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[Xmca-l] Re: Solids and Liquids/Entities and dynamic flows


Rein raises some good points. Essentializing anything seems to be what introduces conflict because categories that arise from essentializing, create impermeable walls that place people into boxes, particularly in boxes they likely don't want to be. But then, sometimes people put themselves into boxes because they want to be in them. So there's that too.

I'd say that occurs because there is strength in numbers and a person knows one is vulnerable if one stands alone. So we need a tribe to stand with, if only to survive.

Still, I'd like to stand back with a wider view and say that the act of making categories serves a function of thinking, however, when it is done unethically, issues arise with consequences that in the end no one really wants. Wars arise because people don't want to give up their categories. I'm using the word category because it helps to distinguish it from culture, which is a little bit invisible to us. But I use the word category invokes a particular structural sense, a rigidity.

So I suppose I mean to say, it cannot be helped that humans create categories, we are hardwired for that. But at the same time, a lack of education creates people who will categorize uncritically, and then they become lazy or deluded in their thinking and this creates an environment ripe for essentializing. I would suggest such people who adhere to essential-categories even become mechanical in their thinking, without any self-awareness that they possess these thought-structures, and that they live by them.

Isn't this what Freud tapped into?

Of course, if you stand to benefit from the categories that have been distributed in any given society, then it behooves you to maintain this status quo, regardless if the categories are false or whether they harm others or even oneself. It takes a very critical thinker to realize that benefits one might derive in this manner are short-lived, even artificial, and have a cost in the end; it is unsustainable. Not many people are equipped to recognize this inadequacy. I'd offer that those sorts of people think concretely, and must experience the consequences first, to understand it, rather than just understand it conceptually. That is why history rarely teaches us anything with the next generation, at least, that seems to be the case why changing categories is so darned difficult.

It's a very complex problem to persuade those who must experience first to learn, to attempt to learn first without the experience.

Kind regards,