The Shortcomings of Community in the modern era. Pt 2 of 2
A common confusion about the Amish is that they shun all technology. This is fundamentally untrue. They will actually just hold back on technology, until they can decide what kinds of impact it will have on the community and community cohesion. They embrace some technology such as air powered tools and shun others such as electric lighting and cars that encourage not sleeping according to the sun cycle, and driving long distance encouraging them from splitting up the community. However we now start getting into the dark side of community. In around quite a few amish communities there are sex abuse rescue groups. These people spend almost their entire lives with each other, and is sex abuse happens, escape can feel almost worse than the abuse. They will have to tear themselves away from the only life they know into a strange world with people they have never met, and not having honed the social skill needed to find individual like minded people.
This is one of the reasons why criminals who have done their time often return to prison. Aside from the social stigma and difficulty in being hired, They often have low or seriously degraded social skills, especially if they spent time in solitary, and their social demeanour is aggressive to avoid getting attacked or taken advantage of. Freedom can feel worse than prison to them, a similar reason why so many ex military end up committing suicide. The unquestioned community contact is just gone. I experienced a very similar loss when I went from isolationist religious home schooling to divorced family in public school. I had zero for social skills and my family became fragmented. Had we prior to mass transit a time which my parents idolized, I could have spent the rest of my life like this, marrying someone nearby. In this modern world through I was completely crippled, especially with aspergers and it took me well over a decade of failure to fix myself.
Hannibalthevictor13 did a great video after the steubenville rape case discussing the dark side of small towns. They often have a hierarchy especially with older families. The cops often look the other way on crimes if the more important families children are caught doing something. It requires something massive usually before the state steps in. Billy Graham’s grandson recently humbly showed research that while the catholic church is getting massive flack for child molestation mostly because they covered it up so much, Child molestation is even worse in evangelical protestantism. There is little to no oversight. People trust people to watch their kids. And for the kids this is all the community they know and much of the religion sets you up for being innocent and submissive. Trying to report it and destroying bond could be irrepairable.
Small groups also have the neurochemical problem. Oxytocin is a chemical I’ve discussed before, known as the cuddle drug that creates bonding. I’m going to do a video in the future discussing further research on the dark side of oxytocin. The stronger you are bonded to someone of a group, oxytocin actually strengthens your us vs them mindset and you are much less trustful people not like you. I talked to an oldtimer who was a trucker at one point talking about the war. He said in his town if anyone came around with a possibly german sounding accent, we ran his ass out of town, and he still views it as a good thing. Small groups have stronger mob mentality especially if they isolate. The more open they are however to others the less bonding they have to each other making the community much easier to become divided by small issues.
We see the way the world and government are as static but what we fail to realize is that we are in a crazy transition time. Technology is dictating how we socialize, and will continue to do so. Social luddites often resist it and decry the social changes and see the world as going to hell in a handbasket and how the old days and tradition were better but our morals and values adapt making things even better in the long run. We evolved as hunter/gatherer semi-nomads in defined territories where we had low trust of people not in our tribes.
Then agriculture came along and the impact was crazy. We could fit more people on less land, we could divide labor instead of doing everything for ourselves, allowing us as a group do things never imagined. We could also amass large armies and attack and subjugate people we didn’t like and could steal from them and subjugate them. Transportation and then the internet came opening us up to the people we didn’t know and didn’t like and science allowed us to realize just how similar we all are. Our social contract with the community changed as we less tightly bonded less and accepted others more. We became even more and more interdependant on strangers and we did great evil and great good due to shared watered down responsibilty from long chains of supply and demand.
With a changed social contract the role of the government had to change to do what the community used to do and people are still resisting that, even though the need left caused by the invention of mass transit is very great, and because of scale the cost and efficiency is actually less and more expanded with government than a community could do in the long run, even with short run corruption and waste. If a government was pushed by voters it could also fund science and large research projects that could completely end up completely upending the current system of government and community entirely the way mass transit and agriculture has. We are also beginning to question as a planet if nations should fight and kill each other for resources, and if the role of government is to shift from role of warrior and enforcer to role of protector of people from harm and want and protector of the environment.
In ancient times, protection by the strong kingdom was often more important and practical than freedom and death which was almost certain for individual communities. Through the decline of war in the 1900’s it is estimated that by 2050 ignoring impacts by climate change, thanks to worldwide education and infrastructure there is estimated to be 1 to zero armed conflicts in the entire world, as people are trained to police and think for themselves more and poverty doesn’t drive them to desperation.
We all emotionally desire to go back hunter/gatherer community. Many feel isolated and want to go backwards. Much of this was caused because many were raised with the old model and weren’t prepared for the new model and struggle to adapt late. Some try to restore or create new local community, which can work to impact local and national political change, but the closeness and bonding is never there. Some try to engineer isolated communities. I tried to do so with my liberty constitution I wrote years ago and have long since abandoned. Nearly all planned communities have failed especially intellectual ones as the members have too much individuality. Education and individuality are the bane of communities 50% of all marriages don’t last between two people how can a group of people with dissimilar interests, views and beliefs last?
Divorces happen at a high rate often because there is so much choice out there. Back in the day you had a limited number of mates to choose from and heaven help you if you were gay. You stuck together for survival til you died. Marriage is no longer about survival and the same mechanisms don’t apply. Long distance relationship definitions shrink with new technological jump. If the hyperloop becomes a reality someday a trip from chicago to Columbus Ohio will take the less amount of time it used to take to go across a large city. Long distance relationship definition will change and options will explode even further. Studies show that too much choice can give you a better decision but you are less happy about it because you don’t know if you may have made the wrong choice. Also people are living longer, and while 50% of all marriages fail, that number drops to 20% if you marry over 30 years old, when you figured some things in your life out and aren’t constantly changing.
There are many disadvantages to this modern way of living but also many many more wonderful advantages hence why we haven’t burned all of our cars and gone back to live like the amish. The individuality we have is now amazing, the ability to meet people who are so different yet very alike us is wonderful. We now are questioning long held beliefs never questioned by the majority of people because we aren’t asking how will it affect my small community we are asking is is fair and does it harm anyone? These are the foundations of of Liberal and social libertarian morality according to a TED talk by Jonathan Haidt, linked below. Conservatives have a much less freeing basis for their morality and base it on the old small community mindset, harkening to tradition, while we harken to facts and evidence and hunt them down. We keep slowly in fits and starts move toward a more fair and just world because of our individual ability to think outside the group, and questioning things that would have destroyed the group ensuring many in our group may have died. We are without the super tight bonds we crave so much, we can now see our enemies less as monsters and more as people just like us.
The old paradigm of geographic community in this new world of connectivity and rapid transit are gone. Perhaps in the future with robots doing manual work, new labor laws and shifting values part of people’s job will be to bond with their local community. With open sourced femto or atto level replicators scarcity might be obliterated upending the entirety the economic and social contract with our governments creating a new era of community reliance back to the hunter/gatherer days. If you want community, now is not the time for it. As I can see now unless another mechanism can keep geographic communities together to do all government does advancements in science will be the only thing to change that paradigm. So keep pressure on your government to end war, educate, and move us scientifically forward.
Hannibal discussing the dark side of small towns
5 foundations of conservative morality