What is an alienated dysfunctional society? Good question. Let’s look at each of those three words
separately, one by one.
Alienated. Alienation occurs when individuals feel no connection or relation towards other people
or institutions. Sometimes the sentiment is such that there is a largely negative, fearful
connotation. As a result, avoiding connections becomes a preferable option, resulting in a lack of
communication and feedback, magnifying the feeling of alienation, often warping their views about
individuals and institutions that can be drastically different from any bearing on reality.
Dysfunctional. Dysfunctional literally means “against the function”, or not serving to benefit the
purpose of the function. Dysfunctional behavior involves doing things that are actually harmful or
not helpful. Irrational behavior or irrational thinking can be a symptom of some central
dysfunctionalism. So you might encounter people who have a certain phobia that justify said phobia
with illogical thoughts, and develop extensive behaviors in order to avoid instigating the phobia
involved. For instance : my mom used to be so afraid of bridges that she would make me drive her 15
miles out of the way to use a dangerous unregulated 30 year old (often crowded) river barge, instead
of traveling 2 miles across the river on the modern 3 year old four lane bridge that had very
Society. An organization of people who collectively perform activities that sustain the overall
existence of its members.
So an alienated dysfunctional society is a group of people who are harboring irrational attitudes,
having negative and/or fearful sentiments about other members of the society, and organized in a
manner that might be beneficial for some of the members, but is not beneficial for society as a
We have a society now in which large sub-groups are incubated into group-think outlets reacting
to and manipulated by vague inaccurate portraits of events. The overall structure now of society is
one of wealth extraction, not wealth distribution, and the ongoing relentless extraction of such
wealth from the resources of the earth is ignoring the inherent balance of our planet’s ecosystem,
acting as if resources are infinite and endless. Large economic entities owned by very small
numbers of people insist on making more and more profit, even while more and more people struggle
with a basic means of existence. Granted a little struggle is inherent in life, but that is quite
different than a large monolithic weave of corporate ownership structures narrowing down and
limiting pathways for all of those individuals not lucky enough to be born into prosperity.
In the days before the rise of merchants and the modern middle class, servants and peasant children
sometimes found their way into a life style that was above the vast majority of everyone who was not
an aristocrat, but that’s not the same thing as working hard and rising up the social ladder based
upon merit. The forces of acquisition forget about the concomitant feedback loop of economic
distribution that sustains a functioning social order. Machines cannot buy the products that the
machines produce, and shrinking the accumulation of wealth to a smaller number of people cannot
support a large sprawling market system unless the uber-wealthy replace the economic distribution
created by large numbers of smaller wealthy individuals by putting everyone else on their payroll.
However, instead, the uber-wealthy prefer to fund think tanks promoting ideology, buying media
outlets to control information, funneling money to compliant politicians who pass the laws they
want, and spend their money excessively on costly extravagance for leisure and carnival solipsism.
Or do you think an economy can run on private jets, private yachts, gold bathtubs, and million
dollar sales of paintings and sculptures?
The non-wealthy are pushed to the edge in an alienated dysfunctional society. The rewards of the
efficient production system largely accrue to the owners and stock holders, with very little
trickling down to the lower classes that do the actual work of the production system. Marginalized
and struggling, the mental day to day pressures of managing to find meaning in life is very
difficult for even those who have strong instincts and mental acuity. Not everyone manages to stay
sane, and some of those who lose the balance turn violent. This is what it means by statistics when
the percentages of a subgroup are much larger than that of another subgroup. It’s not an indictment
but a statement of an expected rate of increase due to the circumstances the alienated dysfunctional
society places upon some subgroups in the society.
However, rather than become self-introspective, those who benefit from this alienated dysfunctional
society chose blame or comforting biased explanations. Hence, black people are said to be more
violent, liberals or socialists are just lazy people looking for a handout, and the homeless are
just losers who cannot cut it in the modern world. Victimization is the glue that holds the fragile
belief system together when the abundance of evidence cries bunkum.
Meanwhile those who benefit from the alienated dysfunctional society dabble in peddling
nationalistic narcissistic racism in order to divide and conquer the minds of the beleaguered, who
must be convinced that the alienated dysfunctional society is innocent of the designs by human
actors. For some of the beneficiaries, it is difficult to be willing to admit that there is some
responsibility on their part to reform the alienated dysfunctional society. So they ignore feedback
loops and bottom up management systems, because it is too easy to believe in facile natural solutions
that don’t actually address the underlying factors that create the alienated dysfunctional society.
It is too easy to hide behind easy philosophies which remove the human from the precepts of the
philosophy and presume unrealistic human behavior, because the end result must lay blame and
personal responsibility on the individuals within the subgroups in order to justify the accruing of
benefits to the other subgroups. Those who have advantages will explain these advantages are due
to their own strengths and find weaknesses in others who lack such advantages. They will focus upon
superficial individual characteristics and ignore the macroscopic systemic reality.
As a result, all human progress is an inevitable struggle, which is why war and revolution are
periodic hallmarks of the human species.