Sometimes I think, living in South Africa we are really half blocked off from what is going on in the rest of the world.
The responses to my last post (also on Facebook) taught me that there is in fact a whole new religion out there based on the concept of collective guilt (as though we don’t already have too many guilt-based religions).
It is slyer than the overt guilt-based deisms that tell you directly, you can’t get to heaven because you are by definition guilty; except if you pay homage to this god or that. Even Buddhism, a philosophy I really like, goes from the premise that we have to delete all our Karmic traces in order to – what? Nirvana must be the scariest concept I’ve ever come across, apart from the fully committed atheist I once met who tried to get me to accept that after death, nothing.
I prefer not knowing to believing that, nothing. Nirvana, as a perfect state, is almost worse than that nothing: It makes dissolving into nothing (escaping the wheel of reincarnation) its ultimate goal!
But Buddhism has nothing much to do with what I’m sensing rearing its head, and it’s already as far spread and as deeply entrenched in many people as the measles vaccine.
It is very simply this: We are all guilty.
But of what? Of everything any human ever perpetrates or has ever perpetrated.
Even if we are the victims? By definition we cannot be victims as we are partially guilty.
Even if we catch the murderer? We can’t really prosecute him without taking part of the blame and therefore part of the punishment. We are all guilty.
Dang, how do I escape this? I really haven’t committed anything!!
You can’t escape. You are guilty by definition.
Let’s take for example the “democratic” situation.
Let’s say, I go vote, and I vote ANC.
You are guilty of everything the ANC commits.
Ok, but let’s say instead I vote DA.
You are still guilty of what the ANC does because you are participating in the democratic system, therefore you approve of democracy, therefore you have to take the consequences and share in the guilt.
And if I don’t vote at all?
Then you have to shut up and bear it and shoulder your part of the collective guilt because you did nothing to prevent it.
What’s the answer? Take up guns and run amok?
Then you are guilty of violence.
Ladies and gents. Can you see how there is no way out of this new “religion” of collective guilt?
I wish we had a name for it. Is this what “collectivism” is? Because then at least I could declare myself an acollectivist.
Quote from the Ayn Rand lexicon (sheesh so many forces are pointing me in her direction, I really think I ought to make it a priority to read her books) :
The first two definitions meet up with what I’m describing, the third does not (I didn’t copy-paste that one, you can follow the above link of you’re curious, but what it tells me is that collectivism is almost the phenomenon I’m describing above).
~ gipsika out ~
Oh! Almost forgot! On a completely uncollectivist but more collecting note:
And depending on which choice she makes, she may end up as a victim… but then again, can there really be such a thing as a victim if everyone is guilty of what everybody else does?
Carmen Capuano’s fast-selling YA crime story,
for a breath-taking night of heart-stopping reading. Also available in paperback.