Paul Rosenberg – It seems that almost every political or religious philosophy holds to what I call the Unity Ideal. This is the idea that if we could all just be completely unified, every problem would wither away, all our needs would be met, untapped power would spring into action… or something along these lines.
It is false.
Certainly this is an old, old myth, and there are stories supporting it in most of the holy books and national myths. But it is not true. The unity ideal is a spiritualized dream of getting something for nothing.
Unity is a false god. An idol.
The Unity ideal is infantile and needy. People who embrace it hope to cover their personal deficits – without having to face those deficits – either by magic or at the expense of the collective. By embracing unity, the individual seeks an improved situation, either by virtues supplied by others or by some special magic that will spring forth if we just submerge our individuality a little bit more.
People who would never fall for such a scam in business are able to overlook the something for nothing aspect of unity because the transfer payments are obfuscated by the group’s unfathomable size. Unity implies that everything can melt into one, so there is no reason to feel like your deficits are made up for by others – your deficits are supplied by an unseen God once you all start to melt together.
I’m sorry friends, but there is no unity magic. In fact, all evidence leads to the opposite conclusion: If anything approaching magic is to be found, it is in individuality.
Where individuality has had the upper hand, prosperity, growth, and invention have defined the times. Where collective ideals (such as all melting into one) have had the upper hand, humanity has slowly sunk toward an animal level of existence. And I should add that a group of humans “acting as one” has never been maintained except by force and by terror.
Consciousness seems to organize itself into the minimal sustainable unit; or, stated in reverse, into the maximum sustainable concentration. (That’s nothing but my observation, and I certainly don’t have the time to prove it empirically.)
If this is true at all, then strong social grouping may alter the functioning of consciousness, diluting or devolving it, even if only temporarily. (This might help to explain the madness of crowds.)
But regardless of my unproven personal hypothesis, it is clear that the more individual the unit, the greater the ability of its consciousness. So, where does the unity ideal stand? Nowhere – It is a false god. It pumps your emotions, but it does not save.
SF Source Freeman’s Perspective Apr 2019