Society is a social construct. Perhaps I should say, civilization is a social construct, but that’s not quite as accurate. It’s more like, civilized behavior is a social construct. For the nihilists among us, society is just a mutually agreed upon delusion.
Sez who? Carl Jung and several dystopian sci/fi writers throughout the years. Also perhaps, observable human behavior and world history.
Society is a very thin veneer and it is based on a certain amount of collectivism. We must have some shared values and mutual cooperation going on. We also need a vision. The Bible says, “without a vision the people perish.” We have to imagine, to envision, what we want society to look like. Then we invest ourselves in that vision. The Bible also says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
We build “society” without any seen evidence and we give it substance with our words, thoughts, and actions.
Allow me to shift over to Miss Manners, or Miss Grundy if you prefer. Regardless, indulge me my schoolmarm avatar. Our good manners and kind words towards one another literally build civilization. We speak society into existence. Remember, society is a social construct. We are constantly in the process of constructing it through our words and actions.
For those of you who think you are insignificant, every “please” and “thank you,” every act of civilized behavior, every act of mercy, is like making a deposit in our vision. Investing in cultural building bonds and mutual funds. Laying bricks down on the societal foundation, the literal fabric of our society. We are building a world.
Entropy is the default. Chaos is the default. Conflict and uncivilized behavior is the default. Violence is the default. We don’t have to create, innovate, or build any of those things. They are just what happens when we forget that society is a social construct and we stop trying to socially construct it.
So, yes, if you forget to wipe your feet and say “thank you,” the whole world WILL collapse. Just kidding. Actually no, but if we all collectively start allowing lies to become an acceptable way of relating to one another, start rewarding insanity, and calling evil “good” and good “evil, ” we will literally start coming apart at the societal seams.
When the seams come apart it is not just pieces that come apart, but the whole structure that crumbles. When we pull out foundations and cornerstones, the building begins to list like the leaning tower of Pisa. Pull out too many of them and the whole thing collapses. All of it! Not just the one room you dislike, the whole building.
I’ll be in my blanket fort counting cans of spam and praying y’all wake up to this truth real soon.