Demographelia

Demographelia is the preference for thinking in terms of social categories over encountering the uniqueness of individuals. And of course, since categories are features of our own minds, this signifies an impulse to reduce individuals to oneself — a solipsism strategy.

The world seems to be losing its taste for individuality. If you believe, as I do, that encountering personal individuality penetrating the screen of our own ideas is our most reliable transcendence, this is an alarming development.

I will say it again. The proper terms of transcendence are not a mundane world below and a spirit world beyond. That is how a mind trying to resist the reality of God sees it. No, the true terms are the world as I know it below and the world as I can come to know it beyond. And beyond that is the world as it is which we can never know and which is the source of being and knowing. Our challenge is to be a unique I toward infinite Thou (known to us as “everything”) composed in part of beings who are each themselves a unique I, each of which inhabits another unique everything.

Magical thinking, abuse and exploitation, intuition worship, illiberalism, preference for viewing people as instances of demographic categories (culminating in demographic essentialism) — it all goes together.

There is good reason the Enlightenment was both social and scientific: these are indivisible components of individuality, the two highest commandments which are one. They are complements of the same discipline of knowing-toward. They are antidotes to the containing comprehensions of solipsism.

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