colonization, culture, Descartes, existence, hive mind, philosophy, skepticism, Socrates, war
Fragment 153, word count: 458.
The process of maturing into the activities of an adult member of society requires becoming increasingly cultured in a range of skills and knowledge. People go to schools and universities to acquire more and more culture in specific areas, and certain social factions claim superiority and authority because of especially cultured practices and attitudes. There is a single exception to the pursuit of more and higher culture: philosophy. Students in philosophy do acquire arcane culture in the history of ideas, linguistics, and logic, for example. However, the exceptional thing is that, since (“My wisdom is knowing I know nothing.”) Socrates, philosophy is also a matter of undertaking the difficult task of discovering how to be innocently original, how to de-culture, to become sensitive to the influences of culture on assumptions and patterns of thinking and to recognize the random arbitrariness of much cultural content. The method of systematic doubt and questioning described by Descartes is another familiar example, and his is just a particular presentation of a wider application of skepticism in philosophical thinking. This work is a serious de-culturing process, the same one required to negate the effects of colonization, which is hostile cultural influence asserting the superiority of one culturally constructed hive mind over others. There is extreme danger in cultural constructs that can be characterized as collective identity, human hive minds. Hive minds make war, and no anti-war effort will be effective without dealing with that reality. Philosophy is precisely a personal disengagement from hive mind influences, a mental operation for arranging to experience from the innocence of personal questioning and discovery. Regrettably, this has not prevented numerous philosophers from embracing and advocating for their chosen hive minds, partly because it has been difficult to recognize these collective identities as the dangerous cultural constructs they are rather than as parts of nature or inevitable projections of psychology. There is more to culture than hive mind construction and neither culture nor individual meaning and purpose requires hive mind constructs.
Just as any assertion of scientific knowledge must implicitly assert, as well as exemplify, a human nature competent to discover and understand scientific truths about nature, so any philosophical assertion must claim a human force of orientation competent, at the level of the embodied individual, to perform abstract reconceptualization of experience itself, of human existence itself, a general human competence to be free of hive mind influences. Being a person is bigger than being a citizen or member of any collective or cultural community. This is largely because of bogus ideas in cultures that bind collectives into hive minds. It is everybody’s duty as a person to enlarge the restrictive cultures, to make room for individuals to express the original creativity of innocent humanity.
There is more on hive mind here:
Fragment 106, May 10, 2017, Social Contract as Hive Mind (1)
Fragment 107, May 18, 2017, Social Contract as Hive Mind (2)
Fragment 112, August 2, 2017, Social Contract as Hive Mind (3)
Fragment 132, August 15, 2018, Life after Hive-Mind
Copyright © 2019 Sandy MacDonald.