The problem with a social group is that other people can introduce thoughts to our minds, and by repeating them and circularly referencing them, make these thoughts seem like a requirement for life itself, and thus also more real than real.
On the level of a society, this takes on aspects of a game show. You no longer get good at things; you get good at the society game. Your goal is to get the most from it that you can, and give as little back as possible.
This game leads us away not only from reality itself, but from ourselves. We are told that by playing we are individuals, and that we need the collective group to protect us from bad institutions who wish to dominate us.
However, we’re no longer thinking about the one thing that is certain in life: our experience. We know that every minute we are conscious, we are experiencing something.
Our society negotiates with us in terms of what it will offer, which does not include our experience of our own lives. We are offered material things, subsets of the whole of possibilities that interest society as a whole, and therefore it has to transact.
Everything else is forgotten. As a result, it doesn’t matter whether our jobs are boring and our commutes are numbing. It doesn’t matter that shopping is abrasive, or that every product breaks and getting parts and services is a hassle that eats up many hours.
Nor does it matter that we wait in line, or live in noisy cities polluted by light and exhaust, or that we are worn down by a constant onslaught of both commercial messages and foolishness from our fellow citizens.
We have everything, except the state of mind to experience our lives as they trickle past. And yet that state of mind is mostly controlled by the political decisions we make on the basis of these material things.