Reason as the Leading Motive

The Perils of the Collectivist Mind-Set

Posted by Jerry on February 8, 2006

In my opinion, the mind-set that has led so many Muslims to react violently and in complete disregard to human rights in response to the cartoons may not be an exclusive characteristic of the Islamic religion per se, but might be in a broader sense, a symptom of the insidious synergy that I think exists between their cultural collectivism and their religious faith.

These rioters happen to be Muslims – but I argue that it might as well have been Christians or Hindus – any large world religion. I think there is a specific interplay of influences that we might be missing. The fact the Islam is a religion of large following is a huge factor in generating the collectivist groundwork. That religious collectivism is further bolstered by the cultural collectivism that forms the identity of these societies in the middle-east, Africa, and Asia. These societies are inculcated with the collectivist identity, and hence they have very vague (if any) concepts of human rights – because fundamental human rights can be recognized only in the context of human beings understood as unitary, individual entities.

The collectivist tribalism observed among Africans engaged in looting, plundering, rape, and chaos reflect the interplay between their faith and their culture. Many of these Africans are Christians, and many of them are Muslims. Yet they all equally enjoy their depraved existence in violence.

The Hindus of India have incited many riots over religious, political, cultural, and social issues, just as the Muslims in India have done. The tendency of these cultures to quickly take up arms and tear the limbs off of other people or destroy someone else’s property reflect not directly a zealous practice of their doctrinal beliefs in religion, but their mind-set of non-identity drowned in a mass of collectivism that recognizes no individual body nor individual property. Their religion merely veils their tribalism and irrefutable evilness in glossy euphemisms of “unity”, “community”, “sacred tradition”, “ sacrifice”, “martyrdom” and “heavenly reward”. Their religion provides them with the psychological and spiritual justification for their violent actions that their cultural collectivism can possibly not provide.

This is my very brief and quick observation and thoughts on the matter. I believe I am capturing something accurate. I might need to flesh out the full implication and extent of this collectivist-religious interplay.



3 Responses to “The Perils of the Collectivist Mind-Set”

  1. Very well put. I thank you for the insight you put into your posts.

  2. Ergo Sum said

    My comment on John’s blog adds slightly more insight to my original argument: http://www.blogger.com/publish-comment.do?blogID=12606710&postID=113977089377898505&r=ok

    “I think what’s “unholy”, and truly evil, is the union of Collectivism and Religion. Note that these instances of violence are not exclusive to any one religion in partiular – like Islam.. but it is certainly a characteristic observed repeatedly among collectivist societies… whether they are the crazy protestant christians in Africa rioting and raping.. or the muslims of the middle-east.. or the hindus of India…
    Violence and violation of human rights comes most easily to those societies that have no concept of Individualism – hence no idea of individual human rights… they don’t respect privacy rights, intellectual rights (piracy is rampant in these societies), property rights…”

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