I am 72 years old, and I have lived in 4 different countries with different cultures.
I spent my early years in Egypt, my adolescent and my adulthood in Montreal Canada, while I also did 3 years of higher studies in London England. Finally, I moved to Athens where I spent 25 years. During the last 4 years I have been living in Montreal Canada, in order to supplement my years of residence so as to receive part of my old age pension in Greece.
What I want to emphasize here is the fact that during the 72 years of my existence, what has impressed me the most is the ‘’social dystopia’’ and the ‘’spiritual vacuum’’ which encompasses the everyday lives of people, especially in the West. A dystopia which affects all ages and all social classes. Even more important is the fact that the epicenter of this ‘’social dystopia’’ is to a large degree within the ‘’family unit’’, which theoretically is the social space where one can find solace, a spiritual uplift and an existential stability.
It’s the metaphor of the Holy Family as it appears in Christian and Judaic sacred texts.
Having worked as a private tutor to young people for many years, I have been given the opportunity to observe closely the way different families function on a personal level, especially as this relates to the upbringing , the psyche and the personality formation of young people through time.
The conclusion that I have arrived at after these personal encounters with the various families was that the fashioning of a child’s character, especially within the family environment , has produced a very negative impact and instability to a balanced human thought process, the cohesion of their personality and their freedom for personal expression, whether in the spiritual, the mental and even in the erotic sphere of human existence.
Essentially, the family functions as the mouthpiece for the directives of society’s establishment, formulating developments and everyday practices which would acquiesce to the social and economic prerogatives of society’s establishment, the political, religious, economic and cultural one.
The family plays the role of the security guard or even that of the pimp for the elite classes, in order to subjugate people in general, both adults and the young.
The most effective social tools for realizing this one-dimensional and despotic human development in shaping the personality of a child and later on of an adult, are the psychological inputs of ‘’guilt’’ and ‘’social isolation’’, which touch upon and stimulate the subconscious in order to define the conscious of a person.
The social prerogatives are the castration of the personality of young people and the dehumanization of adults. The creation of individuals without a coherent personality or a dialectic thought process, without the fortitude and the incentives to prescribe and activate their own potential reality, and their own personal expectations and dreams.
The protagonists of this ‘’existential crime’’ are first the parents, then the relatives, and later on all the people who directly influence a person’s everyday activities, directly or indirectly.
We therefore witness social pressures and mind control inputs from many societal actors who are being supported and reinforced by the human insecurity of becoming ostracized by their close social environment, and in essence by society at large. A very good and concrete example during the present times is the fact that people are being ostracized and isolated because they are not willing to inject themselves with the experimental drug for Covid 19.
The consequences of these intense social pressures coming from a close social environment like the family, but also from society as a whole, predisposes to serious psychological dysfunctions to young people as well as adults.
People do not feel at ease and free with their everyday existence as well as with their natural faculties as creative entities. They are not mentally provided with the motives and the incentives to recognize what they really want and are searching for as priorities for a fruitful life.
In order to temper or dampen this absolute and one dimensional control, individuals demonstrate symptoms of psychopathy which express themselves through acts of violence, both physical and psychological. Through extreme competiveness and despotism, through avarice and opportunism, and finally through their own psychosomatic disintegration due to their life patterns and their alienation from their natural social needs.
With the use of narcotic substances, opiate medication and addictive sexual behavior, people have chosen to live a virtual reality which does not reflect their natural tendencies for ‘’socialization’’ , a societal factor which has supported human development for thousands of years. They exclude the human feelings of empathy, of eroticism, of peaceful coexistence with their fellow human being and the axiom of an ideological and cultural pluralism.
In my 72 years of existence, I have very rarely encountered a family, of whatever social class or culture, which was functioning harmoniously and democratically, which would act as a societal channel for intellectual tranquility and spiritual regeneration.
Starting from my own family which is representative of the large majority of families within its main parameters, individuals function within this societal construct more as obstacles for the happiness and the personal development of the family members instead of their social promoters.
In one sentence we could generalize and state that the large majority of people after childhood demonstrate to a certain degree symptoms of a disturbed psyche or symptoms of a psychosis.
The fact that a large section of people, young and old, rich or poor, accept passively this everyday social instability in all of its facets, consuming on a daily basis antidepressant medication, narcotic drugs and strong alcoholic beverages, becoming addicted to these substances in order to cope with or dampen all these existential anomalies and distortions, is enough proof that that which dominates the psyche of human beings is psychopathy and not temperance and sociability.
That which supersedes as criteria for human development are the ‘’virtual social tenets’’ or the ‘’everyday lies’’ which not only cover up but also justify society’s dystopia and human tragedy which we are all experiencing . Everyday lies could be the ‘’artificial’’ or ‘’prescribed’’ social roles, within and outside of the family, as well as the various ritualistic public demonstrations, religious or patriotic, which in theory embody society’s unity.
The societal factors which amalgamate the family unit are not the peaceful coexistence of its members within the context of freedom of expression and of feelings, but a coercion for blind compliance to a common social stance, which is ‘’we’’ as independent and self-sufficient social entities versus the ‘’others’’ who are classified as opponents and not as fellow human beings.
This is the common formula or attitude so that family members would accept passively that which deflects them from everything which inspires them as a normal and creative life which would liberate them emotionally and mentally.
This ‘’cancerous’’ existential reality has a serious impact on all of society, the socially privileged as well as the underprivileged ones. The difference rests on the fact that the socially privileged people are empowered with many material defenses and influential societal positions to cover up their everyday madness and existential tragedy, while the ordinary person, who is not socially privileged, constantly faces society’s rebuke for lacking a viable social status.
The young people I have taught as private tutor and who most of them are married with children , are to a large degree problematic personalities due to the distorted life experiences and the repression which they have experienced as children within the family , and later on as adults within a highly competitive and inhumane societal environment.
That which prevails today in the ‘’psyche’’ of most human beings is a condition of ‘’bipolarity’’ which reveals itself through a variety of extreme psychosomatic symptoms. I have personally witnessed many cases of hysteria, manic depression, anorexia, self-punishment, schizophrenia, suicidal tendencies, as well as extreme acts of violence towards almost everyone else.
We witness intense emotions and behavior of extreme euphoria and bouts of extreme violence, diagnostic indicators of ‘’bi-polarity’’. Here we also have to mention the human condition of an extreme emotional expression of ‘’exclusive devotion’’ towards a particular person which underlies a fixation for absolute control and manipulation of the other.
There aren’t any adequate and effective social frameworks to activate a societal reformation and an effective exit from this ‘’social dystopia’’ and this ‘’human tragedy’’ which has been prevalent for thousands of years.
There aren’t these societal preconditions and social instruments in place where the individual is able to develop as a social unit , the moment that all social reforms in the past have mainly focused on the material requirements of human beings and not on their existential quests .
The responsibility for this ‘’human tragedy’’ of thousands of years rests to a large degree on the family unit and the critical role it has played in alienating the individual from its inherent nature as a free and creative entity which has the potential to improve its own life and the quality of life of all of society.
Sadly, young people have always been the pawns of society as a whole , and its establishment in particular, but more importantly young people have always been the pawns of their own families.