ychic system) becomes a machine for producing misery. The unhappiness (or happiness) isn’t a direct result of some external reality or cause; it’s a production of the mind. If a doctor tells me I have cancer and will be dead within six months, my reaction (whatever it is) is self-produced; it’s not caused by the doctor’s words. There is no reason why I can’t react with laughter, relief, happiness, or any other emotion. This is what self-determination means.
What makes hope such an intense pleasure is the fact that the future, which we dispose of to our liking, appears to us at the
“The astonishing thing is not that some people steal or that others occasionally go out on strike, but rather that all those who are starving do not steal as a regular practice, and all those who are exploited are not continually out on strike: after centuries of exploitation, why do people still tolerate being humiliated and enslaved, to such a point, indeed, that they actually want humiliation and slavery not only for others but for themselves?”
Do shared norms matter in international relations? Psychic operational closure means we cannot share thoughts; we can only share language. Ideas cannot be shared. Thoughts, ideas, feelings, etc., must be translated into meaningful communication within a social system. Norms are not ideas, but rather expectations.
Stability, instability, balance, imbalance, structure, etc., are mechanistic metaphors that don’t fit social theory very well. For instance, structural instability is a bad quality in a bridge or tall building, but it’s necessary for autopoiesis to happen. Structural instability, in a social sense as well as a linguistic sense, is generative. Structural instability is a quality of any dynamic, evolving, or “living” thing.
“In diverging from the classical biological view of the immune system as the part of the organism that defends it against external attacks, Luhmann closely follows developments within biology itself. He orients towards a systems theoretical form of biology that arguably escapes the oft-criticised biological reductionism – of which Durkheim and Parsons stand accused – that would model sociology so problematically upon biology.”