The Inferior and Superior
a philosophical thesis by Matthew Bissonnette
Since the beginning of recorded human history has been a tendency for societies to divide its own populace by certain divisional lines; these can be either religious, economic or racial. The one constant of all these systems of division is the belief in the inherent superiority of one class and the inherent inferiority of another. Most religions are based upon the concept that those who fervently devote themselves to that faith or moral and thus any actions they commit themselves too are justified to matter how ethically unsound any such actions are; while those who may oppose or not conform to such a supposedly spiritual institution are thus vilified a believe to be inherently evil and thus their destruction becomes an acceptable thing. Many societies divided themselves by economic lines and an example would be the Roman Republic, a nation state where a small wealthy elite held on to all political power and luxury of the commoners labor and where 95 percent of the population lived beneath the poverty line; though the Republic was democratic most historians readily agree that elections where always rigged in favor of the wealthy. Some societies have chosen to divide themselves by racial class systems where one ethnicity proclaims itself as a superior and other is relegated to an inferior status and are deprived of dignity. But the creation of these sometimes oppositional class systems is that it creates instability within societies which can sometimes lead to oppression and in the worse case outright genocide. So why are these systems of division still employed by many nations today?
Experiments in human psychology have shown that if a group of individuals is made to believe that half of them are superior and the other half are inferior it will quickly change the disposition of such people; those who are self assured in their superiority will quickly become arrogant, condescending and cruel. Such studies have shown that those who are made to believe they are by nature inferior grapple with feelings of depression, anger, and powerlessness. It is a well understood principle of human nature that at a young age the human mind forms; thus experiences encountered by individuals at those ages go a long way to informing the person they will be for the rest of their life. In other words, if in youth you come to believe in your own superiority they you will believe it for the rest of your life; while those who are made to believe in their own inferiority will feel worthless for the rest of their lives. So such divisions of superiority and inferiority amongst societies must be engrained in such societies citizens at a young age in most cases for it to become a reality. If it is true that both currently and historically, those who have held onto power in entire societies have chosen to divide its own people; then for what reasons?
Though using such a tragic and morbid episode of man's inhumanity to his fellow man may be in poor taste, let us take a look at Nazi Germany. Though the reason's for the National Socialist Parties eventual seizure of absolute power in 1930's Germany are far to numerous to be covered here; a key ideological underpinning of Nazism was the belief in a superior and inferior class or the so called superman and subhuman. Propaganda created by the Third Reich which became pervasive in Germany leading up to World War 2 created the belief that Nordic people where of a genetically superior race or the so called superhuman. Other propaganda created the belief that groups such as the mentally ill, gypsies, people of the Jewish faith and Slavs where born inferior and by the Third Reich's own words where thus unworthy of life. The creation of this narcissistic system of division may have made it possible for men and women to take part in the own right genocide of countless men, women and children when such actions would not have even been considered by them before such beliefs where enforced. This system of division historically has influenced people who might have once been ethical into doing things which are highly destructive. That this recurring tendency of human societies to created such divisional class systems is that it will tend to ignite conflict; and where those who proclaim themselves as superior are in a position of strength are prone to engage in the worst manifestations of human barbarism since they fear no possible or significant retaliation. Could these class systems be created so that those who are indoctrinated into the superior class system are bound for life to those responsible for their perceived sense of superiority; and to oppose such practices will only have you relegated to the class of the inferior?
But I argue that these divisional lines are philosophical constructs with no truth in abject reality. It is a form of psychological manipulation to create the ability to make individuals who will fervently serve even the most tyrannical systems of control just so they may cling to their artificially created sense of superiority. It creates a simplistic view of societies where social groups are not individuals molded by numerous and complex factors; but become generic and stereotypical where all members of these groups are bereft of any kind of distinct character. It creates a rigid system where the superior is usually above suspicion no matter how unethical and corrupt they may be while the inferior is by nature inherently suspect even though if a member of this class is a ethical law abiding person. Perhaps an individual should be discriminated against for their actions as an individual; they should not be vilified for characteristics about themselves that they no control over. But such systems of division are a necessity for a majority of tyrannical societies, oppressive practices and human exploitation.
I will finish with that such practices while not only destructive are a threat to the survival to of our entire species since the technology of mass destruction becomes more readily available as more nations industrialize. This tendency to create antagonistic divisional systems of superiority and inferiority is a powder keg which if it goes of will render practically all life on Earth extinct. The only reason this system of division still exists is those those who create and maintain it are themselves driven by the belief in their own superiority over others. Such beliefs must be abandoned for it will surely result in the demise of humanity.
Think about it.