that there is meaning that lies behind what is tangible that is not tangible. In such an awesome 'free will' program we have the liberty to serve the creator of the program or not. We have the freedom to serve anyone or anything in the program or not to serve it. Each program that recognizes the creator understands the commands given by the creator. Don't we all know that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.

There are commands that are necessary to obey if the program wants to be saved. Yet, there is the freedom even in that, to be saved. A program can interpret the command and act upon it. Does that mean each program overrides the command through interpretation. No, it means that each program which has written on its hardware 'in its heart' understands the command completely and yet still having free will can choose to obey or not. This is something like quantum programming. The social imagination is a kind of giant quantum program. We only understand what we are as a program 'person' in a social context. We can make choices that we think are completely are own but they are socially acquired in the early processing of socialization - the writing of what can be called the original version. That is why everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. One could make the argument that programs get corrupt. Yes, you can read the Bible and in Genesis that this is what happened to an original program.

Therefore, we could suppose that every program in its wider program 'the social imagination' is now acting in a corrupt version.  And, still in that corruption we could suppose the freedom to serve exists. Does that supposition change the freedom to serve? Perhaps, one could make the argument that the commands are corrupt or our interpreting them. Even in that case, the creator of the program can send in an upgrade which draws to itself what can be saved. In that programming sense, the original program can be rebooted. Assuming an upgrade or patch did enter in and draw the program back to the creator, we can certainly argue that the freedom to serve has not change. This applies to the wider program, 'the social imagination', in which all smaller operations 'programs' dwell. If the upgrade 'patch' was/is accepted, the freedom to serve remains and also that means the freedom to not serve remains.

What can be and is problematic for the wider program is when the smaller operations 'programs' doubt that  the 'patch' upgrade has entered in which can result in operations 'all individual programs' which compose the wider program to come into conflict with one another. Was this expected by the creator and the upgrade - patch? As we are drawn to the creator, (for corrupt programs would not seek the creator) the freedom to chose and serve is ours. That means in our social imagination we can choose to serve or not to. In embracing the creator, we no longer dwell in corruption nor seek it; but seek to be saved in our social imagination through continual relationship with 'Creator' and through His Word given to us by Him. In serving Him, we serve each other as well . Embracing that service, we cannot serve ourselves;especially serve the flesh. Because, the Creator who is not flesh but Spirit to be served by the spirit 'freely' in us.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Generation to Generation ~ What is Change and is There any real Change?

Some people think that the social imagination is some endless and creative collective entity. It is and it isn't. Of course, we see vast amounts of technology in our life changing the way we live but does it really? Maybe it has and maybe it has not. After all, people are basically the same today as they were yesterday. In appears that in every generation and every society, young people have built into their unbridled imagination the idea that they are the 'new' people, the group that would change the world. No one before them could have ever imagined what they do. Yet, in order that they imagine anything at all, they have to stand on the shoulders of those who have imagined before they were even born.

Cornelius Castoridas wrote about social change. He said that people in their social reality, are always the same as they were yesterday, today and will be tomorrow. It just looks different but it is only an illusion, a shift in perception or just a rearrangement of what was imagined before. To be sure, in our social reality, we can never imagine anything that we have never yet seen or experienced in some way. Aliens in movies have elements of what we have experienced, humans and animals, insects... If a true alien appeared, it would have to use those things here so that it could be seen by us.

If life were a computer program, certain elements as constants would have to exist so that we don't have to re-imagine them every morning when we wake up. The sun is a star, it rises in the east and sets in the west. Solomon wrote that there is nothing new under the sun. Was Solomon contemplating an eternal truth? Perhaps, he was. We can read historical accounts of generations in which change is not a 'good' thing and other accounts in which change is constantly present. But, again is there really anything new under the sun. Is there anything even in change that never happened before or ever changed as we think it did. Just because Henry the VIII had six wives and became the head of the Church in England does not mean that such change or social unrest never happened before. In the Bible, we can read that King David as his son Solomon had many wives and both were effectively the 'head' of the 'church' in their times, both thought that they could control social reality and change it for their benefit. Did Solomon finally realize that he could not? There is nothing new under the sun ~ Ecclesiastes 1:9

     "What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place, the streams come from, there they return. .. there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say "Look! This is something new?"~ Ecclesiastes 1:3-10. 

Some argue that it is preservation of the past, of tradition, of customs, and beliefs which are not really necessary. they argue that hanging onto the past inhibits change. Hillary Clinton made such a statement. She told attendees at the sixth annual Women in The World Summit that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed." She made this statement in regards to women's health care but it actually implies much more than just a concern for health care. Keep in mind, Clinton was not just speaking to Americans, this statement was made at a world summit. With that in mind, one should question if Clinton can speak for everyone's social imagination. Her's is western and should be regarded as different.

Of course, from a birds eye view of people, there is nothing new under the sun in terms of what we can imagine for our well being. People everywhere do this. We cannot imagine living any other way, seeking peaceful living and happiness in the place where we are. And, in saying that, there is nothing new under the sun. Yet, sociologists recognize that the social imagination of western civilization is different from other civilizations. In fact, what we in the west think of as change is foreign to other cultures. Western civilization is recognized for its change - the new world with new ideas about individual liberty/choice. But, where was that actually birthed? Yes, that is the question. Perhaps the question should be why does the west think that change is good? And, in asking that, we would still have to ask is it really change or re-arrangement? After all, isn't that is what Hillary Clinton is asking for... re-arrangement? But whose?

It was mentioned that young people everywhere have this notion of being new. Is it that young people have a different social imagination? Perhaps, one could then argue that that is why they are reined into the conforms of the established social imagination for preservation of it. Interesting is that no one asks, if those conforms are actually good and that changing them would be bad. The Constitution is not a lengthy document yet it stands for all generations. That is likely because there is a common social imagination among all people including all young people which is largely in respect of their living conditions and their ability to work it out for themselves. In saying that, one recognizes the thread of western civilization with its Judeo-Christian social foundation. Young people do not always want to turn the world upside down. They just want to experience life, to live in a socially imagined world of their own yet one which has its rules that allow them to do that, as in social perimeters/ boundaries that provide a sense of security and a sense of belonging.

In this instance, you might think that change is good, isn't that what new generations want a socially imagined world that is their own with its rules that allow them to exist in some sense of security and belonging. The problem is that they also live side by side with others who are no longer young people who live with their socially imagined world, the one they created when they were young. Isn't that what Clinton is seeking to do, bring her socially imagined world to everyone else. Maybe some will consider hers theirs. Maybe some will not and then what? We have to ask then whose change, whose socially imagined 'changed' world is really being offered to young people in light that all people yesterday, today and tomorrow are looking for stability in their own socially imagined world with necessary sameness that they think belongs to their newness.

In that sense, there really can't be anything new under the sun and nor does there have to be given the aim - necessary sameness that belongs to newness.