Arguably the most INCREDIBLE aspect of humanity is that NOT ONLY can we understand our societal institutions, our place(s) within them and how they are affecting us but, incredibly:

We can CHANGE our societal institutions for the better.

Sociology for Revolutionaries 1/25
Humans are a highly social species. And like many other highly social species, our evolutionary trajectory found advantage in our connecting with & looking out for one another.

Empathy was the evolutionary glue that bound us to one another. 2/25
As a social species, we seek to fulfill our needs & wants in relation with others, rather than in isolation.

And thus, we establish various *institutions* of economic, political, kinship, & community functions. 3/25
Humans have highly developed cognitive abilities, including *consciousness* – which allows us to abstract thoughts from actions, recall memories & information when relevant, weigh options in our mind, plan ahead & conceptualize, theorize & understand the world around us. 4/25
Incredibly, we can apply this consciousness to our sociality: we can assess our societal institutions, understand how & why they might be oppressive or fulfilling, & actively CHANGE them to be less oppressive & more fulfilling. 5/25
So, what are institutions?

Institutions are a collection of interconnected *roles* that serve a purpose. The roles are the *available slots* people can fill - with each role having its own set of expectations, requirements, benefits & burdens. 6/25
For example, the *institution* of a capitalist corporation consists of the roles: ‘investor/capitalist’, ‘manager’, & ‘worker’.

The *institution* of a traditional 'nuclear family’ consists of the roles of ‘husband/father’, ‘wife/mother’, ‘son’ & ‘daughter’ etc. 7/25
The *institution* of a ‘dictatorship’ has the role of ‘dictator’, various sub-institutions of maintenance-of-power such as ‘military’, ‘police’, ‘propaganda/media’, various branches of government to execute top-down orders & its ‘citizens’. 8/25
Notice that in every case, the roles made available by each institution has its own set of expectations, requirements, benefits & burdens, and thus convey to the people filling those roles varying levels of oppression or fulfillment. 9/25
What matters most is not the specific people filling the slots, but rather 1) the role slots a society makes available, 2) the dynamics of the available roles & 3) the level of oppression vs. fulfillment those available roles convey to the people who fill them. 10/25
In other words, in a 'dictatorship' society, we care less about who the dictator is or replacing that specific person at the helm with another.

Instead, we care about changing the fact that this society has the role of ‘dictator’ as an available slot that can be filled. 11/25
The various institutions of a society can be usefully categorized into four loosely defined & interrelated spheres: economic, political, kinship & community.

Each sphere accomplishes an aspect of human needs & wants. 12/25
The *economic* sphere is concerned with the production, consumption & allocation of goods & services.

The *political* sphere is concerned with shared program, priorities, rules & conflict resolution. 13/25
The *kinship* sphere is concerned with sexuality, procreation, raising & socializing children, education, maturation, aging & living arrangements.

The *community* sphere is concerned with shared identities, such as ethnicity, race, religion, or shared experience or history 14/25
Every known society has institutions within these four spheres.

And within society, all people exist within all four spheres at the same time; thus there is a tendency for social cohesion between the four spheres. 15/25
This means oppression & hierarchy in 1 sphere has a tendency for oppression & hierarchy in the other spheres. For example, institutional sexism in the kinship sphere permeates into economic, political & community institutions. Same for racism, classism, & authoritarianism. 16/25
Liberation in one sphere, without liberation in the other spheres, is likely to revert because the other spheres will put oppressive pressures on the liberated sphere.

All oppressions are connected & true liberation must seek the end of all oppressions across all spheres. 17/25
So now we have a framework: Societies are collections of institutions (economic, political, kinship & cultural). Institutions are interconnected roles. Roles have various expectations, requirements, benefits & burdens, and varying levels of oppression or fulfillment 18/25
So how do we determine the level of oppression vs. fulfillment provided by the institutional roles in society?

How do we judge societal institutions as being either oppressive or fulfilling? 19/25
For 1, *injustice* is felt when the benefits & burdens of societal roles are inequitably distributed. If the lion’s share of benefit goes to one person/class/group while the lion’s share of burden falls on another person/class/group, we say that relationship is inequitable. 20/25
Humans *feel* inequity, unfairness & injustice as oppressive. For example, if institutions punish us for something we have no control over, or if the bulk of the burden of an institution falls on us, while others reap the bulk of benefits, we feel injustice. 21/25
Another value to judge institutional dynamics is decision making power.

People feel fulfilled when they can participate & have a fair say in the decisions that affect their lives.

When this is denied, people feel ‘alienation’. 22/25
For a *much* fuller/longer discussion of leftist values that seek to minimize institutional oppression & maximize fulfilment & potential, please see this chart & accompanying thread. 23/25
Ultimately a revolutionary sees the root causes of injustice, alienation & oppression as *systematic* & *inherent* to the roles of a society’s institutions. 24/25
Therefore, we seek to fundamentally change the institutions of society to be inherently fulfilling & potential realizing, rather than oppressive & potential limiting. 25/25
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