A recent article on a rape victim being jailed under sharia law gave me cause to wonder what exactly it is that causes people to refrain from fighting back against unjust laws and actions taken by their governments. In the case of sharia law, the frequency of abuses continuing against women and the legalities which require their imprisonment is a prime example of people subjecting themselves to laws which do not make sense. When power and wealth are concentrated in a small group of people, the risk of corruption rises; this is no mystery. Religion tossed into the mix of wealth and power makes balancing the laws an extraordinarily tricky task. With the abundant availability of public information regarding the actions of our own US government, I have always been astounded at the amount of information people fail to know about the actions our government takes at our expense, on our behalf with some very strange reasoning behind not only why they take these actions, but the conclusions people draw from these actions. Sharia Law did not take hold of the Middle East overnight, and continued to grow in power as it fought back against modernization attempts from the western world. When people fail to take a hands on approach to the actions taken by the government, they gradually lose their rights to activities and values they find important to the desires of the ruling class. How close are we to passively allowing the growth of a totalitarian police state in the US? Why does this happen when there are more of “us” than there are of “them”? Why would a large group of people subject themselves to a violently oppressive force seemingly by passive consent, like women living under Sharia Law? For a more localized example of insanity, why the hell does Eric Holder still have a job, and why are so many people still passively cutting his paycheck?
As history shows repeatedly, lack of active participation in government by knowledgeable and concerned public proves to have terrifying consequences. While many systems prefer the public doesn’t interfere with the decision making process and actively utilizes tactics to subdue the public’s participation, the public can also inadvertently pacify itself by focusing on and pushing laws accelerating class division, divide and conquer techniques, debt, education, propaganda, religion and faith, among many others. In recent history, medication for treating mental disorders is now a huge factor in pacifying the new generation of people who would be the ones to speak out or care about dramatic changes being made.
Oddly consistent with the Middle East, one of the most obviously distracting recent trends are the divisions among the people in gender equality issues. When the people are fighting among themselves, how can they fight government oppression? Granted, the steps taken by historical feminists have achieved much for women’s rights, however the current ongoing battles of abstract gender identity and disparity are actually distracting people from addressing very real instances of oppression carried out by our leaders and ruling classes. Historically, there are poignant examples of governments’ ability to suppress it’s people by dividing it’s men and women, subsequently weakening the power of the populace. Men under sharia law feel an amount of superiority above women, but fail to find it necessary to protect their women, or initiate laws to protect their women after their “virtue” is stolen. Sharia law is flexible, and differs from one community to another, meaning, it is not solely based on religious texts, but rather based off a mutation of the religious guidelines depending on the decisions of the rulers.
Simultaneously as the women are relived of their value, their countries are torn to shreds by ongoing wars. Because the power of their population is essentially cut by half by removing the power of women from the equation, the likelihood of a mass uprising is also cut in half. In a shocking parallel, we can see how our own liberally democratic system encourages women to increase their responsibilities at the expense of their bonds to men, with extreme cases spawning misandry and misogyny. Men and women no longer feel the need to protect each other, but rather the need to bicker pointlessly about obscure gender issues. Meanwhile, our country is funding and aiding the wars tearing the Middle East apart to the financial benefit of a few in power, and financial ruin of our country. Divide and conquer indeed.
Like in the case of sharia law, the majority of all governments are set on guidelines which are defined by the predominant religion, and the fear of large government is similar to the fear of a God . Much of faith is steeped in fear while encouraging a blind trust in the “higher powers” to protect us from unseen harm. It would be a complete redundancy to go over all of the events of the last 20 years or so that have caused a dramatic increase in the fear of Americans and their super reliance upon protection of the government resulting in passively accepting violations of our privacy and independent agency to protect ourselves and make wise decisions. It would be foolish at this point in time to not accept basic forms of protection from our government’s standing army and law enforcement. But with the introduction of NDAA, CISPA, increased surveillance, increased amounts of government violating it’s own laws in order to obtain information from private citizens, the passive fear in each individual of being either a victim of terrorism, or accused of terrorism – these all contribute to a passivity resulting from fear of the people. Actions against the will of the government are punishable with severe consequences. This smacks of the same stench that comes with telling a child to behave because Santa is watching them, or because God knows when you’re sinning. “No presents for you” told to a child is certainly on par with burning in hell for eternity, or prison for life to an adult.
An example of a petty, yet utterly destructive consequence of failing to comply with obscure regulations is the “no fly” list. How does one get on the list, and how does one get off of it? We hear numerous stories of people, even children being denied access to common means of transportation because they have been placed on a list prohibiting their travel without their knowledge. One desires to just not attract too much attention, don’t say particular words, (yes there is a list or words), don’t associate with particular people, don’t disrupt the peace too much – if you plan on traveling. The underlying cause of all of this fear is that our country, with laws based on a Judeo-Christian set of values, is under attack by countries with Islamic values. It is a war of religion that must be fought at all costs, utilizing the same tactics of abstract language coupled with paralyzing fear the authors of the Bible use. The laws aren’t always clear – written in cryptic language which no one speaks any more, however the consequences of violating the laws are clear as day.
If we look to historical revolutions, much of the revolutionaries were “under educated”. These were not people of the elite intellectual crowd, these were common people, with common problems – and plenty of common sense. In the current system in first world countries, higher education is championed while under-education is shamed. Children are urged to continue their education well into their adult years, with emphasis of acquiring the certificate proving their time spent. Anyone who has participated in the structure of higher education is well aware that the amount of time required in addition to being expected to support themselves financially leaves little room for anything else like having counter culture thoughts, developing the desire to make action against injustices a priority, or devoting time to worthy causes outside of the structure under a thought process that states “I don’t have time for this, and I trust the system to do the right thing”. The punishment for failing to successfully complete this lengthy and expensive certification process is, of course, a lower social and financial status. The fear of suffering from a low financial status, being shamed for not attaining that important certificate of which states one has participated in the intricate rat race of the education system and acquired the cheese, is so great that failure to participate or want to participate is now some kind of disease; a disease which, from looking at the data, appears to be highly contagious. Thank the government god there’s a pill for that so we can all keep plugging along busily to avoid that dire embarrassment.
Mainstream culture frequently produces media that directly connects personal happiness with education and occupation, with manual labor occupations falling to the lower end of desirability (manual labor occupies the body, leaving the mind room for thought). If the studies are so correct about connecting education, higher wages,and mentally challenging employment to happiness, then why do we see such a startling rise in diagnoses of depression? In stark parallels, with the rise of intellectual occupations and depression, the rates of obesity have gone up. Since the 1980s, there has been an abundant rise in the health and exercise industry. Now our culture adds time to “work out” as part of our daily routines, adding to the already heavy workload task of pursuing our individual happiness. But at what cost does this heavily occupied and densely packed daily routine for personal happiness come? While trusting in the system to “do the right thing” we’re effectively distracted by pursuing our happiness within the carefully framed confines of the comfortable lifestyle we’re afforded and being sold the idea that we should be grateful for the freedoms we have (to frantically pursue our happiness) at the cost of lives lost in the past without blasphemously questioning whether those lives were lost by necessity or folly. The little snippets on the evening news about a 16 year old being arrested for a science experiment in which no one was hurt, getting charged as an adult (while 16 and 17-year-olds convicted of rape are charged as minors), is merely part of the mildly disturbing, yet interesting entertainment filling the tiny gaps of personal time we get to enjoy (while on a treadmill, of course). We say “Oh, that’s too bad, but really just a freak incident. That girl will be ok. There’s no way they will let this turn out badly.”
No, it’s not a freak incident. It’s a glaring example of misplacement of power put into the hands of people who cannot use discernment and common sense, which is a frequently occurring scenario within our system – case in point, all of those soldiers that died in Vietnam (totally a legit reason to die) for our freedom to charge children with ludicrously harsh penalties for popping tops off of water bottles with toilet cleaner and aluminum foil. The government isn’t crazy, right? We’re on the verge of legalizing gay marriage, women earn lots of money, and Colorado gets stoned!
Our government has even gone so far as to pit us against each other, as exemplified in “see something, say something” where people are urged to report suspicious behavior. One recent incident where a man of the wrong “look” was seen transporting rice in a pressure cooker, and was incorrectly associated as a potential threat. Now, though anarchists know we ourselves have no individual desire to harm anyone, we carry in the back of our minds the knowledge that anarchists are considered a threat to national security. We are not a threat to “national security” in the sense of presenting danger to citizens living in the nation, because most of us are lovers of freedom and would love nothing more than to see ourselves and our neighbors freed from the confines placed upon us by morons that can’t even manage to balance the national check book. It is not the “security of our nation under threat” by anarchists – it is the system of government under threat. Regardless of this fact, we are still portrayed in the media as violent and dangerous militant factions – despite that many of us are nonviolent, using words rather than weapons.
When people are arrested and raided for “anarchist literature“, doesn’t that send quite the powerful message that we should no longer be thinking these thoughts, exchanging these ideas, talking these talks…or else risk getting arrested? In fact, could typing this piece be considered terrorist in nature along with my many pairs of black stilettos and slacks, as black is the official gang color for anarchists as designated by the FBI? Again I reiterate: as an anarchist of sorts, my goal isn’t to take down people, but to take down the government and the disease of corruption within it to free people from having to continue suffering under the terrible choices made by our “wonderful benevolent leaders”. Ideas and information are dangerous indeed – to the people in power being exposed. How many of the laws under NDAA and CISPA have specific undercurrents of the Sedition Act flowing within them?
More importantly, there are more of “us” than there are of “them” and this is most certainly a situation of “us” vs “them”. When we have politicians working to pass laws that boost their incomes and careers as board members and shareholders of powerful corporations, when we have disgusting recurring annual deficits culminating to nearly 17 trillion by the end of this year, when we have constant scandals and politicians spending tax dollars on the most absurd things, why are they still on our payroll? Who is really the enemy of the people? Gun owners? Monsanto? Gays that want to get married? Sinners? High school girls with science experiments? Old men collecting rain water in their yards?
One fact that is commonly lost amid debates and conversations is that we are all on the “front line”. Being on the front line, we have a very prominent foe. I want to draw attention to two instances of police arresting people without cause. Look at this video:
Now, I want you to think about how many cops there were and how many people were in that room with that young woman. I want you to think about the charges associated with assaulting a police officer. I want you to think about what it is exactly that gives police the sort of protection that allows them to arrest someone without a proper charge, without committing an actual crime. I want you to think about the fact that they forcibly arrested this woman, which should be considered a physical assault, along with the fact that it would be a crime for a bystander to step in and physically assist the young woman in defending herself against the officers.
Now, lets think about Adam Kokesh getting arrested for resisting arrest.
Wait a minute – If you were being arrested and you weren’t being told what you were being arrested for, why are you not able to resist arrest if one is “innocent until proven guilty”? What exactly is the underlying reason that police officers are somehow granted an ability to place their values above the values of the people who pay the officers’ paychecks? Suddenly, because of the whim of the arresting officers, an individual’s time, personal space, speech, movements, clothing, everything they are and are doing, are immediately irrelevant and less important than the arresting officer’s desire to remove the personal agency from the individual. The ability of the individual arrested to say “No” to the officer is removed by a law that allows the arrested to be charged with resisting arrest! In both of these videos, what would the officers do if EVERY SINGLE ADULT in the vicinity witnessing the unjust arrest stepped up and made their presence known physically and said “No. You will not arrest this individual.”? Why don’t people do that? Is it because of the misplacement of blind trust in the judicial and legislative system to use it’s magic powers of infallibility to do the right thing? Is it because of the fear that one may also be arrested? Is it because we have too much to lose? We have to work in the morning and we don’t have time to go to jail. We can’t have this on our permanent record. We have bills to pay and kids to raise.
We have to continue our daily contributions to the insanity by effectively not taking action in order to preserve this precious and perfectly functioning way of life so we can continue to live comfortably in this gradually warming pot of water. That must be it.
Who pays for those prisons? Who pays for the men and women who write those laws? Who pays for the soldiers dying for our “freedom”? Who pays for those handcuffs being unjustly placed on the hands of these two people in these videos being arrested for nothing other than RESISTING ARREST or attempting to defend themselves against a personal assault and imminent threat of bodily harm? So because you have work to do, and a paycheck to earn and bills to pay, and kids to raise – all of these activities generating tax revenue – you are willing to continue to contribute to the system that pays for the unjust arrests? By turning away from every seemingly petty, minor, unjust scenario of the government over-stepping it’s bounds, you are making the conscious decision to PAY FOR ALL OF IT.
Basically, you’re paying for Santa’s paycheck so he can bring you the presents you might not get because he’s watching you. You better not pout and cry over what he “has to do” so everyone can get those presents.
So again, who is really the enemy of the people? What are we truly afraid of, and how bad does it have to get before we are genuinely motivated to get involved?