In psychology and in the broader social sciences, when one refers to the psyche and the integration of the psyche, one is basically referring to the human soul and its integration with basic bodily functions and senses. Integration of the human psyche is thus summed up by the integration of conscious and unconscious forces in the human body and soul. In turn, the integration of the human psyche leads to identity formation, and it is identity which distinguishes the individual or a group from everyone else. Identity is thus constituted by a set of beliefs, qualities, and a discourse or language that distinguishes an individual or group from everyone else. Individuation – which is the process that ends up distinguishing an individual from everyone else and was discussed in the previous blog post – is thus a process of identity formation.
Also, the issue of identity carries over into the realm of economics, politics, and sociology, which in turn form the “trinity” of the social sciences. Identity carries over into these realms with the aim of self-preservation and survival. But as a result of carrying itself over for the aim of self-preservation and survival, one’s identity also determines the social fabric of a society to a certain extent. And in turn, the viability of the social fabric of one’s society impacts all other aspects of one’s society.
Whether it is class or race which stands as the preponderant factor of identity politics in American society at the moment is worthy of extensive debate and discussion. Class differences have shaped the current economic, political, and social environment in America to a large extent, in the sense that it was the elites who dragged the country into two unwarranted wars and a financial crisis which had global implications in the 21st century.
The adverse effects of class politics brought race to the fore, and now race is the primary cause of the divisions in American society. Certain historians such as the late Howard Zinn have argued that the elite deliberately create divisions based on race in order to retain their power. Thus, the elites employ a “divide and conquer” strategy based on race in order to weaken the masses and retain power. Whether the masses can overcome race differences in order to hold the elites accountable for two unwarranted wars and a financial crisis of global proportions is perhaps the million-dollar question of our time. The vehicle by which an individual can transcend class or race differences is education. In turn, education is effective when there is a fair balance between experience and theory. As Immanuel Kant said: “Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.”
In their attempt to garner global power and preserve it for as long as possible, the American elite in the 21st century overlooked the impact of overextension and overreach on its own population. The figurative “Sword of Damocles” has already come down on the American elite, despite the efforts to avoid such an outcome. This outcome can be attributed largely to the strategies employed to control the domestic population and the global population, which consist of neglect towards the domestic population and military hegemony vis-à-vis the global population through the course of the 21st century. And although there is an effort to reassert control on the part of the elite, it is perhaps the case that the ability to control the domestic and global situation no longer exists.