Sunday 11 October 2020

Values are a product of System - but which System?

It is a plank of the post-modern mood that values are a product of System; and that there are no values outside of System. 

If someone asserts values that are not part of System, then these are essentially private, delusional, psychotic - an arbitrary, personal and unshared morality; and such an individual is, of course, potentially dangerous to those who participate in the System morality (dangerous to the extent he or she has power). 

And values also include the standards of truth and beauty; so that System defines what is beautiful or ugly, what is fact or lie.  

All valuations, in other words, come from System. 

This is true; but what is disputable is that there is only one System; and that is the one System of mortal human society in this world - including its cultural and technological elaborations. 


The mainstream assertion that governs life in the modern world is that life is material (there is no 'spiritual' domain, no soul, no god/s, nothing 'supernatural'); and that life is (therefore) bounded by biological conception-birth at one end and by death at the other end. 

A more recent development of the concept of System is that the cultural and technological elaborations are more real, more objective - because more powerful and widely-known, potentially more stable and longer-lasting, than the human beings of the world.  

Thus System has become abstract: impersonal, and indeed increasingly anti-personal. 


Because values derive-from System, and the worldly-System is increasingly abstract and with increasing not-human elements (computers, technologies, statistics...); the System can and does generate values that benefit the System considered as an abstract-whole, but not the human beings

Thus the modern world; in which we increasingly relate to the System only via bureaucracy (systemised humans) and electronic mass-social media. The question of whether this is good for humans does not even arise; because values come from the System, and only one worldly System is acknowledged.

It is either the System or psychosis - and therefore neutralisation, hospital or prison. There can be no exile, no independence; because nowhere is outside or beyond the System. 

And, because non-System values are dangerous to the System; anyone with values outside is necessarily selfish and mad - thus will be sought, labelled, and their threat eliminated. 


And Yet - the worldly System is arbitrary. It does not have purpose, it does not have meaning: it Just Is. 

Thus, modern reality is a mandatory morality, a compulsory and inescapable system of values - that is, at the same time, arbitrary; without foundation, going-nowhere, and meaning-nothing. 

Our choice is mandatory meaninglessness or de facto death. 

This reality is dawning upon more and more people, because the compulsory System is changing so rapidly, is so obviously incoherent, is so increasingly either indifferent or hostile to actual human happiness or suffering. 

Yet, if the System assumptions are accepted - and they mostly are accepted (whether unconsciously or consciously); then There Is No Alternative. 

Modern life = slavery to the arbitrary System, with no hope of anything else; becuase there Is nothing else.

All this follows with apparent inevitability, until it is recognised that there is a System beyond 'the System', and which includes and transcends the worldly system. 

We then recognise that the wordly System has been and is made by exclusions; especially of God the Creator - and we recognise that there is a transcendent world beyond and containing the material.

We recognise that the supposedly monopolistic worldly System is actually within, and subordinate to, the Divine System.


Once that larger Divine System is recognised; all the above crumbles to dust. 

Once we recognise that life extends back before conception and forward beyond biological death...

Once we recognise that this material reality was made by God, from spirit...

Once we recognise that this worldly System is a part of Creation; and may be judged by the values of Creation...

Once we recognise that there is an escape from this worldly System into God's greater reality of Creation - and that most of our lives lies beyond biological death...

...Then we are free.  



edwin faust said...

Interesting that although the System is everything and its authority unquestionable, the word "systemic" is now used to describe all supposed evils: we have, most notably, systemic racism, systemic sexism, systemic patriarchy, systemic inequality, etc. We appear to be engaged in an orgy of self-destruction in which everything is systemic and everything is evil and must be destroyed. Individuals are now either the maintainers or destroyers of systemic evils, defined by the government and communicated through its subservient media. Everyone is eager to dissociate himself from one or another systemic evil so that he can escape condemnation. But there seems to be no escape: one is now a villain because of one's race or gender or forbears. All are guilty, except the punishers, but even they turn on one another. We seem to have arrived at the war of all against all. Those who would save themselves must become like the Desert Fathers, abandoning all hope in a brighter world and turning inward to look for God.

Bruce Charlton said...

@edwin - That's a good point. I hadn't noticed it in that way. Of course, it is of a piece with the fact that the billionaire 'Davos' Establishment who control everything, are the ones who make this accusation, which ought rationally to be directed against-themselves, but somehow ends up by being against everybody-else...

MagnusStout said...

Thank you for continuing to post your trenchant observations.

Three comments: 1) ironically, the System promotes a kind of "openness" to many things (race, sexuality, etc...) but _never_ to its current configuration or presuppositions. 2) System incoherence (a fractured mind) is a mark of the diabolical (compare & contrast to the birth of science in Christendom). 3) If things are "coming to a point," perhaps this unpleasant interregnum will be used to establish the final antichrist system (from masks to Marks)?

God Bless!

David Earle said...

I often wonder if any of this will ever become apparent to the average person, or will it just be subtle destruction over the next few decades that most people won't even notice.

In hindsight, I can definitely notice a difference between modern society and how I grew up, but most people seem to brush this off as just normal progression of things and therefore there's nothing to really be said about it. There definitely isn't an evil agenda shifting things in a certain direction!

I like to think it's a net positive overall that I'm aware of all this NOW and already moved beyond despair to acceptance and hope, and everybody out there living aloof will have it hit them like a ton of bricks in the near future. And then my advice and condolence will finally be relevant and wanted. However, I suspect that people's lives will just get increasingly dull and meaningless and they won't quite be able to put their finger on why or what exactly has occurred.

It's all too perfectly spectacular, boring, unprecedented, and coordinated/uncoordinated for me to NOT think something divine and supernatural is taking place.

Jacob Gittes said...

Ironically, it is only be knowing, believing and acting as though there is a higher system above this materialistic evil that we can even begin to effectively oppose it.
Opposing it may or may not succeed on a macro level, but it can surely succeed at the level of the individual. And individuals who reach that point of connection to God and the higher transcendent system stand out. Some people will be inspired. Some will hate those who oppose this material system (probably a majority). But the alternative is just despair.

Rich said...

Thanks for opening comments back up, Bruce. I realize it must be a chore to sort through, but I do get quite a bit out of reading your responses to questions and others comments. This really seems to be the only sane place left for me outside of my family.