These days, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Stand Alone Complex. I see it as a dysfunction caused by the overuse of abstract reasoning instead of focusing on personal interests and situations. The concept of social justice appears to be the main reason for the Stand Alone Complex.
The subject cannot develop his own identity without social interaction and self-integration in the peer group. So, it is his particular situation what determines the adjusted point of view of the reality. When someone begins to give more importance to his thoughts over his own particular situation, the identity loses its background threatening to unbalance the personality. This triggers a process of isolation of the subject from his own social background, leading him to construct an alternative reality with illusory cultural referents. All this process is called the Stand Alone Complex, and can be replicated via memetical imitation.
Why is this a mental dysfunction and not the correct way of behaving in search for a more ethical society?
The SAC is a mental dysfunction because it represents the over-influence of the neo-cortex over the more basic functions of the brain.
The human brain can be divided in three different levels, also called the three brains. The first one is the hypothalamus, which regulates all the biological functions of the body, the instincts as survival imperatives and reproduction impulses. It’s also known as the reptile brain, because it’s the only one kind of brain that reptiles have.
The second level is the limbic system, also known as the emotional brain or mammal brain. It includes the hypocampus and implies a more developed feeling of the self, with memory storage and a reduced capacity of informational managing. This part of the brain is the reason why mammals can learn and reptiles cannot. The conditional reflex is operated in this area.
The third level is the neo-cortex. It’s present in many developed mammals, but usually it’s considered as the idiosyncrasy of the human being. It gives us the capacity to think and develop complex theories about the world and our place in it.
In the SAC, the subject gets isolated because the world doesn’t match with his own ideals, and he find himself lost in his own thoughts. On the contrary, materialistic individualism or the logic of personal interests are the perfect antidote for the SAC. It means the recognition that the self wants to be accepted and integrated, even thought the world is crazy and the society organization has no rational sense at all.
It doesn’t matter how hard we try to build a perfect ideology of the must be of human life, our hypothalamus (that is the more basic function of ourselves) is going to rule our more basic feelings and motivations. So we can think that we are fighting for Justice or for any other ideal, but our deepest and irrational desire is to get attention and feel stimulated by social interaction.