Group Think

    When black Alabama Congressman Artur Davis (D, of course) deigned to vote against the health reform boondoggle, his very identity was questioned. Opined Jesse Jackson: “You can’t vote against health care and call yourself a black man.” Strange, but true.

     Stranger and just as true:  Wendy Doniger, a feminist and professor (of Hinduism and mythology) at the University of Chicago, said last year of Sarah Palin: “Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman,” which, if true, reflects, on the erudite professor’s part, a curious use of pronouns.

     How can a black man not be a black man and a woman not be a woman ? When they refuse to wear the strait jackets assigned to them by liberal elitists, and play the only roles allotted to them.  Goethe’s quote comes to mind: “there is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity,” and aggressive stupidity is, sadly, rampant in American life today.

     Indeed, there is no more pernicious doctrine in American society today than “you are your origins” – meaning that each person is defined by his/her group – by your country of origin, your skin color, your  race, your  sex, and your religion. You are limited – intellectually, spiritually, socially and materially – by your background. Your “group” therefore determines how you are supposed to think, talk and act; individuality is an illusion. All blacks must think one way, all women must think one way, and all Jews must think one way. (I wish the latter were true, just not in the way they would have us think.) You are advantaged or disadvantaged – and therefore entitled to have others support you from cradle to grave – by your background. Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher who lived at the beginning of the Second Temple era, famously said “character is destiny.” That is now passé – we are being led to believe that the destiny of each person is written by factors beyond his control, by an artificial determinant that need not reflect his essence.

      It is such a grievous mistake, such a disgraceful distortion of human potential that one would have thought it needed no refutation – that civilized, intelligent people could never proffer such absurdities. Alas, that is not so.

      Liberal politics has for two generations relied on this fiction, on sowing the seeds of discords by identifying people not as individuals but as members of groups defined by accidental characteristics. Liberals appeal to the voters to identify themselves as part of a group – blacks, women, homosexuals, Latinos, union workers – and vote accordingly. Take, for example, affirmative action. Aside from the inherent injustice of preferring one group over another because of skin color, is there any logic in affording preferential treatment to the children of multi-millionaires like Jesse Jackson or Michael Jordan – and not to the children of a poor Appalachian farmer ? But those injustices are recurrent when the value of the individual is downgraded and he becomes nothing more than a member of a group.

    Or, take the movement to award blacks “reparations” for slavery (as if the trillion dollars invested in the inner cities since the 1960’s did not serve the same purpose). How would one determine who is eligible? For example, Barack Obama is construed as “black,” so he should be eligible – but his black ancestors were Africans and not slaves. Conversely, his white ancestors were slave-owners ! Should his left hand then pay his right hand ? Those anomalies are frequent when man becomes nothing more than a superficial sketch.

    Man’s uniqueness lies in his soul, which provides him the ability to think, reason and foster a connection to G-d. It provides him with free will, the capacity to make his own moral choices, defy expectations and be creative. He is not part of a faceless mass, who – as the Socialists believed – all think the same, so they might as well live in identical block housing.

    Elitists will have none of that; they are tormented by individuality, and therefore troubled by a Sarah Palin, a political conservative with “too many” children and “too” traditional views ( I am not certain that she has the experience to be President, but clearly “experience” is not a prerequisite for the presidency – as we have learned to our chagrin.); by a Clarence Thomas, who did not fit the mold of the black “victim” blaming white society for all the ills of black society. The self-made man or woman is a threat to that world view, and so must be ridiculed and castigated.

    We are not defined by our circumstances, but rather how we respond to them. Almost nothing is life is inherently a blessing or a curse – it only matters what we do with them, how we exploits our strengths and overcome our weaknesses. Before this notion slowly fades out of America society, it behooves us to rebel against the thought-police and their narrow, constricted view of the destiny of each person, to cherish the rights and responsibilities of each individual, to embrace those movements that cater to the uniqueness of each soul and that revel in the diversity that makes man the crown of creation and life both interesting and meaningful.

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