Monday, April 2, 2012

Preface: the impetus of collapse

Anarchy A to Z:
a guide to understanding our history unfolding for the anesthetized and apathetic

   A is for anarchy

   Recently, a young black man was murdered brandishing the dubious weapons of brand name munchies. While the racial undertones are obvious to everyone not blinded to hate, the act is thus far legally defendable. Still, a few weeks prior, a U.S. soldier shot Afghan civilians in cold blood; the sociopathic imperative of the imperial machine becoming a bit more obvious. Still, the Commonwealth of Virginia also proposed a bill to forcibly penetrate any woman who wanted to abort an unwanted pregnancy, not seeing the irony in opposing the ruling ideologies principle text. Meanwhile, the entire globe is on the brink of economic collapse. The fractional reserve banking system has inflated global worth to an illusory and unsustainable level. And, we are most certainly in a state of ecological emergency. Scientists no longer believe there is the capital or political will and accept six degrees of warming as an unavoidable reality.

   These systems of white supremacy, patriarchy, imperialism, environmental and economic injustice are too easily dismissed as unfortunate by-products of capitalism. This is true to a large degree. However, the root of our crises anchors widely in the sands of time.
   When I was a teenager, I did what teenagers do. I sat in my room—well,  a detatched trailer, because that was cheaper than permitted construction—listening to loud music, violently thrashing around in my own universe, creating surreal wisps in the haze of dope smoke that always seemed to be casually floating a foot from the ceiling. I acquired self-awareness—and I often refer to it as my spiritual birth--when I was isolated from society, in a small mountain town, with few friends and family so dysfunctional I probably take the cake on at least 90% of the U.S. population. Incidentally, and although a world away, the Palestinians were in their Second Intifada. I became angrier and heard the message from Rage against the Machine and Slayer. Our society is ill, and I knew it, but I didn’t understand why, or why others couldn’t see it, and it made me angry.

   I carried the image of bulldozers, the wreckage of shanties and the desperate river of tears on children’s face with me as I embarked on an existential journey into the world of happier thoughts. I spent a lot of time exploring the woods and hiking at the rivers throughout my childhood and I focused my energies on creating an identity I thought would define me. I wanted my peers to see what I saw so badly. I idolized the counter-culture revolution of the 1960s-70s without truly understanding its nuances or failures. I donned tie-dye, grew my hair out, became an out-spoken critic of the American empire and I kept accumulating information and honing my analytical skills. Even though my group of friends grew larger, and I felt like I had made progress in developing lasting social skills, people didn’t want to listen to me. When I was a Senior, the planes struck, the idiocy around me grew louder, and my shred of happiness collapsed like the towers, again into anger.

  But those towers were just the beginning. Our entire civilization is collapsing. The evidence is everywhere. Land lies in dilapidated clusters, empty homes taunting the growing homeless. Wages have stagnated and the costs of basic services like health care and education have outstripped the bottom rung’s ability to access them, and it is quickly outstripping the middle majority. Without healthy people with new perspectives, the crisis thunders along unabated.

   I continued my social and intellectual education for an enlightening five years. I thought I was surrounding myself with intelligent problem-solvers, but the deeper I dug into my own intellectual cave the more I realized my voice echoed only louder. I was angry again, even though I would eventually wrestle control and come to terms with what I was witnessing: our culture is hopelessly bankrupt.
   My analysis and conclusion, albeit always unfinished, follows.  

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