There is a reciprocal action between ourselves and our social environment. We make society what it is and then society makes people what they are, and it becomes a kind of vicious cycle. Therefore, to transform society, people must be changed, and to transform people, society must be changed.
Therefore, we must take advantage of all the means, all the possibilities and the opportunities that the present environment allows us to raise the critical consciousness of others so that they will see how they are caught up in that vicious cycle, free themselves, and aid the liberation of others. We have the power to break this vicious cycle and transform society, we just don’t use it.
There are three non-negotiable realities we must live and demand in order to transform society. The first is liberty. Rousseau wrote, “All men are born free, but everywhere they are in chains.” If our original and true Self is one with God – free, complete, and whole – does it make sense to put the human mind, body, and personhood we were given under the control and domination of others or any system? The present reality of the kingdom of God is that freedom and wholeness, which we are to be living, expressing, and manifesting in our human reality!
Liberty is essential for the full flowering of human intelligence, creativity, and dignity. To be dominated by another is to be denied the chance to think and act for oneself, which is the only way to grow and develop one’s individuality, and experience the full potential of one’s human personhood. Domination also stifles innovation and personal responsibility, leading to conformity and mediocrity. The society that maximizes the growth of individuality will necessarily be based on voluntary association, not coercion and authority.
If liberty is essential for the fullest development of individuality, then equality is essential for genuine liberty to exist. There can be no real freedom in a class-stratified, hierarchical society riddled with gross inequalities of power, wealth, and privilege. For in such a society only a few — those at the top of the hierarchy — are relatively free, while the rest are semi-slaves. Without equality, liberty becomes a mockery — at best the “freedom” to choose one’s master (boss).
Solidarity is the third non-negotiable. Solidarity means mutual aid: working voluntarily and co-operatively with others who share the same goals and interests. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “All mankind is tied together; all life is interrelated, and we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be – this is the interrelated structure of reality.”
But without liberty and equality, society becomes a pyramid of competing classes based on the domination of the lower by the higher strata. In such a society, as we know from our own, it’s “dominate or be dominated,” “dog eat dog,” and “everyone for themselves.”
Hmm… where to start? Lately I’ve been advocating for people to start thinking for themselves. Yesterday I write two posts to consider as a practical starting point: 15 ways to start a revolution, and You own somebody. You!
I began waking up in 2005. It first involved freeing myself from the control and domination of religion, and the last few years I have been writing about my journey. This is where the journey starts for many of us. Until you unshackle yourself from your religious pathologies, there is no possibility for embracing and living the liberty, equality, and solidarity I speak of above.