Society & Man (Book)
A publication written by Khestor Thidirlun during Chapter One of Dwarves! whilst living in Zietal Mar.
To understand the nature of man and its place in society you must first understand that the construct of life consists of largely three things. Man himself, his common society and the kingdom of darkness. This publication will offer you snippets into the workings of man and the findings I have established. It can be guidance on how to handle, control and progress in society and its construct, yet the ultimate conclusion must be established by you, the reader.
i) Each individual is constantly on a journey, and everything in one’s life is material; there is no incorporeal soul or a capability for understanding ideas that are external to the mind. Good and evil are nothing more than terms used to denote one’s appetites and desires, with said appetites and desires being nothing more than a tendency to move towards or away from an object or goal. It is this appetite for progress in an individual’s journey and their appetites and desires which further propels others journey and desires causing a ripple effect and constant motion between one man and another.
ii) Given the nature of man and the variability of human desires and the need for scarce resources to fulfil those desires the state of nature is an anarchic one, which is extremely volatile and can only – in its true form – be a war of all against all. Even when two men aren’t fighting, there is no guarantee that the other will not try to kill him for his property, or even out of an aggrieved sense of honour and so one must constantly be on guard against one another, it is even reasonable to pre-emptively attack one’s neighbour in this state. This causes a security dilemma rooted deep within ourselves – something on which I will expand upon in a later publication.
It is in this condition where there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, no culture of the earth, nor navigation, no commodious building, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society and worst of all there is a continual fear and danger of violent death leaving the life of man a solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short one.
Of common society:
It is in those places where the state of nature occurs the most and most violently that the final design of man is revealed. It is the introduction of restraint upon themselves, in which we see them live in common societies; it is the foresight of their own preservation and a more content life thereby. Man therefore removes itself from that miserable condition of war which is usually consequent to the natural passions of man when there is no visible power to keep them in awe and tie them by the fear of punishment to reason and establishes its own power to preside over all themselves and each other.
A functioning, common society occurs when all agree in the following manner that “I authorise and give up my natural right of governing myself to this man, or to this assembly of men, on this condition that you give up your natural right to him and authorise all of his actions in like manner.” This social contract between one man and another, or many other men – be it verbal, in convention or otherwise – allows for order to rule, a power figure will be introduced and so long as this is true, man will be uplifted from the state of nature and will have entered a state of common society. We see this in action today, although the social contract may be slightly different, perhaps more liberal, it is in essence still what keeps Bormar, its holdings and its peoples together, with Lords, Ladies and the First House presiding over these common societies. There are social responsibilities and rights given to each and every dwarf and resident of Bormar by his higher-up which enables the prosperous lives we live today.
There is, unfortunately, a darkness that too can plague ones life and fraternity. It is not a Hell or Purgatory, for those are immaterial and do not credibly exist but the darkness of ignorance as opposed to the light of true knowledge. There are 4 main causes of this darkness.
i) The first is following darkness through misinterpretation. The main abuse by idealists, writers and even the church to manipulate true events or teachings to align more with their views and appetites and desires – as we know it is appetites and desires which largely drives man and his journey in a state of nature. This abuse deceives good citizens who wish to learn more and find the light of true knowledge.
ii) The second is the use of demonology and depiction of individuals as saints, holy images or relics in poems, written texts and works of art. Whilst an individual may have completed worthy deeds, it does not make them holy or powerful, or unholy and evil as good and evil are immaterial as we know if we refer to ‘Of man’. Using these religious concepts gives perceived immaterial power to material beings; even the gods power is limited in reality.
iii) The third is the destruction of knowledge, publications, books, notes, working documents – anything of that matter which can assist an individual in finding the light of true knowledge, based on observation and facts; even semi-fictitious works can assist with this, so long as it is disclaimed as such.
iv) The fourth is by mingling with and manipulating both these or uncertain traditions or feigned/uncertain history for one can still learn from them.
Whilst this section on darkness may at times seem like a thinly veiled attack on religion, I caution you against this interpretation – for religion and the church certainly has a place in man's common society as an institution of reflection, pleading and often forgiveness. One should only caution some of the more pliable tales’ religious men may preach.