Opinions & Editorials

The abstractions: An introduction

Among the needless constraints on our individuality is something far more sinister than any material dangers that the human creature could experience. This form of danger is intangible. It is the primordial soup of the oppression and injustice we bear witness to. That sinister thing is known as the abstraction. The term for this malice was coined by one of the fathers of egoist thought, the philosopher Max Stirner. He considered all immaterial extensions of human society and the conception of society itself to be oppressive. Colloquially, it is known as the “spook”. But in contemporary social theory, it is known as the social construct. 

Social constructs have varied throughout the vastness of human history. Some wither away and crumble due to their eventual obsolescence, while others linger and plague civilizations for centuries until the spook eats away at the nations and empires of legend. These poisons include ideas of race, class, money, ownership, borders, ideology, supremacy and privilege. They serve no purpose or benefit, nor do they hold any utility, nor do they provide for us an atom’s weight in physical or spiritual sustenance. If the sun rose after today and humans suddenly ceased to exist, these ideas would be as significant as the footsteps of dying ants upon a desert sand. 

We have conjured these spooks and began worshipping them as Gods, similar to the way the ancient Romans, Arabs and Japanese did in creating and worshipping theirs. In our modern context, money has become our Jupiter, race is our Al-Lat, and class is as essential as Izanagi. We hold fast to the abstractions, and never do we ever question them since doing so paints one as either an ignoramus or a madman. Humanity refuses to realize that they are pure fiction. Man-made ideals. Imaginations we desire to uphold. We create these tools for our subjugation, and we have simultaneously gone mad with piety and reverence toward them. And to demonstrate the contradictions in our delirium, one would cite hierarchy as the “natural order” of things and a world with no need for money is inconceivable. But somehow, the wars, genocide, starvation, persecution, incarceration, poverty and mental exhaustion that arise from these opiums are more preferable. What a dazzling opium the social abstraction is. A genuinely euphoric poison. 

Since that is the apparent reality, what needs to be done is the disposal of the abstractions, spooks, social constructs or whatever one wishes to refer to them as. They are not good for their consequences, nor are they good for their own sake. Therefore they are useless, and thus arises the obligation to destroy them and their cause/s of existence. But one must look intently at the conditions which allowed for the abstractions to arise in the first place and the history behind them. The ideals of the last century have changed drastically in the span of decades and therefore have found new meanings and operate differently under the current social structure. This requires those who suffer the most under the foot of the abstractions to criticize them and understand how they operate in relation to other abstractions and other people as well. 

 We must force ourselves to detach our ego from subjectivity and learn to view reality critically. And when we criticize ideas and find that the harms within them outweigh the benefits, it is both logical and essential that one would seek to dispose of them. With that, let us continue to find faults with the useless chains of the social constructs, so that we may find true value in individuals shacked by them. 

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