Blog 8) ‘Social Divisions’

 

‘Social Divisions’

Humankind evolved equal and unified, but today, everywhere, it is divided by the bloody and painful wounds of social class and religion – the two great curses of human society! Cutting across these great socially constructed divisions are the lesser, though equally painfully, socially constructed divisions of; race, gender and sexual orientation. They divide people into (literally) ‘pre-judged’ categories, irrespective of who they really are and what they are really like. Social class and religion; causing endless conflict, often of a violent nature; social class, religion and the other divisions which cut humanity into shreds – prominent among the prime causes of human misery! And where do these curses originate? In the Isonuc (the isolated nuclear family) – without it, they wouldn’t exist!

The way this works, if we can step back and look it at the reality of it dispassionately, is simple: the burden of both class and religion are passed down through the generations on the back of the brutally simple assumption that lies at the heart of the Isonuc; i.e. the notion that the children in ‘my’ nuclear family are my children. They belong to me in the same way in which my property belongs to me. Modern, Western values have set some limits on this comprehensive proprietorship: parents are no longer free to murder, physically or sexually abuse their children, or sell them to others. But, when it comes to, for example, imposing your particular religious beliefs on them, there are no legal, or even moral limits.

It’s instructive to compare (as Richard Dawkins has done) the way in which religious world-views get reproduced versus how political world-views achieve this. Generally, religions deal with more profound questions than political ideologies; the ‘meaning’ of life, life after death, the immortality of the ‘soul’, personal morality, etc… And yet, our attitudes towards indoctrinating children differ remarkably between religion and politics. The imposition of particular political values on children, from birth, without any requirement to provide a fair balance of opposing, alternative views, is generally regarded as sinister and morally wrong. Again, a person’s political beliefs will (in most cases) have a less dominating effect on their lives than their religious beliefs. A prime reason for this being the very fact that religious beliefs are imposed in infancy, without critical discourse and before the child has developed their own rational judgement.

The role of the isolated nuclear family in creating and maintaining class difference is just as clear: where do we learn which social class we ‘belong’ to? In the Isonuc! Our parents’ socioeconomic status determines our socioeconomic status. We then carry this stamp of social origin with us throughout the rest of our lives, affecting our self-esteem, self-image, confidence (or lack of) and attitudes to almost every aspect of life. Plus, of course, our recruitment into one class creates our capacity to hate and/or despise the members of other classes. (The same, naturally, applies to religions.)

How could Prima root out the twin evil curses of religion and class? Hunter-gather communities in pre-history had no religion (apart, probably, from some vague animist/spiritualist beliefs) and definitely no social classes. If 100 modern adults seriously want to reconstitute this social environment in order to raise their children, then they have to be committed to ensuring a similar absence of religion and class. Absence of class should be the easier to attain, in practical terms, given a commitment to share the same material standard of life for the five and a half years of child-rearing in the Prima. It will not, of course, be as easy to leave class prejudices and attitudes at the door when entering the Prima, but these problems and conflicts can be worked on in support groups. Likewise for religious prejudices and attitudes.