Logic misapplied: society as function

Logic misapplied: society as function

by Jon Rappoport

July 10, 2015

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed, click here.)

“People often believe two similar things are the same. They equate them. They accept loose comparisons. If someone said, ‘A car is like a plane, so therefore it is a plane,’ he would be judged a fool. But make the comparison a little more subtle, and you can get a whole population to salute, sign up, and go along.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

The civilization we now inhabit is more and more a system of functions. Person A does B. Person C does E.

People learn to expect functionality. This is important, because if they didn’t the whole apparatus would collapse.

What I’m talking about here goes beyond any rebellions among the disenfranchised. Those rebellions, such as they are, are planned for, and they will be enveloped in the System.

I’m talking about a psychology of acceptance, through which the individual agrees that he is supposed to perform in a way that satisfies a higher overall pattern.

This psychology involves language as well, which more and more becomes utilitarian. Words themselves designate function and “what is supposed to happen.”

Look at the literature/fiction of our time. The protagonist faces a problem, a conflict. He strives to solve it. He eventually succeeds. He does what he is supposed to do. The reader is satisfied. The function has been acted out.

Society’s organizations are compartmentalized. In a large corporation, bringing a new product to market means the various sections will do their jobs: R&D, design, packaging, marketing, sales, and so on. What exists in each individual beyond his sub-function is of no concern.

A person looks at an object he hasn’t seen before. He asks, “What is it for? What do I do with it? Does it work well?” He might even ask those questions about a human relationship.

All right. Now here is the punch line. A society of function appears to have a basis in logic. That is how it seems. “Don’t you understand? All the parts are coordinated. They mesh. They support each other. They make sense in terms of the overall goal, whether it is the sale of a product or the prosecution of a criminal or the execution of a war…”

The parts are logical. The functions are logical. The people who perform their jobs are logical.

No. Logic is actually a set of rules and principles that apply to a line of reasoning. Logic has to do with the validity of a string of successive statements.

Logic is a kind of map.

Logic is not the territory of society’s functioning.

This confusion set in, philosophically speaking, with the rise of the school of Pragmatism in the early 20th century. One of the school’s primary strategies was defining words according to their function. So-called “operational definition.” For example: the word “radio” means “how a radio works and what it produces.” And nothing else.

From there it was a short skip and jump to viewing society as a system whose meaning was entirely wrapped up in “how society operates to achieve articulated goals.”

Pragmatism was a deep bow in the direction of, and a reflection of, technology. Every element of society would be judged in terms of what it was for. If it didn’t have an operational purpose, it was meaningless.

Again, this approach seems logical. It carries the gloss of logic. But it is misapplied.

It also leads to a form of full-bodied totalitarianism. The individual human is defined as “his instrumental function in the overall scheme and plan.” Beyond that, any conversation about him is irrelevant and meaningless.

The next step, naturally, would focus on enunciating and debating the individual’s preferred function. Should it be X or Y or Z?

As the old joke goes, “Now that we’ve established you’re a prostitute, we’re just arguing about your price.”

And yes, millions of millions of words have subsequently been written about “the role of the individual in society.” But the battle to reduce the individual was already won. The argument now was about his operational uses on behalf of higher goals.

The entire flood of labels for individuals—white, black, male, female, straight, gay, transgender, privileged, oppressed, and so on—is actually a reshuffling of deck chairs on the Titanic, because the individual is basically being viewed in terms of whether and how he/she is benefiting or harming “the future of society and its preferred pattern.”


Many, many years ago, when I studied formal logic, I spoke to my professor about a philosophy called Scientific Humanism. I mentioned that it seemed to be an extension of the principles of logic to society. He looked at me as if I were crazy.

“Scientific Humanism,” he said, “has nothing to do with logic. It has to do with pseudo-logic forced on the population and the extinction of the individual.”

These days, a remark like that could cause a professor problems, if he took it too far. In academia, the basic war is over. The individual has been kidnapped and folded into “the greater good.”

The Platonic ideal (The Good) has taken center stage. Plato wrote dialogues with Socrates as his protagonist, and Socrates appeared to be the champion of the independent and thoughtful individual. But Plato was always holding a hole card under his shirt. It was “the overall Ideal for Society.” When he finally played that card for all it was worth in The Republic, the reader could readily see that the individual was really a function in the scheme of things; and the scheme would be dictated from the top of the food chain.

Logic? Hardly. Only the appearance of logic, as a cover story to promote a totalitarian civilization.

We can see this deception in today’s technocratic movement and its transhumanist vision. At some point in the future, the individual will be hooked up to a super-computer (the embodiment of The Good) in a brain-to-brain connection. He will have extraordinary access to trillions of pieces of data. Thus, he will be freer than ever before.

No. He will be guided by data that have been shaped and sanitized to reflect an overall plan for society. He will therefore be viewing (without knowing it) his preferred function as a citizen in the New World.

This is the true meaning of political correctness.

In the years following the ratification of the US Constitution, the principle of severely limited central government was trampled on. Not only did government expand, but its new departments, laws, regulations, and enforcers were designed to be permanent functions—thereby cementing a viewpoint on how large organizations were supposed to be run.

This was an unstated philosophy of instrumentality: the definitions of jobs and persons embodied in their assigned functions—and nothing else.

This is not logic. This is reduction. They are not the same thing.

“Oh, I did study a course in logic. It’s about how things fit together to arrive at a result.”

Loosely speaking, yes. But on closer examination, no.

Individuals wonder where their freedom went when they accept their functions. They feel the loss. They build up resentment. They look for a way out. They vaguely sense greater potential within themselves. Whether they know it or not, they begin to oppose reason, logic, thinking, because it reminds them of their captive status. Therefore, they’re unequipped to explore what is happening to society. If they become rebels, they feel inadequate to the task, and so they look to groups who mouth appealing sentiments.

Society’s elite planners are adamant about a world of functions. This is their m.o. This is at the heart of their designs. Their psychological operations are aimed at inducing massive numbers of people to accept the all-inclusive notion of function.

This is the unseen war.

The Matrix Revealed

The individual needs to understand all this and offload it. He is himself. He is open-ended. He is far more than a system. He is not designed to perform in a specific way. He is not simply moving around within a territory marked off by fences.

He can use logic to his benefit, but he isn’t logic or some pseudo version of it.

He isn’t a pawn or a knight or rook or a bishop or a king or a queen on the chessboard. He isn’t the chessboard or the designer of the game. He is none of those things. He is far, far more; far, far different.

He can explore “more” and “different” to the hilt. He can find answers on his own, and he can express and live those answers.

And then everything changes.

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

9 comments on “Logic misapplied: society as function

  1. ebolainfo says:

    Thanks Jon for another article pointing out the mental traps we are conditioned to fall into.

  2. Salvador says:

    Don’t undertstand the hyperlink in that sentence up top (4th paragraph) to The Common Sense Show. What’s the connection?

  3. Dimitri says:

    “From there it was a short skip and jump to viewing society as a system whose meaning was entirely wrapped up in “how society operates to achieve articulated goals.”

    The mistake made in this short skip and jump is in not understanding that people are self-organizing. The concept of self-organizing systems defies functional analysis, and I would go so far as to say they are somehow “magical.” No one can really know how such systems produce what they do. In fact, our bodies are themselves self-organizing systems. Each part seems to know what to do and when without being instructed or compelled to do it. There is no “master plan” in the brain detailing how each part must work. The different kinds of cells, and the many functioning parts within the cells themselves, develop and work spontaneously, mysteriously. The muscle cells know how to respond to the nervous system, and know when to stop responding when they are tired to preserve themselves. This is an uncomfortable truth that is usually avoided in the biology classroom. Each part does its function – why? We don’t know. It’s magic.

    • anonymous says:

      Your comment is in line with Stephen Wolfram’s work: http://www.wolframscience.com/nksonline/toc.html

      His argument is that if you try and analyze a natural system entirely you need to re-create the natural system in its entirety as every part evolves in dynamic concert with every other part. i.e. There is no functional analysis that can be applied to capture what the system does. Its impossible due to the complexity of the permutations. That dynamic and contextual complexity seems to give rise to life as it evolves.

      I would argue that the functioning of the body is less magical and more based on interaction of many small systems over time that we don’t yet understand. You can take this as far as treating each cell and its sub-components as self-organizing systems. Once you get a bunch of layers of self-organizing systems your mind cannot follow the reasoning or logic yet I assure you its there as concrete as the hand in front of your eyes.

      This line of thinking also explains the defeat in the individual when he is submitted to over-reaching functional structure. As structure is applied the individual systems become limited in their possibility to evolve and this ripples through the system. Hence all the inter-connected solutions of resolving issues within the body.

      • Dimitri says:

        I’m not saying that the body works illogically, only that the materialistic, heirarchical physical model of the body cannot explain its self-organizing behavior. One example is cell differentiation. How do cells know to develop into the right type? All the processes of development and function happen intelligently, in a synergistic, coordinated way. We can usually identify a triggering mechanism, such as a hormone or nerve impulse, but we cannot explain how it all works together so well. I attribute this to “magic”, meaning something is happening within that is not simple biochemistry. People work together the same way, and they function best when they are free from external manipulation to get the desired result. When scientists and social engineers postulate simple models of function, it always leads to experiment with the goal of external control.

        Wolfram postulates some kind of computational engine to explain self-organizing systems. The question that immediately comes to my mind is that the computational system would need to be controlled by another higher-level computational system, and so on. That’s really not logically possible. The same problem arises philosophically when trying to explain self-organizing systems in terms of anything external. There cannot be an infinite regress of systems.

  4. Jon Olsen says:

    Consistent with this essay is the Sartrean conception of freedom, the subject matter of my Master’s Thesis. People are “condemned to be free,” Sartre said, because choice is with us at every moment, and we can not be “unfree” to choose. He used the term “bad faith” to describe the plethora of ways in which people flee this absolute freedom, because with it comes an awesome responsibility for one’s life. “I had no choice,” we often hear. This is bad faith in the Sartrean sense. So is “It is God’s will,” and “the Devil made me do it.”
    Is there oppression? Yes. Is there coercion? Yes. Can we resist? Yes. Consider those on hunger strike in the US Guantanamo prison. Event here, under the most absolutely dehumanizing conditions,they are saying “No. I can still choose.”

  5. Magnificent post, Jon.

    Thank you.


  6. Pragmatism says:

    I, Pragmatism, don’t want to take all the credit for subverting logic. Some of it should go to my close friend positivism. In data-driven fields such as economics and epidemiology, positivists like to draw questionable conclusions. Despite this, they sound plausible or “logical” with the use of enough supporting data.

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