Posts Tagged ‘identity

18
Sep
08

Humanistic Particularism Part 1 – An Identity Essay

I have resigned myself, to a large extent, to the inevitability of such spiraling phenomena as the whole of globalization and the many dimensions it encompasses. Emanating from this resignation is the realization that we might steer this in some way, to extract some heightened understanding, to infiltrate the walls of those which have so shamelessly gained from the definition of fortune on the lines of difference. Behind those walls are the beneficiaries of biological hierarchies, but also the peripheral fruits thereof. This is not the familiar call to regard sexes and races equally, but a call, as Gilroy defined, “to change the conceptual scale on which essential human attributes are being calculated.” Various movements stand firmly in the way of giving up the fight for equality, the action of these groups is less than stagnant, but apparently ignored is the decided lack of substantive effect. I argue to forfeit that fight sets the stage for undeniable reasoning. It is no longer valid to argue as distinct, disparate bodies, often turning on each other, losing sight of the real goal. In this type of system the politics often supersede the motivating identity and the goal is diluted, muddled, forgotten. The only logical step given the evidence available to us is to articulate our sameness, to actively leverage our likeness. The ivory towers have long defined these differences, have long divided and conquered. Those same towers now provide insight into a new realization, to irrevocable proof that the concept of identity is wholly constructed by and for society, and thus can equally be dismantled.

Among these facets is the very concept of identity. As the institutions upon which we rely for definition of self are compromised we react with varying, often monumental degrees of protest, reverting to smaller levels of identity or lashing out along the lines of that conceptual self. Unfortunately such action is perpetually marginalizing to involved groups rather than attacking the source of their fragmentation. The cycle commences, the sources of fragmentation divide, and let those divisions conquer themselves. Political behavior is increasingly being exercised along the lines of identity, to the detriment of disillusioned movements.

I have considerable difficulty reconciling my opposition to the homogenization of culture with my belief in the urgency to abandon movement, be it social, political, or otherwise, on the basis of difference in identity. But these views can be reconciled, and I seek to define their difference, realizing their relevance to the current nature of political thought. Culture may be the vital solution, transcending identity based upon difference. Culture is a unique identifier in the very absence of biological exclusivity. Culture may similarly be based on social constructs but defines itself on definable and livable lines, rather than wholly societal, and scientifically dis-proven ones. This concept is easily contested, but equally defendable. A likely argument lies on the foundation that culture be defined by its leaders; more specifically, by the physical or biological properties of its representatives and their power to assert them.

Cultures, and their respective value cores, are being absolutely compromised and endangered by the encroaching monolith of globalization. This places culture in an inimitable position – potentially catastrophic or opportune alike. Whether we base further movement on these lines will determine the fate. If we can respect these concentrations of centuries of experience, wisdom, and intellect as different but not necessarily in disagreement, if we can realize the cross-cutting reality of cultures existence and redefine our idea of self not as a single entity but a combination of loosely connected pieces, we might save it from the common fate of self-identifiers.