"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." Thomas Jefferson
Modern society is founded on a perception of reality that is both limited and limiting. It is a reductionist and dualized worldview, which embraces and prioritizes only half of reality i.e. the half that relates to masculine (yang) forces. The following are the main masculine yang forces: rationality, reason, male, quantity, reductionism, parts, maximization, expansion, large, hard, activity, exploitation, competition, egoism, linear, growth, aggression, and domination. The masculine yang forces are Modernity's preferred perceptions, thoughts, ideas, attitudes, and energies. Since energies and thoughts eventually manifest in reality, the manifestations of the masculine yang forces will consequently prioritize man, human, master, white, rich, adult, individual, modern, civilized, developed, culture, theory, mechanical, and science.
The second half of reality – the dualized "other" – is the feminine (yin) forces. This group contains the contrasts to the above masculine yang forces. The yin includes the following perceptions, thoughts, ideas, attitudes, and energies, mentioned in the same order as the above yang forces: intuition, emotion, female, quality, holism, whole, optimization, contraction, small, soft, passivity, conservation, cooperation, relation, circular, decay, responsive, and subordination. The feminine yin forces manifest as follows, mentioned in the same order as the above yang manifestations: woman, nature, slave, black (colored), poor, child, society, traditional, primitive, undeveloped, nature, practice, ecological, and experience.
Taken together, the modern worldview perceives man as being more important than, and prioritized over women; human over nature; male over female; master over slave; white over colored; rich over poor; adult over child; individual over social; modern over traditional; civilized over primitive; developed over undeveloped; culture over nature; theory over practice; mechanical over ecological; science over experience; rationality over intuition; reason over emotion; quantity over quality; reductionism over holism; parts over whole; maximization over optimization; expansion over contraction; large over small; hard over soft; exploitation over conservation; competition over cooperation; egoism over relation; linear over circular; growth over decay; aggression over responsiveness; domination over subordination.
According to Taoism, the feminine yin and the masculine yang forces are two opposite parts of a whole reality. None of them are good or bad; what is good is a balance between the two; what is bad is yin yang imbalance; however, both are necessary in order to create harmony in any change. We therefore need male as well as female, men and women, to live and reproduce. Every person is both an individual and integrated in relations, being an ego and part of society. In order to perceive adequately, we need to use all our capacities including rationality, reason, intuition, and emotion; to comprehend the whole, we need to examine all its parts, their interrelations, including their quantitative and qualitative aspects. In fact, we can only comprehend a part if we experience its opposite: we know white because we know black; we understand linear because we understand circular; we comprehend big because we comprehend small and vice versa. Consequently, we need both yin and yang in order to become fully balanced human beings. Balanced human beings will perceive the whole of reality; with such holistic insight, they will choose balanced behaviors and actions that will cause changes resulting in overall harmony. The yin yang sign symbolizes this balance: the two interconnected parts are one harmonious, indivisible whole.
Nevertheless, in a Patriarchy reality is not perceived holistically. The patriarchal worldview sees the two parts as being distinct and hierarchical. Thus, the masculine yang and the feminine yin are not only diverse; they also have a value attached, making the masculine yang the superior category: the "master" and the "right" one, while the feminine yin is of an inferior category: the "slave" and the "wrong" other. This view is called value dualism. It means that the masculine part of reality has a superior value compared to the inferior feminine part; therefore the latter can be disqualified. Patriarchy has in this way created a dualist master-slave world, where one part, the master, is representing the whole, while the other part, the slave, is excluded. Also excluded is the interconnection between the two. This leads to reductionism. Reductionism means that one can fully understand a whole reality in terms of its parts, only. In a Patriarchy, it means reality can be fully understood in terms of its masculine parts, only. Dualism and reductionism were values chosen for us many years ago. It especially seeped into modern society as from the Scientific Revolution, causing science, economics, and modern technology to be based on value dualism, where masculine or yang forces are prioritized (explained in the second core article). Consequently, these deeply integrated masculine yang structures are still subordinating all that is feminine or yin.
"When men are oppressed, it’s a tragedy. When women are oppressed, it’s tradition." Bernadette Mosala, South African feminist activist
Due to its dichotomy, value dualism is a violent model. It perceives the dualized, subordinated others as objects or instruments that exist for the benefit of the superior category. This inevitably leads to domination of various kinds, encompassing sexism, racism, egoism, classicism, colonialism, Modernism, and other "isms of domination," as the American philosopher Karen J. Warren calls it. Therefore, since man is superior to women and children, he can dominate them; since the individual is more important than society, the individual may freely exhaust social resources; since competition rules, cooperation is unnecessary; since human beings are superior to nature and exploitation is promoted, individuals dismiss environmental conservation and exploit nature for their own profit making; since the white and the rich are masters, they are free to subordinate and profit from the colored and the poor; since modern and developed is progressive and superior compared to backwards, traditional, and undeveloped ways of life, the latter may be removed.
Thus, if we have a run-away masculine yang energy, which is not limited by a healthy portion of feminine yin energy, we get the following scenario: an uncaring, greedy, and competitive individual master who, in a rational and linear fashion, is expanding his/her own unlimited economic activities using hard and large technology in order to maximize his/her own profit with no concern about the consequences for women, poor people, traditional people, children, and society at large, all of which the superior master sees as being subordinate. In addition, the unbalanced yang master perceives natural resources as being merely dead mechanical parts available for exploitation and nature as a place to dump waste. As such, when we have yang forces being unrestrained by yin forces, it is easy to understand why we have a world full of greed, causing crises of war and violence, poverty and inequality, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation. The result of patriarchal domination is an unhealthy society where life for the dualized others becomes unmanageable. Hence, women, children, traditional people, poor people, and nature, with all its beautiful life, cannot prosper inside dualism and its values.
In order to change this unhealthy situation, the subtle yin is needed to limit the progression of the dominant yang. Opposite the selfish, individual, quantitative, yang energy, the yin energy includes essential human relationship elements like care, compassion, community, and cooperation; yin also includes qualities like ethics, morality, traditional norms, ecological and organic values, spirituality, aesthetics and human experiences. Adding these qualities, will automatically limit the demanding yang energy before it becomes totally destructive. Consequently, with the restrictive energy from yin, we would include values that promote social cooperation and community sharing, conservation of natural resources, and care for the environment based on human experience. Conclusively, if any one of the two energies expand too far, we need to add more of the other, as a restraining force, in order to create a dynamic tension, which will result in balance and harmony.
Nevertheless, in Modern Patriarchy, the feminine yin is marginalized and therefore prevented from functioning as the necessary balancing factor, so the masculine yang force rules unrestricted. Since patriarchal life is based on competition for ever scarcer resources, a Patriarchy can only end in a dystopia, i.e. a society with hardship and crises. In the process, natural resources are exhausted, environments are polluted and poisoned, while societies are impoverished and diseased. It eventually means the death of society and nature worldwide. Conclusively, the slave will die, but since the master is depending on the slave in order to prosper, also the master will succumb.
"Nothing ever goes away." Barry Commoner
Although the Western, middle-class, white male, created this dualist, reductionist, hierarchical, master-slave structure, with himself as the master, the structure has changed over time according to need. Hence, those the system initially categorized as master and slave are now more diverse. Each group includes women as well as men, minus of course the dualist category "men over women." Thus, in modern society, it is highly likely that people sometimes belong to the master category that dominates, and at other times to the slave category that is subordinated. However, belonging to the master category includes a condition: one must agree to assume the masculine characteristics. Thus, if a woman, a person of color, or a traditional person wants to join the patriarchal race and become a master, each must shed all residues of the feminine yin energy. Each must become a pure masculine yang person who, without any ethical restrictions, will join in the greedy economic pursuit of dominating society and exploiting nature. Nevertheless, in the final analysis, it is the modern, white, Western, rich man who is at the top of the hierarchy in dualism, while the traditional, colored, Southern, poor woman is at the very bottom. This explains the misery experienced by many women and their children in the South:
"To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker." Frederick Douglass, American social reformer, orator, writer, and former slave (1818-1895)
Being continually exposed to the worldview of the elites means that many people stop questioning patriarchal domination and its disharmony. People believe that things cannot be any different. As a result, the habitual way of life is as follows:
The political and economic elites focus on economic growth and individual profit making, based on exploiting nature and dominating society. This value is integrated into all modern economic and political structures, including its mechanical science, its static discipline of economics, its polluting technologies, its controlling political system, its unjust policies, its undemocratic financial institutions, its flawed justice system, and its malfunctioning project of Third World development.
For example, in a Patriarchy, the goal of food production is not social nutrition and environmental sustainability. The aim is maximizing profit to the elites. Science and technology is, therefore, used to increase nature's efficiency by genetic engineering and toxic chemicals. Although this may end in numerous negative consequences for the health of society and nature, adequate research on effects is rarely done; instead, the political and economic elites are forcing through the unhealthy diet. Since wealth creation is an eternal activity, the elites are eager to access ever more resources as input for their profit making. Hence, they may be buying up farmland in poor countries for growing of more crops, causing indigenous people to lose their land and livelihoods. Moreover, the elite may be waging war against mineral rich nations in order to utilize their resources.
These activities are causing indescribable disasters for local societies and nature, resulting in huge suffering and much anger. In order to stay in control of the situation, Patriarchy must continuously increase its military capability, using science and technology to develop sophisticated weaponry, funded by taxpayers' money. In this way, there are less funds available for health and education in society, causing more human suffering.
Since citizens have lived under the rule of Patriarchy their whole lives, many believe that competition, greed, violence, exploitation, and domination are unavoidable human traits. Yet some people know that life can be different. They want to end the elite's domination of society and exploitation of nature and introduce justice. If the voices of that group become too loud, the state will, for "national security" reasons, stop the disagreement by introducing laws that control and restrict free speech, demonstrations, and sharing of information. This may lead to repression, clashes, open conflicts, and illegal detention of citizens.
The ultimate outcome of Patriarchy is global crises of violence and war, poverty and inequality, environmental degradation, and human rights abuses. The victims are society and nature. Although the specific situation differs from country to country, from place to place, the above describes the general structure of our current unbalanced world.
"It is not that we should simply seek new and better ways for managing society, the economy, and the world. The point is that we should fundamentally change how we behave." Václav Havel, Czech playwright, poet, dissident, and first President of the Czech Republic (1936-2011)
It should be added that it is neither one gender nor one special type of person who is dominating society and exploiting nature. Usually, whenever people get the chance to gain political and economic power, they easily enter into the master role. That is yet another learned behavior. Thus, it rarely improves the situation for poor women when we elect women into political positions. Neither does it change much for society and nature when we elect the political opposition into power. The new political leaders continue to reinforce patriarchal domination, now for their own benefit. The only general thing one may say about these people is that they lack inner balance, and they will therefore choose unbalanced actions. Yet, in between the exception from the rule comes along: a balanced person, who has courage to take just actions. However, in current modern politics this type of person is rare to meet. It seems evident that mainly unbalanced people are attracted to a career in politics. Conclusively, patriarchal domination is a structural problem, a learned behavior, deriving from imbalanced inner energies.