Crowdists insist who we are is our assigned or circumstantial external features: an investment portfolio or lack thereof, a residence in a particular neighborhood, a paper indicating educational ranking, our skin hue which by the way doesn’t mean anything so why bring it up, a favorite sports team and the products we buy.
Since there are several available external variables, the “everyone is a unique individual but nothing else” assertion fools many. Yet, because this set of variables is truly limited and often categorized, a euphemism for stereotyped; middle class, Raiders fan, master’s degree, not infinite, the assertion cannot be true in every case.
Once you conform to the demands of these social reality police, externalized traits become their way of saying you’re “just another white person like us and shame on those who indicate otherwise”. That is to say, they’ll accept you as one of us, but only on the crowd’s terms and always, always when you are within listening distance.
The goal of this crowd is to expand itself indefinitely so that each individual is better able to hide his or her fearful self – afraid of struggle, adaptation, life and history – within it as camouflage. They want to draw you in, at your expense, to add to their numbers which then creates a louder chorus of hyperreal assertions; the crowd’s method of operations.
In the face of cultural pressure, the thinking goes, conformists relax their hair, and rebels have the courage not to. In some corners, relaxing one’s hair is even seen as wishing to be white.
“For black women, you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” said Ingrid Banks, an associate professor of black studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. “If you’ve got straight hair, you’re pegged as selling out. If you don’t straighten your hair,” she said, “you’re seen as not practicing appropriate grooming practices.”
Conformity is too obtuse of a term to tell us what is really going on here. Hair straightener is one of those external features serving the crowd camouflage symbiosis.
It is also the chains these slave masters offer you in exchange for your going along with them. What you give up in shame, who you are inside as an organic being with a biological lineage, is something they could have never taken away.
The greater struggle is the battle for the integrity of our true selves against a bureaucratic industrial society that wishes to homgenize us all and therefore better control us to serve its own purposes. In trade, we are expected to whore ourselves to it in exchange for its promises of conditional acceptance and a secure and easy future.
When these promises are broken time and again, we are left adrift and betrayed in search of meaning. The search turns from the outer world’s betrayal, which held our attention captive, to a discovery within: who am I, who are we, where did I come from and where are we going?
When the lesser battle of transient external features is lost to us, or we elect to abandon it, the greater struggle again calls us to arms to protect our natural, but very different intrinsic values.
“He told on a righteous person years ago,” she said. “He told me that.”
“I beat him to death. … I killed him and cut him up,” she said.
Simpson told Wingate she dismembered Neely’s body and stuffed it into a trash can, which she then torched. The burning trash bin was found outside a North Phoenix church on Aug. 5. Police arrested Simpson for the murder on Aug. 19.
Simpson, who was already in jail when police caught up with her, told Wingate this is not the first time she’s killed.
“I believe informants and child molesters should be killed … period,” she said.
Simpson said she was “kind of relieved” that police arrested her. She also said she takes medication and might be considered mentally ill.
“I think something’s wrong with the world that I live in, but, according to other people, yes, somethiing is wrong with me.”
Wingate asked Simpson if she felt guilty about Neely’s death.
“Guilty? For ridding the world of a snitch? No, I don’t feel guilty,” she answered.
Isn’t it time for a second emancipation proclamation? This time, you liberate not your body from physical chains on your limbs and your miserable living conditions all around as in the past.
This time, you cast off the mental bindings of the crowd which are its social expectations, its integration, and its transient categorizations that are as easily received as taken away again. As trends, they also change like the breeze, enslaving your attentiveness, your confidence and your time.
That which is not transient about us is where the greater struggle – greater because its value exceeds transient extrinsic things but demands more from us – takes place. Among these we find our natural selves which are expressions of our lineages, families and close communities of those like us and its values held invisibly but kept in common for generations.
To abandon the battle for this greater value in life is to instead whore ourselves as slaves, outnumbered by millions of memes and trends beyond our control that exist only to push us around as if we were thoughtless cattle fattened for scheduled harvest. This is both an economic and a political trap set to snare us in a hundred ways to serve the ends of an impersonal social system that acts as our master.