The part of me that wears the tinfoil hat (increasingly, it would seem, the same part that is motivated to post) wonders if it’s possible that wages are kept insufficient (and jobs unavailable) as a deliberate means of forcing people to think selfishly out of necessity, if maybe we’ve allowed entertainment and advertising to become so data-driven and personalized in order to make them more effective opiates at the individual and societal level, and if it’s possible that similarly we’re now being kept so scared of (and/or mesmerized by) the political situation at home that we feel like we can’t afford to answer and/or choose to distract ourselves from such desperate calls to action abroad: https://twitter.com/i/moments/808593529589075968
Regardless of your political views, these are civilians who fear for their lives, and seemingly rightly so. I’m sure those in Aleppo are not the only ones in the world who are in this kind of situation, but their story made it to my eyes and ears and what I choose to do in response to that information I think reflects my character. Morally, you just can’t remain silent about it and be OK with that.
Rant continues below:
The same with domestic issues that I’m not directly affected by but that I have been made aware of. “They broke the law” in and of itself is not justification for inhumane treatment, and I think we have a problem understanding that in this country. Did the law-breaker do harm? Harm to whom? Is the law’s response proportionate to the harm?
If you don’t feel like you have the background or the skill or the means to make a difference, who is your champion? What are they doing to empower you? If they’re not empowering you, who are they empowering?
American prosperity cannot come at the cost of our humanity. Turning a blind eye and/or saying “this isn’t our fight” is not an acceptable solution. If we can’t win this fight, who or what could? What would it take to implement that solution? As a species, we are problem-solvers and tool-makers. When we stop trying to engineer solutions, we have accepted the problem as reality, and I don’t think we can afford to do that in any situation in which there are peaceful people suffering in the name of law and order. (I’m allowing for peaceful people to retain that descriptor if the only violence they commit is in self-defense because they will be killed if they do not protect themselves).
If your answer to victims in need, begging on the basis of their humanity alone for your assistance, is “I’m sorry, I don’t have the means to help you.” or “We tried but I’m sorry, it’s simply too difficult for me/us to try harder.” then you have been rendered incapable of serving as a functional human and you need to think about what has made you that way and who benefits from keeping you that way.
“Why do you suddenly care about this now? Atrocities against peaceful people have been committed all over the world (and within this country) forever, and probably will go on forever.” Because there was a period of time during which I stopped caring, and I need to make up for that lost time and humanity.
I understand the necessity of power to create change and prevent regression, and the necessarily exploitive nature of power (it’s arguably an arms-race of exploitation anytime there’s a power struggle), I just wonder if we in America might find a less morally questionable way of going about that exploitation, and if not, if that means the geopolitical apparatus that calls itself America is not really telling the story of America with its actions anymore- because a democracy would not allow for these atrocities to happen (I’m referring to police brutality at home as much as summary executions of resisting civilians abroad), UNLESS BOTH those who are outraged by it do not have the power to change it and those who do have the power to change it prefer not to.
And despite what this lengthy post may lead you to believe about me, if that is indeed the two-fold problem, and we’ve given up on attempting solutions to it, I don’t know what to say to that.