Saturday, October 02, 2004

The West has developed by isolating a person’s sensory development: community has been lost; art is not longer a ‘communal immersion’ but rather an individual onanistic experience. Thus, we have been starved of developmental input and the dynamism of collectivity: progress is not through total individualism, nor is it through the total collective - this would mean either the two extremes of anarchy or totalitarianism. A person can grow to be more in tune with themselves, more independent and of greater harmony with oneself, as well as being more involved with the collective. In other worlds, to be both the 'particle' and the 'wave' (to use the terminology of quantum theory!).

This concept of the organic collective, whilst now becoming increasingly more talked about and received in both the academic and social sphere, has been a central theme running through many sci-fi stories. Just as a very basic example, I picked up a pulp paperback sci-fi book from Oxfam the other day, for £1: it was Norman Spinrad’s ‘The Solarians’, published in 1966. Here is a brief extract:

‘As the human race evolves, the differences among its individual members become greater, not less. Specialisation becomes more and more pronounced. And if the race continued to be organised on the basis of nations, clans, families of like clustering together…

‘The human race would explode!’

‘Exactly,’ said Lingo. ‘The Organic Group is a new basic unit, based not on the similarity of its members, but on their differences. It’s not merely a good idea – its an evolutionary necessity…And of course, with the basic unit built upon this kind of functional cooperation, the whole civilisation is stable and unified.’

SO - a question we should ask ourselves is - are we becoming more globally organic? If so, how is this being achieved? With the aid of technology? And is this an unconscious, or guided directionality? is the Internet a part of this...? and the dreaded US 'Total Information Awareness' program...whose ends will it serve if everyone is wired up?

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