Why Homelessness is an Everybody Problem, Not Their Problem
Social Contract, the Idea of Society and the Responsibility of Cooperative Living
When we form a society, we really are simply creating a network of interdependence for the means of mutual survival. We base the framework of this creation on the common values of the social members and make it flexible to the shifting ideology of the group. This is how a dynamic system works however, we don’t have this type of system.
Our system isn’t truly corrective and conformant to individual needs and the ideals of the group and therefore the group as a whole suffers, from imbalance and inefficiency. This unbalanced system manifests as unequal resource distribution, social stratification, and class establishment, all of which design a metric of success and failure that only exist in society because of the failure or stagnate nature to correct social inequality. This divide comes to a point in which it becomes hard grained in the social conscience as normal. Did your parents ever want you to be a doctor or a lawyer? This probably wasn’t because they thought they were essential social positons but that they were guaranteed social positions that wouldn’t lose their value and therefore their social esteem and expected quality of life. This was them protecting you from the unjust system, the only way that they knew how to. It was because aspiring for protected roles is all the security there really is in our broken system we call society to have a life worth living. Is that right? In some regards yes, it is, your returning value to society, but on the whole, the concept underlying your parents’ wishes is the issue. The argument for ambition isn’t a good one, considering how many are ignored and unable to access the services provided by these coveted social roles, making them a privilege for the privileged and that’s not an equal society.
Now, some will argue that we slow the pace of social transformation to fully consider change and the social ramifications without shocking the public. However, this is not true when it comes to things that should be inherently assumed as morally correct and natural to a free and equal society. It often takes years of systemic persecution, rallying and protests for simple aspects of our common human equality, rights and freedoms to be recognized.
Which leaves the question how long did it take us in society to all be human?
Isn’t the system of society based on the rights of solidarity? Yet they demand more often than not, that social equality must cost us our lives to be worth it or to be even recognized in the next generations’ freedoms. That is not slowing the pace of politics, it is persevering social control in order to have some semblance of power when those with it, know it is an illusion of necessity and created by the absence of options by the public. (which they restrict in the first place) now, you might be like… I thought this was going to be about homelessness. Well it is, homelessness is the sign of a failed state and society. It shows division, lack of opportunity, a limit on social security and the toxic effects of a society that emphasizes conformity to the point of sterility for divergent life paths. This is the ingrained ideals that I mentioned earlier which makes homelessness the result of not fitting into the mold. Worse off, is the social blindness we have to the matter, as if our place in reality and society is worth more than another’s and that they should accept the quality of life and place that becomes theirs because it’s what they deserve. This argument is inherently unaware of the issues that cause people to become homeless such as abuse, addiction and mental illness. We often abuse others because of our internalized shortcomings and subjugation to manipulation by others. We abuse drugs to escape the reality of our situations and the hardships from abuse and other repressive factors. Mental illness is often looked down upon and has an attached stigma from our social perception of difference and inferiority stemming from a lack of understanding and empathy. All of these factors are systemic of an unbalanced system of society and therefore make homelessness an extreme extrapolation of the overriding conditions of the social system.
I say it shouldn’t be a possibility in society, some will argue that we can’t force people to do things and that they made their choices. I would argue in return that society’s poor organization and individualist self-cannibalizing standard of values made their choices for them, they were either: non-conformant or not indoctrinated enough or not strong enough to succeed the conditions that you and I did. But why should they be afforded nothing and live on the streets with no possessions?
When we look at homelessness we must look at what we would want afforded to us and the degree of protection we would expect from society. The idea that we shouldn’t ask that much, is a broad line propaganda tactic to perpetuate the status quo of society and the systemic inequality. Studies show that when collaboratively planned, people allocate a fair distribution of common resources. In comparison, when they do not collaborate and are forced to self-manage the communal assets, there is far more waste because they failed to properly anticipate the needs of the group and they cannot self-regulate consumption relative to the common need for resources. This is the problem of our social system, the resources are not coordinated by the public and left to those select few with influence (I would say politicians but the political system is run by their donors not the public: https://medium.com/@jamesrhule/we-created-cheaters-stop-letting-them-kill-our-planet-63432cf46be0#.srsg5dfmy ) which in turn only creates waste, both of resources and of human lives. The lives are the ones that matter most immediately, because they suffer consciously as result of this inequality. They can also be solved immediately by providing homeless people with permeant housing. The resources cause us as a society to suffer potentially as their waste is our continuity fixed to object material, (some immediately as well from the historic perpetuation of this current system) this can be solved through reorganizing our ideas and laws surrounding ownership, citizenship and the importance of community in the democratic process underwritten with the acceptance of transparency and honest education.
Ultimately, understanding the differences afforded to us by our unjust system will show us that homelessness isn’t the person’s problem, its society’s problem and by failing to make the system more equitable, we only normalize the socio-economic differences that keep us complacent and grateful for what we have.
While leaving people out on the streets,