[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Political constructions of self vs politicalconstructions of identity


Thanks for the discussion Rein. I love the Monty Python clip!

I'd like to say that there was a typo in my post about pluralism vs pluralistic, I may have given the impression I am in support of pluralism. I am critical toward it for similar reasons you state.

I wish I could remember the exact text I'd read of David Graeber's that discussed pluralism vs pluralistic, but it was well worth reading. Pluralism is the notion of these hardened categories in which each person must insert oneself into. If one does not fit into one, then one becomes invisible. If one is in a category that is deemed of low status, then one becomes the receptacle for antipathy by society; and for those of the high-status categories, they are the receptacles (recipients) for what is esteemed and admired.

This seems very illustrative in the discourse concerning with Trump, which I'll say more about below.

Pluralistic societies however see each person that is present (in time and space, here and now) as an individual, but not as individualistic entities who must maintain one's difference. Pluralistic societies are naturally democratic, there is difference without employing categories, and these differences do not create boundaries to exclude.

It's revealing to see the procedure in action to revile of Trump. Is this because we see him as a category to contain what we do not want, rather than values we do not want?

Supporters of Trump do so because he is, to them, considered a successful businessman. This is (a category) to be admired.

So what then is the "ity" of Trump?

In this recent debacle of Trump insulting Muslims, i.e., the Khan mother and father who spoke at the DNC convention in honor of their fallen son Humayan, a soldier who served in Afghanistan, in his outrage in an interview, Mr. Kahn called Trump a "black soul." This might not go over well with African Americans, because it's the wrong category. The words are wrong and so is the meaning. African Americans would never accept Trump as a black soul.

Despite the mis-categorization, it appears Trump has no "ity" by the looks of it. Beyond what he owns, I don't really know much about him as a person.

At the same time, it is noteworthy that such an eloquent person as Mr. Kahn is speaking up defending the character of Muslims in order to distinguish Muslims from members of the Islamic State, while Trump tries to lump them together to make them the same. Few Muslims are given national coverage to speak of themselves and for themselves. But is it right to think that Mr Kahn speaks for all Muslims? I don't think "Muslim" is an adequate "category" in the sense of boundaries and how categories are considered. Muslims are diverse.

In this article yet another category is invoked, that of apostate...


It says: 'The dispute over the memory of Humayun Khan was also picked up by the Islamic State terrorist group. The group’s online magazine featured a picture of Khan’s tombstone in Arlington national cemetery in Virginia with the caption: “Beware of Dying as an apostate.”'

So it seems that Trump and Islamic State both negate the person who was Humayan by placing him into a category of their choice rather than letting his life speak for itself.

It appears your construct of "ity" speaks to that lived experience of the person.

I agree that for a single person there is change and growth. Change is inevitable. Even the body is not the same body, every 7 years all the cells have changed. However, there is something which remains the same despite the change, otherwise we could not gauge change itself. So perhaps the test is to understand how change is detected at all.

I don't think it is through the creation of categories! :)

Kind regards,