Updated: Dec 4, 2019
(Or, since when did mutual annihilation become a virtue?)
While we fight amongst ourselves, the fox is stealing the eggs.
While we dehumanize and demean each other over every difference in opinion and departure from the “party line,” the party is having a party, with our money. They spend outrageous amounts on wars in distant lands, promoting hate, arming terrorists and literally dropping 10’s of thousands of bombs yearly. They pass legislation supporting the desires of big businesses and wealthy individuals and pretend it has nothing to do with the bribes (“lobbying”) dispensed. They sit quietly “helpless” while our children mow each other down in their schools, our police shoot unarmed people with impunity, and civil liberties disappear down a seemingly endlessly ravenous drain, and we can’t even fucking discuss possible solutions!
The dominant theme for social discourse right now is force-based.
“My thugs are in office now, and they are going to force you to do it my way…”
Or, “Your thugs will soon be voted out, and then our team will force you to do it our way.”
What’s really wrong with this picture is how much of an oddball I am for bringing this up! We are a nation with no solutions for some very serious problems: our broken healthcare system, children dying in the “security” of their schools, world-record-breaking amounts of incarceration, terror threats and seemingly endless warfare, and we are completely incapable of talking about it. Civil discourse, the necessity of getting together and finding solutions from a place of common ground, and treating each other with respect…who else is saying this? Our politicians? Our media? Our leaders?
All of these problems - every one – have a solution, but you won’t find it in your institutions. The NRA will not join with anti-gun groups and work together, not even to protect children. The republicans and the democrats won’t create a bipartisan solution to runaway healthcare costs. They won’t do this, because their very existence is predicated on creating polarity and maintaining it. There are zero incentives to solve problems – solutions are a no-win for them.
For these ego-based institutions, to cooperate is to die. They will not consent to their own deaths.
We must take this into our own hands, bottom up, bypassing the decrepit system.
We must create working systems with built-in systems that create harmony and solutions rather than polarity.
We must do this if WE want to survive.
And it must start with the way we talk to each other. The ever-present “Trolls” in public discourse, as annoying as they can be, are just the extreme edge of what is considered acceptable behavior in our interactions. We even look for opportunities to attack our allies, if we detect that, somehow, they are departing from “acceptable” thinking. What a way to ensure failure!
There are some promising “bottom-up” movements showing up to create change, but they are attempting to do so in this toxic polarity field. We are caught in a negative feedback loop, where positive social change, spontaneously created, is doomed to fail until we let go of the paradigm of polarization.
We don’t have to interact this way. It isn’t natural. It isn’t human. We’ve just been carefully socialized to believe so.
We can continue to insist that the attached meme is rational, sane, a way to win. Or we can accept that the most likely result is that both end up losing.
Let go. Listen. Learn. You won’t die – you will, rather, promote life. And you open yourself up to the chance for learning, for connection, for creating solutions that really mean something, and that you can pass on to your children with pride, and this will restore the sanity our species needs in order to avoid extinction.