, , ,

To define the human creature as by nature communitarian is to both oversimplify and to ignore the evidence to the contrary. It would be more accurate to say that the majority, the followers, is naturally communitarian, while a minority, the leaders, are egomaniacal. Recurring efforts to marginalize this segment with such labels as “psychopath“, “sociopath”, or other presudoclinical badges are really little more than an example of sheep passing resolutions in favor of vegetarianism in wolves. They change nothing of the fact that an immensely larger than the average — or “normal” if you will — self-regard, and even hubris, is required to presume that one can and ought to command his fellow Homo sapiens.

Perhaps the most paradoxical trait of followers of divers collectivist, communitarian, and other progressive ideologies — whether they claim origins based on science, revelation or morality — is their propensity to unquestioningly follow leaders, and the greater the logic they claim as their justification, the less they seem to give thought to questions regarding precepts, imitations or empirical outcomes of their beliefs.

Lamentations of the lost togetherness of communitarian gatherings — usually from the mouths of the particularly prostrationist intellectuals — tend to ignore empirical experience with such ecstatic communitarianism: mass martyrdoms and persecutions, iconoclasms and iconovenerations, forced conversions, crusades, jihads, mass suicides, wars of religion. If we desire peace, we must draw the conclusion that peace flows not from subsuming the individual in the community but quite the other way around, as clearly evidenced by the correlated fall in top-down and bottom-up coercion with the rise of of  individualist ethic. Perhaps this sense of loss arises from their deprivation of the comforts of the ritual, attendant as it is with communal gathering, but we must call to mind that ritual — a set of gestures imbued with a desire for magical results — is really a reflection of the powerlessness, the fear, in the face of the unknown and the great, and as such makes little sense in our, today’s, society, now that it we are capable of getting closer to understanding the cosmos’s inner workings.