Labels Are Problems

26 Jan

Socialist. Feminist. Environmentalist. Natural. Organic. And all the gender identifications.

These are labels. People don’t agree at all on what they mean.

Thus they become things to fight about, instead of ideas to explore.

Labels are used as a kind of shorthand communication. And sooner or later, they tend to be coopted, and confused. Because there’s money to be made with branding a popular label.

Thank you, capitalism! For helping to confuse language thusly.

Because if you identify with a label, you can be targeted for your money. And if you won’t give it up readily enough, and there are enough of you identifying with a label; you can be targeted in a much more sophisticated manner by people hired to undermine your label, and change it into something their owners can supply for less than they pay for it, and sell it to you as a product for your label, which they have meanwhile been working on making ersatz.

This happens all the time, language is stolen and corrupted all the time. Sometimes people have fought this by inventing silly labels for themselves, but even silly labels will be targeted for cooption if they become popular enough.

We humans can become inured to anything.

But we want so badly to belong to something, anything, because it is so, so terrible to feel alone, when you’re a member of a tribal species.

I don’t know how to end this. I have no advice to offer. I am making an attempt to illustrate a problem.


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