Accepting rules and commitments established in contexts that organize their validity corresponds to limits defining necessary functions. When these rules and commitments exist independently of the situations they regulate, when they exist to maintain other orders, they enslave and chain. Thus, being bound by commitments and rules makes the individual a link to alienating chains.
Simple situations demonstrate the overlapping of organizations, of rules. Children queued for lunch in public schools, for example, are arranged on a first-come, first-served basis or may be arranged by emulative rewards: better grades, better performance guarantee the first place, or access to the best part of the snack. The teaching imparted in this activity by encouraging a given behavior (better grades for access to school lunch) creates competing commitments that are alienating: “I study more to eat better”, behavior that is later reproduced to achieve titles, points for job selection, better social projection, etc. When an activity is not performed for its own sake, when it is transformed into leverage and/or obstacle to reach or exceed orders and criteria, it becomes enslaving.
To add other values to the significant values of a given situation is to add disparate realities. Examples of this attitude are innumerable and are everywhere, from private to public life, from affective contacts to professional transactions: making affective unions by the accumulation of advantages they offer, for example, structure social climbers. Certain unions, in addition to fulfilling desires for more intimate coexistence, fulfill all the desires that are part of the social imagination. These motivational emergencies will guide enslaving rules and commitments, oblivious to the structures of motivations intrinsic to the relationship, yet familiar with the desires for social change and money-making. In this context, any situation that is sought is by definition alienating, enslaving, because it is established by the nonacceptance of what one is, what one experiences. Desires for improvement are always refusals to what is experienced in the present. It turns out that only by experiencing the present is it possible to improve, to ascend to other situations, to other levels, when contradictions are faced when the imprisonment of what alienates is over. We will always be slaves if we remain attached, chained to desires and fears (the future and the past), even if our movement spaces are large.
Living in societies fundamentally controlled by money creates compromising rules that alienate one’s own desires and motives. It is imperative to distinguish what is circumstantial, what is necessary, and what is the overcoming of the structuring limits itself. The proposals for realization, salvation, transcendence, and overcoming of difficulties presented by religions and ideologies often alienate, compromise, divide, and disarticulate, as they are generated by valuative and consequentially misleading references. Chaining oneself to propagated and sold truths can also be a way of being emptied, exploited.
The only way not to be chained is by constantly questioning the rules and commitments, finding out whether they are exhausted in the orders and contexts that engendered them or point to other directions to which they are strange, mere collages, baits of what is intended to accomplish. Everyone can be fulfilled, satisfied when using the scales of their own needs and possibilities. Planting and reaping from the very land in which one is located is liberating, establishes autonomy.