Posted by PintofStout on November 26th, 2014
There is nothing like some sort of politically charged event to make you aware of how ignorant/ill-informed/racist/jingoistic/xenophobic your friends and family are when you dare to look at your Facebook timeline. Whether it is a trumped-up war (invented by the war companies to sell more war (thanks Blaine Capatch)), or immigration, or a shooting by a lowly civilian with the audacity to have a gun, or protests in Ferguson you can be sure that someone will be echoing the absurd views some television hack came up with to be exciting or controversial in order to get ratings and keep a job. It’s like reading the lowest common denominator write policy for the major political parties. It can also be exhausting if you make the mistake of engaging.
The thing with the Facebook Philosophers is that they can’t change their the mind or consider different views because they didn’t think of or consider the views they now hold as gospel. Far from being logically consistent, the standard rule of such philosophies are their inconsistencies and hypocrisies. While scolding the blacks rioting and looting in Ferguson to get jobs – as if that were easy or even a possible solution – they will then turn around and scold immigrants for working tirelessly and thanklessly and against the obstacles stacked against them by a hostile government. An angry, gun-toting person opens fire in public *checks for a badge or uniform* scream about why anyone is allowed to have guns. Cops shoot kids and the unarmed or roll their tanks and commandos out into a neighborhood and they cheer the guns and show of force. We’ve been bombing, manipulating governments, pillaging resources, and generally destroying an entire region for fifty years: GO TEAM! Somebody has the audacity to try and fight back: THEY’RE EVIL AND MUST BE CLEANSED FROM THE EARTH!
Part of the problem is there is no logic in fear; it is just lashing out desperately. But what would a middle-class suburban mom have to fear? Missing out on the big sale down at Megamart? Not being invited to the gossip circle? Having to wait another year to get a new SUV? Worrisome, all, but the fear is of the unknown and the messy and the loss of unacknowledged privilege. This privilege is manifest in the illusion that we live in a functioning, fair, and just society, and the privilege is that we are allowed and encouraged to believe it. Some…many don’t have that privilege; there is no illusion of justice or fairness and life gets messy quickly when living in such a society. Ask the people fighting for a voice in suburban St. Louis tonight how easy it is to get a job with a sub-par education or arrests for the same drugs that run rampant in affluent, suburban, mostly-white schools. Ask them how easy it is to have hope and optimism when walking down the street can get you harassed by the police, and there is no channel for recourse or justice. Ask them why they can’t speak out more reasonably when the weight of the whole system is there pushing them down, suffocating them. How can there be a conversation about classes of citizenship when all you can tell these protestors is “Do what you’re told and you won’t be killed?”
These recent protests and the responses and pretty much every political conversation in the mainstream for the last 200 years has been thrashing around in the leaves and branches, pruning and shaping the problem while the poisonous root thrives and grows. “There are thousands hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” (H.D. Thoreau). Even the police forces in the thick of these situations are a branch of this tree being fed by the poisoned root. Privilege and the branches themselves keep most people from seeing the root, if they even choose to look. The police and the oppressed and even we casual observers are all locked into this system that creates explosive situations. This system of governance and control is the root of so many of our ills, even to the point of poisoning our brains and perspectives, where we consider control normal and desirable. We’ve been educated to accept the Stockholm Syndrome as normal and status quo. Pruning a few branches isn’t going to solve any of our problems, but extricating roots is hard work. Maybe it is time to start getting our hands dirty.
Tags: Ferguson, philosophy, police, police militarization, protest, racism, riots
Posted in anarchism, Discordianism, Introspection, Left Libertarian, Media & State, Philosophy & Politics | No Comments »