It is easy and therefore tempting to conceptualize things two-dimensionally, and this is no different when it comes to thinking about society. We use bell curves and bar graphs to analyze all the different segments of society, but things are different when we want to look at society as a whole. In this case, I find it is helpful to think about society as a spherical entity, with parts of this mega-organism closer to the core of the sphere and many other parts far closer to the surface area. One thinks about segments of society which seem to be closer to different areas of this sphere as having certain qualities, so, for example, on one extreme end may be those just coming into the world, and newborns, being fragile, have not managed to work their way into a more protected area of the organism, and the elderly occupying the corresponding opposite extreme. If we dwell on placing the fragile towards the exterior, and the powerful towards the interior of the sphere, we might conclude that there are a great many more individuals in the more vulnerable, exterior position as there are in more secure locales. If we were to take the shape of a perfect sphere, that might be the optimal organization we could have, because any other configuration might only be more exposed. And if we take it that the socio-economically weak occupy the exposed areas, while the socio-economically strong occupy the driver's seat in this arrangement, one notices how easy it is to conceptualize the poor and disadvantaged doing all the dirty work and the privileged reaping all the benefits. One might at that point realize the foolishness of the libertarians, who argue that we should organize with each other as little as possible, only for mutual self-defense, and who refuse to accept orders from those of us who would even attempt to manipulate the social organism in any more sophisticated, adaptive strategy than that of the Inuit casting their old men out on ice floes.

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Comment by Steph S. on December 26, 2011 at 4:20pm

"I find it is helpful to think about society as a spherical entity, with parts of this mega-organism closer to the core of the sphere and many other parts far closer to the surface area."
I've never thought about it like that -- interesting

Comment by Jedi Wanderer on September 20, 2011 at 10:45am
Thanks Glen, and you are exactly right. It is so clever to make an appeal to a "state of nature" because it is natural, and trying to change it is somehow unnatural and immoral. If there is no class warfare, then the status quo is upheld, the boat is not rocked, and those with the power retain their power. It is easy to comprehend, simplistic and convenient for justifying the relative power of all actors. If you don't have power, it is because you are "bad", if you have power, it is because you are "good", and this is why libertarians feel free to blame the victim and "let them die". Just the idea of social engineering throws their entire worldview into discord, so they attack its most basic premise and feed on fear, aggression, and lies. Libertarianism is nothing more than the bigger guy justifying his power through aggression.
Comment by Glen Rosenberg on September 20, 2011 at 8:30am

Nice conception, Wanderer.

Libertarians want virtual state of nature for the masses which they call freedom leaving them free to exploit masses using social construct, called business. It is a clever way to disguise a most incongruous and inequitable form of government.

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