Saturday, 10 May 2014

Independence isn't really a thing

Nobody is independent.  Not really.

We're all reliant on each other, because society - for all that it's flawed and broken in so many ways - is a thing that exists and we're all part of.  And for all that society can be wretched and needs a lot of work, we've all come much further for being a part of it than we ever could alone.

Even if you live alone, work to support yourself and run your own household, you're not really doing it all yourself.  You might drive yourself about, but in all likelihood someone else built your car and the road you drive it on.  The GPS that tells you where you're going was built by someone else, as were the Navstar satellites which make it work.  If you wrap your car around a tree someone else will come and cut you out and take you to a hospital funded by the taxes of many people you've never met, where some other people will stitch you back together.

So much of our lives depends on others, that the difference between a person we'd consider "independent" and one we'd call "dependent" is really quite small.  Both rely on vast amounts of public infrastructure, on an army of professionals and tradespeople and service workers, on laws and guidelines and procedures and standards and the people who enforce them and who make them in the first place.

We're all dependent.  We all need each other.

Not pictured: human being