Permission is patriarchal thread which runs throughout human societies. Even the most democratic societies trade in permission: Building permits, passports/visa, marriage licenses, drivers' licenses, etc.. Repressive regimes use permission to isolate, disable and punish populations to avoid resistance from liberating influences.
The U.S. has had an increase in permission culture since 911. No-fly lists and more stringent permitting of demonstrations are examples. Permission is used to create an illusion of mass control, of public safety. However, as seen with recent revelations about police misconduct nationally, the permission culture can accompany a culture of oppression by authority.
The gay marriage movement has annoyed me as a gay man in my later years. While I understand the positive aspects of its political effectiveness, I see it as a submission to the patriarchal permission culture of heterosexuals. I see it as a quest to seek permission to be homosexual from those in authority. I find this concept offensive. I have a similar reaction to the current conflict over the use of public restrooms by transgender people. Why should anyone need permission to use a public restroom when he/she needs one?
Patriarchal social structures thrive on permission culture. President Assad's Syria was a permission culture until it exploded with resistance. Its citizens became so averse to permission culture that they have defied the boundaries of Europe to escape it. The anarchy which has resulted has left Europeans reeling.
Socialism has gotten a bad rap in The West, especially in the United States. However, socialism evolved in reaction to monarchic and totalitarian permission cultures. Socialism in its democratic forms is a contract model of social co-management between citizens and governance. Socialism aims for the greater good, hence its threat to patriarchal domination and greed. Capitalism thrives on domination through competition, and capitalism thrives in congressional and parliamentary systems which can be bought with big money by the few.
Blending socialism and capitalism has worked in countries of relative wealth and low homogeneous populations. Scandinavian nations are the common examples. However, overpopulation and migration may well threaten these havens of social democracy. Time will tell. The conglomeration of special interest groups, inherent in U.S. demographics, has hampered socialism despite our nation's relatively small population. The U.S. has never striven for true homogeneity outside of its nationalist war-mongering, driven by patriarchal capitalists. Diversity is one of America's false gods, used by capitalist politicians to divide and conquer for their personal gain. They have branded socialism as un-American.
The path of the U.S as environment deteriorates and population grows seems destined to veer toward more permission culture to protect the interests of the upper class, a mere 10% of the total population. Domination of the government by the wealthy capitalist interests in the U.S. guarantees increased oppression of the poor to protect the rich. Mass media is used by corporate wealth to promote fear of anarchy and terrorism as inevitable if militarist capitalism fails. Social security measures are labelled as socialist in order to justify corporate-controlled government's gutting of civilized health care and elder-support systems. The motivation is avoidance of taxes upon those who are wealthier than the vast majority of the population.
The success or failure of social contracts between governments and citizens lies with the electorate theoretically, but the permission culture in the U.S. takes the form of two major political parties which bar common citizens from public office due to the arcane electoral structures of an 18th century constitution. These structures have been captured and controlled by elites, Left and Right. The squelching of independent parties and candidates by the political process, flooded with corporate money, is obvious. They are simply not permitted an equal voice.
When the vast majority of any population becomes disenfranchised, history shows us the inevitable. We look to Syria, Iraq and Libya and convince ourselves that these are anomalies. They are not. Revolution and war follow oppression by patriarchal oppression. The question is simply how long it takes to fester and how chronic the violence will become.