Post
Experience Project iOS Android Apps | Download EP for your Mobile Device

Musings On a New Era

I was thinking about being an anarchist and trying to make real ******* social change in this country and about how hard it is when you're also trying to heal yourself. And about how this is the first time in my life when I've looked at how honestly I am really strange and kind of ****** up and I'm doing all these things that most people would think are not okay. But to me they feel okay, and I keep checking in with myself about them, and they keep feeling okay.

Maybe we're all just trying to get by, but we pretend like we're smashing the state or making positive social change or really changing the world, so we can be in the cool kid's club. I feel like I have held on to the idea that there are fundamental wrongs in the world, and that I have a duty to fight against them, even though I am fighting a losing battle. That's why it got so hard to be an activist, because I was always fighting a losing battle. We're all too busy now riding bikes and having dance parties and holing up in our little coop houses making funny folk art to continue fighting. We didn't forget we have something we need to fight against. We just all feel like we're losing.

I was thinking that maybe most people don't actually think that way, that most people never thought there was a battle to begin with. I forget that most disenfranchised twenty something year old punks arent all activists to begin with. Like people care, but spend more time healing themselves or making art or creating community and aren't really interested in the fact that there are injustices in the world or don't see how they are their injustices to fight. I get caught up in being queer and trans and making art and trying to find cute people to kiss and my relationship drama and working on painting the walls of my room or whatever else myself. It's just that I regret every day that I'm not doing anything that I feel will make a long term, positive impact. Nothing I'm doing will help bring our social system down, nothing is ending gentrification, nothing is ending war, nothing is confronting racism head - on, nothing is stopping animals from being tortured in test labs or old growth trees from being cut. Nothing I'm doing is helping eradicate sweatshops or ending bilateral trade agreements or acting out for queers or new immigrants or indigenous peoples or urban people of color. I live in a really radical neighborhood in a major metropolitan area in the United States, why is it so hard to find groups that are doing these things? Why are we all so busy creating our own beautiful but useless culture that will be obsolete in 10 years that we can't remember to be activists?

I want to hear other people's thoughts on this and get a sense of if I am compeltely off base with my thoughts.

onetwothree onetwothree 22-25, T 13 Responses Jan 22, 2008

Your Response

Cancel

Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.<br />
<br />
Have you considered what sort of society you would be living in without law? No one would be safe, and that includes you. Only the strongest and most evil would survive, and I doubt that group includes you, only because that number doesn't include a majority of the population.

It's amazing to me that this thread has stuck around for a year and a half. Thanks, everyone, for reading and contributing. I'm feeling less helpless than when I wrote this. I'm doing what I can with what I have. I have a good idea of what is easily impacted and what is not, from where I am sitting. I guess that's what is most important. I remember thinking when I was younger that humanity was moving towards a slow decline, and that it was my job to heal those that are injured, and to address immediate life - or - death needs so as to reduce the suffering of people and animals in the mean time. I think, still, that this is true. Also, I forget that it is possible to make art relevant to social change. totally possible, and useful. Keep fighting. We are winning, even if it is slow.

Your feelings are valid, common and rarely expressed.<br />
All of the wonderful changes that one hopes are simply dashed by reality. This is not a reason to abandon hope or deny and belittle these feelings of enthusiasm. Accept reality, we act as primitive brutes because we don't know any other way to live.<br />
Because we don't know other ways of living does not mean that their are not other ways, better ways and radically different,mutually beneficial and sustainable.<br />
When Michelangelo was asked how he sculpted “David” , he responded, “I just removed what wasn’t David”. <br />
The point being, we must remove that which is not part of a wonderful life. There is no way to explain change, change comes from example. Successful examples. <br />
No one needs to expound on the value of the wheel. Using the wheel demonstrates its value.<br />
For example, don't like war, don't be a soldier. Workers are exploited, don't buy things made by exploited workers. Interest is usury, don't accept interest.<br />
Saying that I wants change and being willing to look for and create ways to actually live in a mutally produtive manner are quite different things.<br />
Accepting our own aggressiveness and deliberately choosing mutually beneficial actions are the greatest challenge that we face. <br />
What a wonderful time we live in, for the first time in the history of life on this planet, we have the opportunity to define world rather than simply reacting to it.

I would like to make a response to some of the comments made..<BR><BR>The first step is to realize there is no line, no division of human existence such as "lions" and "sheep". "Close-minded" and "open-minded". There is only the self, and everybody else. The only battle one can win is with the self. <BR><BR>"You must be the change you wish to see in the world. "<BR><BR>Don't press your ideals on other people. You're not right, they're not wrong. There's no "right" and "wrong". But if you do what you believe and know to be right, positive results will emerge, and inevitably others will follow suit. Thats the most powerful thing you can do; live your life by your ideals, and do so sincerely. To do this is the most challenging task, and many of us put it off by preoccupying ourselves with the "enemy", with the "close-minded" or the "stupid" or the "blind". Its a cop out. Simple as that. So forget the rest, don't sweat other peoples' business, focus on the Self and Life and Love, and weild your power the only way you can: Be true to your convictions. Live your life by your values. Enough talking, just start the walk. I promise you, your actions will not go unnoticed. You will not receive praise, or reward, or compensation, but what you will do is have an effect on people around you.<BR><BR>Indeed, the art and music and rallies serve the worst sort of isolation, cutting off our movement from the rest of the world. These are club activities, folks. Saultes to our neat little "open-minded" sub-culture. Feel good meetings. Doesn't get jack done, really. Not when you consider who even pays attention to such events. Its like preaching to the choir. I agree its fun and helps enrich the feeling of brotherhood amongst those who are already immersed in this, but it doesn't do anything to reach out to the fearful, the alone, the numb. By trying to think outside the box, you may have become the box.<BR><BR>There is only the self. There is only what we give and take.<BR><BR>Good luck, brothers and sisters

I feel like I have held on to the idea that there are fundamental wrongs in the world, and that I have a duty to fight against them, even though I am fighting a losing battle.<br />
<br />
that i agree with so much... my ideas, all this stuff i believe in, all the stuff bakunin said, it wont happen, not in my lifetime, and not in England. Im not going to be able to change the world.<br />
but, Id like to change how people see the world... i want to change the world for those around me, even if i cant stop the bad i want people to embrace the good. if we can embrace our compassionate, inherently good side, we will learn that we do not need this government to dictate our lives, that we can be self governing. <br />
i also feel like every day im not doing something im making no differenc.e<br />
then again i go on protests, free speech, war, womans rights, Guantanamo, all of them.<br />
sometimes it feels like that makes **** all difference.<br />
so i sit here.<br />
<br />
Im scared for us.

Yes thank you Angela. Futurama!?! Love it! Mee too!

i honestly think the american civilian population is overdue to overthrow their government. but everyone has faith in democracy, so they won't do it until someone tries to keep power beyond 8 years. I wish the american political system allowed for opposing parties to overthrow the rlling goverment. but it doesn't. i think that's my biggest problem with the american system of government... it kinda scares me, living next door and all...

Yeah, 123 you're beginning to get the picture. What you express is intuitively touching on it but you probably don't know how serious it actually is. That's what makes it all so sinister. They make everybody believe everything is OK, while at the same time planting the charges around the foundations of our beloved society as we watch our sports events and blessed sitcoms.<br />
<br />
I have a lot to share on this topic and most of it has come from the last four or so years of research. Interestingly I've learned more in this period of time than my entire history before and never carried even the remotest interest in socio-political issues, prior to that. Learning what I've learned I now realize certain basic facts about the manipulation of humankind are essential to our very survival at this point. Nothing in this world is coming about at random; not the seemingly random conflicts, not the physical decline, not the dumbing down, not even many of the global physical changes that are supposedly still beyond our control. It's all engineered and has been on the table and in the works for an eternity but the masses do not know about it; they're already too far gone and can only take on faith what they're told to integrate into their belief system by the news, sitcoms and even popular film, which is mostly carefully crafted to mold your belief system and is working like a charm. I could be labeled as a conspiracy person of the highest magnitude but my information is not based on speculation but rather careful research. Note I did not say "conspiracy theorist".<br />
<br />
So, with that brief introduction, here is my take: Fact one: change is at best wishful thinking without an understanding of all the facts. It's fun to do rallies and stuff but the powers that be will at best only ignore you and your peers; your peers not really having an understanding of how deeply rooted, committed and deliberate the forces of destruction really are. We like to think we're contributing something by voicing our dissention, but without a deep understanding of the absolute sinister seriousness of it all, the needed passion behind our rallies can have no effect and moreover we aren't really scared into being deeply committed by an absolute fear of the manipulated trends coming to fruition, so we easily fall back into our little home routines, not really realizing just how temporary it could be if we don't do something now. Being raised in the great prosperity years of America's independence. we are all lulled into a decidedly false sense of security. What to do, what to do? Oh a new boyfriend, the mall and Smallville's on tonight; life is endless and fun and worth living in the Matrix of illusion. I wish everyone knew what I do for a fact right now. There would be a revolution not tomorrow but tonight.<br />
<br />
As confused and brainwashed as the majority is therefore, the best we can do as those that are more informed of actual truth is: to make people more aware of the true nature of "the Matrix". At some point this would inevitably lead to the current corruption and control to lose all its power. As long as people are so confused that they enthusiastically root for control and enslavement for their own "protection", this country will devolve systematically into despotism and dictatorship. It's currently devolving into a hybrid of "1984" and "A Brave New World", but if they get exactly what they want I could see it becoming far more nightmarish.<br />
<br />
Kudos to all those brave enough to consider my rather generic lecture.

[[frown]]<br />
<br />
Don't put so much pressure on yourself! Geez!<br />
<br />
I have the same thoughts and feelings all the time, but one mantra keeps me going: Think globally, act locally. As Syndala said, we - as individuals - can only do so much, but if we all do what we can, it will make a huge difference. To live your life and enjoy yourself is not selfish, it's natural. In order to help heal the world, you have to be healthy yourself. Be queer, trans, a painter, a lover, an artists, AND a fighter. You'll be a better warrior for change if you keep yourself balanced and happy!

'but what more can a lion do if the sheeps dont want to listen.'<br />
<br />
the lion could eat the sheep

you DO however seem to think that the civil right movemnet "was". Don't you realise this is not something of the past, it is still going on?

People are lazy and complaicant. It's up to the unique and open minded to lead the world in a better direction. Of course that could lead to confrontation with the closed-minded ones. I'm not sure how we can come together though

I can't speak for anyone but myself. In my twenties, I felt like you do...I wanted to change the world. I met a lot of people that could talk a good game but nobody really that would ACT on their beliefs. So I did what I could alone, writing letters, trying to educate my friends and family about the issues, voting in elections and on local issues. And then I saw that nothing that I was doing was having an impact. At first I became angry and depressed. Now I have come to realize that all I can really do is work on my own life and my own little corner of the world. Treat all those around me with dignity and respect, try to make my life as green as possible, support local business, volunteer and give to others less fortunate when ever I can. In this way I think that I am living my life in a way that is consistent with my ideals and that is the best that I can do.<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
If you can find other activists who want to 'get out into the front lines' with you, that is wonderful. But when that is not possible, just know that you can live your ideals on a small scale, and be content with what you can do locally.<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
Peace and Blessings!