Sociomics. Part 5: A Union Instead of a Family
The family remains what may be the most conservative element of the modern society. Family traditions are rooted deep in the past. But the family has not been up to the modern demands and requirements, so it needs modernization. Vee and Jay are proposing a Union as the next iteration of a Family. A Union is the social unit of the future.
You may not ready for this yet, but your kids will definitely like it…
Jay: Do you know why I like coming to your place? (looks at Vee, nervously twitches his head and waves his index finger) You’re cool! My friend… that one… you know the one I mean, don’t you? I do love him in my own way. But he doesn’t get me! And you’re cool… Yeah, you are… (shows a thumbs up). I like talking to you. You’re not afraid of me, and you are fun!
Vee: Hmm… I’m flattered… but why don’t you get a girlfriend!
Jay: Yeah, I’ve got one. But it’s complicated between me and her, you know what I mean! (looks at Vee)
Vee: That rings a bell. I thought everything was over between you two a long time ago? (gives Jay a questioning look)
Jay: O-o-o-h… no. N-o-o-o! Only death will do us apart! (laughs)
Vee: Maybe you should start a family? You’d make an awesome family of mad villains!
Jay: A-ha-ha-ha… (lies back in his chair and laughs) You won’t get me anywhere near that shit! A-ha-ha-ha… (pauses, then talks with some tenderness) We’re two peas in a pod, that’s for sure! She and I have a perfect union, no redundant words, you know? There’s some invisible binding thread and flashes of passion between us. I know she’ll never betray me, and if she does, she’ll die… It’s love! (laughs again).
Vee: (chuckles) I like the fact that you called your relationship a union. That’s something new. A union… Hmm… Why don’t you like the word family? Both of these words essentially mean the same thing.
Jay: Nuh-uh… This is a big, major error (waves his hand from side to side with his index finger raised) A family is a plan that implies a joining of people to avoid loneliness, creation of artificial problems and the fuss of solving them, with the inevitable appearance of offspring to rid yourself of idleness. Well, another reason is to avoid kicking the bucket after a hungry and lonely old age (chuckles).
Jay: (turns his wrist from side to side) It’s a kind of a strained acceptance of the society’s only proposal to become its member, rather than an outcast. But a union… (speaks with a sly smile on his face) a union is different! It means joint development in every respect. It means reliable cooperation and a firm friendship (abruptly switches to another topic). Our friendship is different. We can kill each other at any moment. Even right now! (starts laughing loudly) A union means following a common goal, romance and adventure, mutual freedom, ability to live together or separately, following your life path without looking back. It’s unpredictability and creativity in their highest manifestation! (raises his hands, speaking loudly and emotionally) O-o-o-h, how I love a relationship like that!
Vee: Hmm… You mean to say that a union and a family have entirely different goals, don’t you? (gazes at Jay intently) A family is established for procreation, to give birth to children and rear them, and to avoid loneliness…
Vee: And the goal of a union is personal growth and development, including spiritual development, of all members of that union? Am I right?
Jay: (calms down and replies, slouching in his chair) O-o-h, yes! My sensei, you’re right… (smiles)
Vee: Aha… Also, as I understand, a union and a family are based on completely different principles. The basic principles of a family are loyalty and devotion to that family, serving the interests of the family and your kin, fulfilling family obligations, accepting and respecting the authority of the head of the family… Err… What else?
Jay: (abruptly leans in Vee’s direction, speaking hoarsely) And what about observing family and kin traditions, and the primacy of the family’s interests over its members’ personal interests?
Vee: Right. And, as I understand, a union is based on principles that include equality, freedom of will and choice, harmony of personal and common interests and striving for development. Did I leave anything out?
Jay: (spreads his arms and shrugs) I’ve got nothing to add, you are right on the mark, as always! (a short pause) A less boring mark than usual, but bang on the nose! (bares his teeth in a hideous smile)
Vee: But it’s all just a theory, and in practice? Mmm… In reality, their families quickly become a burden for most people, and family obligations turn their life into a monotonous routine. Constant limitations that the members of the family put on one another lead to more dejection and disappointment. Since family interests are always the first priority, you can forget about your individual interests and personal development. Most of the time will now have to be devoted to maintaining your family, rather than self-development. All these things lead to a severe internal conflict and various identity crises. People want to do what they want, but they have to do entirely different things.
Vee: For example, he wants to go to the mountains for the whole summer, but has to go to grandma’s place in the country with the whole family. She wants to write a book, but she can’t, since she must carry out her motherly duties and her household responsibilities to her husband: wash, clean, cook and create a warm cozy vibe. A constant disregard of their desires breaks people and turns them into weak-willed creatures dragging out their meaningless existence. And how do things like that work in a union?
Jay: (speaks loudly) Plain and simple! (puts his legs up on the table) When a union between a man and a woman is created, those two people’s personal interests double up and come to the fore. What could be more important for an individual than those principles you’ve mentioned when talking about the union. Remain true to yourself and do everything not to lose yourself. Be who you are and be free… Attention! (raises his index finger) Being free doesn’t necessarily mean being alone!
Jay: A union gives you freedom, in which you learn to always be close to another person v-o-l-u-n-t-a-r-i-l-y, but at the same time not to drive yourself into a corner while also taking the other’s interests into account. (talks fast, swinging one arm in the air) You sort of study each other and maintain a comfortable coexistence… (abruptly focuses his gaze on Vee) A man’s role in a union is to set the direction in the life, and his partner’s is to support and follow him… Although… (pauses) He just needs to find a chick who won’t find his life stance entirely alien, who’ll understand it and want to live the way the man suggests. Such is the nature of these two principles. No, it’s not easy in our crazy world, but nothing’s impossible! (pauses) But there’s another problem...
Vee: What’s that?
Jay: (puts his hands on the table and chuckles sarcastically) Ha… Ha-ha-ha… The narrow-mindedness of most modern men! The only thing they can offer a woman is family and children.
Jay: Trivial, isn’t it?! (pauses, reasons) Of course, the girls in love gladly agree to it because they’ve never heard any other offers. And the society… The society knows its dirty business! (rolls his eyes and talks monotonously) It keeps putting pressure on the young girl until it crushes her like a cockroach (suddenly stamps his foot on the floor)! They are preparing her for this bleak fate since childhood… (pauses again, then argues affirmatively) In fact, most women are looking for romance and adventure. They are looking for someone who’ll be able to give them all of that, someone who’ll make their life unforgettable and unpredictable. Do you remember Bonnie and Clyde?! (looks at Vee inquiringly)
Vee: Ehh… Yes, of course, I do! But that didn’t end well, you know that...
Jay: (argues sadly) Yes… She knew how their story would end. She was ready to live an interesting life with him, even if it were a short one. But she was still by his side! She liked that life. It was tough and dangerous, but it was a life!
Jay: She was really alive, although she could have been a regular wife and mother. I can call her a heroine. And she was just that for Clyde. (elatedly, assertively) She went against the establishment, against the society and lived how she saw fit! And Clyde was the man capable of lighting that fire inside her and preserving it until her death. Their life was brilliant and went down in history forever… (silent for a moment, then abruptly changes the conversation topic, leaning low over the table, and looks at Vee from below) Just think, by the time they’re 20, fucking 20, young women realize that it’s almost impossible to find a man like that, a man like Clyde (covers his eyes with his hand)! They rush because they’re sure they haven’t got much time. And even those slowpokes they’ve got in plain sight can be quickly taken by their rivals, and they will remain spinsters forever. (abruptly starts shouting with tears in his eyes) They stop searching!
Vee: There are actually numerous other issues that are incompatible with the foundations of a union. Like inequality between sexes and stereotypes linked to the idea that a woman’s main purpose is to generate peace and comfort and rear children. Also there’s another stereotype that claims that the man should decide everything in the family because he’s the ‘stronger’ sex.
Jay: (blows his nose in the hem of his coat) Heh.. (pauses) I only see a union as the solution to all problems, rather than their endless number. Inequality of sexes and stereotypes connected with the purpose of men and women were contrived by religion. (wipes his nose with his sleeve and says sarcastically) O-o-h, yeah! Yet another human plague, to benefit men. But you and I understand how stupid the humanity still is! Heh… Heh-heh-heh!
Vee: Jay, you’re talking in my words! But do go on, I’m very interested!
Jay: (laughs loudly) You’re a bad influence on me! No, not totally similar – now… now… now I’ll make it completely the same… (starts twisting his face, adjusting his voice) During many years of living together people get older, they can’t and don’t know how to live differently, after so many years of living plagued by endless problems and worries. They don’t become closer to each other, although they think they’ve become closer. But it’s all a deception! On the contrary, they’re so far removed from each other, so alien, that without the binding thread called ‘children’ they don’t know what to do next and how to behave if they are perpetually alone with each other. They have to meet each other all over again, get to know each other. And that’s the best case scenario, because they don’t want anything in their old age, and it’s easier to communicate only when necessary. There is no attraction or spark or passion that used to be there.
Jay: People don’t know what to do with themselves, even when the most important person in their life is by their side. And why? Because that person stopped being the most important one a very long time ago… (starts laughing very loudly, falls from his chair and continues to laugh)
Vee: To be fair, Jay, unions can create severe problems for society. For example, who’s going to give birth to and rear children?
Jay: (a voice calming down from laughter sounds from under the table) Give birth?! (tries to get up from the floor) Why would that be a problem? (continues to copy Vee) You can always make people give birth to children through various programs. You can introduce the notion of duty to humanity if the couple has the required qualities and is entirely suited for procreation. You can provide the conditions required for that purpose. (pauses, stands by the table and mocks Vee) For example, after giving birth to a bab,y the woman (or sometimes the man) won’t have to stay at home and suffer for years, 1 year will suffice.
Jay: Next, the society will take responsibility for the new person’s upbringing, not burdening the parents or crippling the children’s psyche.
Vee: Jay, there’s a very important point about children here. A union isn’t created for rearing children. Society has to rear children, as you’ve said correctly! It’s a crucial function. Two people can’t give a child a comprehensive worldview, while they’re still searching for it themselves. Thus, children can only harm a union and its primary goals.
Vee: That often happens in ordinary families, when a baby is born and the woman moves her man into the background, putting the children, financial issues and her parents first. She starts to give him less attention, fully focusing on the baby and domestic problems. Due to the shortage of attention, endearment, love and energy, the man often has to make up for that shortage on the side, and sex is hardly the first priority there. It often leads to the destruction of the family with all the consequences that come with it. Men take mistresses, trying to find that union that they desire so desperately - but they rarely find it there, too. Because mistresses also want power over them. Some want to entice the man over to their side, so that he would support and provide for their family. And some just need him because of loneliness. Few see such a relationship as a source of development and self-actualization.
Jay: (sits down on the chair) Yes… It’s hard to disagree with you. (grins) And what about women? Why do they have affairs with other men?
Vee: Probably for the very same reasons. After assuming the role of a homemaker and a mother, women drown and rot in the monotony, the routine of constants worries and domestic problems. But that’s only half the trouble. Somewhere in their subconscious, women expect their other halves to lead them to the stars! They want to conquer new summits, they want variety, adventure and new experiences in their lives. And men can usually offer them the mere role of the mother of their children and a homemaker. Nothing else. No personal or spiritual development. No variety. So in order to not go crazy before their time, they have affairs on the side. It’s a great chance for women to remember their youth, feel real freedom and forget about the intolerable domestic duties and daily routine, even if for a short time. (gets distracted from his speech and watches Jay play around)
Jay: Tra-la-la-la… (sings a song softly and plays with his knife)... (pauses, freezes and directs his look at Vee)
Jay: ...Err, are you done yet? (the knife falls on the floor) And I… Well… (bends to take the knife and talks from underneath the table) I’ve been thinking about the role of a mother and a cook. All in all, I can quickly send them off to the stars (giggles) Ta-dam! (shows the dropped knife to Vee)
Vee: (continues the reasoning) I also observed another important detail. Possessive relations dominate in a regular family. The wife and the husband consider each other their property, and both of them consider the children their property. Right? There’s nothing like that in a union, since it’s based on partnership and friendship. And, of course, love. And real love at that, not a fleeting passion. Families are very often started because of this fleeting passion. And it happens very often that they later understand they’re not fit for each other. Good thing if they don’t have kids by that time, and just go their separate ways. But what if they do have children? Then there’s that notorious duty to the family, to the child. And that breaks the lives of both adults and children.
Jay: Yeah… (speaks cynically, spinning the knife on the table) You can’t get away with that in a union! It’ll never be based on passion only, because when establishing a unionpeople must think not only with what’s between their legs, but with their heads as well (taps his index finger on his temple).
Vee: I’d say that the creation of a union requires a more sensible and conscious approach than the creation of a family. Before establishing a union, people should examine each other more closely, paying attention to the more important traits of their future partners, such as their inner world and character, their interests and worldview. In a union, money and beauty recede into the background.
Vee: Meanwhile, they often come first when starting a family, and it’s absolutely justified and logical in relation to the purposes of a family. As a result, it turns out that a union is a more solid, lasting and deep connection between people, compared to a family. The future of mankind is with the union, which should become a unit of the new highly developed society. All we have to do now is to deal with the issue of rearing children.
Jay: And with the highly developed society! (winks at Vee)
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