Bemeficent Society: Chpt 6

MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE ON SOCIOLOGY

 

August 12, 2015

Before the members of the Society adjourned on August 12, Sanya M. asked her committee to stay on for a short briefing session.

She told them that she intended to follow the approach of the economic committee in first identifying the bad memes distorting the social lives of people, particularly those of the poor.  She was, therefore, asking the members to list all the obstacles they knew of that impeded peoples’ ambition.  When the committee next met, she would compile these and lead a discussion as to how they could best be surmounted.

Sanya reminded her group that they had only two months to prepare their report, so there was no time to lose.  They were to meet just one week later and come prepared.  Wednesday night, same time, in the anteroom across the hall.

August 19, 2015

Sanya began with an evocation to Gad asking her to look kindly upon their efforts.  Not that it would do any good, Sanya admitted, but it lent a bit of solemnity to their efforts.

Similar to the experience of the economic committee, the members submitted more bad memes than their small group could grapple with.  But, after some discussion, they found many could be set aside as relatively inconsequential and others consolidated into broader statements.  The resulting list looked like this:

  •  The poor will always be among us
  • Governmental decisions regarding sociology should be left up to the experts
  • The national government should keep its hands off matters better left  to states including education, health care, and housing
  • People are entitled to assistance irrespective of their involvement of their own welfare
  • Natural resources and raw land should be privately held
  • Social harmony is promoted by government race-based programs such as affirmative action and mandated diversity
  • All offenders of the law sentenced to be removed from society should be imprisoned
  • Entitlements are only for the needy

Surveying the scope of this list, the committee had no trouble concluding that, in its social functions, society was as riddled with chronic institutional mismanagement as it was in virtually every other area.  Special interests, religiously inspired prejudices, , outmoded practices from bygone eras, political manipulation, and class favoritism all conspired to freeze into place an edifice of institutional bad memes that was impervious to frontal assault by a handful of Bemificent volunteers limited by a two-month operatioinal time frame..

Sanya, who had anticipated such a quandary, explained the workaround she had devised.  Rather than entangling themselves in today’s complex issues, their group  would follow the Economic Committee’s lead in starting with a clean slate and on it  devise an idealized, social system.  And to most intelligibly portray such a system, she decided, they would trace the careers of three fictional young people born into a variety of disadvantaged circumstances and destined, in today’s world, to lead disillusioned, anonymous lives in an already overpopulated underclass .

In Newcapia, of course, such unfavorable outcomes were a thing of the past.  Therefore Sanya divided her group into three subcommittees—their mission to rescue their assigned subjects from their predicted fates and provide them, instead, with lives that were satisfied and constructive.

The subcommittees were allowed to invent whatever private and/or public social tools were helpful in  accomplishing their mission provided—this being Newcapia—the tools ensured the civil rights and freedoms of the individuals involved, were fiscally sound, and economical to administer.  With that, Sanya gave each subcommittee a brief written description of its subject’s initiating conditions and wished them good luck.  The committee as a whole would meet again in six weeks for three consecutive days, beginning September 21, for a preliminary hearing of the subcommittee’s recommendations.  They would then have about two weeks to refine their proposals before presenting them to the Society on October 14.  Sanya granted this was an ambitious schedule, but knowing the ability and commitment of the membership, she expressed confidence in their fulfilling its demands.

 

 

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