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10/03/2013

Activism, Part III


Dealing with problems in life, instead of climbing mountains wouldn't we all have more fun walking around them? In case you're wondering, today, this is not furious, but lazy old me speaking, the one who likes to occasionally complain about stuff, but doesn't actually leave the house when people are rallying round the flag. This is quite the departure for me. I don't know if you read my posts Activism, Part I and Part II. I still admire anyone who sets out to change the world. Sometimes though admiration turns into pity. And that's when you know you're old, and no longer a part of the solution. Eventually everyone stops trying to change the world, because life is too short to place it on hold.

I have to quote myself here. This is an excerpt from Activism, Part II, dated roughly one year ago:
Everyone knows that the way wealth is distributed amongst people is far from fair. Our personal financial state doesn't necessarily represent the things we earn, even less deserve. There is some obscene prosperity accumulated by a privileged few, in many places all over the world. In the USA, the top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the country's wealth and the bottom 80% of the population owned 15% (year 2007, source Congressional Budget Office). How does that not scream revolt in loud and bloody letters? How does that not make you want to kick in some doors?

The facts are still true. And while I understand the reasoning behind the propensity to outrage, nowadays I just as well relate to phlegm. Most of us start out as hyperactive fetuses, foolishly fighting an unjust system. Later on, we realize, there is no gain in fighting a set of rules that by default will make a few people very very rich. That's when some of us turn to the dark side, and decide to outsmart the system rather than abolishing it. How about doing what the rich do, if only to prove a point. That's what a society of hairy primate grabbing hands does to us...

And at a certain point then, BAM! Greed suddenly turns into a perfectly reasonable moral position. Because the innate feeling - the world is horrible I better look out for myself - comes so natural to us. Once that justification makes perfect sense to you, it's all over with you and "world" in terms of solidarity. Look at what happened to Walter White in Breaking Bad. Yes, he's a fictional character, but in terms of moral intentions, reality set the parameters for the narrative.

The powers that be keep us down and we buy into what they tell us. We'd rather believe that the rich worked long and hard for what they have. That they started from nothing, same as we did. That we, if we work long and hard, can be one of them some day. It's all a big bag of lies. They had a head start in being born with some privileges. They may have worked hard, and cheated even harder, but they didn't tell you about the selling of soul which has to be done as well. That's were the real money is buried. Because they have long passed "being wealthy" now, since it's all about being filthy rich. They know how to get it. They know where to take it, and who to take it from. And hide it. Another bonus this year, just for being 'you'! Congrats!

In hindsight it does sound childish of me to complain about the rules of Monopoly. It's an old game. Although we can't seem to change the rules, we can all choose to play another game anytime we want. There is checkers, there is parcheesi and rock-paper-scissors. Unfortunately we all want to win at the game with the big cash prize. The most important reason why we play is the jackpot filled with security. Or whatever you want to call the placebo feelgood thingy. Strong concept. Empty word.

We need to reach a certain point to realize that there is no life credit, no such a thing as security for any of us. I don't want to sound all grinch-y, but world economy, and ultimately personal health, these are the ones to spoil the game for all of us amateur gamblers. Those suckers don't care what the pool is, to them we're the stakes. And the steaks.

There is only one solution. Stop playing. Cut the ties to security. It's an illusion anyways. Be a proud owner of nothing but your bare existence. That's the thing that counts for all of us equally.

Problem is that if you're like me, and you enjoy the comfort of a roof over your head, warm water and food other than the one you find in a dumpster, you'll be having a hard time with that kind of resolve. I like my life. The idea of having less than I have now terrifies me. And much to my embarrassment, yes, there is still a part of me that wants to kill a queen to become one myself...

This makes me sick. So sick, in fact, I think vomiting could become a chronic problem for me. I proved myself wrong. There is some use in activism. I just don't think judging the guy next to us for his lifestyle choices is where it should begin - or end. We should take out the ones that cause the real damage. Let's go now, you take the banner, I'll get the axe. Let's head out and make a statement, red on white.