Individual Control In Society Essay

1841 Words 8 Pages
Individual’s Control in the Types of Society Individuals themselves rarely prove to, singularly, have a large effect on society alone, yet when compiled together as a collective they shape all walks of life. Posing the question of, how powerful an individual unit is in the grand scheme of a product is difficult when trying to find out the realistic power of just one. In the essays “The Myth of the Ant Queen” and “Biographies of Hegemony,” written by Steven Johnson and Karen Ho respectfully, the discussion of the control individuals in multiple types of societies arises. From hegemonic to self-regulated societies, the one neutrality shared by all is that they are all accepted and followed because they have found a system that works, and altering …show more content…
In this essay I argue that individuals have a large amount of power when working as a collective when contributing to the complex systems incorporated into society, yet there is a significant difference in the level of control between varying types of society and the way people in those societies.
The formation of a self-regulated system comes naturally as the individuals form a collective, resulting in the creation of norms and mores for all in the society. In the case of the ant colony discussed by Johnson, one can see that the ants all work on behalf of their figurehead, the queen. Yet, the ants are not commanded, nor are they forced to do any work directly from the queen, something that would be commonplace in a generic hegemonic society. This allows the colony to keep the gene pool strong by not letting outside ants into the colony, which could pose a biological threat. Johnson emphasizes the importance of the gene quality by stating that “their genes instruct them to protect their mother… the matriarch doesn’t train her servants to protect her, evolution does” (194). This is similar to how people look out of there own good in society by nature, they only want to have the best lives for themselves and those close to them. Due to this, it indirectly prompts the ants to work as much as they can
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Unlike the ants in the colony, the city is populated by humans, making it seem more unlikely that it would be possible for a realistic system to function without any form of intervention by government. Manchester runs in much more disarray than the colony, yet still does not need the typical government system, due to its people recognizing the fact that they must continue about their lives and do what is right, in order for them to survive in a city style environment. Johnson goes onto reference a piece of literature called The Condition of the Working Class in England, claiming that it “stands as the definitive account of the nineteenth-century Manchester life in all its tumult and dynamism,” proving that it was so influential to have clearly documentation of its impact (197). In the case of a singular individual effecting society goes, he or she has a minimal effect. Unlike the correlation in the ants, where one ant’s laziness will not affect the colony as a whole, in Manchester, if one person decides to stop pulling their own weight, they only hinder themselves. The city, unlike the colony, does not have a central goal in mind, or something all members need to contribute to, in order to keep the society running. The people of Manchester live their own lives and do not have to aid each other of they do not feel the need unlike the

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