There has been plenty of talk in American media and within plenty of protests about systemic racism. Issues that are systemic are always a serious problem, and unfortunately, once it’s there it is extremely difficult to get remove. However, there is an even deeper, more embedded problem that is the root cause of things like system racism. It’s even more difficult to rout out and banish. That is systemic collectivism.
Collectivism is the process of treating people as homogenized groups rather than as individuals. This involves pretty much any sentence that goes “All ___ are ___.” Fill in those blanks however you want, and you have collectivism. Sometimes it’s even more nuanced, with something similar to “Most ___ are ___.” Because politicians have been using this for so long, it’s become more systemic and more deeply rooted than just about any problem that exists within politics.
Politicians use collectivism to pit groups of people against one another, to couch debates into the fashion they wish rather than reality, and as a distraction to grow their power with minimal blowback from the people they govern. While the people protest against each other, politicians delight in hiding behind the protests to keep people distracted from eliminating the root causes of today’s problems. It’s so easy to tell the left that the right is composed of white race-haters that stand opposed to reducing racism, and it’s easy to tell the right that the left hates them because of their race and wants to confiscate their property and eliminate their rights. Meanwhile, both sides of politicians profit from the fighting by implementing changes that further drive and protect collectivism.
Without state institutionalized collectivism, collectivism has very little influence and mostly dies out. Without systemic state-sponsored racism from the 1800s to the 1960s, many of the problems with systemic racism today would likely have diminished considerably. The Jim Crow laws were the result of government overreach – not by individuals, but by the state. Without the deeply-rooted ideas of collectivism in state policy, there would have been no political will to implement Jim Crow.
By placing people into collectives and reducing them to a faceless person within a mass, it dehumanizes them. Once people are dehumanized, it is easy to push an agenda against them. It is easier to act out against a mass collective than it is to act out against a person you can see as an individual with their own motives and attitudes. It is easy to develop racism in a collectivist system, and it makes it very easy to institutionalize systemically.
If we want to end systemic racism, then we have to end systemic collectivism. If the collectivism remains, there will always be problems with racism, classism, genderism, homophobia, and all the other bad -isms. We have to start viewing people as individuals and not homogenized collectives. You can’t adequately govern a person without knowing who that person is individually. In other words, collectivism doesn’t work. Personal interactions between individuals have a far greater impact than laws and regulations. If the state is the enemy of the individual (i.e., politicians forcing people into collectives), then we have to limit the state. To limit the individual so that the state can misunderstand and misregulate people will always cause systemic problems like racism.
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