What must it have felt like to societies that were at war before the invention of explosives and then experienced bullets, bombing and impersonal killing? Before explosives, war was very personal; brutal person-to-person engagement in violent and painful murder; war was an engagement of individuals – war could not be executed without individuals directly engaged with other individuals. Suddenly, many individuals could be killed without that personal, person-to-person engagement.
This is an example of ‘depersonalization’. War was no longer a personal experience, it became one person taking no risk but killing many unknown persons far away – whether the unknown individuals deserved it or not or even knew they were engaged in combat. Society must have felt an important moral commitment slip away – the individual was no longer morally responsible, rather, killing became a pluralistic, amoral experience.
What must it have felt like to societies that lived in relatively stable, locally governed communities where daily commerce was an engagement with familiar people, where the local economy was created by the community as a group of related individuals before the invention of the internal combustion engine that shifted commerce away from communal living, required massive interaction with non-community businesses and having to travel away from the local community on roads and rails? Afterward, communities were subject to economic forces outside the community and its familiar economic ethos of individual well being. This is depersonalization of economy – no longer a community-driven value system.
What must it have felt like to society when elections were strictly a regional phenomenon, where the elected officials were locally known and the issues were the voters’ concern focused on meat and potato issues before individual perspective was swamped by television which exposed individuals to unknown, pontificating, irrelevantly motivated hacks that had no concern for the power of the individual in democratic politics? This is depersonalization of democracy – a philosophy dependent on strength that comes from a bottom-up flow of authority.
What must it feel like to humans when growing up, assuming persona and responsibility and living life among other humans when the chemistry of inter-human behavior is disrupted by a handheld device that replaces human behavior with insidious instructions and influences, induces drug-like dependency and the sole motive is to deflect normal human behavior. Truly this is the depersonalization of human life.
Mariner has vowed to practice forgiveness and compassion, center his life in the society of his town, deny participation in top-down political activities that impose on local perspective and will never participate in the evils of uncontrolled, unmonitored behavioral modification.
In accordance with his Luddite attitude, mariner has completed his Christmas wish list for 2022: two ponies and a small, two-axle pony cart.