Descent into Chaos

This essay relies and builds upon the metaphysical world view discussed elsewhere and it is closely related to the essays:

Systemic Health,
The First Cambrian Explosion or the Global Cellular Meta-System Transition,
The Second Cambrian Explosion or the Global Human Meta-System Transition,
Global Awakening the future of consciousness,
Analysis of Regimes and Resistance A Consultation with the Great Sage (I Ching),
Approaches to the Problem of Civilisation,
Comments on my Experiences Regarding Authoritarianism


The following story was inspired by this Taoist quote and comment, in the context of systemic health and the mechanistic feedback loop of degeneration.

It reminded me so strongly of much of the modern history of politics, both on a domestic level within nations and on a global level between nations that I felt compelled to explore it deeper. Hence, here I relate a short story that illustrates a communal situation in which I elaborate on some of the dynamics. This isn't meant to be an accurate portrayal of actual events, its just food for thought.



There prevailed a state of natural effortlessness, with organic communities or informal structures that dwelt in overall simplistic harmony, it wasn't a paradise but things generally worked out and nothing was forced; things tended to self-organise and evolve naturally. But over time a few random frightening events happened but it was mostly just the case that fear accumulated in some peoples minds. Furthermore, some people built up their own wealth and flaunted it about to boost their egos and make themselves believe they were special. But they feared that others might become jealous and try to take it from them. They needed some way to ensure the virtue of others so that they could continue to accumulate their wealth without becoming targets for thieves. They needed to get organised amongst themselves, after all, in their own minds, they were obviously the cream of society and all those people out there are just lazy and slovenly, they could do with a bit of organisation and discipline too, they thought to themselves.

Thus the natural effortlessness was lost and through the organisation of these wealthy people there arose a formal structure. In order to gain the acceptance of the people the formal structure is set up as a benevolent umbrella structure to take care of the society as a whole and it is invested with a feeling of benevolence as its underlying guiding principle, and thus the people acquiesce and a nation is born whilst many rejoice and a few solitary ones are sceptical. A formal structure is put in place and it comes to collectively think to itself “I'm in control” and it sets about implementing more efficient mechanisms of control so that within the context of its mechanistic delusion it can better ensure the peace and security of the people. Thus it restructures the informal structure that was previously relatively peaceful and cohesive but that it sees as random and haphazard. The formal structure finds it hard to believe that the people did without its vital services and security measures for so long, they were lucky to survive without the formal structure, it thinks to itself.

Thus the formal structure sets up its benevolent infrastructure that mechanises the society. For example, instead of communal means of resolving disputes a blanket system of laws is imposed and police and judges are dispersed, or instead of communal communications via word of mouth a new high tech communications system is installed and so on. These are to standardise the society and provide better and more reliable justice and communications services thereby better ensuring order and cohesion. These are generally all very well meaning but they impose a mechanistic overlay that starts to fragment the organic communities and the informal structure becomes bound within this hard casing of formal structures. The organic cohesion subtly breaks down and things are reorganised along formal and mechanised lines. Much of the natural cohesion is lost and people are forced to rely on the formal structures; for example, there is no longer any sense of community and belonging so violence and vandalism is on the rise, so more laws, threatening signs, police and finally cameras are brought into the towns to keep the peace.

Gradually the underlying feeling of benevolence is forgotten, the formal structure has been in place for some time, and it becomes routine. No longer is there any zeal in the formal structure to provide and care for the people, but there is still a strong bond with the upper demographics that organised the formal structure to begin with. In all it is just doing its job and cranking the handle of the societal machine that it has put in place. It follows the rules of propriety with great rectitude but it doesn't fulfil its function selflessly. It thinks to itself, I'm doing all these things for the people so why shouldn't I get some benefit from this too; and it does, it engages in all kinds of side agendas, so that it can benefit enormously from its position of power and indispensability within the society.

Over time the original reasons for all these formal structures are forgotten, the rules of propriety become mere rites that must be enacted and so long as the formal structure is seen to be conforming to the rules that is enough. So rectitude is abandoned and whenever the people aren't looking the rules can easily be bent, indeed the formal structure is in control of the law and as far as the formal structure is concerned the law is above any rules of propriety; the law is what defines what is right and wrong. So the formal structure can begin to seriously seek its own benefit and it can adjust the laws to suit itself. So long as it stays within its own laws the people have no means of preventing the formal structure from doing what it pleases.

As the formal structure gets a taste for freedom it wants more. All these services for the people become a liability, it doesn't want to have to operate a society; all that informal structure stuff is so grubby and antiquated, why must the people be so dependent upon me? It thinks to itself; but the reason why the people were forced to become dependent on it is because it destroyed their natural cohesion and it also initially sought their dependence and encouraged it to increase its power and its effectiveness in providing its benevolent services. But it has forgotten that and it thinks, if only I could fully mechanise and automate the whole process, maybe by selling it all off to private companies, they seem keen to get their hands dirty, so then it can all happen just like clock work and I can just collect the taxes, which are my rightful due. Then I can go about pursuing my desires, which are far more interesting and important than just looking after a bunch of people, they are here to serve as my body, I'm not here to serve as some wet nurse for them, it thinks to itself.

So it sells off the services and as much as it can it tries to wash its hands of the people, but it keeps only those bits that it needs in order to harness the people as its body. It has over time discovered that the rites are an effective means of control, it just has to keep up a front, keep up a stream of propaganda and lies and these people seem to fall for it every time. Some of them get a bit angsty but they're easily put back in place, especially with all this wonderful new technology, new ways of suppressing them or coercing them or deceiving them or bribing them or scaring them and so on. It's all so easy I can even automate this and just derive a formula and a dedicated and deluded bunch of cronies to manage it all. Then I'll have full control over my body, it thinks to itself.

But not all the people are as naïve and shallow and blind as it thinks they are. After repeated abuse, deceit, neglect and a continuing and escalating state of social fragmentation some people begin to seriously question things. At this point some of the rites stop working with these people, the formal structure performs all the right actions and makes the right incantations but these people just don't respond how they're supposed to. They're obviously recalcitrants or subversives but definitely some kind of criminal, I don't like them, who do they think they are? They must be some kind of cancer growing in my body, I should call up the surgeon and have them cut out, it thinks to itself.

Thus the formal structure puts them in their place, it uses some of its wonderful new technology, and also some of its old tricks that never fail to work, so out comes the pepper spray and the dogs and the razor wire and the surveillance devices and arbitrary detention and new interrogation/torture techniques and so on. All in the name of keeping the peace and maintaining order of course. We can't have these people taking the law into their own hands, that would be anarchy, they must realise that I am the law! It thinks to itself.

And so it begins the long and arduous process of suppressing itself unto death. Eventually its egoic mechanistic delusion has driven it so far into crisis that it is wracked with disease and pain and torment. It has tried all manner of cures, and is now locked down in a state of emergency, since this is the only way it can hold itself together, but it can't keep this up for long. All of its energy in taken up in suppression, it can do little else to work towards it future and it's getting exhausted just holding itself together. What ever happened to the good old days? When will I ever be free again of this torment so that I can get back to enjoying myself and carelessly chasing after my desires? Why is life so cruel? Why must all good things come to an end and all joy be swallowed by old age, sickness and death? Why couldn't I stay young forever and continue those carefree days of my youth when my body was so responsive, when I was filled with vitality and vigour, when my every desire was so easily attained. Now every motion is painful, even breathing and eating causes my body to spasm with pain. Even though I'm is so drugged up with painkillers of all kinds, like swat teams roaming the streets and blanket media propaganda and death penalties for subversives, these used to work but now the pain just won't cease.

Eventually the formal structure loses all collective cohesion, chaos ensues amongst the people and the collective pulse ceases as the body of the nation fragments and reforms into barbarous regimes and frightened and brutalised communities. The people will reorganise but the trauma will permeate that landscape like the ghost of the previous nation.

What could have been a great flowering of potential was squandered in egoic dreams and careless pursuits of delusional desires. The collective ego ran away with the collective and the people became enslaved in its delusional agendas. A nation of slaves can only decay into chaos since all transcendent and subtle cohesion is lost and the society becomes a machine that is dead inside.

Related Discussions:
The First Cambrian Explosion or the Global Cellular Meta-System Transition,
The Second Cambrian Explosion or the Global Human Meta-System Transition,
Global Awakening the future of consciousness,
Analysis of Regimes and Resistance A Consultation with the Great Sage (I Ching),
Approaches to the Problem of Civilisation,
Comments on my Experiences Regarding Authoritarianism,

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