Re: virus: Virus: Sociological Change
Tue, 26 Nov 96 13:55:48 GMT

M. Traynor wrote:

> On 26 Nov 96 at 9:39, wrote:
> > Can society ever reach a perfect state of social harmony for it's current population?
> I doubt it. For as long as we have variety of personality society can
> never make everybody happy.

True, but what I'd like to know is if it's truly possible to create the perfect
sociological setting for all people to live in harmony. That is, no tension between
races, and genders, etc...

Actually, thinking of it, the question is rather shallow, isn't it? there are so many
area's into which should be looked, that it doesn't really deal with everything.
Perhaps it would be better to say:

Can each individual exist in a society where there is a perfect state of harmony?

Hmm... I don't know.

> > Does a change in the law necessarily reflect the beliefs of society?
> It depends on the nature of the society. In a democracy (or something
> approximating it, such as we have today in western society) I would
> say yes; the legal system is, to an extent at least, driven by the
> will of some people (but not necessarily the majority - see below).

This is a problem known in Political Theory as "Tyranny of the Majority", and
the will of the majority is often not the will of the whole. Jean-Jaques Roussea
advocated small states within wich *all* people can participate in the democratic
process (Direct Democracy), and that the act of making law is given to the "Lawgiver"
who is an individual, or a body of individuals, above, outside, and beyond the law and
the State. Hence they have no vested interest, other than the well being of the

For me, this is the most convincing argument so far on the organisation of a
democracy. Of course, whether the populace accepts the lawgiver's law is purely
up to them ... sensible?

> > How is it possible to kill dangerous memes such as race hatred, and homophobia?
> Kill all the hosts. (Note: I am not recommending this as a course of
> action)

"Kill the Homophobe" could become the anti-meme for "Kill the Queers"!

> > Can we, as individuals, or even as a group, successfully "persuade" society to change
> > for what we believe is the better?
> I believe we can. The success of womens lib., anti-racism, gay rights
> etc., while nowhere near complete, is measurable. These movements all
> began as lone voices. Success is not guaranteed and you may not live
> to see any benefits but it is possible.

This is the kind of point I was trying to implicate in the first question: Can
the aims be achieved in a reasonable time period, before society's needs evolve
any further?

> > Without groups fighting for people's social position to be changed, would society
> > stagnate, or would it evolve naturally?
> Groups fighting for social change *is* natural evolution.

Good point.

But what would happen if groups didn't fight for change?

> > For
> > example, although there are now "equal rights" bills passed through parliament,
> > it is obvious that there are still many people who do not respect that law. There
> > are still racists, sexists, etc out there, not obeying such laws. These memes,
> > therefor, have not been killed successfully by the making of law. How can these
> > memes be mutated, or eliminated, to ensure harmony?
> Give them time. Viewed over a significant timescale (decades) these
> memes have less potency than they did.

The time scale problem pops up again!

There must be some way of causing society to evolve rapidly enough so that people's
selfish drive for what they want is attainable in their lifetime. I feel that
if such a cycle were started, it would be self-perpetuating. If people realised that
they could attain their goals rapidly, then they would doi so, if they do so, then goals
would be achieved even faster - and this would continue in one big circle - make sense?

> > Any thoughts on the subject out there?
> Will those do? ;)

Yes indeedy :)

Richard Jones
"We are the New Breed,
We are the Future."