Sunday, February 17, 2019

Domination Of The Individual

                                                                                                written 10 February 2019
                                                                                       published 17 February 2019

            An individual living within the illusion of separation cannot understand their real worth, disconnected as they are from their fundamental reality.  The isolated self perceives the world as "other", in eternal hostile competition, rather than experiencing life as a nourishing cooperative.  This hostile perspective gives rise to a strategy of domination, where one either dominates or is dominated, and establishment of the pecking order is the primary function of society.
            There are at least five major distinctions in our cultural domination structure; money, gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation.  This puts rich, male, white, Christian heterosexuals at the top. Individuals lacking any of these distinctions are down the domination ladder, placing a poor black, lesbian Muslim woman on the bottom rung.  As the separation illusion inevitably fails and society slowly evolves toward expressing the fundamental unity, the impact of each factor of the domination structure changes. 
            Domination by wealth is the most pernicious, amplifying other distinctions. The present inequity of wealth threatens our democracy, which is based on the radical concept that all are equal under the law.  This ideal has always been more concept than absolute, as America's founding "fathers" were all white male landowners.  They rebelled against the domination of the British, and wrote the Constitution allowing themselves to dominate instead, but this has evolved due to the social pressure of an evolving population.  
            The different distinctions of dominations hold different weight.  Over time the female majority of the population demanded inclusion, and their struggle coincided with that of blacks wanting to be included after the Civil War.  Black men were granted the vote in 1868, but women had to wait another half century until 1920.  We have elected a black man president, but never a woman.  This demonstrates that the domination class is more threatened by women than black men, a sad commentary on the "macho" ethic. 
            These voting rights were only partial victories, as various laws have been put in place to limit registration of poor and non-white voters, including poll taxes, voter ID rules, and gerrymandering of districts.  However, the drive toward inclusion is constantly challenging these domination attempts, and the new House of Representatives is more diverse than ever before. 
            Despite the fact that religious outcasts founded this country on the principal of religious freedom, there have been persistent efforts to dominate America with a Christian theocracy.  The current attempt is funded by conservative Catholic organizations, despite the chronic moral corrosion within their own faith, combined with an older generation of male Evangelical leaders, who are out of touch with their younger members. Their efforts to destroy abortion and birth control rights for women is alienating half the population that has grown up expecting these rights as part of being a free individual.
            The fifth domination aspect of this culture is the gay/straight issue.  After decades of effort, the first state to legalize gay marriage was Massachusetts in 2003, and by 2016, it was legal in all fifty states.  Domination of LBGQT individuals is still rampant, but the social support of this has shifted.
            Specific applications of domination ebb and flow, and American leadership is currently retreating from its democratic ideals.  The Trump administration, with his billionaire cabinet members and their Republican enablers, are working to destroy as much social justice legislation as they can before being voted out of office.  
            In a society free of domination structures, each individual would be recognized and honored as being absolutely unique.  There is no such thing as average in reality, it is only a mathematical concept.  Therefore, we are obliged to be the individual we are.  This is a massive challenge, not only for each person, but for us as a culture.  Traditional roles are no longer absolute.  Men can be caregivers and women can be generals.  Gender issues have become more amorphous.  Surgical transgender operations allow an individual more options, and gender neutral or non-specific are becoming recognized.
            As we realize we all have both male and female traits, strengths and tendencies, we can explore our whole self in this life.  We can see ourselves in the other, no matter how they appear at first glance, and the world becomes more cooperative and nourishing.