Discontent and its civilizations

Rice dumplings are given as gifts during The Dragon Boat Festival, in memory of the suicide of man who was a respected poet and government minister.
Gifts for The Dragon Boat Festival (端午节) by Janney

Its pretty amazing that human beings take time away from killing each other, from stealing from each other, from fighting each other, and etc., to spend enough time in some “social order” to produce the basic things necessary for survival, not just for themselves but for a civilization to exist — procreation, food, shelter—the basic things necessary for survival of a civilization.

Or you could say while most people are good, people “naturally live in order,” but it’s too bad that some people are bad and we need to protect ourselves from those few bad people.

And then others say people are naturally bad and to achieve order an authoritarian structure of enforcement is necessary.

How to protect the good people from the bad people so everything runs smoothly, so the basic stuff gets done. i.e what is “social order.” How to together it and how to maintain it?

Laws are the legitimate rules which are enforced, “if or when necessary” by any means necessary. What happens when the laws are bad, or maybe just not good, and enforcing the law becomes worse than the crimes of which the subjects are accused.

Imagine how different it was for a “traditional society” with few family members, all clearly and definitely stratified by their age and family differences, a place where everyone knew how to be, as compared to a modern society where individuals are in multiple overlapping groups, taking different roles in different groups and sometimes called upon to personally invent new roles.

After 400,000 years humans have have created and destroyed gazillions of different groups, all increasingly more diverse and more complicated. The thing that is “social order” is culture —where there are human beings behaving together there develops, like a field—like a gravitional field from which emerges a constantly changing structure of astronomical behaviour — a constantly changing structure of human behaviour.

Most people “know how to behave,” much of that “knowledge”we never even think about, or sometimes we think about it too much (worry), but mostly we do it naturally as if its human nature . . .?? but what is “human nature” . . .

Does human nature need to be consistent over 400,000 years? Even over my 75 years I have witnessed radical social behavior changes, changes which occurred fast enough that most people do not know there has been a change, it just ay things are , mostly we think our feelings, and responses are the same as people before us. In our everyday life we sort out the “natural” from the “changeable” but sometimes in different ways.

There are different levels to see it, no one 1500 years ago felt excited “riding a motorcycle” but use a more comprehensive abstract term and say “a thrill, ” and categorize it as a “basic human nature” even though it is expressed differently empirically right in front of our eyes—and you are fitting a higher level categorical abstraction to express a basic human nature.

One part of a person adapts to society, another part does not, its not the exact same part from person to person, but there is enough commonality to establish a set of standards to enable a social order —where each individual, in varying degrees and in a varying balance, is a divided self.
It was 18th century German philosophers/social scientists who saw modern society and suggested that culture, the force that enabled human survival by generating commonness in behaviour, also separated and repressed the individual from his/her real self—alienation.

Ki-seto shuki (guinomi and tokkuri) by father and son Kagami Shukai and Kagami Masakane. In Japan there is Kyoto style pottery and “folk” pottery, both have their respected space. Seto is an old city known for its history of pottery, sometimes pottery will be referred to as seto-yaki—Seto fired thing. Seto is known for many styles of pottery, such as Oribe, Shino, Ki-seto, seto-guro, and sometimes just referred to as Seto style. Mino, an area next to Seto developed the same styles of pottery about the same time, people will also use the term Mino-yaki, I find myself often using the term Seto/Mino.

A Dragon Boat for the Dragon Festival, which is on the gift day of the fifth month (Chinese calendar), Dragon boat painting by Janney.

With one tiny stick
To arrange the air over the eating shed
And the evil part of the earth around it
So that at last
Not even the stick is left.

poem by Kenneth Patchen

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