Archive for June, 2011

June 19, 2011

a pollyty

Let us try out the following idea for fit:

Consider the word “pollyty” as an abstract, grammatical term that does not refer to any particular. It is the correlate of the individual “self” and “i” at the political or social level. Just as there can only be one “i”, so by grammatical fiat, there is only one pollyty.

At the dawn of modern physics some came up with the notion of a “force”, which is also an abstract term that does not refer. In fact, “forces” do not exist — they are no things — but are the conceptual enablers of almost all mathematical theories that apply to the physical world. If no one had come up with the idea of a force (if not the word), then we would likely still be saying that apples fall because they belong on the ground. Instead, we can now calculate the exact quantity of the force of gravity that pulls the apple downward. We might never have thought of making such calculations had someone not imagined that a “force” could be involved.

Likewise, it is only when the words for “i” and “self” were invented that humans were able to think of themselves, and hence become self-conscious. It is those abstract self-referential grammatical terms that begot self-consciousness.

And so, i wonder if a similar abstract term applied at the political level might in due course produce the same fruit as the terms “force” and “i” did on the physical and individual levels.

If the “force” of gravity pulls things together, what does a “pollyty” do? And if “i” merely refers back to the speaker, what might “pollyty” refer to?

The pollyty refers to the whole of all persons/selves to which the speaker belongs; it is also “what” is pushing or pulling all people in the direction in which they are moving as a whole. But it is not the composite of all individuals (a society) nor the historical set of all human beings (humanity) — those terms refer to specifics.

With such a tool, we can begin to ask and answer questions such as: Where is the pollyty headed? What is the pollyty’s relation to selves? What does the pollyty do? What does the pollyty “want” of me/us? — questions that would have been impossibly biased had we asked: Where is humanity headed? What is society’s relation to individuals?

Initial answers to these questions will most certainly be thoroughly tainted by political, social and linguistic leanings, but the purely grammatical nature of the term should force us to gradually purify our answers as we come to grips with this “singular we” of political grammar.

Nevertheless, i shall make a first stab at how the term might be used: The pollyty is continually falling forward towards another self, and it does so by getting (its) people to improve and transcend themselves. The pollyty does not “want” any more than gravity “pulls”, but so to speak, it wants us to overcome who & what we are & do so that it may  become something new.