The Family of Man … The Family of “God”
The only true community … what defines us … is the family of man. All others are derivatives. It comes with our bodies. The family of man is what material energy has evolved out of its own substance, therefore it is “God’s” community. Every other derives its meaning from there. Humankind’s justice requirements take precedence over every other social reality created by the mind and choices of men — union, church, party, nation, race, even biological kinship and clan.
Any human institution, entity or agency, and most pointedly the Church, is of value only to the degree that it plays an ancillary, subordinate role in promoting and protecting the family of man. It does this by displaying the human community’s essential characteristics in microcosm. In traditional terms, the Church strives to become the “sacrament” of humanity, recapitulating in itself the social structures and interpersonal dynamics that serve to bring out humankind’s potential. “Serve” is the appropriate term. The church (and any other community) exists to serve humanity, not the other way around. It betrays us and fatally corrupts itself, losing any justification for its existence, when it tries to usurp the place of humankind and declare itself “God’s” only true community … or allows itself to be defined by the individualist commercial ideology promoted by our current version of the capitalist economic system.
Capitalism as it currently functions, stands in direct contradiction to our communitarian human reality. It is based on the false and impossible premise that human beings are not related — that they are unconnected isolates. In this system solitary individuals subsist, survive, and achieve happiness on their own by “distinguishing” themselves through their accomplishments from every other individual. The sign of this accomplishment is remunerated recognition; the measure of “distinction” is given in monetary terms — the power to earn and to buy. For the deluded and ignorant, it is a Disneyland fantasy to which they cling even when it evaporates before their eyes; for the willful purveyors of the consumerism that drives this system, it is a calculated deliberate venal lie. Human survival and well-being including the accumulation of wealth is a community achievement. Individuals can do nothing. Even the human “self” — name, personality, language, religion, character, values, social role — is itself an inherited and carefully cultured social artifact, the product of a community: family, clan and class.
Those who love their families and work to sustain them know perfectly well that individualism is an empty lie … or the family disintegrates. They don’t need me to tell them. But the fiction is sustained by the constant drumbeat of corporate advertising which is constitutively invested in maintaining a labor pool of unorganized solitary individuals programmed to consume what the corporations sell. The power of advertising over the human mind is proven by the fact that results in sales and votes correlate directly to the amount of money spent. Advertising works all the time. This is not speech. It is brainwashing. The claim that it is protected by the constitution shows how malleable are words in the hands of the ruling elites.
There is only one important event in this system: the commercial transaction; and there is only one significant relationship, the power relationship: buyer and seller, patron and client, boss and employee, master and slave. People are defined as disconnected, unrelated economic units, characterized only by their relative power to control the outcome of a an exchange of goods and services, which includes their labor.
The original Jewish account of “beginnings” was an allegory of life on this earth. The authors never had any intention of saying , nor were their readers ever tempted to think, that there was another world before this one from which our ancestors were expelled. The sermon the Genesis authors were preaching with their allegory was that this world, this world, IS a paradise, and it is we who we ruin it for ourselves when we think we can deny our dependent origins and become “gods” — solitary unrelated divine individuals — self-made, self-subsistent, independent , self-involved, owning “knowledge” and living forever. Eating the fruit of the “tree of life” was an allegory for the denial of death. But it is death that saves us from our delusions of grandeur; for it cements, with its undeniability, the dependent connectedness created by our extrusion from the sacred matter of which all things are made. This matter is the same everywhere, and in it everything “lives and moves and has its being.” It is what we are. Our very bodies proclaim our eternal and universal relatedness. We are family; that is our true definition. That reality is there now as it has always been there, waiting to be activated any time we want. Is this something that needs to be proven? I don’t think so. Everybody knows it … everybody. Living as family would make this world a paradise.