Social Labels

There seems to be an extreme polarization of social identity in the USA; on one end is the “liberal democrat” and on the other is “conservative republican.” This isn’t new news, but I want to humbly point out that I personally find it to be a hindrance overall to our progress as individuals and as a nation.

I think that the fault in identifying with these catchall labels is that it sublimates one’s own experience, judgement and wisdom to a common denominator which is necessarily amorphous and blunted. It’s unfortunate that this appears the only effective way to accommodate otherwise diverse groups because validity of issues becomes lost to perpetuation of identity. If one were previously in pursuit of truth, more often the larger group personality redirects that effort toward the less noble objective of “being right.” Unlike truth, being right REQUIRES that someone or something else be wrong and more often serves to exclude than synthesize.

All of this having been said, when it’s convenient there are sometimes advantages in donating one’s own will to a shared cause, so long as that cause is guided by enlightened benevolence. It is difficult to stand alone and none of us may do it for long but, it’s nice to step away from our chosen herd and gain perspective occasionally.

Published by Jeffrey Boyd Garrison

I can haz an interwebz.

3 thoughts on “Social Labels

      1. Don’t be disingenuous and self-deprecating. It doesn’t suit you, and you know exactly what you just said. 🙂

        In response to your thoughts here… perhaps we’ve reached what we can with this model. I mean, maybe the progress of our nation can’t be furthered by different thinking. Maybe the difficulties are systemic (structural) and pervasive (rewarded). Maybe the populace will never be educated enough to rule themselves any better than this. They have the freedom not to be. That concern was well-documented before we even formed as a nation (Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Locke come to mind, though you’re the historian in the group, so I’ll defer to you on the documentation and nuance of the reference). Personally, I don’t unerstand it, but I can show it to you. Many, many individuals don’t want to become educated. Without that desire, what capacity does a person have to make the decisions they are required to make in order for this to become any better?

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