The Metaphysical Basis of Moral and Political Individualism

Preface: 

There’s a common theme shared by many of the most divisive ideologies, from leftist ‘identity politics’ to white ethno-nationalism. Both value group identity at the expense of individuality. The leftist may say something like, “We should do more to serve the good of black muslims,” while the ethno-nationalist will say, “We should do more to serve to good of the white race.” They disagree about which groups deserve to be helped or preserved, but they share the belief that groups can deserve something. 

This is the reason they’re both wrong. Only individuals deserve anything. Ultimately, only individuals matter at all. This view, typically known as individualism, is commonly cited by those who reject notions of collective worth and blame. But rarely are reasons given, or arguments made for WHY individualism is true. The choice between individualism and collectivism is foundational to any political philosophy. But typically, individualism or collectivism is merely implicit, or taken as self-evident. It would be better to have a deductive reason to either accept or reject individualism; a reason that strictly follows from a few unassailable premises. That’s the purpose of the following paper. 


Summary of the Central Argument:

Should groups or individuals be valued?

You think therefore you are. That’s indisputable. But it’s logically possible that nothing else actually exists except in your mind.
Therefore you exist as you regardless of whether or not any group exists. So you fundamentally exist as an individual, as does any other person.
So should groups or individuals be valued? You can only logically value that which exists. Individuals exist.
But do groups? Not in a morally relevant way. In order for groups to exist as morally valuable entities, they would need to be capable of experiencing good or harm. Where is the experience of a group? Only in its members.
And why should we value the experiences of a group’s members above other individuals? It can’t be because of their group affiliation. That would be circular reasoning.
So people only matter as a function of their individual existence, not as a function of group membership.

 

The Illusory Good of Group Rights

Can a moral right be held by a group of people as a group rather than by its members severally? In this paper, I will argue that groups qua groups have no moral value, and therefore have no grounds to possess moral rights or desert. In the course of arguing against some prominent accounts of group rights, including the communitarian claim that individual moral value is inseparable from group value, I will argue that there is good reason to reject the possibility of group rights.

Edmund Wall writes with the same goal, but his account is incomplete; it leaves an opening for the possibility of group rights to survive. His approach is to rule out several types of arguments that would ground group rights. First critiquing a grounding in agency, Wall argues that there is no conceivable mechanism by which a group could exercise a right, since any action of a representative would merely be on behalf of the group, not by the group itself (Wall 270). Having rejected the possibility of grounding by agency, he moves on to address the possibility of grounding of group rights in interests common to the group. Wall sees all such proposed interests as ultimately reducible to individual interests, and thus not a viable grounding for actual group rights, but rather for individual rights of people who comprise a group. The crux of Wall’s argument is this:

 

“The alleged recipient of the harm is certainly not some metaphysical unity residing over and above each and every individual group member. Even if there exists such an overarching unity, how could it be harmed? After all, it would have no feelings or any other interests. In fact, it would have no cognitive capabilities whatsoever” (Wall 270).

 

While I completely agree with this, Wall’s central claim, it is vulnerable as it stands against a strain of arguments which he failed to rule out. Wall correctly reasons that the group, analyzed as an entity distinct from each individual, does not exist to experience anything. But there are certain views which conceptualize the individual’s interests as fundamentally inseparable from the group. Communitarians such as Charles Taylor and Marilyn Friedman claim that the group is not metaphysically separable from the individual, nor the individual from the group (or at least that the group’s interests are not separable from the individual’s interests). Of the communitarian ontology of the self, Marilyn Friedman writes:

 

“Against [the] individualist view of the self and of human community, many feminists have asserted a conception of what might be called the “social self.” This conception fundamentally acknowledges the role of social relationships and human community in constituting both self-identity and the nature and meaning of the particulars of individual lives. . . The communitarian self, or subject, is also not a social atom but is instead a being constituted and defined by its attachments, including the particularities of its social relationships, community ties, and historical context. Its identity cannot be abstracted from community or social relationships” (Friedman 275-6).


If the communitarians are right, Wall makes a mistake by analyzing the group as an entity distinct from each individual, and thus wrongly concludes that no group-level entity exists which is capable of having interests. In the communitarian view, the interests which exist for individuals can never be abstracted away from their groups because the individuals are fundamentally constituted by their groups. Taking that view, group interests must exist if individual interests exist because there is no distinction between the two. For Taylor, this entails the existence of ‘irreducibly social goods’, which have been invoked by Miodrag Jovanović to ground a concept of group rights which he uses to argue for protective treatment of certain ethnic groups (Taylor 136, Jovanović 635). Denise Réaume also presents an account which views ‘participatory goods’ such as culture itself as irreducibly collective. Réaume reasons that any right to such a collective good must be a collective right because the good itself necessarily involves participation of multiple people (Réaume 10).

What Friedman, Taylor, and Réaume have in common is that they all find ways in which the experience of some moral goods, which we may want rights to, purportedly can not be separated from social groups. Friedman claims that people themselves are composed of groups. Taylor and Réaume claim that some cultural goods can only be experienced as groups. If any of these accounts are valid, then Wall’s account against group rights must be malformed because he works under the assumption that individuals and groups can be analytically separated.

My aim is to prove that individuals can be perfectly well abstracted from groups, making Wall’s and similar views of ontology and rights tenable. Frederick Douglass explicitly asserted such a view. He wrote regarding his escape from slavery in a published letter to his former slave master:

 

“The morality of the act [of escaping], I dispose as follows: I am myself; you are yourself; we are two distinct persons, equal persons. What you are, I am. You are a man, and so am I. God created both, and made us separate beings. I am not by nature bound to you, or you to me. Nature does not make your existence depend upon me, or mine to depend upon yours” (Douglass).

 

In this letter, Douglass claims his ontological independence, and situates his individual person as the locus of his moral rights. I will put forth an argument that proves what Douglass asserted and Wall assumes; that individuals and their interests are ontologically separable from all other people and their social groups. This will justify doing exactly what the communitarians condemn; abstracting the interests of individuals away from their cultures and social groups. I will demonstrate in some detail how my argument for metaphysical separability of the individual works against Taylor’s arguments for inseparability, and then against Réaume’s concept of ‘participatory goods’. But first, I will make my actual argument, which is quite short.

The argument follows from Descartes’ cogito. I think, therefore I am. I necessarily must be certain of the existence of my own mind. But I can not be quite so certain that anything else exists. In absolute terms, I am not certain that that my car exists, that Kansas exists, or that my legs exist. And I am not certain that other people exist. It is logically possible that they and their groups do not exist. My existence is certain while no group’s existence is certain. So I exist whether or not any group exists. That is precisely to say that I, my interests, and my experiences of moral goods are ontologically separable from all groups and their supposed interests and experiences.

If this argument is sound, it gives good reason to reject the communitarian ontology. Marilyn Friedman’s claim about people themselves being literally composed of “social relationships, community ties, and historical context” is obviously refuted. But without further exposition, the flaws in Taylor’s and Réaume’s views may not be apparent. It now seems my duty to put my argument into conversation with Taylor’s and Réaume’s, so that I do not merely contradict these prominent arguments, but explicitly demonstrate their untenability.

Taylor says that many ‘goods’ are irreducibly social. That is, that the desirable experience of many important aspects of life only exists in a social group locus, not in any individual locus. He makes two central arguments for the existence of these social goods. I will present and counter his first argument, then move on to the second.

Taylor reasons that some goods in a society require thoughts, that thoughts have meaning, and that the dimension of meaning is cultural. Taylor writes, “Thoughts exist as it were in a dimension of meaning and require a background of available meanings in order to be the thoughts that they are” (Taylor 131). He goes on to say that the background of meaning is a sort of language, and that that locus of the language is in a “linguistic community,” not individuals (Taylor 13). So according to Taylor, goods which require thought can exist no other way except culturally, in the locus of the group. The problem with his argument is that it surreptitiously begs the question.

Taylor presumes that thoughts have meaning at all outside of the thinker. If this assumption were true, thoughts really would require a background of meaning outside of the individual. But if thoughts simply have no meaning to anyone or anything except for the thinker, then no background of meaning needs to be posited outside of the thinker. The question, ‘What does that thought mean?’ seems natural enough. Thoughts do have meanings, so it seems like we can ask about those meanings. But the question approaches the thought in question from a perspective outside the thinker. Taking the outside perspective carries the assumption that whatever meaning the thought has must be intelligible from outside the thinker. It is this hidden assumption that calls for an external background of available meanings. That is, meaning is concluded by Taylor to be outside the individual because his question presuposed as much.

Taylor invokes an interpretation of Wittgenstein that supposedly rules out individual meaning by ruling out the intelligibility of a ‘private language’ (Taylor 133). But this argument against the private language makes the same mistake I have already pointed out. To ask ‘Does a private language have any meaning?’ is to look for meaning from an outside perspective; that is, from a non-private perspective, which is to assume that any meaning would be intelligible to the outside world. A private language would have a private locus of meaning. Otherwise, it would not really be private. And if the locus of meaning is indeed private, then of course all meaning of the private language would be unintelligible relative to any external locus of meaning. So the question ‘Can a private language be intelligible?’ is a nonsense question, and can only produce a nonsense answer.
The following questions are more coherent: Is it logically possible that only I exist? Do I experience meaning regardless? The answer to both, of course, is yes. And this implies that meaning must be private. It is true that my internal locus of meaning has empirically been shaped by the actions of people around me (roughly referred to as culture), but this is a mere contingent condition. The existence and current arrangement of my neurons did causally depend on the people around me, and the ways in which I interacted with them. In the same way, my existence and current state causally depend on the weather, viruses, and several severe concussions in my childhood. So clearly, causal dependence does not imply ontological dependence. It should be clear from my argument that the individual is not ontologically dependent on any person or group, and her locus of meaning is not ontologically dependent on culture.

So we move on to Taylor’s second strategy for identifying social goods. He claims that goods which incorporate ‘common understandings’ of their values must be social(Taylor 139). His examples of this sort of good include friendship and public relations of frankness and equality. Taylor makes the claim that for relations to be of the sort they are, there must be ‘common understanding’ of the character of the relations. He also asserts that ‘common understanding’ is not reducible to a combination of each participant’s understanding. He writes, “Our having a common understanding about something is distinct from my understanding it, plus your understanding it, plus perhaps my knowing that you understand, and your knowing that I understand; nor does it help to add further levels” (Taylor 138). Taylor argues from this assertion that friendship and other desirable relations are social goods because of the social nature of the ‘common understanding’ on which the relations rely. I disagree with Taylor’s assertion about the nature of common understanding. It seems to posit an understanding without an understander. Taylor himself agrees that “No one supposes that there is a locus of thought or feeling other than the minds of individuals” (Taylor 130). But what is ‘understanding’ without thought or feeling? It is nothing that most people mean by ‘understanding’. If Taylor wishes to define such an understanding, then he defines an understanding that simply does not exist except in his own definition. His argument for the existence of such an improbable entity is lacking. His justification in full:

 

“Something is common when it exists not just for me and for you, but for us, acknowledged as such. Much of human life is quite unintelligible if we ignore this distinction. To start with, we could never understand why people strive to maintain the convoluted type of relations mentioned above. Nor could we grasp what friendship and love consist in, because it is essential to them that they repose to a large degree on common understandings” (Taylor 139).

 

On the contrary, I do not find it difficult to understand why people engage in relations without Taylor’s ‘common understanding’. People simply allow their subconscious emotional minds to effortlessly estimate a good-enough approximation of commonality. Psychologists have known for decades that people come to many such feelings and semantic conclusions without the use of strict logical reasoning (Kahneman et al 54-5).

One might ask ‘good-enough approximation’ in reference to what? What is an approximation without a precise thing it approximates? The approximate commonality is ultimately approximate in reference to survival and reproduction. The content of my mental state which represents your mental state is approximately that content which makes me most likely to survive and reproduce. Ultimately, the less-than-logical thinking that facilitates social relations exists because it worksmost of the time, that is. Sometimes we make errors in our assessments of common understanding. These errors demonstrate that the common understanding we experience is in fact not metaphysically common. If understanding were truly common, would one party of a friendship ever misunderstand the friendship to be something more romantic? Would one party ever wish to find a way out of a friendship, while the other party seeks to deepen it? A response may be that those cases do not count as common understanding, while genuine cases still exist. This response misses the point that the parties within the friendship never know which case they are in. They may feel like they know, but many other people in one-sided romances also felt like they knew, only to find out painfully that they did not know. So not only do people not actually know the degree of commonality or uncommonality in their understandings, they do not know that they do not know. This shows that ‘common understanding’ is really just the collection of approximately useful feelings and beliefs that individuals have about others.

Taylor’s metaphysical ‘common understanding’ is not needed to describe human relations, and does a poor job of it when tried. And as mentioned before, his ‘common understanding’ must exist without an understander and without thought or feeling. It is not a coherent concept of understanding at all. For these reasons, I reject its existence, and therefore I reject all conclusions that would follow from its existence; there is nothing fundamentally social about the moral goods related to friendship, public relations of frankness and equality, or any other kind of relation.

With both of Taylor’s arguments for the existence of social goods considered and rejected, there still remains a similar prominent account of group rights. Denise Réaume proposes that we should understand group rights as rights to ‘participatory goods’. A participatory good is said to be a good whose enjoyment by an individual depends upon it also being enjoyed by others (Réaume 10). Réaume claims that the enjoyment of participatory goods is group-based, and argues that if there is a right to enjoy a participatory good, it must be a group right. Some examples of such goods are friendship, a team game, or culture in general (Réaume 12-13). It is true that I cannot enjoy genuine friendship entirely alone; I can play a team game only if others do too, and so on. So there is some element of group participation related to some goods. However, the necessary element of group participation is in the production of the good, not in the enjoyment of the good. Réaume points out that the distinction between production and enjoyment is important, though she insists that group participation is inherent in both the production and in the enjoyment of participatory goods. It is important for her that the enjoyment, not just the production of some goods be group-based. For according to Réaume, if a good is experienced as an individual, then its moral value is the value it has for the individual, though it may be produced by many people (Réaume 7). So my strategy will be to show that participatory goods are produced by groups, but enjoyed by individuals as individuals, which then by Réaume’s reasoning, will imply that the locus of moral value and rights must be the individual.

Participatory goods are said to be goods that must be both produced and enjoyed publicly because they are simultaneously produced and enjoyed by all those who participate in them. Put simply, “The good is the participation” (Réaume 10). But identifying the good as participation does not exempt it from the question, what produces the good, what experiences the good, and are they the same? Just as the experience of clean air is different from the clean air itself that makes the experience possible, the experience of participation may be different from the production-participation that makes the experience possible. The experience and the production may both roughly be referred to as ‘participation’, but that is due to ambiguity. It has not been ruled out that my experience of your participation may be importantly distinct from your experience of my participation, which may be importantly distinct from my experience of my participation, which may be importantly distinct from your experience of your participation, which may be importantly distinct from my experience of our participation, which may be importantly distinct from your experience of our participation. One thing called ‘participation’ could be the production of the good, while an importantly different thing called ‘participation’ could be the enjoyment of the good.

Only if production and enjoyment can be merged into one, can the groupishness of production be commuted to the enjoyment side of participatory goods. Group participation is the production of cultural goods, and the experience of the goods is causally dependent on that production. But we have already seen that Réaume herself said that causal dependency is insufficient to make production and enjoyment into one and the same. Réaume writes that cultural goods “can only take place through, not merely because of the involvement of many” (Réaume 11). This is the most vital distinction in her paper. But what is the difference between through and because? Réaume cites one difference: simultinaity. She reasons that culture is not completed at one time to be enjoyed at another; it is a simultaneous process of production and enjoyment (Réaume 10-11). Unless Réaume has neglected to explicate some other important difference, these are the definitions that can be extracted: causal dependency ⇒ because. Causal dependency and simultinaity ⇒ through.

Might causal dependency and simultinaity together be sufficient to collapse production and enjoyment into one? No; a true combination of causal dependency and simultinaity is impossible. It follows from Einstein’s postulated cosmic speed limit that a cause must occur a nonzero amount of time before its effect (Reichenbach 147-9). Nothing in the universe can occur simultaneously with its cause. So if enjoyment of a participatory good is causally dependent on group production, then enjoyment can not be simultaneous with production. And if enjoyment is simultaneous with production, then enjoyment of the good can not be causally dependent on group production. From the perspective of Réaume, causes do seem to happen at the same time as their effects. But that is merely an illusion composed of many small events occurring in rapid succession, or near-simultinaity. Since there is no real simultinaity involved, but only a series of many causes and effects, we are left to wonder what distinguishes the through type of cause and effect from the because type of cause and effect. If not simultinaity, what makes makes through different from because? Réaume does not tell us.

Thus Réaume’s fusion of the production and the enjoyment of participatory goods is unjustified, and so her importation of groupishness from the production to the enjoyment is likewise unjustified. The argument for group enjoyment is lacking, but the argument against it is not. If experience in general is a provably private process (and I think I have previously shown in my core argument that it is), then each participating individual has his or her own distinct enjoyment of a good. Each instance of enjoyment must be an instance of enjoying a state of the world which already existed at the time of enjoyment (since no cause is simultaneous with its effect). That instance of enjoyment is itself a change in the state of the world, which may in turn be enjoyed subsequently by another person. Many people contribute to the state of the world with their own enjoyments (thus ‘participating’ in a sense). Each instance of individual enjoyment changes the world a little bit. The state of the world at any given time is the causal result of many people’s enjoyments, added as polydimensional vectors. But no matter what the state of the world may be, it is only experienced and enjoyed by individuals because experience itself is fundamentally individual in nature.

Finally emerging from the dive into the intricacies of Taylor’s and Réaume’s accounts of group rights, and finding them wanting, questions of further implications arise. Before exploring externalities, I want to restate my core argument a final time, with the clarity allowed by leaving Taylor and Réaume in the past.

I know with pristine epistemic certainty that I exist and have experience regardless of whoever else does or does not exist. That is ontological independence by definition. Moral goods such as culture are good, but good for whom? They are good for people. But they can only be good for people as people actually exist, not for an incoherent concept of people. Further, people themselves can only matter at all as they actually exist. As I have argued, people exist as individuals. So the locus of the real good of culture, friendship, language, or anything else is the individual. So the value of culture is instrumental, not fundamental or intrinsic. This final framing of my argument explicates that not only are there problems in the prominent arguments for social goods and group rights, but that there is a strong argument against any possibility of group rights: that any good can only be good for people as they actually exist, which is as individuals.

Since the value of a culture is not intrinsic, there is no harm in abandoning any particular culture if the affected individuals would be better served by a different culture. This is in contrast to the perspectives of writers such as Miodrag Jovanović, Anthony Smith, and Patrick Thornberry, who see cultures as entities which, independently of their individual members, deserve protection (Jovanović 633-4, Smith 96-7, Thornberry 57). My disagreement with these writers is not to say that a culture should be flippantly thrown away. Take clean air again as an example of an instrumental good. If the instrumental good is such that there are no possible better alternatives, it should not be abandoned. If a culture exists, it is probably safe to assume that it provides some good to somebody, so it may empirically turn out that most cultures are worth some sort of concern for preservation. But there remains a fundamental disposability of cultures that leaves the door open for improvement when a culture is oppressive or inadequate.

Now we are approaching the realm of semi-practical implications of the nonexistence of group moral value or rights. Before getting any more specific, I want to derive the heuristic that can be applied in life. Rights conflict with rights, and finding the correct solution to those conflicts is often an uncertain and unseemly process. I might have a right to a quiet and peaceful night in my home. My neighbor on the other side of my living room wall may have a right to enjoy a jovial boisterous party in his own home. These rights would conflict. How should they be balanced? How does the balance shift between 8pm and 2am? This esoteric example shows that there must be endless other such granular little conflicts of rights with messy solutions. Clean rules of decision are precious and hard to come by. If such a rule can be validly derived, it will have practical value even if it only applies to a subset of conflicts. As Nietzsche said, “The future work of the philosopher is … to solve the problem of values and that he has to decide on the rank order of values” (Nietzsche 34).

So here is the heuristic for ranking values that follows from my argument: when an individual right comes into conflict with a supposed group right, always favor the individual right. This rule holds even if the validity of the individual right is in question. The group right is always illusory, so an individual right with any possibility of validity dominates. Below, I apply the heuristic to two specific moral debates.

In The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Harlan Lane advances the view that medical research aimed at curing deafness is unethical because it “endangers the future of the Deaf-World” (Lane 306). Similarly, Teresa Blankmeyer Burke expresses concern that scientific advancements in the treatment of deafness will contribute to “the eradication of a particular population and social community” (Blankmeyer). Both writers rely on the notion that the deaf ‘community’ as a whole has a moral claim to existence which may supersede the rights of individual parents to choose whether or not their children should be able to hear. A hundred people who accept that notion may have a hundred different opinions about how to balance the rights of the ‘community’ with the rights of individuals. I propose cutting through that Gordian knot by simply realizing that the ‘community’ as a whole has no intrinsic value, no moral interests, and no rights to anything. Therefore concern for individuals automatically prevails; medical research should continue in order to serve that concern.

In a logically analogous case reported by Peter Kivisto and Georganne Rundblad, certain white identitarians are very concerned about what they call “white genocide”, which amounts to race-mixing such that the number of pure ‘white’ people will dwindle over time (Kivisto et al 59). The concern relies on the notion that the white race as a whole has a moral claim to existence which supersedes the rights of its individual members to mate and reproduce according to their own preferences. Again, the solution is to simply realize that a race as a whole has no intrinsic value, no moral interests, and no rights to anything. Therefore the rights of the individuals automatically prevail; no one should be under any moral pressure to breed with a partner of one race rather than another.

The specific implications of my argument may at once arouse vehement rejection and agreement, possibly in the same reader. It may seem that I deliver a righteous blow to groups which deserve indignation, while heartlessly undermining groups which deserve protection. Both of these reactions would miss the point that I have tried to argue; that to even consider what a group may deserve is to make an error in selecting the relevant unit of analysis. I have said that a group can not deserve a good, and by the same reasoning, a group can not deserve an evil. To refute my claims from a conceptual framework which assumes group desert, is to not engage with my claims at all.

If I have accomplished my aims in this paper, I have shown that the individual is the correct unit of analysis for moral considerations. Prominent accounts of group moral goods including Charles Taylor’s and Denise Réaume’s have been shown untenable. And an argument has been made against all potential accounts of intrinsic group moral value, leaving only the individual, as Frederick Douglass asserted of himself, as the true locus of moral rights. This argument has implications for resolving some conflicts of supposed rights. Though among some scholars, it should exhume a certain conflict in the substratum of political thought. I argue explicitly against philosophers who argue explicitly for the possibility of group rights. But there is another sort of scholar who does not explicitly engage in this debate, but rather takes it as a given that some groups deserve one thing or another. A nontrivial portion of political theorists, critical race theorists, gender theorists, feminist scholars, and many others with normative plans for the world work under that general assumption that some group can deserve something. If my argument against group moral value is correct, then it is more consequential for these implicit proponents of group desert than for the explicit group rights theorists. The trunk and roots would be chopped away from the tree of theories built on the assumed possibility of group desert.

References

Wall, Edmund. “Problems with the Group Rights Thesis,” American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 4 (Oct., 2003), pp. 269-285.

Friedman, Marilyn. “Feminism and Modern Friendship: Dislocating the Community,” Ethics, Vol. 99, No. 2 (Jan., 1989), pp. 275-290.

Taylor, Charles. “Irreducibly Social Goods,” in Philosophical Arguments (Cambridge: Harvard, 1995), pp. 127-45.

Réaume, Denise. “Individuals, Groups, and Rights to Public Goods,” The University of Toronto Law Journal, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Winter, 1988), pp. 1-27.

Douglass, Frederick. “To My Old Master,” The North Star, (Sept. 3, 1848)

Kahneman, Daniel and Frederick, Shane. “Representativeness Revisited: Attribute Substitution in Intuitive Judgment” in Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 49-81.

Reichenbach, Hans. The Philosophy of Space and Time (New York: Dover Press, 1958).

Smith, Anthony. The Ethnic Origins of Nations (Hoboken: Wiley, 1986).

Thornberry, Patrick. International Law and the Rights of Minorities (New York: Oxford, 1991), note 17.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. On the Genealogy of Morality (1887), ed. Keith Ansell-Pearson (New York: Cambridge, 2006).

Lane, Harlan.“Ethnicity, Ethics, and the Deaf-World,” Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Summer 2005), pp. 291-310.

Blankmeyer, Teresa. “About Us, Without Us: Inclusion In The Threat Of Eradication,” Impact Ethics, (Dec. 08, 2015) at para. 1.

Kivisto, Peter and Rundblad, Georganne. Multiculturalism in the United States: Current Issues, Contemporary Voices, (Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2000).

 

3 Comments

  1. One thing we have to understand about SJWs is that they are almost always confessing post-modernists (I say ‘confessing’ because no one actually lives that nonsense for real), and on post-modernism, truth is purely a social construction that *does not exist outside that construction.* So, the group is all-important to the ‘truth’ of what they seek. Now, in reality, the truth in these groups is the will of the most persistent bully, which is why they use bullying tactics on everyone else. Look at SJWs and you see the future of the human race, unless we put a stop to this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point. This paper was an effort to refute one major part of the SJW mind cancer (collectivism), but one could also refute at a more fundamental level (postmodern epistemologies).
      The cartesian cogito has implications on that front as well, since it implies there is truth which does not depend on any group.

      Liked by 1 person

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