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A community is a collection of humans, thought of as an undifferentiated unit. This means that individual differences of opinion can be denied, disparaged, or dealt with through unactionable campaign promises or Special Limited-Time Offers.
Why one should think of humans as an undifferentiated unit is an open question. It works for a herd of grazing cows; they demonstrate all the typical traits of a community. By comparison, if the human world were a community, one would assume the victims of an opera-house massacre would not have scrambled to find the nearest exit.
The human condition
To understand how a community works, we need to look at the human condition: "the characteristics, key events, and situations essential to human existence." Examples are: broadband speed, fashion, drama, perceived individuality and whether a smoker or non-smoker. The Human Condition is very broad (more so in American ballparks), and is pondered and analyzed from perspectives including philosophy, art, sociology, ethnic cleansers, and despots.
As a literary term, "the Human Condition" is typically used in the context of ambiguous subjects, such as what is the right hair color. Once the literature is bought by Hollywood, the Human Condition is subordinate to conditioner, and then hair color including metal-flaking.
The Human Condition describes the moral compass heading that keeps the individual from being lost in a crowd professing to have the identical compass heading. A community is a social unit of any size that shares these common values, or at least pretends to in public.
Philosophers have provided helpful perspective on community. An influential ancient view was that of Plato, who asked, "What is justice?" and concluded that it is not primarily a matter among individuals but of a community. From there, Plato described his Republic, a community where all were into the same thing, had the same morals, and were permanently happy and secure. Basically, The Clangers.
It took only another century for René Descartes to declare, "I think, therefore I am." Experts believe he was probably right on both counts, though currently, both assertions are false. Descartes believed the human mind, with its faculty of reason, to be the primary determiner of truth. He is regarded as the father of modern cock-ups.
The modern school of existentialism reconciles the individual's sense of disorientation and confusion with the community that only existentialists realize is absurd.
Artists model the Human Condition, in clay or in oils. They highlight some aspect of the Human Condition when the concept of community assumes there are no other aspects; for example, by painting historical figures with halos over their heads, sculpting gods in the shapes of animals, portraying hay fields in chartreuse, and painting portraits so that both eyes are on the same side of the nose.
Government funding for the arts is a recent invention by which the community uses tax money to irritate and shame some sub-community until it drops an anti-community opinion and agrees that a crucifix naturally belongs in a jar of urine or that the human body looks best when smeared with chocolate.
To date, there is only one type of art that reflects community values and unites all humanity by portraying the human experience the way it truly is. This is pornography. The lack of interesting plots and believable characters is a detail that will be improved on in the future.
Sociology discusses community psychology as an ecological perspective on the person–environment, as always seeking some of the prestige given to the "hard" sciences.
Rappaport (1977) focuses on "fit" as the focus of study and action in attempting to change the personality of the individual, in order to be part of the wider collective. Social work, applied anthropology, and community development are all covered by thirty-something left-wing journos, whose magpie-esque attraction to the rich and glittery acts as a conduit to communal coherence.
On the other hand, Zappa (1966) took the opposite tack, stating unequivocally that "It Can't Happen Here."
Governing the community
Communities always need governance. The government of a community resolves the differences of opinion that stem from the difference in values that are supposed to not exist in the community. The community functions best when the members — the winners and losers of life's vague and inscrutable little lottery — accept their role as winners and losers from the whims of the community's leaders.
The human community agrees that community leaders should be chosen democratically. Oddly, in no place on earth do community members simply look at one another and agree that a given leader best embodies the feeling of the community (especially given that, in theory, no member can embody any other feeling). Consequently, fracases such as elections and polling break out. Candidates appear at whistle stops, wrap themselves in the unanimity of the community, and most incredibly, claim that their opponents are opposed to it.
Voters eventually square their belief that the community is united with the fact that the candidates are saying divided things: One of them must be lying. As Election Day nears, voters realize that all of them are lying. Then they vote.
Although there is nowhere that the community resolves the election with an unspoken gaze, there are several locations where faces from the community are Photoshopped together after the fact and gotten to gaze at one another as though in harmonious agreement. Based on this process, a new Dear Leader takes office. The Formerly Dear Leader is exiled, shot, or in some locales, merely sent out to a Re-education Camp to learn the most community-approved way to weed a lettuce patch. The next week, there is a swell parade of tanks and rocket launchers in front of the Capitol.
The process of bills, amendments, vetoes, waivers, and signing statements is a crude system, but it is all there is in modern government. In a true community, everyone would just agree. Eventually, a community spokesman emerges to state the community's will. The community's will does not require police and armies but is carried out by community members themselves, in unspoken agreement (except for the spokesman). For example, they lynch the Negro who moved into town.
It is a measure of the health of a community when it becomes large enough to attract a spokesman (then several, then even a crowd of them who start arguing with one another). Some of the community spokesmen do not seem to be community members. This is peculiar, given their special role of speaking in its name. Examples are:
- The president of a Singles Club who has never gone on a date.
- An Admin of a humor wiki who can't edit articles and wouldn't know a joke if it hit him.
Community activists were briefly mentioned at the start. It is important to note a subtle difference from the subject of the previous section:
- Community spokesmen speak for a community, which should be a cake walk, as the community by definition is unanimous, converging by acclamation around self-evident beliefs that everyone can predict, and all the spokesman has to do is speak them.
- Community activists have the much harder job of convincing a group of people that do not have these attributes that they are in fact a community.
A community activist meets with many different people in the group in question to convince them that they have not just common goals but unanimity, and especially that they should display their unanimity by throwing 100% of their vote behind the activist's candidate, who will never respond by taking the group entirely for granted.
A community activist's greatest tool is known in politics as "walking-around money"; that is, government financing for his activism. Most community activists also appreciate the unlimited use of a staff car from the motor pool of a large federal agency where it will never be missed. The ability to threaten people's jobs and make them believe their taxes will be audited are other powerful tools in the quest for community. It is rarely necessary to break actual kneecaps.
This abstract discussion may become easier to understand by reference to the many examples of community.
The world community
The largest community is the "World Community," something that U.S. President Barack Obama (pictured) announced he was a member of, shortly before assuming the helm of a nation that tirelessly asserts its differences of opinion with all other community members, something it continued to do after he took over.
The black community
After World War II, statistics by race in the United States were converging, but community activists managed to convince African Americans — united by nothing more than a love for ribs, malt liquor, loosies, and hair-care products more outlandish than those of Paul Ryan — that they were in fact a community. Fortunately, the tools described above were all present in spades, as it were — especially the walking-around money and threats against the job of prospective community members.
A key to creating this community was convincing members that everyone else took one look at them, found their jet-black skin hideously ugly, and resolved to ruin the lives of each of them as a spare-time hobby. Determined activism made this once-preposterous notion a reality. By coincidence, it became apparent that there was no point holding a steady job, arriving at work on time, or staying married.
It astonishes tourists that there seems to be no black community in England; there are plenty of people with African roots, but they don't speak in an outlandish accent, dress like prison convicts, or pimp their sisters. In fact, virtually all the chavs in that Alice-in-Wonderland country are white. Sociologists are studying this anomaly with an eye toward a remedy.
English cities do have Indian communities and Muslim communities. The easy way to tell the difference is to ring for a policeman.
The Jewish community
The founding of Israel, Israel's policies, and its exaggerated and effective influence over Western governments, always startled those countries' goyim. But it took the community activist to convince Jews that any critic of any of these actually hated all Jews — and all Arabs to boot; that is, was Anti-Semitic — and wanted worse things to happen to them than simply to be left alone in the Middle East to kill one another. By this measure, the entire Republican Party is anti-Semitic. (The "neo-cons" don't count.) Jews therefore throw their entire vote to the Democratic Party. The effects are profound, as Democrat governments keep nuclear weapons away from all Semites, in favor of the Persians.
The oddest thing of all is that, in the face of this hatred, members of the Jewish community continue to hold a steady job, arrive at work on time, and stay married. Again, sociologists are working to see what can be done.
The gay community
Although the goy community does not exist, the gay community does. It was the toughest nut for the community activist to crack. The claim of a common enemy was preposterous, as it is simply impossible to tell at a glance who is gay. Even the lipstick and the wiggle of the hips have other explanations. Moreover, most homosexuals had no greater desire than to just be left alone (especially during a worldwide epidemic of a fatal disease spread by their signature pastime).
Against all odds, these odd people were united into a cohesive and unanimous political movement that has had total success whenever people are either not allowed to vote, or do vote but a judge overturns it. This Community now has marriage licenses, special tax status, the right to adopt children and pay alimony, and the right to be free from ever hearing anyone else's disapproval, even Christians who do not want to bake them penis-shaped cakes. None of these victories would be possible without the community activist.
The successes of the gay community are coveted by the community of women who want to make love to other women, the community of men who wish to use the women's toilet today, and the community of people who believe they are both men and women. By comparison, people who believe that a fifteen-year epoch of stable temperatures casts doubt on global warming despite its proof in repeated simulations are not a community at all, but rather the enemy of the community.
The wiki community
The editors of a wiki (even including I.P. Anon) are a community, even though some believe that an encyclopedia that "anyone can edit" must therefore be democratic, though its Admins have always modeled their behavior after Communist Cuba, with offline scheming like that of the Cheka.
From time to time, faced with corporate edicts on censorship, database merges, and stylistic alignment with incompatible wikis, the community up-and-moves. The move is instigated by a community activist, coincidentally to a venue that he happens to own. The community is unchanged but has merely exercised control at long last, whereas the wiki itself becomes nothing but one of the community's former watering-holes whose existence must now be censored. The activist becomes a community spokesman, who does not author the years of flame war and vandalism that follow, but merely voices the community's will.
There should be as little reason for members of the community to read an article on Community as there was for the community to have written it.
The Trekkie community
The Trekkie community is the most visionary of all, and certainly the most unanimous. They are receptive to everything either Ron or Rand Paul says, and their loyalty is complete, or would be if the father/son duo would simply shake loose a few extra billions for the Space Program. The community has a vision of galactic peace between peoples of all colors including green and blue, a target society where no one uses money nor eats meat or even vegetables, and you can get to anywhere on any planet without logging on to Uber.
Unfortunately, another overwhelming aspect of this community is an inability to remember when Election Day is or to view it as an occasion to come out of the basement. This fact saps the potential political strength of this community and dooms the rest of society to continue living in the present.
It is usually through street signs, though sometimes through postal mailings, that the reader finds that his city, town, Waste Treatment District, or mass-transit route has suddenly become a community. The reader's first task is to discover what his new community is like. Additional street signs may disclose that "This Community Recycles" or is twinned with an identical community in Bangladesh or must Share The Road with bicycles or really obeys the speed limit, even when in a hurry. The designation of an area as a "community" means that anyone expressing contrary, anti-communitarian opinions may be called a denier. The community makes decisions in the same way as last year, when it was a city; it is just that the opposition keeps quiet.
A community is an entity, a collective, a hive. It is a group of people connected by durable relations that extend beyond family and who define those relations as important to their social identity. The cohesion of a human community is influenced by preferences, by needs, and by avoiding the lynching mentioned above.
Membership in the community is vital to individuals despite their varied talents and interests. They pursue different strategies of remaining members in good standing.
Individuals can be members of a community despite not being in unspoken unanimous agreement with it, by selecting membership in a sub-community.
Four sub-communities form naturally: the elite, the cool, the mundane, and the downright scary. Individuals are drawn to a sub-community to prevent isolation. Although the wider community demonstrates mutual goals, such as banning Donald Trump or making Wacky 'Backy legal, sub-communities do not mix socially. The mundane are not at ease with the elite, despite a shared passion for snooker; the cool avoid the scary (because they are scared), but love their iWatches and Ridley Scott flicks.
How does a complex human being fit into such simple categories? How does he align his views, experiences, shortfalls, and beliefs with others? How does a community reach the same belief, preferences, needs, and risks? The answer is simple: through lies, fleshed out in each issue of Vogue. The media map out the individuals' contexts within communities and the wider society, to enhance quality of life through collaborative celebrity action, as well as cut out two-for-one offers on Maybelline mascara. GQ and Zoo address the community with various perspectives, such as: When is the next Coronation Street babe going to appear in a bikini on the centerfold? And how much did it cost to get the body in a shape that looks so good in one?
Although this literature is the Bible of community coherence (from conformity-by-individualism or individualism-by-conformity), media also feed sub-communities, down to the individual.
Room for deviancy
The paramedic best penetrates the surface of the community, as every street has several underground laboratories full of lethal chemicals, flammable candle-lit fan shrines, risk-averse dungeons, and very slippery “dog-poo-and-empty-beer-can rooms.” The emergency services also see a snapshot of life behind closed doors. When it comes to internal family matters, they hold on to overall human integrity — as well as their lunch — by avoiding investigations beyond the threshold.
Say a resident sought to make the cutest Christmas card animal ever by splicing DNA — obviously using a puppy and a kitten. The community would be upset by a "Christmas Kippy" — not because it is not cute enough, but because it is a mutant, and mutants become giant beasts that eat humans, crunching them like pretzels. Likewise, the policeman investigating a recent spate of missing pets would best avoid the basement laboratory and issue the homeowner a verbal warning rather than a citation with the resulting need for follow-up.