Tuesday 13 April 2021

This abstract world... Identity politics and the destruction of the individual, immortal soul

People suppose - in the incoherent and irrational way that modern people suppose - that the post sixties identity politics which took-over Leftism is about freedom of individuals (or something 'liberating' like that). 

But it is of course about replacing individuals - in this case with categorical abstractions. 

Individuals now represent the categories to which they are allocated - the individual (with his immortal soul, as well as his personal qualities of mind and body) disappears with ever-increasing completeness into the category...

And that category is ever-increasingly allocated rather than innate. Political orientation (on the inverted-good side or the enemy), race, and even biological sex is now, officially and legally, allocated and not innate.   

And the allocation is in practice always top-down - acknowledged or imposed, validated and enforced, by The Establishment - by the state, the corporation, and especially by the (single-voiced) mass media.  

The purpose of categories is dual

The primary purpose of Leftist categories has been to increase resentment between persons (e.g. between classes, sexes, races, ideologies) - everybody already knows this. 

The secondary purpose is now becoming more evident - which is to destroy individuals and society. This is what I am focusing on here. 

We have reached the point at which it is part of normal public discourse - indeed it is a morally-approved and officially-mandated part of public discourse - that individual persons with all their unique qualities be ignored, and that all official evaluations be based upon the category into which persons have been officially allocated. 

The morality play, the psychodrama, of public life in 2021 is all about categories and hardly-at-all about the individuals who are allocated into them.

This world of abstract categories has consequences. 

At the social level, it means incompetence and dysfunctionality. 

At the individual level, identity politics means that individuals are encouraged (forced, as far as possible) to regard themselves as subsumed into the categories by which society treats them. They are encouraged/ forced to stop thinking of themselves as individuals - each with an unique immortal soul.

The lethal aspect is that society treats the categories in a purely material way. 

Whereas past allocated categories (such as caste) were stable, hierarchical, and linked into a religious system (and so could form a basis for life); here-and-now society excludes god/s, the spirit; and regards reality as material, accidental and going-nowhere. 

The categories are each a ticket to unmeaning.  

As of 2021; we do not even have the fake purpose of Marxist/ Communist utopia; nor the fake purpose of the 1970s environmentalism and self-sufficiency movement (perhaps the final flush of Western idealism). 

As of 2021; Leftism is universal and dominant but wholly oppositional; meaning nothing, going nowhere, and ever more negative and destructive. 

As of 2021 there is no utopia on offer; but instead a society of permanent revolution - of ever more resentment-driven, insatiable hostility; between ever more arbitrary, abstract and fluid categories. 

A Modern Man is just a series of abstract, fluid, rotating, conflicting categories, to which he is arbitrarily allocated and re-allocated by grace-and-favour of authority... 

The categories are changed frequently and unpredictably; the hierarchy of categories is conflicting and never-defined; change is constant; all depends on the temporary expedience of current context - as perceived by the Authorities. 

In general terms, we see the triumph of abstraction over person - hence the destruction of person; hence the impossibility of Christianity for all who accept The System and its categorical allocations.

The way-out should be clear enough - except that our Christian churches and their theology and practices are themselves corrupted by abstractions - and are interwoven with The System in multiple ways... 

Our real-and-possible escape is just too simple, too obvious, and too child-like to be apparent or conceivable to the mass of Men. 

But that is no excuse! Because fooling our-selves, holding-fast to lies and embracing purposive evil is our own responsibility. 

Or, to put matter the other way around (and more accurately): We all know (or will, sooner or later, know - because God in his creating makes that knowing inevitable) the reality and possibility of Jesus Christ's offer of resurrected life eternal in Heaven available to anybody who wants it as First Thing

Therefore anybody who rejects their own individuality as an unique soul, does so from their innate personal free agency; and with binding responsibility.  


Fo4Ho1 said...

Thanks for that perspective. As a member of the Episcopal Church, I am observing, and experiencing in first person, this very type of attitude and behavior, from folks in the pews next to me, right through to those who carry the Crozier. It is very disheartening.

William Wildblood said...

Another superb analysis of the reality that lies beneath the smooth surface appearance of the modern world. Everything and everyone is increasingly just a statistic on a spreadsheet. They really want to mechanise consciousness and reduce the human soul to data. The reign of quantity is now in full swing.

R.J.Cavazos said...

Very interesting. Much of this in my view is due to the transformation of society into a society of employees(which the birdemic hastens). I think Drucker pointed out that in the U.S. at say 1900 only 10% or so of people worked in large organizations, not its 80%+. This makes more accute the issue pointed out by Whyte back in the 1950's. To wit:

“In further institutionalizing the great power of the majority, we are making the individual come to distrust himself. We are giving him a rationalization for the unconscious urging to find an authority that would resolve the burdens of free choice. We are tempting him to reinterpret the group pressures as a release, authority as freedom, and that this quest assumes a moral guise makes it only the more poignant.”
― William H. Whyte, The Organization Man

Bruce Charlton said...

@RJC - Yes - although these early writers were not focused on the salvation aspect of 'individualism', as part of the supernatural spiritual war; which is primary.

@Fo - Any church needs to be evaluated about whether it does overall more spiritual good than harm - if more harm, one needs to be prepared to forgo its benefits. And either try to find something better, or go it alone.

@William. Thanks. Of course we all feel this in a general sense, but sometimes it helps to be able to be more specific about what is going-on.

Jacob Gittes said...

Thanks again as usual, Bruce.
Some years ago, I was really attracted to and into the alternative/dissident right, because I saw the insanity of what the left was doing, and as the exact demographic most hated (white, Christian male) I was bearing the brunt of the leftist offensive.
More recently, I no longer have any attraction to the focus of the dissident right on participating in identity politics in a pro-European or pro-white manner.
I am totally against being anti-white/anti-European, and will state my view on this to leftists. I do not at all support anti-white indoctrination, and I would not allow my child to be terrorized by such things. But I no longer am attracted to the inverted version of anti-white politics: pro-white identity politics. I have healthy pride in the attainments of my Scandinavian ancestors, but it's not a primary focus. My primary focus is now (or at least I'm trying to make it) spiritual. My relationship with God, and how that elucidates the beautiful aspects of my life in nature and with family and other people. Thus, I'm trying to negate and reject resentment, and focus on the positive and true/beautiful aspects of my life in this world. I can love my people, culture, traditions without hating others and feeling resentment. I can see the beauty in the way that our ancestors have historically created lived traditions and music and buildings and art, without reifying these things into a false idol to be worshiped while hating other versions of human life on earth.

Ugh said...

What I don't understand particularly is why the loudest of these people intent on tossing their individualism to the ditch are the ones with the least grievances. Don't even try to point out any of the goodness and righteousness of modern society because it has really only served white males. They offer no resolution, no plan, no point of light, they only see destruction of what the white culture has built worldwide. I speak of the many self-hating and wealthy whites of course.