Collective Checkmate

There is no formal police force of social norms because no such organization is necessary.  From mass society arises a self-enforcing slavery.

One might picture a chessboard that sprawls as far as the eye can see with a king on every square.  Every king is controlled by a different player.

In a mass society, one must behave a certain way or be punished by one’s neighbors.  One’s neighbors must enforce or be punished by their neighbors for not enforcing.  Such a system of bondage self-perpetuates:
Each individual king is compelled in turn, everyone coercing everyone else.  This is Collective Checkmate.

Zygmunt writes on matters of introversion at Kingdom of Introversion.

Collective Checkmate appears here by permission.

[image via Flickr/Creative Commons]

on 01/31/11 in featured, Society | 1 Comment | Read More

Comments (1)


  1. Elyat says:

    Love this.

    Would add to the metaphor by representing the powerful gatekeeper of the current order, rooks let’s say, that fence the kings into this false scarcity (on what is afterall a potentially infinite playing field with plenty of space for everyone.)

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