THREE METHODS OF CONTROL AND THREE RULING CLASSES
The society of humans is based actually on methods of controlling people. There are three principal methods: 1. Brutal violence or the threat of violence. 2. Material interest, and the threat of poverty, including hunger. 3. Suggestion, including preaching and conscience.
Three methods of control mentioned above produced three ruling classes. 1. Control due to violence is the profession of bureaucracy, including army, police, law courts, etc. 2. Control due to material interest is the profession of reach people. 3. Control due to suggestion is the profession of mass media, religion, and other ideologies. So, we have three ruling classes, from the very beginning of the existence of human society.
Karl Marx underlined mostly material control of the bourgeoisie and underestimated the power of violence and suggestion.
The fact is, that in the course of the entire history of Humankind, there were three ruling classes: State (violence), rich (material interest), and ideologues (suggestion). Usually, the ideologues served the two strongest ruling classes, bureaucrats and rich. However, sometimes ideologues succeeded, temporarily, overpower two others.
Most of history witnessed the mutual struggle between «strong» ruling classes, that is bureaucracy and rich. At the same time, both are mutually tied. It’s a classic example of Hegel’s «unity and struggle of opposites».
All three methods of control exploit different properties of human psychology, like fear of violence and hunger, the pursuit of happiness and pleasure, leaning toward belief and authority, conformism, etc.
SOCIAL STRUCTURE, STATES, AND IDEOLOGIES ARE BASED ON THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PEOPLE
An innate inclination towards an abstract idea (faith or any non-religious ideology) is inherent in most people, as Yuval Noah Harari wrote in his famous «Brief History of Humanity». According to Harari, it is this feature of Homo Sapiens that has provided our ability to create large collectives, from the state, army, church, and political parties, to corporations and sports societies.
Yuval Harari is right in many ways, but he often «goes too far» towards idealism, and then tries to get out of the vicious circle into which he drove himself. Since different forms of organization of society, based on the ability of people to abstract ideas, are stable and move large masses of people over long periods of time, Harari singled out the class of «pseudo-imaginary entities» as an intermediate between imaginary and material.
I prefer the name «materialized idea» instead. Previously, this phenomenon was described, saying that ideas have material power. Nations, social classes, states, etc. can be attributed to these «pseudo-imaginary entities», or materialized ideas.
The «myths» that Harari attaches decisive importance are ideas that emerge according to the principle of the «butterfly effect», and then take over entire nations and the world. Yet these ideas are not accidental. but based on the innate psychological properties of people that Freud spoke about.
More precisely, out of a huge number of ideas, only those are disseminated that, on the one hand, correspond to the peculiarities of human psychology, and on the other hand, meet their needs, both material spiritual and biological.
The society of people and its collective consciousness are linked dialectically. Society generates ideas, and ideas shape this society.
This is the classic chicken and egg case. Karl Marx declared that «social being determines social consciousness.» Today Yuval Harari told us exactly the opposite. Which one is right? Both are right, but only partially. As is often the case, the truth is dialectical.
Contrary to Marx, we cannot consider that «social being» is primary and «social consciousness» is secondary. According to Harari and our own experience, ideas, together with other factors, form «social being.» Marx ignored the biological and spiritual needs of people as part of «social existence», reducing everything to monetary and social interests.
However, when Harari, in defiance of Marx, declared the supremacy of the ideas shaping society, he missed Freud, that is, the psychology of people. Marx, naturally, did not know about Freud, otherwise, he would have created a completely different theory.
The ideas that hold us are not accidental. They are based on the individual and mass psychology of people. In fact, we have a triangle: Freud, Harari, and Marx set forth thoughts that, taken together, accurately describe the phenomenon, provided that we accept all three phenomena as interacting.
Marx’s social ideas are actually abstract ideas that have materialized in the form of political movements, parties, and states.
Material (monetary) calculations, according to Marx, are a common idea of both the rich, fearing ruin, and the poor, living in fear of hunger and destruction.
As the coronavirus crisis has shown us, temporary material well-being is very fragile. Everyone wants to hide their fear from other’s eyes, putting forward various ideas-pretexts like «liberalism», «communism», God, etc. This is what Marx was talking about.
But the human is not a simple «social machine», as Karl Marx believed. We are also biological individuals who want not only to eat, but also to love (reproduce), be lazy, and have fun. There are individuals for whom power over other people is more important than wealth, and there are those who understand that big money gives power.
Out of idleness and for the sake of entertainment, different ideas come to our minds, we want to create, draw, write immortal poems … This is called creativity.
The psychology of the individual is built dialectically, that is, on combinations of opposite properties inherent in the same person. Each property of our psychology is opposed by at least one opposite property. Yet there are separate «unconditioned» instincts, such as hunger and sexual instinct, not balanced by the opposite instinct.
When the material needs of the people are satisfied, ideas related to the biological needs of people, including the pursuit of pleasure, laziness, and the antipode of laziness, creativity, take a more important place. Social ideologies and parties based on them (socialists, communists) are becoming a thing of the past.