A short time ago, I coined a quick aphorism on Twitter. It’s one that, most likely, some other person has said better than I have, but nonetheless, it popped into my head:
To be human is to resist perfection. This is why any ideology based on the idea of the perfectibility of man is founded on a fallacy.
This is at the root of so many tyrannies and mass-murders in history. Some man (or group of men) gets it in his head that mankind can be improved, made better, according to some vision he has. The motives may even start out benign. Other times, the rot starts immediately. Either way, the drive for improvement quickly becomes a purity spiral. All that is impure must be destroyed. All that is imperfect must go.
What is more imperfect than man?
Eugenics, Nazism, racial supremacy… that is the sort of purity spiral most people are at least casually familiar with. But contrary to popular consciousness, it is not the only such purity spiral. When you hear a feminist complaining about man farting in her presences, calling it fart rape, you are seeing an expectation of perfection. An extension of a purity spiral. In her solipsistic worldview, all that is not-her is imperfect. All that does not follow her desire is flawed. Somebody does something she doesn’t want them to do, and they have violated her.
Someone who doesn’t have it in their heads that the universe, and their fellow man, must be perfect would probably shrug it off, or might let it pass with an unkind word or two. To the purist, the fart is so much more than a fart. It is patriarchal oppression, it is a denial of her agency, it is a legacy of privilege. Whatever. In any event, it is impure and thus it must be stopped. Yet what do you do? Ask all men to cease farting in the presence of women at all times? Impossible. Apply this to any bizarre non-issue, like manspreading, mansplaining, microaggressions, etc… Apply it to larger meta-issues that are categorically unsolvable, like income inequality and demands for fairness.
Perfection on any of them is impossible, because humans are imperfect.
Nonetheless, the SJW believes the perfection can happen, or at least a constant state of “Progress” can be sustained, like a limit approaching perfection. Mankind, you see, can be set on an upward trajectory of “Progress” constantly nearer to a state of perfection, constantly improving. It’s a core tenet, though often an unspoken one, of Progressivism. This is why, when a Progressive violates the narrative, his apology often contains the words I will try to do better. He fell off the trajectory toward human perfection – whatever that might be – and must get back on. He must catch up.
This is where the catchphrase “educate” comes from. They believe that further education, that indoctrination, training, whatever you want to call it – can cleanse the original sin, or at least diminish it, thus putting us on a progressive path toward perfection.
It’s all a fallacy. Or maybe worse, a category error. Humans resist perfection, even in the objective sense. They resist it more when the notion of perfection is purely subjective; when it is merely the whims of a few. Marxists do understand this at some level, hence the notion of Reactionaries. They know that their quest for perfection will constantly generate new enemies. They do it anyway. Understand that completely. The Marxist goes into his quest for perfection knowing full well that he will generate people whom he will have to kill. In essence, this is intentional. The impure along the way must be purged.
Technology can be said to more or less progress in a general upward trend. There are bumps and drops, of course, but generally so. And so does the knowledge of man expand along roughly the same trajectory. But the nature of man does not evolve in the same manner. Is man today any less envious of his fellows today than a thousand years ago? Is he truly wiser, not merely more knowledgeable? Is he stronger of will? Is he less inclined toward sins of various kinds?
The nature of man does not progress along the same track as the knowledge of man. Man does not approach perfection, I hesitate to even claim he improves much at all in this respect. He does not progress in the fashion progressives truly desire. Thus all of this must be imposed on man, since he is incapable of doing it willingly. To say that this serves the desires of tyrants everywhere is an understatement.
Thus, in the end, Marxism contains the same fallacy present in Nazism, and in many other historical ideologies. Under it all is the notion that mankind can be perfected, can be purified, made better at some level. The end result of such thinking is usually the most vile and destructive forms of tyrannical evil mankind is capable of. The nature of man is difficult to improve upon, but certainly easy to corrupt.
Mankind will never be perfected, except perhaps by God himself. No other could do such a thing. Nor will it ever be made to approach perfection; made to ascend on a constant upward trajectory as our knowledge has. I am not saying improvement is impossible, mind you, but I don’t know that we can control it, or that such control can be made constant, or that reversals won’t put us right back where we started. Thus we must never assume that perfectibility is likely, or even possible.
We must start from the very beginning with the notion that mankind is a deeply flawed creature, and that this fact isn’t likely to change.