People generally don’t want to bother with politics, economics and social issues. They simply want a decent, rewarding life. And that stance is taken advantage of.
Many ask why I bother posting on socioeconomic issues. They theorize: maybe I’m bitter. Maybe I’m bored. Maybe I’m bad with money. Maybe I took Veep too seriously. Maybe I related too much to the characters in My Name Is Earl. I have answered before:
Likewise, I’ve posted: “[I]t’s hard to look away when you realize war is curated as an investment opportunity. That the social fabric is being torn, and human rights are being trampled on, for profit. That billions grind and die in the dirt because of greed. That many are trapped in a rat race, forced to prostitute their minds and/or bodies to sustain themselves and their loved ones, distracted, overwhelmed and unhappy. That we’re in a pandemic of mental illness, that our society is breeding monsters: from incels to child predators. That our culture is toxic, unhealthy and unnatural. That the dysfunction and trauma in our homes are often consequences of economic injustice. That so much misery is man-made. That environmental collapse and widespread violence are imminent. That colonialism, slavery and apartheid exist today, in more sophisticated, insidious forms. That we’re manipulated into believing that this is normal and cannot be helped; that the architects and managers of this money-making scheme deserve their position and our admiration. Many allude to me being a Trump fan, Republican, conspiracy theorist, wannabe politician, edgelord, anti-vaxxer – or some other weaponized slur designed to deter dissent. I simply looked and hated what I saw; so I practice articulating our struggle.”
Think about your parents; the disenfranchisement they’ve endured, the trauma and debt you’ve inherited from them living under prejudicial systems. Think about your children, the world they will inherit. Think about yourself; the intergenerational disadvantages you have to contend with. Who is happy today? Who is sane? Who can rest easy? Our pasts haunt us, our present exhausts us, our futures terrify us – and individuals bear all the blame and pressure, overlooking systemic problems.
What do most people fight or fret about?
Political scientist Michael Parenti says, “People who think they’re free in this world just haven’t come to the end of their leash yet.”
Our lives have been reduced to a frenzy staving off debt and ultimately, poverty. The insulation enjoyed in the middle-class bubble is thinning each day.
To those calling sincere attempts at piercing political opacity conspiracy theories, I quote Parenti, who says, “Almost as an article of faith, some individuals believe that conspiracies are either kooky fantasies or unimportant aberrations. To be sure, wacko conspiracy theories do exist. […] Often the term ‘conspiracy’ is applied dismissively whenever one suggests that people who occupy positions of political and economic power are consciously dedicated to advancing their elite interests. Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: ‘Do you actually think there’s a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?’ For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together – on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, Pentagon command rooms, at the Bohemian Grove, in the choice dining rooms at the best restaurants, resorts, hotels, and estates, in the many conference rooms at the White House, the NSA, the CIA, or wherever. And, yes, they consciously plot – though they call it ‘planning’ and ‘strategizing’ – and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. No one confabulates and plans more than political and corporate elites and their hired specialists.”
To the apathetic, I address two quotes:
“The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.”Bertolt Brecht
“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”Plato
To the comfortable, I address a poem by Rafiki Morris.
What we can do is seek the truth and call out lies. Julian Assange, who just avoided extradition (1, 2) for exposing American war crimes, says, “You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way that we can get anywhere.” And again: “One of the best ways to achieve justice is to expose injustice.”
If we remain ignorant, we risk not heeding sufficient warnings, such as this one from Caitlin Johnstone that reads, “This omnicidal, ecocidal way of living that the oligarchic empire has laid out for us does not suit our species, and it will drive us to extinction along with God knows how many other species if we do not find a way to end it.”
The next part is Wings Are for Chowing.