The Folly of Categorizing People

by Harley Voogd

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Marxist ideology catagorizes you — by your wealth, your politics, your status, your skin color, your gender, etc… And once you’ve been properly categorized, you will no longer be judged as an individual, making individual decisions and performing individual actions, you will only be judged by the category you “belong” to.

This only works to create division in a society as it destroys the ability to discuss and debate ideas. It over simplifies life by placing everyone into overly general categories. Not all black people think the same, believe it or not, therefore some blacks will oppose something like “Black Lives Matter,” or they might even be conservative.

Social Media very much fuels the fire of Marxist ideology as it causes people to judge others simply by what they post on social media. It’s like road rage. Someone you can’t see in their car cuts you off and you are ready to slit their throat. Meanwhile, the same person bumps into you while walking on the street and is able to make eye contact and apologize. Your anger is immediately diffused as you see a real living individual human in front of you and not some abstract evil who could only be your enemy.

I know people from where I used to live who were friendly acquaintances, but who now only have contact with me through social media. Never in my time spent with them in the past did political opinions create strife between us, even though our political leanings were in opposite directions. But now, whenever I post something politically conservative on Facebook, these same people become offended and angry. Now, I am not opposed to these people criticizing what they believe to be bad ideas, but that’s not what’s happening. They see the post as being the one and only thing which defines my entire life: “He’s a Christian conservative!”

I’ve made it my new years resolution to never treat people like that; to never judge a person solely on what they put on social media. I will still criticize bad ideas, but I will not categorize people into little boxes just because they express one idea in a way I don’t agree with. The same guy who praises Bernie Sanders, or Donald Trump, on Facebook is also a father, a husband, a hard worker, a generous giver, and a friend. He is not some faceless enemy stuck in an impenetrable category forever separated from myself.

At the same time, I realize that posting political stuff on Facebook may not be the best idea. Most people go on Facebook for fun and are not interested in being hit with politics or religion. I would never go to a birthday party and start spewing off political opinions. Facebook may not be the best medium for such things. Twitter seems to be a better medium for it as no one knows who you are there. A quote I read recently: Facebook is where you lie to your friends, and Twitter is where you tell the truth to strangers.

No matter what the medium, the Marxist strategy of fitting jamming people into over simplified categories will only ever lead to tribal warfare.

Related reading: A Lesson We All Can Learn from the Chicago Torture Case

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