Monday, April 27, 2015

Something in the air

There’s something in the air these days. I’m not talking about the plethora of grassroots movements all aimed against the organized/age-old iniquities of the day; the result of which might be a more focused anger aimed at these halls of powers and their iniquities. This, of course, is a welcome change to the parade of hagiographies we see on the left and right of the mainstream media when they talk about the halls of power (except, apparently, when a sex scandal is involved).

Nevertheless, I would like to focus on that: the odd need to never doubt those in power (to include all aristocratic affectations that the media tends to like) while always doubting those who rail against it (ignoring the Democrat-Republican tribalism that provides a side show to many real issues). 

Now, I’m not making as simplistic a judgement as saying one side is always good while another is always bad (referring to power and the powerless). But I tend to side with the powerless as the responsibility, and the vast majority of the blood, usually is on the former’s hands.

What am I trying to say? That people out there need to focus on the facts and to stop being so enamored with power and the shiny things they accumulate. Perhaps I’m wrong? Perhaps it’s more a matter of fear? That people understand power’s ruthlessness and amorality and would rather be loyal—and thus fed—dogs, than hunted dogs on the street? Maybe. [1] 

This, of course, is the amoral choice of neo-liberalism (and, to some extent, secularism, as practiced in Western countries today, to say nothing of many of my beloved fellow atheists) which only helps power in this matter. It should go without saying that any such self-serving (and thus power-serving)  “rationalism” will not survive anything but the calmest waters of history. 

And so I go back to that “something” in the air (or that zeitgeist); a restriction of the lungs, really, and I know that something is coming. The coming constriction of resources [2],  as well as the available ideologies (I'm speaking of that neoliberalism here, as well as whatever the right wing is peddling)  will certainly heat up the air.

What to do then? What answers do I have? That, dear reader, is something I will provide and soon. Thing is, the worshipping of power (in whichever form) does need to be dismantled, for it only blinds us to the true issues (and bends us towards tribalism). We should note at some point in the past, during the reigns of monarchies, those kings in power certainly had their "legitimate" reasons for having power. And even if we are to apply some level of meritocratic reasoning, they had—at some point in their past, speaking of their families, their ancestors—earned those positions. This didn’t make their positions any less unfair and in the end, unstable—morally and thus physically speaking. We should be aware of this as meritocracy is crammed down our throats (I hear the cries against the violence of those dispossessed). It has nothing to do with deserving. For that allows power to simply be, unchecked. And power is not meant just to be, it’s meant to be there for the betterment of all, and to check iniquities, lest it lose a reason for being. [3] 

Update 07JUN2015: Something in the air, and it isn't merely people I agree with. Thing is, when there are things hidden from plain sight some people look for facts and come up with conspiracy theories that even I think are far fetched. I met what I took to be a normal person on the beach and they immediately launched into Jade Helm 15 and how it was necessary to leave (no, evacuate) the US. Now, I'm not saying that things are not bad for a lot of people, but the term evacuate still seems a little much to me. And I have to wonder about the mindset that would allow for such thinking, or train of thoughts.

See, I'm not saying that one shouldn't have a strong and healthy level of mistrust when it comes to things said in the mainstream media or many other venues, but to do so without a view to history and other matters, seems a little much. Thing is much is hidden, and what that results is, in all our respective grasps for the truth, is many who seem to go for the conspiracies that are unverified. Of course, if they're right, we'll be doomed, but it seems too much to me that an exercise by the military is something that people (pro-gun, and thus I would assume, pro-military in some way) see as a step towards martial law (and from the paranoid sites, it would appear that it's mixed with some fear of Islam and the "other").

[1]But to those without a choice, to those forced towards the latter, the world is a cruel place.

[2] If the scientists are to be believed; let me also say that I don’t speak of only the mineral kind of minerals.

[3] Note that this argument is switched from deserving, to this is the best for all of us, as is needed to win said argument. Don’t fall for this goal post switching.

[Well, I wrote this a few days before the riots in Baltimore broke out. But I suppose now is better than never, being that many reactions to the violence—not state sanctioned—seem to be ignorant at best. For now my thoughts go out to the people of Baltimore]

Update: To be sure, all those calling for non-violence in Baltimore must be honest about what non-violence has so far achieved. Please be honest. Also, here's a better article than anything I could write (Coates at Atlantic).
And while we're on topic of riots, let's remind ourselves about how much has changed: Here's an interview by James Baldwin on the matter. Brilliant as always. And Notes of a Native Son, which is nothing short of a classic. Enjoy, people, and to anyone calling for non-violence or saying something else so shortsighted. Read more. Thank you. 

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