Sculpting Realistic ‘We’ From the Ideal Universe

Hydrox jumped off my lap and stalked over to the bed.

“Sometimes you human beings disgust me with your pretense.”

Him being second-in-command around here, I try to keep him up-to-date on my thinkings and directions.  Seems prudent to me because he’ll have to take over if I kick.  I’d just been asking him if he thought we could get along okay living in a travel trailer.

“Just what ‘we’ are we talking about here?  You and me?  You and all the cats?”  He glared at me.  “You, the cats and the chickens?”

I shrugged, wondering where he was going with this.  I felt a tirade in the making.  “Just you cats and me.  The chickens can’t be part of it.”

“Well, that’s a relief, anyway.  But I think you need to think through this second-in-command crap and all the what-if-you-ain’t-around side of it.”  He gestured with his nose toward the porch.  “The only ‘we’ worth talking about involves mutual resolve.  Creatures willing to allow the well-being of others within the ‘we’ to influence what they do.  No creature unconcerned for the well-being of the others, no creature the others don’t have a commitment to, can be part of a meaningful ‘we’.”

I thought about it a moment.  “That makes sense.  It’s why I was trying to keep you up-to-snuff on things.”

  His frustration was obvious.  “Yeah, and that’s where you’re proving how stupid you are.  For me,” He tweaked a claw under his chin, “the only ‘we’ around here is you and me.  And maybe Niaid, just a whisker.”

This rattled me, but he went on before I could say anything.  “When that coon on the porch ran at you and I jumped in, that’s ‘we’.  When you go to town and buy food for us, that’s ‘we’.  But do you see Tabby or Shiva the Cow Cat lifting a paw for me if I was starving?  Do you see either of them jumping in if a coon attacked me?”

He waited while I considered it.   “I suppose I don’t.”

Then they’re not a part of any ‘we’ I belong to.”

The more I pondered it the more it seemed to me he’d come upon an important thread in the fabric of reality I’d been overlooking.  Not just with cats and chickens, but with every piece of human intercourse around me most of my life. 

When a person goes down to City Hall, or the County Courthouse to perform some necessary business, for instance, and the clerk begins the ritual of obstruction, a ‘we’ is in the process of being defined.  The clerk is the spear-point for a huge ‘we’ of contradictory demands on the ‘we’ you occupy. 

“Do you have proof of residence?”

“There’s my driver’s license.”

That’s not enough.  I need a utility bill or tax return.”

“I didn’t bring that.”

“Then I can’t help you.”

The ‘we’ that clerk represents just defined a boundary excluding you from that ‘we’ and placing you inside another ‘we’ it considers an enemy.  And in a real world, that definition would be mutually recognized, rather than singularly by the human spear-point drawing the boundary.

Which is probably why representative democracy was doomed to eventual failure.  In a fantasy of wishful thinking a population created ‘we’ with a set of unrealistic boundaries.  When new ‘we’ entities developed around government centers those included in the ‘we’ tribes were those they associated with, lived near, shared a commonality with.  In Washington, D.C.  In Austin, Texas. 

And inevitably those outside that ‘we’ became an obstruction, a product, an enemy to their ‘we’.

“The only ‘we’ worth talking about involves mutual resolve.  Creatures willing to allow the well-being of others within the ‘we’ to influence what they do.  No creature unconcerned for the well-being of the others within the ‘we’, no creature the others don’t have a commitment to, can be part of a meaningful ‘we’.”

Sometimes it takes an outsider to the human ‘we’ constructions, a feline with a firm hold on reality, to recognize the obvious.

Old Jules

“Electing pet skunks to guard the henhouse might work for a while.  But the skunk-instincts and  chickens behind the walls they’re guarding metamorphoses the ‘we’ they live in.  The skunks become a we with a priority of digging under chicken-house walls and the we of being pet skunks fades until it no longer can call itself a we.”  Josephus Minimus

 

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16 responses to “Sculpting Realistic ‘We’ From the Ideal Universe

  1. Outstanding. What a great way to clarify what “We” really means.

    • Morning Teresa Evangeline: Thanks for coming by. We seems to me to be a cunning, dangerous concept when we allow it to outgrow itself. Kudzu sort of concept to strangle the buildings and trees that allowed it into their realities. Gracias, Jules

  2. That’s one smart cat. I’d never thought of that, but you’re absolutely right. And that’s why government is doing a good job of tearing down the ‘we’ instead of building it up. Thanks Hydrox!

  3. “The ritual of obstruction.” Ah, what a commonplace that is! I’ve undergone that ritual more times than I can remember. I wonder if administration has always been this way.

    • Snailquake: I suspect we has always been around in ways similar to it. Primitive societies drew fairly small ‘we’ boundaries around themselves and held a tight rein on them. They recognized the danger of drawing we boundaries larger than they could realistically expect to remain sincere and mutual in concern. There’s plenty of evidence suggesting they had all manner of mechanisms to keep the boundaries clear and understandable insofar as who was included in any given ‘we’. The castles and fortress ruins all over the planet argue it lasted a lot longer than the usual concept of ‘primitive’ demanded. Gracias, Jules

  4. “The ‘we’ that clerk represents just defined a boundary excluding you from that ‘we’ and placing you inside another ‘we’ it considers an enemy. ”
    In Brazil, if a person is not registered as a ‘physical person’ and obtain a CPF number, he or she does not exist in the society. Worse yet, if one was not registered at birth.
    To become a person, to be part of the ‘we’ is to be part of the system.

    • Hi rosaliene: Thanks for coming by. In the US it’s not so different, though the mechanisms and trip-wires take different forms. Driving license, birth certificate, Social Security number, it once was. Now it’s becoming more complicated. The boa constrictor power we is flexing its muscles. Gracias, Jules

  5. Please convey to Hydrox my opinion of his awesomeness.

    I think it is a very dangerous thing to allow others to define the “we” of which they ascribe our membership. The Founding Father’s, stated “We, the people….” while clearly having a very specific set of inclusion members to that “we.” The subsequent propaganda that led most of us to think we were a part of that “we” has been so substantial as to mislead an entire world into thinking this nation was founded as an inclusive democracy, when that was not the case.

    I think my biggest dawning awareness has been not that things (in the US and the world) have recently changed, but that things are now merely evident and more easily seen if one cares to look.

    • ejalvey: I’ll pass it on to him, though I might tone it down a bit. He’s got a big enough head already. Yeah, that changing of perspective seems to me to be inevitable, and not a moment too soon for most of us. Gracias, Jules

  6. most exellent. i once had a similar epiphany through my dog’s point of view. Animals have always been better than people at seeing the obvious because they are not too busy trying to see what SHOULD be there, and simply look at what IS there.

  7. Well Jules thank you for the dicourse and the comments I see “we” as an energy that is impermanent like every thing else. it moves betwen two poles when it comes together it causes elation like a Rock consert or two lovers comeing together often things can get done when it manifests but like a wave on the shore it returns to the source,their are groups who attempt to gather this energy and have know use for individualsand so they devise ways of keeping them apart yet useing their energy, hence we see divisons it”s hard for a solitary to find “we ” energy and the only place for him is within.

    • Hi timetales. Glad you came by this morning. There’s a lot to what you say, though I don’t see the limitations you’ve described for the solitary insofar as ‘we’ energy. That’s out there to be grabbed, wadded up and used without the need for proximity in location. Actually works best that way for this particular solitary. Can’t say I’d ever considered the distance tantric thing you described, though. Something to think about. Thanks for the thoughts. Gracias, Jules

  8. Ya, like all energy patterns it has many levels and sub levels, Their is an old phrase that some groups use ( He’s not one of us) all types of phrases can be developed on this motif and all of it is geared towards draining “A” energy and adding it to “B” another subtle “we” could be, my blog and I which in my case has filled a spot in my retirement yet most of the time I don’t consider this comeing together as “We”.Thanks for being here.

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