What is the goal of society?
Is it mere survival through cooperation? Is it peaceful coexistence? Prosperity?
It’s a trick question, isn’t it! The premise of Future Talk is that we can do better. That’s something our experiences have shown us and we all feel deeply, but it’s a pretty vague sentiment. What does it mean to do better? To do a better job of attaining the goal of society?
Let’s use a familiar tactic and define an abstract concept by what it is not. What have we experienced that makes us feel like we can do better? Oppression. Disempowerment. Fragmentation. Absurdity.
All things that reflect a disconnect between the character of individuals and the character of society. I suggest, then, that the goal of society is to be a reflection of its constituents; that the good society is the honest society.
This means that community values should be reflected in the power structures that influence that community. If there is a disconnect between these things, then society is not moving toward its goal.
Our goal, then, is to figure out how to make society more honest.
Can you think of examples of social structures that don’t match your values?