The Essentialisors

I suppose it could be historically argued that some races do some things better than other races, and some sexes do some things better than others, that some religions are more or less likely to push people to violence or peace, to equality or instability. I suppose it also be argued to contrary, and then one can get to hear “the exception proves the rule” argument, and so on..

All those swaying one way, are those that essentialise religion, caste, race, culture etcetera. A hindu fanatic probably uses words coming from the persian/arabic language, his customs probably resemble those in the muslim world, his religion was probably fostered by the mughal kings, countries around his that mixed religion and politics fell into disarray, but for him the answer is simple, a true india is a hindu india (even if hindu is a greek word), paradoxes don’t matter to an essentialisor, they are exceptions proving the rule.

But those who don’t essentialise this way, essentialise to the contrary, and becoming “essentially non-essentialisors”, refusing all identity. I know that all countries have a rich culture, but shouldn’t I choose one? I know that all religions have interesting things to say, but shouldn’t I choose one? Doesn’t the culture the atheist enjoys come from the christinaity he no longer believes in? Isn’t romantic love of the west (ad possibly now all over the modern world), itself an invention of christianity? Doesn’t modern science have its germ in christinaity? It doesn’t matter, he sees no wrong in no longer being faithful to this religion, but wishes to be hindu on monday, and buddhist on thursday, in the name of open-ness.

We can deconstruct everything, but we can also deconstruct the deconstructors. It seems odd that the world of the lumieres gave birth to the most catastrophic wars known to mankind, those that preach equality, have created a world of such extraordinary inequality. Its hard to unravel how these contradictions work.

I don’t actually believe that there is any way of knowing the “just”, but as Yuval Harari explains brilliantly in his book Sapiens, it isn’t Humanity’s capacity to tell the truth, but to invent fictions, fictions of a caste system, or to the contrary, of the idea that all persons are born equal and should be treated equally that made great, sometimes terribly things happen. But how to choose one fiction over the other? One collective hallucination over the other?

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