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Why Society Doesn't Exist

Crazy Ivan

Phrases like "for the good of the state" are typically associated with Communist regimes. However, similar ideas are often peddled within the confines on America. Of course, they sound much better. "To protect our freedom," "to assert our patriotism," and "for the good of the children" are a few of the frequent euphemisms. The sad thing is frequently such exhortations serve to harm the children, trample on our freedom and be anything but patriotic. The common thread here is the concept of "for the good of society," as though society were some physical entity that needs defended like the boarders of nations need fortifying. But what if I told you society doesn't exist and that all this talk is about defending some imaginary, arbitrary concept? Furthermore, what if I told you that the attempt to carry about such a such a defense was a detriment to your own freedom, your own life, your own being? Finally, what if I told you the people who believe society needs defending are the ones with(in order of increasing devastative potential) guns, nuclear weapons, and legislative powers? Scary, eh? Read on.

What exactly does society really mean? A society is a collection of individuals which is some way distinct from(a subset or a superset of) other such collections. "Society" is an identifier, a way of separating collections. It may be thought of as analogous to a method of counting. As such it does not have any intrinsic properties. One does not speak of a dozen bagels being fundamentally different from a single bagel. Similarly, group any arbitrary number of individuals together and all you have is a set of individuals. Nothing new has been created. Therefore, it is not reasonable to consider any society without considering the individuals which comprise it and it is certainly not reasonable to put the welfare of said society above its individuals. The society does not have any identity which is distinct from its elements.

Why is that the defense of society is advocated by our leaders? The short answer is power. Given the natural human tendency toward hierarchy(as I described in an essay. (HTML RTF) and the corresponding need to believe in something bigger than themselves as individauls, the call for a defense of society is the a useful path to power. Such advocation can be used to increase the personal power of leaders and pass otherwise unpopular, illegal, and despicable programs under the guise of societal defense. It can even be(has been and is being) used to justify the enforcement of one set of social values on other societies. But you might say, "Surely, you're not against the freedom America stands for?" Absolutely not, but there is a difference between defending the ideals America stands for and "defending American society." The former can never be accomplished through an abdication of those very ideals, which is exactly what our leaders claim is necessary for the latter.

The oppression of an individual can help society(the collection of individuals) if and only if that individual seeks to harm them. The right way to look at social interaction, therefore, is not to look at society protecting individuals from individuals, but to look at individuals protecting themselves and other individuals from such a individual. Society is a mirage, a weapon, a propaganda device: it does not exist. Individuals must fight for freedom, rights, principles, and ideals. To fight for society is to fight against all of these things. It is to say, "I deny my humanity in order to be part of something bigger than myself." It is not an assertion of power, but a renunciation of it. Those who fight solely for a society are not the welders, but are the welded. States, nations, kingdoms, empires, civilizations, societies all fall. Freedom sleeps. It awaits the rational minds, those with the essence of humanity at the core of their being. It awaits those with the power to say: "I am who I am and none can take that away from me. I am not merely an element of a set." That is what freedom is, that is what must be defended at all costs. Only by dropping this social pretext can we begin to realize who we are: not a Society, but a world full of individuals working not for benefit of a society, but for the benefit of each other.

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