Monday, December 5, 2011

Tea Party Creates New Philosophy: Bodyism

Just for Fun Series:

           The Tea Party which has embraced the Objectivism of Ayn Rand has also have developed a psychology of its own: Bodyism. So just for fun let’s take a look at this bizarre new personality and try to understand this extreme egotism from another point of view:

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Citizen suits up to protect individuality and personal freedom

The Crazy World of Bodyism
America has its share of problems of individuality, that is, of unhealthy individuality. But in the realm of extreme individuality, “Bodyism” is the most bizarre and dangerous.
Bodyism is the fallacy which states because we have separate bodies, therefore, we are completely separate entities from society. Bodyism is an extreme view that takes personal disconnection to absolute realms never seen before. Bodyism may at first seem to be an ideological or political perspective but it is at root a psychological state of mind. Libertarian and Conservative views have become so extreme that they have taken individuality, a very good principle of living, into the land of unhealthy individuality, of extreme individuality that goes far beyond egotism, alienation, narcissism or greed.
Here are some examples of its thinking:
The Bodyist feels that all government is an imposition; all government is a limitation of individual freedom. They believe there is no such thing as common need or interests. Bodyists want no taxes at all, because taxes are theft, funds are given to others, there is no gain for themselves. The Bodyist view of economics is a fully deregulated capitalism because this system will supposedly maximize their economic interests and freedom. There shall be no product or safety standards, no requirements of transparent reporting by corporations and financial institutions and so on. In the present economic crisis, there will be no government intervention to help anybody -- no aid to homeowners, the unemployed and small business, though Bodyists are homeowners in trouble, unemployed and small business people too. Government is the prime suppressor of the body.
On the subject of Nature and the environment, the Bodyist has no view because Nature and the Environment do not exist. There can be no destruction because it does not exist, only the body exists, nothing else. Reports of environmental destruction are all nonsense and hyperbole to them. Nature is something "out there" that has connection or meaning or impact upon a Human being.
The Bodyist has a fascination for guns because they are the symbol of their freedom against oppressors, and everyone is a potential oppressor. The gun protects the body, it is the sacred talisman.
The Bodyist view of poor people is that they are a nuisance and drain. The Bodyist offers them no help and no compassion because helping them would be a cost to the Bodyist in time, energy and money. There is no grasping that poverty is actually a cost to the Bodyist and the nation as a whole. The Bodyist is against universal healthcare though he might not have any healthcare himself. The Bodyist has no compassion, care or empathy for OTHER bodies.
The Bodyist view of discrimination is that it does not exist. The Bodyist declares that all are equal and free. The past legacy of discrimination which manifests itself in poverty, in lack of education, in unequal pay and opportunities, and in certain psychological behaviors is gone. The Bodyist does not grasp the realities of prejudice, the real palpable affects of it, that the victims need some help. The Bodyist disguises his bigotry behind principles of “equality” and “individual freedom”. Bigotry is in fact another side of Bodyism; it is another tool to cut off people, in this case whole social strata. Further, the Bodyists are big on fences and gated communities. And their biggest fences are names and categories to label people, to fence people in secure ideological pens. The Bodyist practices a first level prejudice against those not  within his social group, and eventually he moves to the highest level of bigotry: Me against everyone else.
The Bodyist view of global relations is no global connections, The Bodyist is an isolationist par excellence. He wants no world organization in any form, for the world is a threat to his freedom. At the same time, the Bodyist is an imperialist and invader. Why? Because when he perceives some international threat to his interests, he attacks and subjugates. He will even hold the entire planet in a prison, if he thinks this will preserve the freedom of his “body”, his bodily essence. The Bodyist has no respect or allegiance to a Human species,  he only serves his solitary body.
On education, Bodyists would rather not have others teach their children, but the problem is the Bodyist has no time for home schooling, so he seeks the sectarian private school. Connected to this, the Bodyist develops a curious view of the storehouse of human knowledge – he seems to be free of whole swaths of science, history, sociology. He lives ignorant of these lessons and laws, for it seems that knowledge is another restriction of the Bodyist’s freedom. The Bodyist relies only on his direct and immediate experience, meaning that knowledge in books or classrooms, experts or teachers is irrelevant because it has not flowered within his body.
While the reality of society is that it is a kind of network of human souls where each soul is a product of other souls and helps create new souls, the Bodyist sees no such spiritual connection between Human beings. There are no appreciations or obligations; the human soul stands completely alone. But is it lonely? Hardly, for it revels in itself, in self love, it is never lonely looking in the mirror of itself. But because of this, the Bodyist faces the ultimate final crisis: He cannot achieve a certain kind of immortality because this immortality is through the support, care and education of other souls. Because he does not help others, he can live through others. He has chosen to live outside the community of individuals and its progressive evolution.

 This notion of the soul then extends to a kind of god too. The Bodyist who is religious has a god of his very own, he worships this god. But this god is interesting for it could care less about other Human beings, and is at war against all other gods. In ancient times, gods were of nations and peoples, today god has become private and hostile and petty.
This raises the issue of morality. Morality is a social process. The point of morality is social betterment, thus one must measure her or his morality by the results of one’s actions. But the Bodyist has no such measure, he practices his solitary code and never asks about the results of his work. If his morality makes the world a worse place, that is okay. The Bodyist does not have what many of us have, a conscience, he has substituted something else, “me” and its desires, self interest and obsessions.  The Bodyist is his own mentor, counselor and priest, no other bodies are allowed to participate, and because of this he cannot measure his own behavior and improve his righteousness.
Let’s continue on, the Bodyist stands for the nuclear family. He champions this atomized unit as he champions the atomized individual. He mythologizes the lonely nuclear family isolated in the world, battling and suffering but proud and strong. He does not grasp that the family has been in misery for some time in modern society, after the breakdown of the original tribal village where the extended family gave fundamental help in the raising of children. Here was a more effective strategy for raising healthy children. The present system, which is not a system at all, throws all the obligations and work on two lonely suffering parents who can barely cope with jobs and career. The Bodyist is against all aid to families. And now the nuclear family is breaking down into the single-mother family, and this is actually the logical conclusion of the Bodyist social program. The family now disintegrates to the next level of disconnection, increasing the suffering of young women, and causing more separation between men and women. Ultimately, the nuclear family disperses into disparate bodies, just as the Bodyist would like.
About organization: The Bodyist is against all organization, period. There shall be no coordination, no central institutions, and we are not just speaking of authoritarian forms, Bodyists are against all forms of organization. The Bodyist says no government, no institutions for fiscal policy, no rules for a market economy, no mutual global institutions agreed to by consensus -- all organization is viewed with hostility. Why? Organization restricts the solitary body with rules and obligations.
Thus, the Bodyist has no understanding of the concept of a “system” -- there can be no overall principles or strategies or institutions that do overall regulating or coordination, even if they are minimal, for all of this suppresses the freedom of the parts, and the individual is the ultimate part. The Bodyist only sees atomization, chaos and conflict, and this is good. If the Bodyist were to design the human body there would be no organs to regulate hormones, heartbeat, growth, and the digestion of food because this would be a restriction of freedom and dictatorship by the some authoritarian organ or gland! So nothing could actually live, no complexities, that is. But since complexity is the nature of our cosmos, our bodies, our minds and our societies, then we cannot build anything. This is the result of the Bodyist program, we cannot construct a thing. We have parts but we are not allowed to assemble them, thus, the Bodyist causes the breakdown of the world. And why not? The Bodyist is already a product of atomism and chaos, he is already the result of a general breakdown and he loves it.
The disintegration of government, economics, global cooperation, the community, and the family eventually leads to the breakdown of the mind itself, for it is a complex whole too. The Bodyist has no conscience, and conscience is a very important regulator, one’s moral regulator. The Bodyist ignores science and human knowledge; this too is an attempt to evade regulation. The Bodyist is attracted to the most severe pragmatic thinking because he is only concerned with doing and action, and not with general truths. He is only concerned with the most immediate truth and his very subjective goals.
Further, the mind itself is a collection of competing minds – of logic, imagination, subconscious, memory and emotions. If we let all go free without coordination how will we fare? We need some management and this is what “wisdom” is, it is, essentially, the coordination of all the minds. Wisdom is more than profound observations, wisdom is a behavior that rises above all your minds, makes judgments, and finds ways to make the various minds work together. Without this power of wisdom, we live in pure chaos moment to moment, and a Bodyist program on the mind leads to this highly irrational and disorganized behavior. Without mental coordination and some restriction we are not capable of higher thought and organization of all of our minds to execute a plan. The Bodyist approach to our brain leads to chaotic behavior and a definite decline in wisdom, mental collaboration and planning.
The basis of Bodyism is psychological; it is not in the main a political ideology. Bodyism expresses an evolutionary breakdown of American culture away from connection, community, and diversity. It is an extreme version of the general process of isolation in US culture, and a very unhealthy form of individualism.

In sum, Bodyism is only concerned with the body, it perceives only the narrowest needs. Bodyism sees the individual cut off. And it reduces concerns to a material, body level.

 So for example it does not grasp these: 

Relationships are avoided because they are beyond the body, they involve other bodies.

Dialogue, compromise, collective agreements are not wanted by Bodyists, these limit the Bodyist's freedom.

Diversity is an imposition for a Bodyist because it means he must honor someone else's body.

General moral codes do not exist because they imply a social agreement and a limitation on the actions of the Bodyist.

Likewise the notion of mutual benefit is spurned in favor of chaos, paranoia and social conflict.

Communication which is two way is bad, for the Bodyist communicates only way.

Indirect connections are nonexistent, the Bodyist only sees what is directly in front of himself. He is an immediate thinker.

Indirect knowledge is spurned because it does arise out of the Bodyist experience.

Abstraction is disregarded, for someone focused upon the material body, abstraction is mystical, ethereal. Abstract ideas and abstract connections do not exist

Higher or centralizing institutions are not accepted because they restrict the body. In fact, organization in general restricts the body.

 Empathy and compassion cannot occur for other bodies, these feelings can only be applied to the self.

Large entities that surround the solitary body such as Nature, environment, ecology, planet, global warming, cosmos and the Human race, cannot be comprehended by the Bodyist, because they are simply too big for the Bodyist to see, for he observes on a much smaller body level of bodily proportions.

Wholes do not exist, the Bodyist is not part of a whole -- unless the whole is himself, then in that case, the whole of himself is indeed magical and transcendent.

Thought is generally direct, immediate, pragmatic, short term and highly subjective. Because the mind of the Bodyist cannot rise above these behaviors which might involve other people or alien knowledge or looking too far ahead.

And so on.

The Tea Party not only brings to us a political ideology, it also begins to us a broad psychological programme, an entirely new way of living.

Cage Innoye 

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