Social Controls

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“The greatest weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

-Stephen Biko

The best thing about them is that they seem like individual choices and therefore can always be blamed on the individual rather than the system.

The System is socio-economic

This means that our lives, in a direct and an abstract way, are governed, controlled, influenced, guided, whatever term you want to use, by the social and economic structure of the world. These two things are intertwined with each other. We tend to separate our thinking about politics from our thinking about our “everyday” lives. This idea of separation is part of the system. It has many purposes.  One is that it allows us to live day to day doing whatever it is we do, while at the same time knowing (more or less) all the problems with the world. It helps us feel that there is little we can do about it and at the same time feel that we are not contributing to the problems. Because we can separate the “problems” of the world from our “everyday” lives.

Another purpose of this part of the system is that it contributes to the idea that we don not live in a “system” or that the world is not governed by an ideology. As an old saying goes “the greatest thing the devil ever did was to make the world think he did not exist.” In other words the greatest deference the system has against those of us who would see it destroyed is to make people think it does not exist, that there is no system.

This is the introduction for a series of articles analyzing social controls, as I call them.  Look for them if you wish.

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