Our society is multifaceted. Our society consists of many small parts which combine to make the whole picture. Everyone is part of our society. We are society. Our society is a form of organization created by ourselves. Only if we understand it, can we enable ourselves to shape it purposefully. The following text tries to draw a full picture of our contemporary, global society.
Our society obtains its resources from the Earth. Nearly every type of resource is the “property” of a single human (e.g. farmer, oil sheik) or a group of humans (e.g. nations, companies). The exchange of these resources is realized through “trade” or violent appropriation (e.g. “war”). “Money” was installed as a universal means of exchange in order to simplify “trade”. In theory, “money” is convertible into any resource. Consequently, “money” is partial resource “property”. Theoretically, we all are “co-owners” of resources.
The human being. The human being in our contemporary society rapidly realizes that it cannot exist without “money”, because it would starve without food, water or the satisfaction of other basic needs. The majority of people in our society must take care of “earning money” to satisfy these basic needs. Mostly, that is realized through acquiring “jobs”. “Owning” groups of humans (e.g. companies) need to extract, manage and process resources in order to be able to use them. Eventually, they need further resources which they do not currently “own”. Consequently, they need to “trade” goods and services. Hence, “owners” need expertise and manpower to realize all of this. They create “jobs”. “Jobs” are performed by “employees” who, in exchange, obtain resources for their “work”, mostly in “monetary” form.
The human being is not exclusively concerned with thoughts about the satisfaction of basic needs. He or she philosophizes about existence and life itself. Hence, a human being creates individual dreams, theories and plans. Plans which the human being wants to realize out of his or her own motivation. These plans could stand in conflict with the “job”. The “job” has higher priority, since ensuring one’s existence is more important than shaping existence. Consequently, the human being needs to find a balance between her or his “job” and personal plans. Due to the higher priority the human being tends to concentrate on the “job”.
Maybe he or she wants to follow personal plans while coping with the “job”. In that case, “stress” may arise. In the long run, “stress” may lead to “health problems” (e.g. migraine, burn-out).
Or maybe the human being withdraws self-motivated interests. Withdrawing a lot of personal interests may result in “laziness” or “idleness”. “Idleness” leads to “health problems” (e.g. lack of fitness, lack of cognitive capabilities). If a human being withdraws self motivated interests, this human being and society lose potential in part. Consequently, the human being tends to veer away from her- or himself, when he or she loses sight of personal dreams and ambitions. Since contemporary education systems are designed to enable young people to find a “job”, this process may start as early as during childhood. Therefore, some human beings notice one day in their life that they are not sure about how they would like to shape their existence in the future (e.g. depression, midlife crisis).
The human being is never completely alone. At any time, one is connected with all the other human beings. Regarding “income”, one’s fellow humans are either better or worse situated. Thus, some of one’s fellow humans have less possibilities to access society’s resources. That may lead to “jealousy”. “Jealousy” may result in conflicts like “crime” (e.g. theft, deception), “violence” (e.g. robbery, murder) and “hate” in the long run (e.g. racism, terrorism). All these consequences are potential reasons for “war” (e.g. World War II, Afghanistan War). Conflicts like these lead to “fear”. This “fear” lets us communicate carefully with our fellow men, because we hardly know how others may abuse supplied information. We prefer to reject other people than to open ourselves up to them.
Other types of “fear” are consequences of “profit orientation” or “profit maximization”. “Profit orientation” describes the ambition to have sufficient access to resources. An increasing access to “money” leads to increasing material scope. Additionally, this means assuring this scope in the future. Even for this reason alone, all nations, companies and individuals must find compromises between “profit” and product quality (e.g. material quality, functions, product lifespan), customer care (e.g. service, manuals), environment (e.g. packaging, disposal) and employees (e.g. amount of staff, safety at work). Furthermore, these compromises lead to a potential “lack of safety” which may result in “accidents” (e.g. Tschernobyl, Deep Water Horizon). “Accidents” and resulting “pollution” cause further “health problems” that also create types of “fear”. These types of “fear” make the members of society control one another (e.g. audit, youth welfare office). Therefore, control dominates trust in our contemporary society.
All these “fears” influence every individual in his or her actions. They are the basis for a majority of our “laws” which shall create a frame to curtail negative consequences (e.g. traffic rules, criminal law). Many “laws” complicate life and consequently paralyze processes in our society (e.g. bureaucracy, airport check-in).
Through “laws”, politics try to prevent monopolies, since “profit orientation” may induce monopolists to constitute excessive “prices” for their goods or services. Consequently, multiple companies stand in “competition” to each other. This construct causes active “publicity” and enforces “corruption” and “lobbying” – within companies, nations and between individuals.
Furthermore, “competition” causes an incentive to hold back ideas (e.g. non-publication, patents). This reduced exchange of knowledge among society delays the development of technology (e.g. for the usage of renewable energy). And although the human being develops technology in order to realize ambitions more comfortably and more efficiently, the system-based pressure to create a “job” for every single human being counteracts the application of these technologies.
Conclusion: Many problems in our contemporary society result from the principle of “ownership” and the resulting values in society. The principle of “ownership” has developed throughout history. It is inevitable when a human being has a lack of understanding about how to create resource abundance. In resource scarcity situations, human beings try to hold their resources.
The consequences of the principle of “ownership” shown here always existed. They will aggravate as long as the “ownership” of “property” continuously concentrates on a decreasing group of people and the gap between rich and poor grows.
However, “ownership” is only a construct for the organization of human society. On other levels of society, humanity organizes itself in other ways. For example, in families or in circles of friends. There, we try to make resources available for everyone – through intensive communication (“Who needs what, when?”) and efficient organization (“How can we manage that?”). Applied to the global society, “ownership”, “money” and “fear” may play a minor role in our life in the future.
How in detail? Let’s begin to understand. It may be easier to design society than some of us believe. (→ “A designed society”)
To fully comprehend the solutions that we write about in our articles, it may be important for some of you to further investigate the complexity of the problem. That is why we created a link list of films, documents and web sites that provide an overview of the major problems the global society is facing today (→ Problem awareness links).