Thursday, November 7, 2013
Tool of Division
Thanks to the internet and my love of political discourse I have spent much of my adulthood arguing politics in forums and chat rooms. Early on this kind of fiery discourse fueled my ambition to become the only member of my immediate family to earn a four degree. Several years after I received my (almost) useless piece of paper in the mail, I still find myself arguing online. Some might call this a hobby, other may call it an addiction. I call it a waste of time.
Being addicted to the daily political cycle whether you watch it, read it or listen to it is no other than any other kind of addiction. It becomes the thief to all the other actions we need in order to maintain a healthy and well rounded civil society; turning us into slaves. Well informed slaves, who can recite cause and effect, symptom management, the actors, completely unable to solve or do anything about what ails us as a society.
In 2011 I met dozens of talented and intelligent people. I met these wonderful persons through various occupy inspired gatherings. I learned a lot in those few months at occupy gatherings. I was able to form a new understanding of alternative solutions. Solutions that were not a blip on my radar until then. I was also able to expand on what I had already knew, and pass on a thing or two as well. I am not afraid to say that those gatherings planted seeds of a new consciousness. A consciousness I am currently working to obtain.
It is safe to say that the way we use the internet to argue with others has created a tool of division. At the occupy gatherings there were plenty of people who I disagreed with on many issues across the board. We were also able to find issues we agreed upon and wanted to work on together. In all my years of arguing with people on the web I have never witnessed anyone say, "okay let's agree to disagree. I am sure there is common ground somewhere. Let's find that ground and work together." The move to the future will require the breaking of bread and the forgiving of key grievances (debt) at some time. If we stay divided through the channels of subterfuge and false rhetoric the unending journey to what is next will be more painful than it needs to be.
With so many recurring social ills, what can ideology based arguments do to heal those ills? With any plan to action, finger pointing and the issuance of tall orders goes nowhere. We need to begin to work by example. More urgently I need to begin to do this on a personal level. The broad gap between theory and practice needs to close. To close this gap we need to spend time on the everyday actions that theory calls for. Yet another return to the building blocks of our days. Another dismissal of that which is counterproductive and wasteful. If change is what we really want we have to stop hoping and do the work ourselves.
"Every-time history repeats itself the price goes up." Perhaps this is why our rent and food staples are so expensive.