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(g) The person has intimate relationships

      If the person is not an interchangeable part, then the person has intimate relationships. All relationships are potentially intimate. A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet.

      The contract (or, rather, the understanding) with your grocer is that you tacitly agree not to realize your potential intimacy. You will limit yourselves to exchanging money and groceries. After all, you can handle only so much intimacy - even if only for the simple fact that you have only so much time. There is however a penumbra of intimacy around your contractual arrangements. If your grocer falls off his stool while reaching for your cornflakes, then you go to his aid. If you are out of work and thus out of money, the grocer may extend credit until you are back on your financial feet again. Neither of you says 'That's not in the contract.'

      Whereas the contractual relationship is based on the rules of human beings, the intimate relationship is based on the laws of nature. We recognize other people as members of the same species on the same planet in essentially the same predicament as ourselves. If God is dead, then there is no one here but us. Other people are the only personal element in an impersonal universe. They hold out the only hope of empathy, of understanding, of caring [12].

      Once again, the relationship between the person and the society is a macrocosm of the relationship between one person and another. The relationship is synergetic. That is, what is good for the person is good for the society, and what is good for the society is good for the person. Ruth Benedict puzzled for years while working as an anthropologist in various societies about the essential difference between the societies she liked and the societies she did not like. She finally concluded that, in the societies she liked, the ends of the society and the ends of the person were synergetic, and, in the societies she did not like, the ends of the society and the ends of the person were antagonistic. She gave her only copy of her notes on this synergetic-antagonistic distinction to Abraham Maslow, who used it in his consideration of our two basic problems - that of the good person and that of the good society.

      Our prevailing philosophies of the relationship between the person and society (whether they be the bad-person, good society view of Hobbes or the good-person, bad-society view of Rousseau) see them as antagonistic. There is no reason, however, why the ends of the person and of the society can not be synergetic in our society. Society is a social invention and we may as well invent a good society. The good society is one which provides the commodities to satisfy the organic needs of the person, and the good person is one who has his or her organic needs satisfied [13].

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