I know, some people urge me to "get a life," "my anger does more harm to atheism than good," "why am I so angry?" "present the evidence". I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard these and other such responses. But stop and think about it a minute, what do the 1% want from the 99%?
do as your told?
yield to authority?
division (as in hierarchy)?
discourage critical thinking?
forgive them for they know not what they do?
Do you see a pattern here? Do these words ring with familiarity? Do you see research funded that shows not only correlation but cause? Who benefits by these behaviors? Who pays? Do these behaviors enhance flourishing?
These ingredients maintain and perpetuate the passive lifestyle. Does this sound familiar?
Yes, the French aristocracy found that out the head-losing way. The populous always outnumbers the wealthy landowners. Problem is, some are too timid to take risks or stand on principle. It is a heck of a job leading a movement and no one joins. So much for making changes. Well, that's OK, we have intelligence, ambition, vision, dreams, determination, so, we aren't down and out yet. What was it Emma Goldman said?
"At the dances I was one of the most untiring and gayest. One evening a cousin of Sasha, a young boy, took me aside. With a grave face, as if he were about to announce the death of a dear comrade, he whispered to me that it did not behoove an agitator to dance. Certainly not with such reckless abandon, anyway. It was undignified for one who was on the way to become a force in the anarchist movement. My frivolity would only hurt the Cause.
"I grew furious at the impudent interference of the boy. I told him to mind his own business. I was tired of having the Cause constantly thrown into my face. I did not believe that a Cause which stood for a beautiful ideal, for anarchism, for release and freedom from convention and prejudice, should demand the denial of life and joy. I insisted that our Cause could not expect me to become a nun and that the movement would not be turned into a cloister. If it meant that, I did not want it. "I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody's right to beautiful, radiant things." Anarchism meant that to me, and I would live it in spite of the whole world — prisons, persecution, everything. Yes, even in spite of the condemnation of my own closest comrades I would live my beautiful ideal."
~ Living my life, 1931 (p. 56)
- This incident was the source of a statement commonly attributed to Goldman that occurs in several variants:
If I can't dance, it's not my revolution!
If I can't dance, I don't want your revolution!
If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.
A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having.
If there won't be dancing at the revolution, I'm not coming.
Loren and Joan, I keep expecting the revolution daily and being surprised when it 'doesn't' come to pass honestly. I don't understand why we are so complacent to downright submissive in regard to these people and their seemingly unending assault on our liberties.
Tammy, I think it's a combination of George Carlin's thoughts regarding how we don't have REAL choices, combined with Ned Beatty's infamous yet prescient speech from the movie, "Network." The great bulk of Americans have allowed themselves to be conned and/or bribed out of their franchise by being given meaningless choices, or as Beatty stated, having their boredom amused and anxieties tranquilized. There is an additional factor, though, which are those people who are so scared by what they see in the media that they feel like they dare not move.
Boil it down and too many people are sleepwalking and either don't want to or are afraid to wake up. The only way any of that is going to change is for people to become more aware, more informed and more involved. There is far more to it than Peter Finch's Howard Beale (again, of "Network"), who demanded that "you've got to get mad. As with atheism, this requires LEARNING and EFFORT ... and too many people just can't be bothered.
Not a pretty picture, but as things stand right now, that's how I see it.
Sadly I think yours is a fairly good assessment of the current situation...
The brainwash is freakishly well done... for example; recently I had a maddening experience trying to explain why the death penalty ends up costing the taxpayers more than a life sentence to one of the local bible beaters and it becomes all too apparent how deep this religious intolerance for all 'others' goes... I won't even go into to the 'biblical/pop political' responses, suffice it to say they won't even hear the numbers or look at the issue because well.... an eye for an eye! It's maddening... you can't make them understand that they've given the state the right to outright MURDER them, it doesn't affect them until it affects them is the attitude!
I hear you, and I don't understand them. How many yachts, or ski lodges, or limos and servants can one person use? When is enough enough?
Have there been any thorough psychological studies about the causes of greed? I think it's a disease.
I think you're on to something sk8eycat, they're trying to fill the void with 'stuff' rather than face the shortcomings left by their empty existence, there's seemingly never enough 'stuff' to make up for their lack of compassion for their fellow humans.
Okay that made me think of my ex... I need a laxative now!
Tammy, I hear you! I like prunes better, they don't leave a bad taste in my mouth, especially when I remember what marriage means to me.
I just got this in an email from a friend:
On “get a life.” Most people devote their attention to their personal life, family, friends, making a living, and hobbies/entertainment. Being educated means, in part, relating to a larger world. People turn their attention away from large events because they’re complicated, confusing, and we often feel helpless. But doing so results in a boring life, a life that feels empty and devoid of meaning. Filling that void the easy way involves beer, partying, sports, tabloids, supernatural woo woo, and religion.
It’s not easy to engage in the scary wider reality, but it’s mature. Whether or not humanity survives this planet wide crisis will depend in part on how many of us are capable of lifting our eyes up, gazing on truth, and putting our anger to constructive purpose. You, my friend, have a life, and a measure of wisdom which eludes those who prefer to live small. Don’t be disparaged by those who don’t want to know.
Ruth, You words always convey care, concern, vision, optimism and inspiration for me. I treasure your comment.