I am a man of peace for the same basic reason that many come to this position – because I have, thanks to the circumstances of my life, come to understand hate.
As a child, I was forced to become an adult, because the adults around me weren’t. Their damage was weighted toward neglect (omission, rather than commission) and they all had elaborate excuses about the important things that were going on in their lives at the time, but that does not change the fact that what I experienced was years and years of sustained madness.
I have had wonderful conversations with friends who worked professionally with troubled families, and long discussions with many loving parents also, which have helped me to understand, intellectually at least, that I didn’t deserve that.
But the individuals who created the circumstance which fostered so much harm to children, continue to celebrate that experiment’s benefits for themselves gleefully, without the slightest recognition that a heavy cost was paid by others, who could not defend themselves. Righteous down to this day.
When every single person you can turn to, turns you back to the abuser…
Anyhow, when I hear people make light of the trauma experienced by those victimized by priests, or forced into residential schools, I find myself very comfortably thinking, “That grinning imbecile should have their stupid head smashed-in, for being so dismissive of the torture of innocents.”
Not that I would wish for that in reality – but the emotions of hatred are still easy for me to find – and my position of defence of the victim, quite unyielding.
So when my lovely wife posts “What about the kids going hungry, while pets eat steak?” And the responses are mostly, “Wah! FLUFFY!” My inclination is to go all Linda Blair, spin my head around and puke on everyone.
If it seems as if people are being mean, when they suggest trying to think responsibly about OUR OWN ACTIONS (not rocket-science, surely) then perhaps it is time for a long overdue mirror check. But that’s an individual call, to be sure.
What is being leftist or progressive for, anyhow? Hoping to get more stuff?
Access to outrage? Want someone to blame for what’s wrong with life?
I hate every single one of those reasons, and I consider people who call themselves leftists for those reasons to be traitors, scumbags and idiots.
I am standing up for all the downtrodden – not just people who are like me. Defending the weak because I have been weak, and refuse to forget this. Further, I recognize that there is no way to do this properly without applied humility. It cannot ever be my empowered western opinion and coddled ego I’m fighting for – that again would be the worst sort of misrepresentation, cooption, dilution, treachery.
This is why a big part of my own lifelong cause is study, and especially asking people who know – what is it like where you’re from – whether that’s a country, a specialty, a ‘scene’ or any other sort of culture-rich ‘place’.
Even learning how to get over your narrow self to become a better listener to more humans, is an ongoing and often demanding process.
Now here’s the key insight from Jung, that I keep hearing go around and around in my head, over and over, as I watch the imbeciles descend into the maelstrom.
That evil which we deny in ourselves, and project instead onto collective ‘others’ (and it absolutely does not matter how the others are defined, or how righteously) leads us inevitably into evil. It yields in fact, that very same sort of authorization to do evil, that Stanley Milgram explored in his experiments to find out whether perfectly normal people would torture others, if they were told to. (The answer was a frighteningly resounding YES – for those who haven’t read it)
The extreme right is completely wrong on policy at every level I can find – but it is not on the ascendant because it is evil. It is winning right now because we on the left insist on branding huge classes of people inherently evil – and thus drive countless moderates, who diverge on a few minor points, into their arms.
The left never used to be about insisting on perfect compliance and orthodoxy. We weren’t so narrow minded in our understanding, or unkind in our thinking.
We used to embrace not just climate science, but psychology also – which shows that all humans are complex and contradictory, mixtures of good and bad – and can very easily say and mean two different things, in different contexts. We really ought to remember this doubly – because many of the greatest heroes on the left were people who transformed and redirected their own worst characteristics, in order to power their finest efforts. Sublimation by act of will. Great exemplars of self-mastery for the sake of cause.
Most importantly, we used to be the team that was ready to sacrifice for others.
As long as Fluffy comes before any mother’s child – you’ve truly lost me, folks.
Independent, officially. For the sake of bringing all the scorned independents that we absolutely need (and always have) back again. ‘Cause my job and principles haven’t changed. Only become infinitely richer – and heavier.