Organized Passivity

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.” – Noam Chomsky

The species has ultimately cornered itself into acceptable reactionary constructs. This meaning, man has created categories that are socially acceptable to protest. I’ll refer to the phenomenon as Organized Passivity. We have socially defined the items that one can have an emotional reaction to. Further, we’ve made pretense that some of these causes have intellectual basis where they are lacking grounds in logical reasoning. You may see many examples of this on Instagram and other social media platforms, where you see continuous and repetitive battles within very strict terms.

Passivity, photo by Isak Dalsfelt

Whole social media accounts are dedicated to fighting very specific “causes”, of which nearly all of the followers have emotional attachment to varying degrees. When an outsider or opposer crafts a comment that is not agreeable to the primary view, the outsider is made into a display of non-conformity. There are polarized communities surrounding often overly-simplified arguments and encouraging defined socially acceptable opinions. These are troupes of people waiting to respond to any deviation of an organized belief. To have an unpopular opinion is to be chastised. To shame a contributor to a conversation is to receive praise from the majority.

We define which fights to have. We legitimize causes through means of popular agreement to engage. This is Organized Passivity.

Passivity, photo by Isak Dalsfelt

If we engage in a constructed fight for the purpose of inclusivity, we render ourselves passive. If we concentrate our emotions around only those categories of acceptable emotional triggers, we render ourselves passive. We may do well to ask ourselves the next time we have an emotional trigger whether we are getting emotionally invested because of a social expectation, or because we truly are emotionally invested in the fight-construct. We may do well to observe how society is crafting our emotional responses by wrapping them in “causes” and popular opinion.

In Organized Passivity, we may think we are crafting modes of change, vessels of revolution, but we are increasingly crafting social restrictions onto thought itself. We have so interwoven ourselves into restrictive forms that our emotions are conditioned to respond in publicly ascribed ways to different forms of data.