Today my partner and I were discussing the declining state of affairs in the world, specifically here in the US (a conversation prompted by this “Pressure Cooker and Backpacks” news story and the ever-evolving NSA spying catastrophe). Exasperated, he said “things have to get better… eventually.. right?”
I think that’s a feeling most people understand. But in response I said “things won’t magically turn around or get better, people have to make them better; but nobody wants to get their hands dirty”
I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I don’t think it’s quite accurate. As I continue to move through my thesis one concept I keep coming up with is the idea of distraction juxtaposed with powerlessness. That’s an incredibly intoxicating (or sedating) mixture. Throw in the decline of our educational systems and the co-optation of “radical” organizations and movements by bourgeoisie liberals and I, for one, see the perfect storm of liberation stagnation.
It’s easy to say “people are stupid” or “people don’t care” or “people are lazy” and that’s why things suck. I think its a hell of a lot more complicated than that. And we don’t even necessarily need to get caught up in the “whys” of the situation we currently find ourselves in (unless people want to share their stories to deepen our understanding of the landscape).
What i think we do need is to figure out how to activate people, how to empower, how to ask the right questions. How to re-introduce the concept of freedom and liberation and revolution (outside a nationalistic rhetoric). How to get people engaged and interested in creating a better situation than we find ourselves in. And how to mobilize.