|4 Jan 2010 @ 09:43, by John Grieve|
Identities: A Call for Toleration
What I have previously termed, in earlier articles, the "Law of Analogy", is more correctly described as the " Law of Self-Similarity". It is my belief that just as similar things occur at different levels and scales in nature,so it is likewise in society. Thus it is possible to make analogous statements about similar things on different scales of society. To repeat an example I gave previously, the unit of alienation in economics is money; in politics is the State; in society is the Class; in psychology is the Ego, and so on.
People are astute enough to be usually right for most of the time in what they describe. If people like Marx and Hegel seem to say different and even contrary things about certain matters, it seems evident to me that they are describing the same thing from different perspectives and that it is inappropriate to say that one is right and the other wrong. If Marx is talking about material things in society like machines and money he shouldn't be compared to Hegel when he talks about Spirit and its evolution to freedom, which are similar things on different levels of reality.
Some descriptions are more appropriate to a certain historical epoch or zeitgeist than others. Hegel was appropriate to the pre-modern period of the Enlightenment Thought whereas Marx's materialism and class-struggle were more relevant to the scientific,material mindset of the Modernist period which followed the French Revolution.
More recently we can understand apparent differences in psychological theory in the same way. Adler's interest in explaining such things in terms of Power is basically similar to Freud's perspective of Sex, and Jung's of Individuation and the Collective Unconscious. To say one is wrong and another is right is to miss the point. Freud was a materialist scientist like Marx whereas Jung was ahead of his time and more relevant to the present post-modernist worl-view.
Recent periods of history can be summarized in this way: "Pre-modern" was the situation from the decline of the unitary feudal society of Europe through the development of mathematical, philosophic and scientific ideas which were later to culminate in what was called " The Enlightenment". The French Revolution which closely followed, unleashed the "Modern" period which was characterised by materialism, atheism, science and capitalism. The present situation in the world, in the second decade of the 21st Century, has been termed "post-modern". Here crises facing our civilization, the very "fruits" of that civilization, are threatening to destroy our society and the world. As well as ecological and financial crisis there are also crises of Identity and a progressive march of Information.
to be continued