Institutional living is the up and coming thing. Millions are in prison for hire. Odd how state hospital is shunned by federal funding. Few are in group homes. Millions are housed in assisted living, nursing homes, the names for costly institutions. The sociologists are studying the human animal for responses to a regimen of the nature of institution that one is confined in, because the goal is institutional confinement from the cradle to the grave, unless you’re filthy rich.
There are those who structure their time, who ought to be permitted to do so, in order to maintain passivity. There are certain amenities some cannot do without, others value other things. For a tranquil society, one ought to have access to certain toys of maturity, given certain limitations, who will insist upon harboring certain nonstandard beliefs. Being able to speak and write one’s mind, is an important building block, to fashioning a tranquil society.
Along with an idea that humans have a need for open spaces on occasion, comes the idea that humans have a need for the company of plants and animals now and then, along with their customary walls. The possibility of the company of a significant other, ought to be a possibility among humans with cognition, which ought not be denied them. Humans have a need for attempts at relationships, both genders and private intimacies as well. Happy campers.
The idea of having a family nucleus, with any other arrangement being superimposed, has rendered society to an isolationist state which needs be remedied. Many meet their spouse in a bar, others in a church, but either one settles down to an isolationism which is a difficulty to remedy. At least with communal dining and a nucleus of an institution of maybe fifty to eighty in the one house, the nucleus makes for some sense of tribal belonging.
The tribal idea, or communal living, is that of mankind belonging to a tribe, needing to be unified, ever since the advent of the automobile and then the TV, which have developed a unit of separateness. It has forced the individual to accept a sense of being apart from the humanity around him, which has resulted in a depersonalizing of conscience, such that people are in need of belonging to something, yearning to belong to anything.
Humans have a basic need for a tribal, communal context, in our relating, on a day to day basis. In the towns and hamlets, in days of yore, everyone knew the butcher, the baker and the candle stick maker. Now, we are strangers. If we do not have a group to relate to, we cannot relate to the individual, and therefore we get monsters shooting up movie theaters and elementary schools, in desperation to revolt for a tribal sense.
Before the popularity of the car and the TV and now the cell phone, which is the latest barrier among us, when we once knew everyone among the manageable group. We beheld them, as they did us, being responsible for our individual behavior, from the time we were very small. Maybe the government working to reorder us into a tribal unit, functioning within units of a greater society, to standardize mass experience. Thank you, Henry Ford.
In assisted living, for example, the people are people, not strangers. The hair dresser/barber is Doris. The receptionist is Carol, the full timer in the dining room is Evelyn. I call the part timer, Mother Superior, when she’s not listening, because that’s her attitude. Belonging is important to all of us. We’re not machines, in spite of Henry. The biggest problem is a feeling of alienation, not from countries or nations, but from the guy in the next apartment.
The institutions we experience now, are on an experimental basis, developing protocol for future reference. They are the forerunners of the institutions to come, as our tribal setting congeals, in the not too distant future. Maybe they’ll come up with some new names for things and more subtle arrangements, than we have now, but the trend is for all of us, from birth to death, to have some sort of superimposed tribal environment.
The state hospital program was a good forerunner idea for me, because of the tribal village feeling, and the assisted living home are similar types of arrangements. If anyone comes into my house, I have the right to speak to him, because he came into my house. Like if a stranger came into our town or village, the resident has the right, yea the responsibility, to challenge them, to know their business is in our village.
The world, with all it’s machinations, police forces and etc, has lost that sense of community. If we are ever going to join the intergalactic community we aspire to, we are required by sense of decency, to terminate the military madness, going on among us. The solution to this state of murderous madness, be it by armies or by individuals, is to regroup into basic tribal units, and take responsibility for ourselves and for each other.