22 January 2008


Someone asked, so a follow up ...

It's a dead end discussion anyway. Easy enough to say that our socially-defined roles are in conflict with themselves, the functional role and the ideal role no longer corresponding to each other, but where do you go after that?

In other words: you may be a free individual, equal to me because of your humanity, but your a still just a janitor, how dare you say "hi' to the CEO.

But it is not the issue of conformance. It is the issue of abstracted ideals traditionally being the demense of the elite, and being elite, the elite were provided with a support structure that promoted this abstracted ideal self. But today, when everyone has an abstracted ideal self in a model of equality and freedom, the social support networks don't function, since they are still largely focused on one's role in society rather than the ideal they profess to support. It is not that the model is wrong, it is just that it has no support structure to bolster it, so it comes off feeling like nothing more than an empty promise to too many. Given our current political systems, the only way to preserve equality is through hierarchy ... go figure. If something requires that it be its own antithesis in order to function, what does that say about it? Definitely a thorny question.

But the point it was all coming out of was that the self of freedom and equality is an abstracted self, and in that sense a fictional, contrived, or constructed self that is often at odds with the socially perceived and socially defined self. Perhaps then the first step in the idea of constructed selves that is in line with modern attitudes toward self, as well as the ability of real people to become fictional through the process of media, as well as the ability of fictional people to become real through the same vehicle.

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