the manipulation of sentiment by power for profit
that’s the ideology of this country – and that is nothing new
dehumanization in service of exploitation is nothing new. Western (ahem) civilization – and the U.S. in particular – was built on blood and bones woven with self-centered ambition and the quest for material wealth
this heinous ideology manifests every single day in many ugly, destructive ways — and it’s really smart, in part because it’s had so much practice and so much success
if we want to accomplish anything more than feeding on the scalding fuel of outrage (making ourselves feel simultaneously awful and righteous), then we have to do better
concentrated power plans decades, even generations ahead, while we do well to figure out the next step
concentrated power is ruthlessly proactive, while we are consistently reactive
its moves fit consistently with its innovative strategies, while we rise up in furor, get (understandably) exhausted, and settle back into letting guilt and anxiety dance in our dreams
It’s made harder by a commitment to ethics and grassroots power, in that our ends do not justify just any means – but to compromise this means that we become like them. That’s ethically problematic – and beyond that, it just doesn’t work in terms of actual social change.
This is not a critique of anyone. It’s a critique of the contemporary movement for justice and freedom for all people and the planet, by someone who has been in that movement for 35 years.
we have to do better.
Let it begin with a clear understanding that what we face daily is the manipulation of sentiment by power for profit
Let it be understood that we must constantly examine the dynamics of power in every relationship (personal and political, our own and at every level).
Let it continue in a daily dismantling of the ideology of patriarchal, white supremacist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, ageist, earth-destroying, xenophobic practice at every level. We must see and make the connections.
Let us ask – always – “who benefits from this?” (at any level – and whether the actions are theirs or ours) – and continually refine our analysis and our actions
Let us understand that the struggle for justice and liberation is a life-long way of living – and that we must sustain ourselves in joy and community and resilience and courage even as our hearts are continually broken open.