Real Reasons for the Current Societal Breakdown


I think most of what Israeli writer Tessa Schlesinger says below is broadly right. I do here regularly write about the undesirable happenings in our society. But I think we need a broader view. Where I differ is with her belief that we are in a Societal Breakdown. To me society seems very orderly and functions to the benefit of most of us pretty well most of the time. Though Japan is the only place where the trains always run on time. Governments, particularly, mess things up with stupid policies and actions but nobody starves and even born losers are accommodated to some extent.

There are indeed social problems but they are minor compared with living through two world wars and the Great Depression of the interwar years. We have seen much worse than the world of today

Let me give an example of how well-functioning society is. I am a regular customer of Doordash. I go online and order from a very large menu a meal that sounds good and 15 minutes later a young person on a two-wheeler of some sort comes to my door and hands me a chef-cooked meal. And I pay only a few dollars more than if I had driven to the restaurant and sat for a time at one of their tables to get the same food. The convenience of it is to me a modern miracle.

So how does this great convenience come about? Think of the steps involved:

There has to be a website that passes on my order and take smy money via my credit card number. Then the restaurant accepts my order and makes my meal in their usual way. Then the deliverer has to be ready for a phone-call telling them to collect the food and then he/she has to find his/her way to my place. And it all functions smoothly. No breakdown there. Very reliable.

And so it is with most things in our day. Everything goes pretty much to plan and we sleep safely in our beds at night. There are some places where Leftist governments have allowed racial antagonisms to flourish so we cannot safely go out at night but that is because Leftists WANT to create disorder. Society is not broken down enough for them. Vote them out of office and order will return

That is of course very simplistic but my point is that we concentrate on disorder and overlook the extent to which society is NOT broken down and not in need of fixing. And when something goes wrong people often can fix it thenselves, Feminist-inspired divorce laws make marriage perilous so lots lots of people live together without government paper-work. And finding a partner for a relationship has always been difficult but dating sites sometimes offer a solution for that. After a lot of knockbacks I met my present girlfriend that way. But I agree that sometimes things do go badly wrong. See below


And there is one example of what Tessa Schlesinger wants that is actually in existence. She focuses on the loss of religion and wants some replacement for it. But both America and modern Israel were founded by profoundly religious people. What happens when a society was largely founded by criminals?

I live in such a place: Australia. And Australians are very skeptical religiously. There are churches but most people who go there are ethnics or Pentecostals of one sort or another. So do Australians lack an effective moral code? Far from it. They may never have set foot in a church but they have a traditional moral code founded in traditional English working class values.

Only "old" Australians (people whose roots go back to the time before the postwar flood of immigration) follow it but among them it is very influential:

* Thou shalt not dob in thy mates
* Thou shalt not bung on an act.
* Thou shalt not be a tall poppy
* Thou shalt give everyone a fair go
* Thou shalt be fair dinkum
* Thou shalt not crawl to the boss

And Australia is a very relaxed and pleasant place.

So an ethical non-religious society is not only possibe, you can actually go there on an airliner. And they speak English and you can drink the water!!

For a translation of the above commandments into standard English see:

https://memoirsjr.blogspot.com/2005/10/australians-only-have-five-commandments.html



One of the causes of the west’s current breakdown goes back to the 60s — when some very silly people wanted to create a better world, and they thought that not judging people, or making them strive so hard academically, would make the world a better place.

Another major cause was the work of Dr. Benjamin Spock whose book on how to rear a baby resulted in parents not disciplining children adequately, and in allowing children to grow up with the idea that their uninformed opinions were just as valuable as an informed opinion.

In the 1960s and 1970s, blame was placed on Spock for the disorderliness of young people, many of whose parents had been devotees of Baby and Child Care. Vice President Spiro Agnew also blamed Spock for “permissiveness”. These allegations were enthusiastically embraced by conservative adults, who viewed the rebellious youth of that era with disapproval, referring to them as “the Spock generation”. Wiki

Spock was a pediatrician who was interested in psychology, particularly the work of Sigmund Freud. In his book, Spock said, “John Dewey and Freud said that kids don’t have to be disciplined into adulthood but can direct themselves toward adulthood by following their own will.”

Those widespread consequences

Consider that if the zeitgeist of the age was that children could bring themselves up, that the only reason they turned out to be ‘unwise’ people was because parental discipline and forced education made them forget their natural creativity and goodness. Without the limiting areas of discipline and education, all children would grow up to be brilliant and kind adults. There would be no more crime.

So many things came into being as a consequence.

English teachers no longer taught grammar because children would learn grammar on their own. They would just magically pick it up as they went along.

Children should always be happy. Flower power, smoking weed, taking hard drugs, having sex outside marriage, and living together were new values replacing the old. Consequently, in later years, women started complaining that men didn’t want to make a commitment. Of course, they didn’t. Why should they? They had all the sex they wanted. Interestingly, while I was living in the States, I read that one third of baby boomers never got married.

The number of children growing up in single families (divorced parents, kids born outside holy wedlock) escalated. So kids hD no fathers.

Homework disappeared from schools, difficult subjects were no longer mandatory, exams went the way of the dodo, and any form of knowledge was dumbed down. In fact, by the end of the 60s, the classical system of education was outlawed, and the bs system of education that is now regarded as ‘education’ became the norm.

The new rule was that no matter how wrong someone’s response was at school, they were praised in order to give them confidence.

The outcome was that a lot of very ignorant people thought that their opinion had the same weight as people who were a lot smarter and a lot more knowledgeable. So, today, there are an increasing number of very un-smart people in positions of power.

Formal religion went out the window. With it, ethical teaching disappeared. Unfortunately, the only source of ethics (not morality) was religion. When that disappeared, there was nothing to replace it.

Duty became a dirty word. Self-involvement replaced society commitment.

Gossip became widely accepted (inviting endless slander and destruction of innocent people).

Societies are built on ethics — not money

Ethics and morality are not the same. Morality is mostly taught by religions. They are also based on the supposed commands of non-existent gods.

For instance, there is no good reason why people shouldn’t have sex outside marriage — provided that the resulting children have a stable environment in which to grow up and mature.

Structures in society evolve over hundreds of years. They are the invisible pillars that ensure that a community works in such a way that optimal outcomes are ensured for both survival and well being.

If you look at the different religions of the world, many of them had opposing beliefs, but Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and others all survived because they ensured that people had a definite way of handling various situations. Those ways did not conflict with each other — there was social cohesion.

As an atheist, I do not believe in many of the tenets of religion, yet much of it can be interpreted in solid ways that ensure optimal survival and well being.

There is no doubt that there were some extremely cruel rules in all these societies. The Spartans of ancient Greece left babies outside their front doors. If they survived, they were considered strong enough to live. Then there was senicide.

The Inuit, in times of famine left their old people outside to die in the cold.

A few days ago, I read that the harsh laws of Islam were there to protect the greater number. Once people saw others stoned to death or their hands cut off, then others would not repeat that action.

In Christianity, when a single young woman became pregnant, she was outlawed from society.

Structure in society came at a cost.

That cost was immense cruelty to some.

Of course, during the 60s when all these rearrangements of culture was happening in the west, many people were concerned about that kind of cruelty inflicted on individuals. So they outlawed those rules. What they didn’t do was create a replacement system in which those new rules would flourish.

Of course, during the 60s when all these rearrangements of culture was happening in the west, many people were concerned about that kind of cruelty inflicted on individuals. So they outlawed those rules. What they didn’t do was create a replacement system in which those new rules would flourish.

Let me give some examples of that.

Senicide would be considered barbaric by most of us. We would insist that food be shared by everybody. Yet, if there were a tribe of 100 people, and there was barely enough food for 50, what is to be done. In those days, the elders decided that the young were important to the survival of the tribe. The old, they decided, had lived their lives, and their need for food was endangering the survival of the rest of the tribe.

Morality, in my opinion, never came from the gods. They were rules that evolved over a period of time, and as it became known to the leaders of the tribes that some behaviors were harmful to the tribe, they outlawed them. What better way to ensure obedience than to say that the gods commanded it?

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what the rules are, so long as the rules ensure that the community survives, and that it survives in a better way than it would survive without those rules. Those rules are the pillars on which all societies are built.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what the rules are, so long as the rules ensure that the community survives, and that it survives in a better way than it would survive without those rules. Those rules are the pillars on which all societies are built.

Multiculturism and individualism

Neither multiculturism nor individualism bind the community into a cohesive whole. Multiculturism breaks down society because everybody is playing by different rules (in my opinion) and individualism breaks down society because everybody is playing by different rules (in my opinion).

Societies, nations, communities are built on behavioral structures, and change

Societies evolved. Because they do, a rule that worked well in the past may no longer work in the present. Perspectives change. What was viewed as an unbreakable command of the non-existing god might now be perceived as enormous cruelty.

Clearly, society cannot remain the same — it needs to grow and change to meet new needs and new perspectives. So when change comes, it needs to be accompanied by new rules and new structures. For instance, it’s all very well to stop condemning single mothers for daring to have sex outside marriage. However, if so, then society also needs to build the facilities and resources to prepare for those children. Single mothers are the poorest demographic on the entire planet.

The poverty gap that leads to increased violence

History has shown us that whenever there is great inequality in society, there is a point at which violence erupts. It was the study of history that led to the implication of welfare systems, public education, and better working conditions for worker at the start of the 20th century.

Unfortunately, because history, and the deep study of it is no longer mandatory, the highly destructive idea that greed was good, that the economy was everything, that competition brought out the best in people, that ‘diversity’ was good, and that the rich should not be taxed, made its appearance. Most people simply did not understand the relevance of those changes made at the start of the 20th century.

It is not poverty itself that leads to violence — it is resentment against others. When people live by vastly different rules, sooner or later they clash. If one culture believes that it’s okay to murder their daughters if they marry out of their religion, and another culture sees that as murder, then, sooner or later, the nation which is home to these two opposing cultures will begin to fall.

Yet, in Hinduism and Islam, where those beliefs are part of the culture, societies have survived. In the west, where those values were seen as horrendous, those societies survived as well. Again, the point is not that some cultures are wrong while others are right. My point here is that differing precepts and decreasing standards inevitably lead to the breakdown of societies. (I do, however, believe that some societies have contributed far more to the modernization of the world than others.)

And that is where we are now.

We are in decline because we never understood the real structures of what made a nation (or society) sustainable and strong.

What we should have done was outlaw those horribly cruel rules that made the lives of some so very miserable, and then we should have implemented more rules which prevented the harm that would result from eliminating those rules.

What we should have done was outlaw those horribly cruel rules that made the lives of some so very miserable, and then we should have implemented more rules which prevented the harm that would result from eliminating those rules.

Life in the future

Nations, cultures, societies come and go. They last for a time, and then the rot from within invariably brings them down. Look at the USSR which dissolved into the Russian nation. The totalitarian regime which forced people to become nothing more than utility objects meant that when that system dissolved, there was no societal structure to replace it.

In the past, it hasn’t mattered if a society disappeared. We are all here despite the Babylonians, the Hittites, and the Prussians no longer existing. One lot of people replaces another lot of people. Now it matters. It matters because our actions have resulted in the possible destruction of environmental systems on which human life (and other life) depends. It matters because the enlightenment of humanity, arrived at through many millennia of learning, is now being destroyed. It is now, once more, being replaced by religious garbage, philosophical tenets that do not work, and the blind leading the blind.

I am reminded of a verse in Proverbs in which it says something about it being an unwise course of action for a fool to give instructions to a wise man. That, unfortunately, is where we are now. Interestingly, Proverbs (in the bible) is full of ancient wisdom, long forgotten. It is also, as with all these holy books, full of ideas that have long been proven wrong.

The world is over-populated. Those without wisdom are leading. Those without knowledge are opining everywhere. Those with power are destroying what does not suit them. And so it goes.

I started writing very young. My first pieces were published by a national newspaper magazine.

Ethics

In the years that I have been writing, the underlying ethos has been about ethics. During the sixty-odd years of my putting pen to paper (that was how it started), I have always been concerned about benevolence, about the rules that so many seem to break without regard for the consequence.

Of course, sometimes, I’ve written the occasional light-hearted piece, but the general gist of most of my words has been about what is ethical. Sometimes this has been interpreted by readers to mean that I’m on the left, and other times it has been interpreted to mean I’m on the right. In reality, I’m apolitical. I support those who have an underlying ethic to their policies.

I define ethics as those rules that lead to the greatest chance of survival and the greatest opportunity for well being for the greatest number over the longest period of time. Ethics are not based on empathy (as some would have you think). They are based on determining outcomes before the outcomes arrive, and putting into operation those laws/rules which would prevent the worst and result in the best.

For instance, the ethical course of action would have been to consider better ways of production in the early 20th century in order to prevent further climate change. That would have resulted in the greater good for the greatest number over the longest period of time.

The breakdown in society and nations is a direct result of the destruction of the pillars of society — without replacing them with something better.

There is no point in my writing further on these topics. I have done so for a few decades (as have others). It is pointless. The only readers I have are those who already agree with all of this, and they are the few — not the many. Also, the few pennies I am paid is not worth it.

It is not nihilism that makes me conclude that we are in the last few generations before there is nothing left of modern civilization. Our descendants, if there are any, will be living a barren existence.

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