We may have our problems but generally speaking inter-human relationships have been flourishing. Look at the various level of human relationships such as in international, inter-religious, inter-racial/ethnic, inter-tribal, inter-class (including inter-caste) and inter-personal relationships. We seem to be doing fine on all these fronts, well definitely better than in the past few hundred centuries.
Inter Personal Relationship.
The foundation of all inter human relationship in the world today, that is inter personal relation have generally improved over the past few thousand year. Increased availability of knowledge today particularly in the social sciences have help more and more of people to realise the need to manage and improve their inter-personal relationships as is evident in the numerous publications that deals with issue of inter-personal relationship from spousal, social to occupational and industrial.
From the dark ages of humanity when women and children were just objects and properties of the man, when human beings were generally traded - bought and sold, we have progressed to a heighten awareness that all human beings have rights which must be respected. It is true that there are many countries in which such barbaric practices are still current day value of their societies but this is slowly but surely changing with more international media focus garnering international condemnation to force a change of the attitude of those in power, the rulers and government of these nations.
White slavery and the trading of human beings are now universal crime punishable by the laws of most if not all countries. Enforcement of course is another issue.
Women and children generally too have more say in the conduct of their lives then at any prior time. In most countries women can freely travel and work wherever and whenever they want. They can adorn themselves at their own discretion. They can find employment in almost any occupation from the powerful to the glamorous. From the bizarre to the questionable.
Inter Class/Caste and Inter Ethnic Relationship
Much as we hate to admit it there are still societies out there that practice caste segregation. Even in the more modern and enlightened society there is still a certain measure of strata in society separating the 'haves' from the 'have nots'. Even among the 'haves' we have segregation between the new rich and the old rich.
Open conflict between these layers of society have been more or less tolerable though occasional episodes of violence still marred this general improvement in this aspect of human relationship. In many developing countries there has been considerably less violence as compared to a couple or more centuries ago. This is contributed in no small measure by an increase in the broadening based of middle class society especially in the richer or more affluent nations of this world.
Religion has been a source of human conflicts for almost as long as the history of religion itself. Today extremist religion still plague the world but whole sale religious conflict that pit the adherent of one religion against another such as was seen in the crusades and religious war of the middle ages has been replaced with a generally more tolerant face.
In many countries especially in this last century more than ever before we find mankind mixed in a potpourri of races. Globalisation and speed of modern transport has allowed for the ease of people travelling beyond their native boundaries in search of a better life.
Throughout the recorded history of mankind, nations have generally been at war with their close neighbours, sometimes even with their far away neighbours such as were the raids of empires such as Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, the Mongols and Rome. And not too far in the past there were Napoleon, Hitler and Communist USSR.
Of course we have the Cold War for years after Hitler. Then there was Irag invading Bahrain and the subsequent First Gulf war. Followed on that there was the war against "terrorism" which saw the US invading first Afganistan under the sanction of the United Nation and following on that invading Iraq.
Regional conflicts continued here and there especially in the Middle East and Africa. But overall the nations of world are more or less getting along with one another. Right?
The setting up of a fairly effective quasi world governing body in the United Nations have for the first time in the history of mankind given the nations an avenue to resolve conflict without going to war, mostly.
Though the United Nations have only mixed success in ensuring universal human rights and checking raw national ambitions, it nevertheless have fostered a global national partnership in the management of global resources and the global economy.
True the success have been very limited in these area especially in the exploitation of the global resources and in restraining the plundering, polluting and destruction of the environment.
Do you agree with the above hypothesis? Do they sound convincing to you, about human beings getting along just fine?
That is just how easy for something to be so convincing and yet so totally untrue. Man everywhere is almost always in conflict with one another. Don't believe me, read the daily news. And those are only the tip of the iceberg.
We are all the same, no matter the color of skin, the stature of our build, the intelligence and perceptiveness of our minds, our political inclination, or our conviction and devotion. How true that statement is. The same in composition, the same in make-up, descended from the one family. So why can't we get along? Why are we almost always in conflict in our interpersonal relationship?
The answer: self expediency, a near total self focused that should anyone conflict with our goals, passions or intentions, they have to give. Unless they are more powerful than us then we have to give but only as long as that is the status quo.
In one of my blogs I wrote, 'with great power comes the great impunity to push others around'. That in essence is what self-expediency produces. When the power becomes absolute the tyranny of those yielding it becomes absolute. Witness Hilter's Germany, Stalin's USSR, Pol Pot's Kampuchia and Saddam Hussien's Iraq.
Closer to home on the personal level, we have spouse murdering spouse, parents killing their children and children murdering their parents, siblings killing one another. The often put forward solution of racial integration to solve this conflict is another ridiculous idea put forward by narrow minded socialogist who are totally clueless to the problem at hand.
The Missing Connection
In every social group and civilisation of man we have rules and laws that regulate the behaviour of the members whether this be written (as in cities and states) or unwritten (primitive tribal and village cultures). That is where the problem is. It regulates the behaviour of the individual or family or the social group. What that means is there has to be a main or central enforcer. But no human enforcer is all seeing and even it there is one the problem still remains. And that problem is the same everywhere - self expediency in the enforcer.
The individual or social unit within this social order is always testing the limits of what they can get away with. But no enforcement is a hundred percent effective, as no enforcer is able to detect and control the social order all the time. Additional to this is the limitation of the enforcer in exercising the power of control as this power itself is derivative from the very social group over which he exercises enforcement authority. The larger the social group and wider area they are spread, the harder it becomes for an individual enforcer to manage. That leads to the formation of enforcement groups but this enforcement groups shared the same basic self expediency within its individual members. In our "advance" modern society we have the regulatory codes enforced by monitoring controls and enforcement points. But we all know that this is only partially effective, and only if and when the 'collective' will is able to mitigate the individual member's self expediency among those who exercise the power of enforcement authority.
Of course aside from the perspective of enforcement there is also the social engineering that tries to create a social value or social norm within the group to precondition the behaviour of the individual in the group usually from birth, to conform to the regulatory requirement of the group. This again is hampered by the willingness of the individual to acquiescent to this social norm based on how much the individual self expediency is provided for by this social value system. As long as the individual self expediency is derived from and consistent with that of the group there is no infringement but how long, wide and deep do that hold? The current and past world order testified to it weaknesses.
Unless our world order can effectively and completely address this individual self expediency there will always be conflict within the sphere of human relationship which can easily and speedily scaled up to tribal, racial, religions and political conflicts. This world has not been able to do for the last six thousand years, and from what is happening around us today it does not appear like we are any closer to addressing the issue much less to resolve it.
In the past to a certain extent our societies have been able to mitigate this individual self expediency through this preconditioned social value system. However the world order of today have nourished to an ever increasing degree this self expediency through the glorification of the our enlightenment which while appearing to liberate us from ignorance of the past, is actually setting the stage for the self destruction of our societies. For when the law of self expediency rules totally there can only be total conflict totally. If the politicians and economists of today were to be perfectly honest they would have realized that this was what has been happening with our global financial system and economy since the late 1990s.
Now it is only a matter of time before this infects the geopolitical sphere or hasn't it already?
Next SOCIAL NORMS.
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1.Words in italic reference titles or proper names where this applies, otherwise these are personal notes to select people who are familiar with them.
2. I have intentionally left out scriptural references (mostly) as anyone who wants to prove or disprove what is written here should read the Bible extensively (yes from cover to cover at least three or more times).
3. The various chapters and articles published here are by no means exhaustive of the doctrines, prophesies, subjects and answers to questions on the scriptures.
4. Scriptures quoted are from New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.
5. The word or term 'man' is used throughout as a reference to man specifically as well as to all mankind (male and female) according to the context in the same way as the Bible used the term..
6. The articles published in this site are extracts of passages and chapters from this author's books.
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Last Updated: 2012 04 08