Sören Kierkegaard famously said , “once you Label me, you negate me “
This is what Kierkegaard actually said or wrote, a closer paraphrase in any event.
Kierkegaard said: “I am no part of a whole, I am not integrated, not included. To put me in this whole you imagine is to negate me. Who am I? I am an intensity of feeling in relation with beings, and particularly with the Divine Being, who excites my desire, my knowledge. I want to be in a kind of self-destroying contact with God, the Absolute Other.”
Two Labels which serve as a shorthand that negates anyone who does not broadly sit with our own world view is to throw out the Leftist, Rightist, Commie, Fascist taunt. Broad churches both and sufficiently wide to be meaningless, much like the witch-finder generals favourite taunt, “Conspiracy Theorist”
Two Tweets motivate me to make this observation this morning .
Firstly this one from Vanessa Beeley, I have the greatest admiration for Beeleys Courage and reportage on the Syrian Conflict and do not give one jot how she labels her self Right Left or topside down. What is important is the content of and how verifiable, her Truth claims and counter arguments against narratives which she opposes and challenges, are. It is simply not true that the devil has all the best tunes ( Truths)
And This One from John Ward at the Slog. John is a very funny writer and his Blog often brightens up my day and has me chortling away. The Obesity metaphor, whilst a helpful device for suggesting a sloth in habits and deeds and therefore thought, is limited though in its application. Knitted Yogurt scoffing, Yoga posing chanting lefty hippy types are often times quite a scrawny looking bunch, Not in my case I am a veritable Friar Tuck of a Loony Leftist, although my mother always claimed I was ” Big Boned”.
Here are some memes which I think paint this point many times more effectively than a thousand words or categories would. Or perhaps the Gurn that launched a thousand words. If you clicked the link to the Urban dictionary definition of that ( Gurning) you will see how unsafe personalised Catagorising becomes, that is not what my little joke meant at all. It meant this.
These are pictures of competitive gurners, veritable gurning champions and not ” Leftist, Obese, Little Englanders or Rabid Right Wing Brexit voting morons”
And now for those memes I sent to John Ward, good aren’t they?
My Favourite one is this one.
Look very carefully, there is a gate and no fence either side. Max Igan gives a context to that observation at 1.23.22 in the video.