What is sanity?

This is not a full-length entry, but I had nothing further to say on the subject, so I am publishing it a a shortie. Enjoy.


I talk a lot about a “sane society.” What does that mean? A sane society is a society which is run on reasonable principles and where reality is pursued. an insane society is a society run on unreasonable principles, and where reality is considered unimportant or altogether rejected. The latter is the case in our societies, as they are based on unreasonable principles while supposed to be baed on sound principles (e.g. consent v democracy).

Sanity, in the political, ethical and moral sense, as I define it, is the state of being oneself, of thinking one’s own thoughts, and of striving towards one’s own goals. Sanity means that the individual is psychologically healthy, i.e. of sound mind and judgment.

To not be sane is to not be oneself, to think what an exterior determinism makes one think, and to strive towards the goals set by some exterior determinism (more than freedom, then: the insane can still be free, but not able to realize it or fulfill that freedom). To not be sane is to overwhelm one’s self with things which are not of one’s self.

When we say that a serial killer is insane, or that a dictatorship is insane, or that war is insane, we are merely giving extreme examples of human beings twisted beyond recognition, and structures which twist human beings beyond recognition.

By this definition, therefore, a newborn baby is utterly sane. If he is raised by sane people, he should remain so. That much seems obvious. What makes one not sane, and what makes a society not sane?

It would be easy to blame parenting and early education. Of course they are part of the problem, but the state of mind of parents and teachers are only a reflection of their own upbringing. We must look to the structural features that model people’s behaviour. Only a radical approach can answer the question with any level of truth.

2 thoughts on “What is sanity?

  1. sbt42 February 3, 2013 at 07:06

    It may be that the journey from sanity to insanity is due to the fact that once a newborn begins interacting with the world, the process of developing their own set of morals is influenced by a number of factors: both sane and insane. Unless one has the time or ability to reflect and act on the spectrum of sanity with each action or thought, then insanity will creep in.

    Peer pressure/groupthink is dramatically effective when one is young and untested, so insane behaviours can be picked up in these formative years.

  2. sbt42 February 3, 2013 at 07:07

    Kids aren’t brought up in a vacuum, in other words.

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