This may be a bad take but I’m allowed to have them. I know commentators are critiquing the impact of Individualism in the current state of society, but I will like to remind everyone as a womxn born in a collectivist culture – Individualism has always been accessible only to a small as fuck section of people and I have no interest ATM in focusing social well-being above self. Most of us don’t get the choice of dissociating ourselves from the collective, we are the masses. People who are only now writing about how we need to serve the collective are people who went to expensive schools and have rich friends. Their angrezi is off the charts and their worship of dead dudes is unbearable. The issues that have affected me in the last 5 years, the issues I have written about in the last 2 years – they all were protected from. But now as the Pandemic fixates our attention to the poor, conscience has awaken. I am not at all interested in being an ally to their ideas. These are the people who when asked to quote a womxn, can’t find a better writer than Arundhati Roy. Call this “reactionary” if you like or maybe socioeconomic separatism. I will remain radically against blanket ideologies because justice has never been served. Whatever your jargon – Let’s redistribute that wealth, ‘communism’ will come.
The fucking curse of education systems has been that ideas about governance of the people are treated as subjects – as if they are not a real thing happening in our lifetime. There is no urgency in intelligent words, they don’t even mean anything to the masses. And to top that off this exclusivity of solutions that you keep pushing only through yourself, to get money or fame – is helping absolutely nobody else. As opposed to scientific knowledge systems where research is carried out and results are published with accuracy for duplication – knowledge systems in humanities are kept as open to interpretation as possible. This aspect has been utilised by the capital class since times immemorial to dictate what constitutes ‘value’. We are currently not just struggling with simple inequalities of wealth. We are struggling with the inequality of access. And no matter how deep you dig, you will always find, why things have been kept inaccessible – and by who.
The most distressing thing is that this class has become the purveyors of culture. That they choose what constitutes popular. Therefore they control every vertical under the Media industry – creative work, distribution and reproduction. When knowledge systems are kept in such close communities, everyone outside of it, becomes automatically disenfranchised. It is not that the disenfranchised have no voice, but that they have been silenced from speaking. And if they do, they will never be able to immediately cross that knowledge barrier. This has been expounded by several activists in one way or another.
This is where separatist ideologies take birth and are now seen in community movements around the world. The demand for autonomy is not simply a separation from the majority, but a demand to sustain independent knowledge systems – none of which can be compared or interlinked. It is very clear we are evolving into a society of communes, each based on value systems and shared knowledge.
However it will be impossible to talk about ‘co-existence’ unless we work on Justice. What has been happening for a while, is that the capitalist class drowns us in the question of what constitutes a crime. The law is used as an instrument of distraction. This detains all the demands of secession as we are now dependent on the capitalist class for Justice. The law becomes an instrument of control – it restricts independence. But it will be called a decision of the government, supposedly elected by the people themselves. And hence it will be shown to be Just.
The ideas of Justice are discussed in classrooms where it becomes easy to convince everyone on the fluidity of morality and ethics. Because these are treated as conceptual knowledge, instead of being seen as the glue that upholds all current value systems. This creates an expectation of continued discourse and argument. Meanwhile, the physical, material existence of the disenfranchised is suppressed further through physical, material violence. It is to be considered an inevitable outcome of the changing world order. They are told to imagine freedom and live a radical existence. This constant extrapolation of social realities into ideology has allowed the capitalist class to get away with crimes which can never be Justified.
This is the tyranny of Collectivism.