The secondary thing that we require as macroscopic life forms is a shelter. This is only a necessity in face of natural calamities. So why do we require the other things that we deem so inexorable? Well, as far as clothing goes, it does have its purpose to a certain extent. In colder climates, we do require layers to keep ourselves warm. They are like mobile shelters. Human beings evolved in Africa where there was no need for furs. However, in search of shelter, as we traveled into harsher climates, our bodies faced the necessity for warmth which was supplied through clothes.
However, as we kept ourselves covered, our secondary sexual features were no longer prominent which was a deterrent to courtship. Thus, the clothes had to be modified to attract more mates. This led to the idea of taste. Clothes that gave its adorned masters more attraction were considered to be of good taste. Now, after years of wearing garments, it also became a perceived protection for modesty. For example, your cell phone is a complete machine in itself even without a cover. But since you thought a cover will protect it from dust, you started using one. Then the cover started getting fancier because it made a style statement. The cheaper cover offered a variety to your expensive phone. That is exactly how clothes work now. It gives you a sense of protection and simultaneously offers variety sending out a message of attractiveness.
There are many other stories to the evolution of apparel but patriarchy is one of the chief shaping factors. In fact, the entire concept of prudishness is very modern. Females were traditionally expected to be straitlaced and were objects of high value to be acquired with skillful courting by men.
Now after the three basic essentials were in place, men started using their brains. At first, barter was the order of the day. Then men realized a common currency will be a more suitable medium for trade. Like Vodafone recently came up with the idea of Flex serving as a common currency for all services, similarly, men felt the need of money to avoid complications. Some realized the value of money and started acquiring wealth through the patronage of the royalty. The entire class divide was a result of complex interactions of power play and monetary influence till it was considered too fluid to be effectively ascertained and was institutionalized for convenience.
Now after the invention of money, people wanted to buy things that were considered in mode. Market economy determined value of goods and common people wanted to experience luxury through the goods heretofore enjoyed exclusively by the nobles. This was also because there still existed the necessity of attracting a mate and money, power and material things were good determinants of potency. The debt system was established and subsequently institutionalized by banks. Banks, in turn, were established by people who has acquired more wealth than they needed. So they decided to lend it and acquire even more in the process.
As we can see, these are the main forces controlling people and states in today’s world and each and every political phenomenon can be explained with reasons rooted in an urge for more money and power. That is, in turn, to get better food, living conditions and attract better mates for oneself or one's genetic extensions. Our religious views were created to influence our minds and we inevitably were attracted to them because they gave us a definition of uncertainty. They gave the commons the belief that there can be a better tomorrow. Most of history was determined by people whose ancestors created their pedestal.
Radicals used sentiments to establish their positions. Very few were exceptionally talented or hardworking who could carve their mark on history in one lifetime. We are all bodies controlled by a common ghost called our genes. That is the only constant in our long line of ancestors. Our education is designed to equalize our genetic expressions and provide for a more compliant crowd. Every social change that we envisage now for welfare is bound for a downfall as the earth has barely enough resources to effectively satisfy the explosive amount of population. Our struggle is not against one another but it is a common struggle against oblivion. We all fight to keep our genes in the race of elimination aiming for a balance. This compulsion is used by the corporations to accumulate more wealth. Our zeal for having resources to keep up with the competition is used by the advertising agencies inducing us to buy more. Capitalism is built on effective channelization of this passion for a better life. Socialism was built to counteract capitalism.
When we look at ourselves now, we often find a confused entity looking to find a way in a largely unknown world, trying to make out its syntaxes and cheat-codes. This is because we are like people who have started to watch Game of Thrones say, after five seasons. It takes some time to understand what is actually happening and before we know it, we are nearing the end. Education apart from being a great equalizer is also essential to inform us about the first five seasons so as guide our opinions about the sixth season. The difference is that in real life we are not only spectators but also players. Syllabi have been changed over ages owing to political influence to shape our opinion about history and thus the present world. Generations differ in opinion depending on their birth date and contemporary ruling parties.
In our lives, we might as well be subjects of a huge social experiment if we cannot hold our views steady. The ever growing quantum of knowledge requires cutting corners and our values are slowly succumbing to such executions. We are not being taught the fundamental codes of conducts in order to make space for more information. Thus children are smarter but not more emotionally stable. Their soft sentiments are susceptible to incorrect notions and mental disorders induced from overexposure to a consumerist society. Our lives are spent running from crossroads to crossroads till we reach a dead end. There is no destination, only a journey. We are living in an age of perpetual anarchy full of information but not enough sound opinions. We need replenished ideas of fundamental codes of conduct from time to time so as to be able to make independent decisions more effectively. Our education should be more oriented to build sound opinions and not effective servants.
Written by Sayantani Saha
Writer, dreamer of world exploration and lover of high fantasy