|Young people, the hope of our collective-subconscious future.|
Constance 'Dusty' Miller
This is just one of my little social theories.
The pendulum theory of social development is explained here.
If you think about the times we live in, we see news stories about some new fringe element and we wonder what motivates them. According to theory, whatever they’re doing is in reaction to mood or climate. There is a social context, it’s different for all of us as we live in different places. However, it is just as difficult to escape our surroundings, our circumstances, as it is to escape our upbringing, our expectations, or as it is to escape from behind iron bars, or even from our own home in the case of certain psychological phenomena.
Swings of the social pendulum stem from ‘the mentality of the masses’.
The masses are educated essentially by the environment, and in the state of the here-and-now, these updates are instantaneous. That’s why so many people get what passes for the daily news from social media sites such as Facebook. Part of my job involves reposting stories, and a good percentage of those stories come from posts by people (friends) on fb. This all becomes part of a collective, common narrative.
There was a sexual revolution in the ‘60s. There was a reaction to it—for example the purity or abstinence movement.
As often as not, there is a disconnect between stated moralities and actual behaviours, and there is difficulty in getting good data in social studies when the most personal questions are being asked and the most personal and private behaviours are being studied. What’s interesting about such studies, is that while the decision to participate in a study might involve some soul-searching and questions of privacy, the fact is no one really cares who actually got interviewed, observed, interrogated for the Kinsey or Masters and Johnson studies.
They are as forgotten to history as the average tween twerking in front of her mirror and iPhone for eventual upload to XXNN videos (link NSF) in the hopes of making a little money for clothes and cosmetics.
And there is your sexual revolution, come full circle: these days both legal and underage girls, and no doubt boys as well, are all too eager to utilize the utmost in modern technology to basically expose themselves to an unknown but potentially global audience. It has become a personal rite of passage. Interestingly, they have as much chance of being remembered as the subjects of the avant-garde sexual studies of the fifties and sixties, where sex was approached with the mores of a scientific investigation, rather than from the point of view of dogma, revealed truth and universal condemnation.
The pendulum theory is of course just theory—a simplified model, a way of looking at the real world that might teach us something new without being necessarily carved in stone.
People say one thing and do another. This has always been a weakness with social studies.
They know what their attitude should be in a politically-correct sense, and at the same time they know very well what their prejudices are. Then they just go ahead and do what they want, just as people have done for millennia.
The contradictions push that pendulum back and forth, to where some people are willing to shoot doctors who perform abortions and others are willing to risk their lives to perform said abortions. Throw in a little hate and you’re on your way to the races. What’s at stake almost seems secondary, once moral lines in the sand have been drawn and folks are prepared to do battle in the name of God, or in the name of women’s rights, the right of the fetus. In the right or in the name of whatever the flavour of the day is.
Over the course of time, the social pendulum moves back and forth. Right now it’s in a certain position in your town and mine and you can see the net results of that by looking around you. Everything you see around you is a message of sorts—a data point, often absorbed purely by subconscious means.
You won’t even know its happening.
Because of the collectivity of the system, and the number of autonomous individual decisions being taken, under the social model, no one of us is ever necessarily wrong in a choice or decision. One would think that the outcome, collectively, as a social decision, can never be wrong.
Theoretically, this is the outcome that we have made, all of us pushing and shoving and working together in a global, collective sense. It also works the same way in smaller systems, as in the school, town, family or other more primitive community.
Dusty's a little bit insecure, but her new book, The Spy I Loved, is available free from iTunes.