January 8th, 2009 Thomas Paine's Corner
By Sylvain Lamoureux
Why are we so divided? Where do we start?
Of all the reading that I have done, I have noticed one thing; everyone has or is against a cause.
The animal liberators want to free the animals. The anti-capitalists want to free the people. The environmentalists want to save the planet. Some want to eat meat. Some don’t. Some want socialism, some communism and some a different type of ‘ism’. Save the planet. Save the whales. Save the Palestinians. Save the children. Save the ice caps. Save our way of life. The problem is that the causes clash or are not in sync– that the people supporting the causes think that theirs is the righteous one, that it matters more, or that it is morally superior.
What we have been led to believe (we being the whole of humanity), is that we have no other options. That we must survive and that the only way to do so is through stealing life energies from others, including people and animals, through competition. This competition has been ‘bred’ into us our entire lives; there must be a ‘winner’ and a ‘loser’. We call it “human nature” and excuse our greed, our ruthlessness and our shallow existence with it. We state that animals fight and kill each other but then we try to elevate ourselves above nature by deploring the deaths of human beings. We are still just a ‘dumb’ animal. We have been filled with the fear of death and disease on a personal level and the irrelevance of death on a global level.
Do we really think that we can each achieve our ’causes’ without the others? Do we think that the one ‘cause’ that is above all others’ will inspire everyone to join and instill the change that is needed? The fact is that all the causes have meaning and are just, but we need to prioritize and allow the causes to blend together naturally.
We need to look at all the issues. We need to question their involvement and we need to ask WHY. Why do we hate the unions? Why do we look down on AR activists? Why do we feel oppressed as a group? Why do label them conspiracy theorists? Why do we have racial, economic and educational divisions?
Here are but some of the issues with which we are faced:
Poverty - A creation of capitalism, ownership society and wealth. Used to give people a cause, feel shame, judgment and blame. The division that no one wants to ’slip’ into.
Media control - used to propagate lies and dis-information in order to control the masses by providing them with just enough information to make them fearful and reactive. The control of thoughts.
Money - equated to life, a measure of success, showing of affection; therefore a measure of life. Caring for your family. Survival. Has become the most important thing in life.
Education - a training institution designed to inculcate the ruling class’s thinking. There to make sure that the populace is comprised of ‘productive members of society’. Acts as a form of division as those that do not get an education are frowned upon, chastised and made to feel inferior their entire lives.
Politics / Government - a game for the rich. To control the population using the guise of democracy. Something to keep the divisions in place. Pick your ‘ism’. Are you left, right or safely in the middle? Something to blame.
Prison system - places to ‘make examples’ of those that dare to step out of line or must survive outside the accepted norms. Crimes against property, victimless crimes; makes us feel safe, gives us the impression that someone is looking out for us.
Speciesism - bring about feelings of shock and awe, fear, shame, judgment. An issue that is thought of as ‘we’ll get to it’. This is about the balance of nature. This is part of life itself.
Sexism - bringing feelings of oppression, judgment, anger, blame and self image. A division of humanity. Nice when a rift can be created right down the middle. Keeping the populace busy with each other helps to keep them off the trail to the root of the problem.
Racism - bringing feelings of oppression, judgment, anger, blame and self image. Another division of humanity-handy handy for the ruling elite.
Capitalism - Here one could write volumes. Basically it’s ‘every man for himself’ (and please don’t go back to the sexism). “This is the way it is. This is the only system that works. This is why we live so well today.”
Global Warming - man induced climate change through the wasting of energies.
There are many more to describe and much more to detail about the ones above—both of which exceed the scope of this writing.
Let us not view them as issues or subjects by classifying everything. When we classify something, we automatically put it into a pre-determined category. Let us instead think of them as energies which are required to intertwine for the natural balance to work. The ’sides’ in an argument are often just fears that are echoed back through our minds which usually are implanted there throughout our lives. We memorize and regurgitate something out of fear of being judged. It is a reactive response; we need to ask “why do I do this?” If we have to deal with people’s egos before dealing with the matters at hand, nothing will get done.
“Language is employed to keep thoughts at bay.” - Harold Pinter
There needs to be an uprising of the common people. There needs to be solidarity. There needs to be movement. For those who refuse to be slaves any longer, for those who THINK and can see beyond the fabrication that life has become and for those who know something is up but are not quite sure what; it is for those whom we write and point out life’s interesting nuances.
Sure there are the ’shruggers’, whom I would prefer to refer to as the lethargic—those who are coasting through life thinking that if they don’t disturb the waters, they will be safe. “Life itself is not so bad if you just ‘play by the rules’”, is their mantra, and they would like to stop those ‘trouble makers’ before they ‘ruin it’ for everybody else. They will agree with certain causes in order to alleviate some shame, as long as it doesn’t affect them personally. But they will readily drop it for another to avoid judgment or if it does not fall within their ‘growth’ any longer. I also fight for them.
This is about not believing that this ’shit fight’ of an existence is the reason for being. This is about life, nature and evolution. This is about cooperative society, living as one with each other and the world. This is not about the rich and the poor, human and animal, man and woman or adult and child; it is about all of them. This is about seeing through the multitude of lies and deceit. This is about releasing oneself from the ‘chains’ of induced thought, fears, reactions and judgments. This is about knowledge and universal growth; this is about ‘Planetkind’.
Be it a ‘Star Trek’ fantasy or a ‘Utopian’ dream, this is what will save humanity and the planet. How we treat each other and our planet will determine our fate. The world is a ‘balance’. Call it nature, good and evil, life and death or survival–that balance has been altered. It is time to get ORGANIZED AND UNIFIED–time to drop the judgments and the divisions and come together for the betterment of all. We cannot save nature if we do not first save ourselves by not forgetting nature in the process. This will not simply be achieved by knowledge but by wisdom as well.
Special Editor and Director of IT Services Sylvain Lamoureux has just joined our core team, after being a friend and some time contributor for several years.To further your sociopolitical education, strengthen your connection with the radical community, and deepen your participation in forming an egalitarian, just, ecological, non-speciesist and democratic society, visit the Transformative Studies Institute at http://transformativestudies.org/ and the Institute for Critical Animal Studies at http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/.