Today I stole some of my time away from the incessant political research and writing I do each weekday after I come home from my stupefying and exhausting job (and my job search, since these thankless jobs I need to do to pay for rent and food go away around once a year, forcing me to hunt for the next such dumb-ass job and relocate to another town, state, or even sometimes country)… but I digress.
I stole away some of this time I squeeze out of my sleep time for political activism in order to do what a normal life should allow us all to do on a daily basis: relax a little. I used it to read a little in a book from my favorite novelist, Jack Vance, who sadly died a few years ago after a “long” (by current standards) and amazingly-productive life. It is mind-boggling how I always learn something new from his books, no matter how many times I have read and re-read them. This time, I didn’t learn anything new, but merely came across a passage which reminded me of something that has always stuck in my life experience like a thorn in the side, but which most of us either block out, belittle using religious make-belief, or simply ignore. Here, abbreviated and slightly modified to not lose clarity with the cuts I made, is the passage and my commentary:
Kelse sprayed Elvo’s wounds, which almost instantly stopped bleeding. When the protective membrane had formed, Schaine poured water over Elvo’s arms and washed away the blood. In a shaky voice Elvo said: “Sorry to be so bemused; I’m afraid I’ve lived a sheltered life.”
Schaine replied: “In civilized surroundings it’s not necessary to fight for your life.”
Kelse chuckled mirthlessly. Schaine looked at him coldly. “Did I say something foolish?”
“A fire department isn’t necessary, except when there’s a fire.”
“Civilization is a very normal, ordinary condition,” said Schaine. “Civilized people don’t need to fight for their lives.”
This is where the old thorn stirred in my side, for this is how so many people think — but they are terribly wrong! Pain, debility, misery, and death come for us all as we grow old. This is nature’s most stark and unforgiving challenge to humanity. Yet, most of us ignore it and lead trivial or hedonistic lives or (in ever growing numbers) lead lives of desperate struggle, trying to survive materially as soulless villains at the top of our dungheap society put the squeeze on them with exploitation in the workplace, frequent lay-offs, taxes redirected to the bottom rather than top of our economy, schemes to bind us in eternal debt, denial of healthcare and retirement benefits, and so on.
This is why it is so urgent we do away with our outrageous wealth and income inequality, as well as the domination of our government by these sociopathic politician-bribing oligarchs who rig the system behind the scenes. We not only need to do this to eliminate a truckload of man-made misery, which ruins the lives of at least half our population (a number that keeps growing, at that). No, we must fix these self-inflicted wounds to get them out of the way and finally be able to address nature’s cruel challenge the only way we can effectively do so: together, using all our technology, scientific research, and organizing ability for addressing nature’s challenge rather than for making war, installing electronic surveillance from here to Sunday, and perfecting means of suppression and exploitation. We need each other as allies, more than most of us – in our “civilized” daydream lives – dare to realize. We must stop setting ourselves up as our worst enemies.
When I fight against inequality and corruption, I do so to the benefit of everybody, even the current lords for whom decrepitude and death also come.
Once, in a while, I get to enjoy a sense of relief when I see other people fighting as well, such as many of my fellow Americans who are now taking to town halls and such (not just the streets in anti-Trump protests, which I don’t care much about because they are designed to distract us from our real opponents: the whole establishment, not just one guy in it). I collected three video clips showcasing these events, in case you enjoy such footage, too: At Last: The People Confronting the Corporate Politicians
I am glad last year’s excitement hasn’t died down (as it might have, if Clinton had been installed in the White House) and there are still many of us fighting for change. May our numbers grow and may we act wisely.