Sunday, March 04, 2007

Polylogism and Collectivism

Polylogism is essentially the idea that one's group identity uniformly determines their thoughts and actions. It is the illogical belief that every single member of a particular group must inherently conform to the exact same thoughts and behaviors. As such, polylogism makes extremely broad generalizations of entire groups and it expects each member of such groups to uniformly fit the mold of these generalizations like an unavoidable law of nature.

Such a way of viewing people leaves no room for the possibility of any real individual variance within groups. Further, such a way of looking at society tends to lead towards a political view in which each group is assigned a special set of rights, specific to their group. This assignment of rights is inevitably biased towards the predispositions of the polylogist. In either case, in reality we are not dealing with rights: these are all special privilege systems.

Polylogism can manifest itself in any group identity. Economic polylogism assigns economic classes and functions with predetermined collective thoughts and actions, and a special set of rights for each economic group. Racial polylogism assigns racial groups with predetermined collective thoughts and actions, and a special set of rights for each racial group. National polylogism assigns nations with predetermined collective thoughts and actions, and a special set of rights for each nation. Political polylogism assigns political parties and labels with predetermined collective thoughts and actions, and a special set of rights for each political group.

In all of these cases, the varying individuals within such groups are treated as non-existant; all that the polylogist can envision is a faceless collective with completely predetermined traits. To the polylogist all conflicts or potential conflicts within such groups do not exist.

Economic polylogism is one of the central tenets of Marxism. Marxism separates all of humanity into two separate classes who's thoughts and actions are uniformly predetermined by their class statuses: the proletarien and the burgeosie, or the workers and employers. The burgeosie is supposed to be inherently evil, and the proleterian inherently good. The silly ideology of Marxism, of course, postulates that eventually the burgeosie will be overthrown and we will convert into a world made up entirely of proeterians.

In Marxism, the proletarians are assigned all of the rights, while the burgeosie have none. "Classism" also arises out of economic polylogism. Afterall, one could take Marx's class dychotomy and reverse it by giving the burgeosie all of the rights. The only difference between Marxism and such classism is which of the two imaginary classes are supposed to win the "class struggle". In classism, all of the rights are given to the burgeosie, while the proletariens have none.

Even outside of the realm of outright Marxism and pure classism, economic polylogism is manifested all the time in our political atmosphere. "The poor" is used in the same manner as "the proletarian" is and "the rich" is used in the same manner as "the burgeosie" is. "The middle class" is even used in a polylogist manner. "The corporations" is used in a polylogist manner, as is "the capitalists".

These groups are often envisioned as faceless entities with collective preferances and ideas. But in reality "the corporations" are not one entity, they are separate companies that conflict with eachother in various ways. And all poor people do not share the same needs, wants and ideas. Neither do all rich people and neither does "the middle class".

Racial polylogism typically manifests itself in two distinct ways. The first way is that of racism, the second way is that of racial egalitarianism. In both cases, each race is assigned uniformly dictated collective thought and action. Consequentially, both ideologies create a special set of rights for each race. The racists create a scenario where their race has all rights, and all others don't; or a special set of rights for each race, graduating in their own favor. The racial egalitarians create a scenario where each race has a special set of rights, graduating in the favor of races that they personally like in particular. In reality, though, race does not uniformly dictate people's actions and thoughts, nor does it grant them any legitimate claim to a special privilege.

While it should be no secret that racial egalitarianism is collectivist, it is just as obvious that racism has always been a collectivist ideology. It typically idolizes one particular race collectively as being inherently superior to all others, and consequentially denigrates other races collectively as being inherently inferior to "the master race". Racism, as such, is vehemently anti-individualist and "collectively elitist". It splits humans up into differences species, in defiance of the scientific fact that all humans constitute one species.

But the problems of racial egalitarianism are just as bad. Racial egalitarianism, by its very nature, creates racial identity-politics. As such, racial identity becomes just as fundamentalist and hateful as it does for racists. Anyone who disagrees with the racial egalitarian in any way is considered to be in the "racist" camp. This leads to what is known as "race-baiting". It constitutes "political correctness".

Racial egalitarianism therefore tends to create a hated group of alleged racists who are not racists in reality, but have been labeled as such by polylogist racial constructs about racial majorities or political groups. Further, they tend to hold certain racial groups personally responsible for actions of their ancestors that they themselves did not take part in. Both the racism and racial egalitarian premuse that they are the only choice; that you're either a racist or egalitarian. It doens't work this way in reality: what if I'm neither?

National polylogism is more or less the same thing as nationalism. Each nation is treated in an entirely collective manner. But when we say a phrase such as "America invaded Iraq", we're using these terms only figuratively. Obviously, every single person in America did not invade every single person in Iraq. To be specific, a bunch of people in the American government, which is not the same thing as the American people in totality, sent a certain number of soldiers to fight in Iraq. Nations do not act and think as if they have one single mind of their own.

But national polylogism views nations collectively to the point where warring nations are viewed as faceless collectives battling it out. What nationalism often does is blur the distinction between nation and state, and as such leads towards the illogical idea that when the state protect's "it's interests" (such as through war), it is inherently protecting "our" interests.

National polylogism often leads to a "national superiority complex" and therefore false patriotism (blind obedience to domestic national authority). This is then used as a rationale for expressing this alleged superiority through brute force on allegedly inferior nations. But this view of nations is totally wrong to begin with. There are individuals within these "nations" who differ among eachother.

America, for example, is not some uniform entity. It is made up of a diverse array of different people, with different interests, different conditions, different traits, different needs and different ideas. It is impossible to accurately assign one particular idea, interest or condition to an entire nation in this way. A nation does not think thoughts and take actions, individuals within them do. Outside of the need to use the term linguistically and figuratively, the idea of nations is an abstraction.

Polylogism permeates identity politics everywhere, especially in America. Political parties and labels are generalized to the point where political discourse is almost entirely reduced to wide generalizations about people on the basis of their political party identity and their political ideology identity. Labels such as "Liberals", "Conservatives", "Democrats", "Republicans", "Capitalists" and "Socialists" are all used as collective identities to the point where they have almost lost all meaning and use as terms.

There was a time when capitalists were called "liberals", and now many opponents of capitalism are considered to be the "liberals". "Democrat" and "Republican" can mean anything. To eachother, they seem to signify a whole host of generalizations that may very well not be true about many individuals. A Republican such as Ron Paul is worlds apart from a Republican like George W. Bush, and a "liberal" such as Hillary Clinton is worlds apart from a classical liberal like Thomas Jefferson.

In our political mythos and the establishment media, America is split up polylogistically into "red states" and "blue states". That is, geographical regions in which people live, as determined by state-level government jurisdiction, are generalized into uniform groups. But reality is quite contrary to these generalizations. The idea that, say, Texas is a "red state" is absurd in the sense that the actual statistics show us something very close to the following: say, 35% of the elible Texas population voted, and out of that 35% of the eligible Texas population 2% voted for 3rd parties, 15% voted for Democrats and 18% voted for Republicans.

Thus, by literally considering Texas to be a "red state", we are projecting a rather small statistic (18% of eligible voters, which is probably less than 10% of the Texas population) into a generalization encompassing the entire population of the state. The real percentages get even smaller when we realize that our analysis is leaving out all the people who are not eligible to vote as well, which includes teenagers and perhaps some immigrants. When one considers the whole Texas Population in general, the fact of the matter ends up that we are superimposing a tiny statistic onto a whole state full of people. Not only that, but out of that small statistic, people had different reasons for voting, so even the group that remains is not uniform.

It is important to note that all cases of polylogism tend to unecessarily pit groups in society against eachother. That is, they express a conflict model of society. They create conflicts out of group identity that didn't exist before. Polylogist ideology essentially creates social chaos. On the other hand, polylogism ignores all differences and all conflicts within a particular group.

In either case, the collectivist views of these groups are innacurate because these groups are not uniform. No group is entirely uniform. There will always be people, and lots of them, who defy the polylogist preconceptions of their group. One's economic class, race, nation or political label does not dictate their behavior deterministically. The desire to make collectives uniform in such a way defies human nature. Entire groups don't all think the exact same thoughts and engage in the exact same behaviors as eachother; each individual within those groups have distinguishing features and a distinguished mind of their own that leads them to live distinguished lives of their own.

You cannot judge a man's moral character simply on the basis of their economic class, race, political label or nation of origin. People have to be judged as individuals, on the basis of their real-life actions, not the imagined actions of their group identities. Being rich does not mean that one is immoral or scrooge himself, nor does being poor mean that one is inherently a criminal or immoral character. Being a particular race or from a particular nation does not mean that one is more or less moral than anyone else. It is impossible to even slightly approach "equality under the law" if everything is immediately categorized into group identities.

So what is the proper legal view on race, class, nation and politics? Agnosticism and individualism. That is, the proper legal view with respect to these things is utter neutrality and blindness towards group-identity and a proper look at the actual individual actor(s) in a given scenario. The flaw with polylogism is that it uses a collectivist view of society. In assigning group identities with specific collective rights, "human rights" is eroded and the individual is squished. The bulk of major problems in our world are the consequence of collectivist ideology.

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