Saturday, June 23, 2012
Collectivist mechanistic engagement vs. Individualistic Emotional Intelligence
The ideology and philosophy of collectivism result, inevitably, in mechanistic engagement of peoples in pursuit of an inculcated goal removed from the authentic relation of people within a society that promotes emotional intelligence, emotional involvement, and emotional responsibility. Emotional virtues which lead to healthy emotional interactions between individuals are a central component of the reigning philosophies of the Founders - who, due to 18th century thinkers such as Locke, Hume, and Smith, put a great deal of emphasis on sympathy, empathy, or compassion in the role the emotions were to play in the Democracy they envisaged for our country. These virtues warrant some investigation, as definitions vary not only between, say, sympathy and empathy - but even within the single word compassion (mitleid). Whatever the true intentions of the founders were, there is no doubt that the collectivist philosophy of Hobbes who once quipped that human life is 'nasty, brutish, and short' had been, at the time of the drafting of the constitution, replaced in favor of the sentiment that humans are not, inherently, selfish - that is, humans have sentiments such as sympathy for others and other such things. This is also, according to Adam Smith, the foundation of not only democracy but of capitalism which, oddly enough, is criticized often for being an inherently selfish system. So our duty as far removed from the society of early America is to, more or less, improve our ability for emotional intelligence and involvement; To, say, increase our understanding of love. To, for example, act according to passionate emotional involvement rather than removed or detached non-feeling. To, as a matter of fact, figure out what makes a given emotion in a given moment an expression of our self-hood and our autonomy. If we fail to remember the importance of emotional intelligence in our lives and democracy, we will surely loose the central tenant of the philosophy of our founders - that is, the Sentiments. Collectivism as an ideological mechanism, doesn't place as much emphasis on such things, and it is generally collectivism that, in the case of acts of disobedience political or otherwise, engenders unto us the ideological position that it is wrong to feel certain ways. So, as Robert Solomon would be pained to see were he still alive, in our day and age it is generally considered by our culture wrong ethically across the board to act angrily. Right down the line, it is condemnable to take refuge in sadness. Inevitably, the consequence of Collectivist Mechanistic Engagement is a condemnation of that which makes life ultimately intelligible, that is - emotional intelligence. If I were a couple notches more conspiratorial, I would mention the goal of collectivism is to strip people of their identity and turn them into components of this system of Mechanistic Engagements... but I won't. If I were several shades less conspiratorial, I'd make the cursory Borg reference... but I won't. What I will say is that very often we're looked at as a noticeable nail sticking out from the plywood if we, say, even express genuine emotion in a group of people. This isn't to say one should always be overly emotional to the point in which one alienates oneself. What I'm attempting to get at is that emotional intelligence is to be highly valued in the way a peoples communicate both functionally and intimately, but more often than not in this blatantly collectivist time of ours emotional intelligence is ignored in favor of other virtues not as directly tied to the philosophy of the 18th Century; those proponents of undiluted democracy which stated once and for all that people are not inherently selfish but, in fact, have a strong inclination and basis for emotional intelligence and such universal traits as sympathy, empathy, and compassion.