The libertarian woman vs. the “liberal” Leftist (on unwanted pregnancies)

This past weekend I kicked a hornet’s nest on Twitter, resulting in my first big feud on that platform. Granted, since joining in 2012 I hadn’t used the site much for socializing until in recent months when I decided to find out what all the hubbub was about on there. Have been enjoying the memes and humor, but then I wound up following political threads (per my curiosity) which inevitably led to the topic of women’s rights and abortion — a topic I haven’t been as keen to weigh in on in recent times after tiring of dealing with feminists in years prior (and men’s rights activists in more recent years).

Not that women’s rights aren’t important to me. I’m a woman so of course I can’t help but care what laws and social/ideological trends are attempting to impact my life. However, it came to feel like a contest of wits, a political battle where people screamed at one another across the void, incensed that this group or that one could dare to see things differently. So I bowed out for the most part, resolving to accept that the only person I truly have control over is myself and that my energies are best directed there when it comes to protecting and promoting my own individual interests. Partially because I don’t agree with what appears to be the majority of people out in society (because either they’re pro-life and therefore detest my pro-choice stance, or because they’re pro-choice feminists who either celebrate abortions like a right of passage into womanhood and/or advocate for more government involvement in our lives in their efforts to push toward evermore “equality” between the sexes in accordance with their utopian visions for the future).

Before I began identifying with feminism in my late teens/early 20s, I first began identifying with libertarianism. Not the Libertarian Party itself, mind you (was over it back when Bob Barr came on the scene and, though I voted for him twice, am not a big supporter of Gary Johnson), but libertarian (or classical liberal if you prefer) ethos. Individualist strategies for seeking and preserving liberty, in other words. Which boil down to the fundamental principle that I as a human being have dominion, first and foremost, over my own self, my own body. That remains true if we’re talking about the drug war or self-defense and it’s what underpinned my own understanding of feminism/women’s rights.

But feminism took a hard left long ago, perhaps before I was even born, so after 10 years of debating with my fellow feminists and feeling like I was beating my head against a brick wall in attempting to communicate from my own perspective (while being heavily pressured to accept their way of looking at things along with the political positions they, as a collective, overwhelmingly embrace), I exited that movement and ceased referring to myself as a feminist in 2009 or thereabout. We’ve not been on chummy terms since, assuming we ever really were.

Both as a sex worker (in my 20s) and as libertarian-of-sorts (which I remain), I’ve been confronted time and again by feminists with notions that flew counter to my own unfolding understanding of how life works and what reasonable measures can be taken to improve the outcomes we claim to seek. While they busy themselves fighting in the political arena for evermore benefits for women specifically, claiming always that we women are at an inherent disadvantage in a man’s world, I’ve been experiencing and observing quite the opposite reality. More women admitted into colleges with higher test scores on average, more women running for political office, more women rising in ranks within businesses here and abroad, more women heading households, more birth control (and abortion) options allotted to women with legal protections on the federal level guaranteeing access, more freedom to live and work as we choose, more legal protections from sexual assault and harassment out in society (with claims, even without sufficient corroborating evidence, generally being taken more seriously), more products designed with our comfort in mind being marketed to us, etc. And yet feminists are more upset now than probably ever before. More demanding, more sensitive, less consolable, more hysterical, more vengeful toward men in general.

Consider this. Since the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, more out-of-wedlock births have been occurring across all racial and class demographics. At a time when more medical/pharmaceutical technologies exist to curb this trend than ever before, accompanied by legal protections allowing pretty much unfettered access in the U.S. Then, from the 1990s onward we’ve been blessed with so much information at our fingertips thanks to the internet. Nowadays a growing number of teenagers have access to the internet through smartphones: according to Pew Research in 2015 more than 60% of teens have gained this access, even among the lowest educated, lowest income, and racial minorities. And that’s only teenagers, mind you, saying nothing about adults’ increased access.

All the world’s information literally at people’s fingertips.

Leftists like to frame matters in terms of a lack of access, lack of resources, lack of life skills and knowledge to make better decisions. That strikes me as a rather glum view of humanity, giving the impression that they have pretty low expectations of both females and minorities when it comes to directing our own lives. Makes me wonder which came first, women and minorities’ ignorance and evident lack of self-determination, or the Leftist rhetoric that tries to convince us that we are victims of circumstances incapable of directing our own lives successfully?

Dr. Thomas Sowell’s books paint a very different picture, particularly in regard to his own racial demographic (black American), alerting us to the fact that many of these problems arose most markedly AFTER the Civil Rights era, arguing that all Americans actually had lower rates of unwanted pregnancies and crime and higher rates of marriage in decades prior (especially black Americans!). I recommend his books to others as food for thought, particularly: Black Rednecks and White Liberals, The Quest For Cosmic Justice, and Intellectuals and Race. These books can aid us in putting matters in a clearer perspective that we otherwise won’t hear about through our media or our education system.

Here’s a quick takeaway: Ideas being pushed from the Democratic Left aren’t helping people. Not really, despite all claims to the contrary. And the proof is indeed in the pudding.

Now, I’d like to share a bit from my own personal perspective, anecdotal as it is. Some of the Leftists I encounter online like to project onto me their assumptions of what I must be in order to hold the opinions that I do, including that I must be rich (or come from a well-off background) and afforded many opportunities others were not, that I am undoubtedly white (because frickin’ white people suck, right?), and that I haven’t encountered struggles that others face and lack firsthand experience with the topics under discussion at any given time. I’m occasionally mistaken for a man online and berated for being the “type of guy” they’re complaining about.  lol  Seriously. I am also told that I lack sympathy for “victims,” that “it must be nice” to have higher income and greater access to that which they claim other women lack, and they also like to dismiss me as “one of the lucky ones” who pulled myself up by “bootstraps” (a perennial favorite). If my experience doesn’t jibe with their narrative, it must be because I am somehow a super special snowflake all of a sudden, otherwise I must support the dreaded patriarchy. My ignorance must be due to my “privilege.”  Ha!  No shit. Guess I am to be counted as one of the extreme outliers whose experiences don’t count and needn’t be injected into any of their public conversations on any given topic, lest I offend the “real victims” who are trying to share their perspectives without “feeling shamed” by a conflicting point of view.

Ugh…

ALL OF WHICH ARE PROJECTIONS. Unwarranted and inaccurate.

So let’s see how I shake out in accordance with their own so-called “progressive stack.”

First off, I was born to a single mom living with her parents in a trailer in a small town in Mississippi. She became pregnant during her freshman year in college by a Saudi foreign exchange student, resulting in her dropping out of college and returning home. So, while I am Caucasian, less than half of my blood is of European origin. Without going into all of my upbringing and background, I will say I had some advantages while at the same time I most definitely don’t qualify as someone born with a silver spoon in my mouth or as a product of a remarkably stable and nurturing home environment. In the 7th grade I was exposed to one sex education class where protection and STDs were discussed. I dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and completed the GED. That same year, at age 16, I walked into a Planned Parenthood (in the Midwest where I lived at the time) and asked to be put on birth control pills, which were funded by what’s referred to as donation services offered by PP since I had very low income. No parental help with any of that and was living out on my own at the time.

I later attended university by applying for student loans (which I still carry the ever-growing debt from). During that same time period, I got married and 4 years later we divorced. I didn’t want to have kids, so we did not have kids because I remained on birth control (while pressured by a doctor to switch to Depo Provera, a method I absolutely loathed and gained a great deal of weight on). After my ex and I split and moved apart, I became a sex worker at age 21 and remained in that line of work for about 7 years. Still attended college throughout (did I mention I was a Social Sciences major?). Also managed to not get pregnant or contract an STD despite having numerous sexual partners because I remained on birth control pills, used condoms, and screened my clients the best I could.

In 2010, I decided to take a rest from taking hormonal birth control after 13 solid years of usage. A year later, during one careless occasion with a man I was dating at the time the morning-after pill failed and I became pregnant. He, being a decent human being and a close friend, helped me through that time and covered my abortion through Planned Parenthood 6.5 weeks in to the pregnancy. (I have a video where I discuss this matter on my youtube channel and will not go into further detail here.) He and I had for years discussed our positions on abortion and not wanting to have children, so this matter was handled without drama between the two of us. (Though, I will say this: after years of being accused by random people out in society for being a “baby killer” simply for supporting a pro-choice position, such harsh words launched at me since—typically from strangers who do not know me nor about whether or not I ever underwent an abortion—do noticeably sting more.) Tried the Paragard IUD after that and hated it (had it removed within a few months), but I have still managed to remain pregnancy-free, nearly 8 years on. Partly due to dating a partner for a few years there who agreed to undergo a vasectomy, thankfully — it’s nice dating men who give a damn about my health and well-being. (Albeit, clearly further evidence of my “privilege.”)

The last 10+ years I have worked in a different self-employment position where I don’t make much money, partly by choice since I’m not a fan of paying much in the way of taxes to our corrupt government. Personal decision there. I have not been covered by health insurance since I was 12 years old when sent me off to live with other relatives, aside from 1 semester in college many years ago. Yes, I was an avid Obamacare holdout and have been vocal about that. So, not rolling in dough over here or privy to health care coverage that plenty of others do access. Thankfully my health has remained pretty good, now entering my late 30s.

AND it’s not as if I sidestepped all of the pitfalls and vices that commonly plague our society. I drank heavily for a number of years. I smoke cigarettes too and have for over 2 decades (both are expensive habits). I’ve made all kinds of stupid, dangerous decisions in my day and put myself in situations where I am admittedly lucky to have not been more hurt by.

YET STILL I have managed to avoid an unwanted pregnancy 99.99% of the time (and terminated the one mistake that did arise). How is this possible for someone who comes from a poor household originally, who isn’t fully white, who’s female, who’s made bad life choices (according to plenty of people out in society), who’s a high school drop-out, who isn’t earning a high income (or even remotely a middle-class income), who isn’t insured, and who’s considered promiscuous even?

MUST be muh privilege to blame!

Did it require me threatening men to conform to my wishes? Thankfully a couple men in my life agreed to undergo vasectomies, but I’ve been intimate with far more men than just them — so, no. That alone wouldn’t have cut it. Have I ever had a man remove a condom during sex? Yes I have, and they received an earful too. Have I ever experienced negative encounters with men where I felt intimidated? Yes, and thank God I had backup methods or was on birth control pills at the time so as to protect myself. Have I ever encountered pressure from my former spouse to have children? Yes, and I told him he knew my position when he chose to marry me, so he didn’t get his way on that. Have I experienced condoms that either broke or slid off during intercourse? Yes, that’s why it’s best to utilize more than one form of birth control at a time (or use a backup method). Am I claiming accidents never occur? Obviously not.

Am I claiming other women in America can embrace their agency and protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy if they so choose? YES. They could if they really desired to. Am I encouraging others to follow in my footsteps? Well, you all will live however you personally choose, regardless of what I say, but it becomes a problem when you start talking about wanting others, via taxation, to provide women with free birth control (especially when so many—particularly those who can afford it—aren’t demonstrating a willingness to take the responsibility seriously enough thus far) and/or abortions. The idea of state-funded abortions is a real stickler in the U.S. that upsets people whose religious convictions conflict, and I cannot and WILL NOT endorse any plan to force people to fund a practice that they consider immoral to such an extreme level. Similarly, I have a huge moral qualm with paying taxes that fund all these wars/invasions elsewhere around the globe — it’s wrong to compel people to be complicit (going so far as taking money out of their pockets) in matters that injure their soul. People are bound to be far more tolerant of our lifestyle choices if they aren’t foisted upon them or financed by them without their willful compliance. Hence why I don’t support government funding of Planned Parenthood, despite continuing to support that organization 21 years running — donations are the way to go there, not forced funding. Continuing down this path will only create greater social and political divides in this country that I don’t want to see.

Now, I think I’ve written enough on this topic, so if Max Brett () or whomever else wants to keep replying to argue or project, I’m going to go ahead and redirect you here because I’m tired of repeating myself and find Twitter to be a poor platform to try to debate ideas on. I am willing to expand at a later date on differences between libertarianism and Leftism and why the two camps can seem to share certain points of agreement while arriving at those points through totally different means, resulting in a desire for totally different outcomes — but not today. This was a looong post, so that’s enough typing for now.

Good luck, Hungary! (and other nations resisting in Europe!)

The European Union always struck me as a very bad idea. Blatantly Orwellian in nature. And now we watch to see if it will finally unravel under the tensions of its leaders inviting in millions of so-called “refugees” from Africa and elsewhere.

Above is a video discussing what’s happening in Hungary when they refused to allow in droves of illegal aliens (invaders, call them whatever you will). Sanctioned. Threatened with being disallowed a vote while still being taxed by the EU (in other words, straight-up taxation without representation). Vilification. Negative press.

In a January 8th [2018] interview with Germany’s tabloid Bild newspaper, Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban said “we don’t see these people as Muslim refugees. We see them as invaders.

Multi-culturalism, he asserted, is an illusion.

That excerpt was from The Globalist article titled “Hungary’s Viktor Orban: Europe’s Flame Thrower” (Jan. 14, 2018).

If you conduct a search yourself you can read all the articles dating back at least a couple of years discussing how the EU was threatening to take actions against Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic for these nations’ unwillingness to accept a QUOTA of refugees from third-world nations. Primarily Muslim, as we know. It’s beginning to sound like the Eastern European nations ought to start seriously entertaining the idea of exiting the European Union, and I sincerely wish them well if ever they do so.

Consider this. Why would the EU require nations therein to accept refugees who are culturally incompatible?

Wait, stop. Drop all the BS you may have heard about “those poor people needing help.” Suspend beliefs and set aside ideology for a minute and really think about the implications of such a practice. Look around and read and pay attention to how much crime rates have increased in nations like Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK since going along with this program. It’s not racist to simply open your eyes and be willing to accept information for what it is, in the raw, unfiltered by what we might wish were true.

I personally don’t have any particular vendetta against people from Africa or the Middle East. Not necessarily anyway, though I’m admittedly uncomfortable with Islam, as an American woman who appreciates the legal protections and freedom afforded to us in Western nations with zero interest in ever being made to wear a burqa and no tolerance for female genital mutilation or the taking of underage brides. As someone who’s half Arab by blood, still it’s safe to say I wouldn’t last a day under Saudi Arabia’s rule of law. Probably couldn’t make it off the plane without managing to get myself stoned. So, what informs my opinion, aside from those personal biases, mostly has to do with what I’m observing across societies in over the years. Where I live we luckily don’t have a Muslim migrant problem (which is to say a boost in crime and harassment of women or dangerous enclaves where even the police shun entering), though a state to the north of here does and has plenty of news headlines to attest to it.

Mostly I get nervous when I read and hear what all is going on in Europe. Pew Research findings tell about how Europeans’ ideological positions impact how favorable they view the newcomers. Nevermind being displaced in their own countries. (Perhaps that’s not a great concern to many Westerners anymore…) Beyond that, I read a good many crime reports that are particularly chilling due to the nature of the crimes committed. Stabbings, gang rapes, vicious and senseless attacks on the innocent out in public, and even the occasional beheading. It’s enough to make anyone feel unsafe and unsure of why any nation ought to continue importing people (or at least a very rowdy, violent fraction thereof) intent on dissing the laws and citizens of their host country. All while KNOWING our leaders are doing a shit job of vetting the “refugees” they’re admitting (assuming there’s any way to successfully vet people without identification, documentation or searchable background records from war-torn regions).

(Daaaammnnn…that was savage, but not untrue!)

Why are these migrants in a position where they feel the need to leave their homelands? Particularly young males (much less often bringing along with them women and children). Well, I don’t doubt for a minute that my country’s wars launched in those regions have certainly created, or at least contributed to, the crisis. Air strikes, drone attacks, and arming various groups down there on the ground to fight one another. That part is unfortunately our fault, and by our I’m referring to the U.S. government along with me and you and anyone else here who pays taxes that funds this bullshit (plus whatever other foreign allies aid us in these endeavors). And coming to terms with that is how they get to us. This realization guilts us, as it probably should since our military had no business interfering in half the places it has over the last 17 years. So we get to thinking we owe it to those folks to cart them over here and everywhere else, to give them comfortable places to stay in a far more civilized environment in an effort to make up for government-funded exploits we feel powerless to do much else about.

But that’s the wrong answer. Understandable as this sympathetic response seems, it won’t do us or them any real good to continue with the current strategy. Well, maybe them on down the line— assuming it’s possible for the bulk of “refugees” to ever get their shit together so as to assimilate or to return home and rebuild their nations—but so far it’s clear that those folks don’t fit into our societies or appreciate our ways, expressing feeling alienated within advanced, non-Muslim societies. Their ways contradict our laws. Their expectations and treatment of women results in tragic crimes here where underage girls wind up “groomed” and taken advantage of and adult women are randomly accosted out in public. Even our educational curriculum isn’t appealing to them. Instead they retreat into enclaves where they recreate conditions similar to what they had back home, violating our laws and customs in the process while basically incubating hostile factions within our own borders.

Not too smart, folks. This is the wrong way.

Consider this. With the EU, the U.S., Canada and wherever else pumping millions and millions of dollars into supposedly helping “refugees,” don’t you think that money would be better spent aiding these people to construct communities in their own regions of the world where they speak the language and are accustomed to the cultures, food, and religion? Absolutely it would! But that’s not happening. Why not? Why do you figure all these leaders of Western nations are throwing an absolute fit about wanting to bring in millions more “refugees” in a bid that neither suits those they claim to be helping nor the native populations? Do you think it’s a complete oversight on the part of our leaders, like they’re just somehow too stupid, naive, or ideologically possessed to comprehend what damage is being done? Do you really believe the hype that, like with our issue in the U.S. where Democrats want to open up our borders, it’s because they’re simply desperate for more votes? Do you honestly believe that these leaders are motivated by strong concern over our falling birth rates and, for the benefit of our economies, are working overtime to stock more people seeking employment opportunities to replace those aging out of the rat race? That all of this somehow makes practical business sense?

I don’t.

I think that’s just what we’re being told, because shortsighted as those claims may sound, they’re nowhere near as heinous as the real reasons. I’m beginning to think there is an active agenda to replace native peoples. Why? I’m not certain. Won’t claim to know more than I do here. But why would the EU put that much pressure on nations who refuse to comply with immigration quotas? Because Angela Merkel has a super soft spot for Syrians and Somalians? Gimme a break! You know better than that. She doesn’t give a damn about them just like she obviously doesn’t give a damn about the German people who keep electing (/not ousting) her corrupt ass. There’s obviously more at play here.

Why has it suddenly become so incredibly taboo to say anything deemed offensive against Muslims here in America, the land of crude humor and screwing with one another over everything under the sun? Why must these folks specially be defended as off limits to all humor and derisive comments?

Why are feminists, here and abroad, being trained to betray their own interests (and those of ALL OTHER WOMEN IN SOCIETY) to cater to Muslims by defending hijabs/burqas (symbols of female disempowerment), joining in feigning outrage over cartoons and parroting how Islam is a “religion of peace,” all while ignoring sex crimes against underage girls and women? That’s a mind-bender there.

Why is Canada’s Trudeau falling all over himself to defend Muslims? Why is Theresa May? Why was Obama and Clinton and all the rest? Ideology, sure, but there’s something more to all of this. That’s the surface excuse. It’s what’s been used as a vehicle to make this all seem palatable to those with a liberal persuasion, forever wanting to see themselves as “inclusive” and “open-minded” and “against hate” (except when it comes to conservatives or those within their ranks who talk back without sufficient clout according to their “progressive stack”  ).

Naw! This goes beyond mere Leftist ideology, at least as we commonly know it to be. Think about it: our politicians and leaders care more about money and consolidating power than pretty much anything else on earth. That’s what drives them. So where’s the money incentive here? Fresh cheap labor pools to exploit? Sure, that’s appealing to your average neocon, but here in America we have Mexicans for that (mean as that may sound, you know I’m not making it up — they’ll tell you this themselves). What do a bunch of (more often than not) low-skilled Middle Eastern and African “refugees” bring to the table, especially considering how many of them wind up becoming dependent on government aid and social programs once they are here? Looks like more of a net drain on the coffers of society than anything else.

Is Saudi Arabia somehow behind this? Is there some sort of wheelin’ and dealin’ occurring between our nations in which our leaders agreed to bend over backwards to help Islamify the world? Maybe.

If not Saudi Arabia, then who? You’d think Israel would be opposed to this gameplan, but I guess those Zionist leaders don’t give much of a damn about their Jewish constituency either. Which really wouldn’t be surprising. That’s how heads of states roll. Telling us what we want to hear just enough to keep us from revolting so they can keep milking us as the tax slaves we’re willing to be. Besides, the U.S. keeps Israel very well armed. Though, in a strange turn of events, Obama generously gifted Saudi Arabia with more weapons and money than ever before prior to leaving office, hence why Saudi is now able to lay waste to Yemen like a proper first-world nation.

 

I’m not happy about any of this, but laughing keeps the rage at bay.

Where’s the money trail in all of this? Sure, George Soros is likely using his immense riches to not only recruit Antifa to tear up Starbucks and hit people with bike locks but also to finance pro-Muslim “refugee” efforts. But still, he doesn’t work alone in this. Otherwise he’d be resisted by other powers, yet he’s not. There’s a concerted effort being made here, folks. Who all is involved? No clue. But there’s a big money payout somewhere at the end of this rainbow or else these big dogs would’ve changed their tunes by now. There’s an agenda that we’re not privy to. The folks who talk about Agenda 21 don’t seem to have pegged this correctly either since importing a bunch of high-fertility third-worlders to the first world is the last thing you’d want to do if your ultimate goal is to reduce the human population and our consequent carbon footprints.

Maybe it’s no longer about money…  Maybe they’re already so powerful and wealthy and corrupt that they’re on to the next stage in their plan. We know they like to centralize everything and destroy nation-states through getting them to unionize (e.g. EU). There’s a global agenda in terms of forming an economic superstructure. But then what? Ugh…a line of inquiry I have no answers to and might as well quit chomping on for now…

OK, backing up, what are these “refugees” actually doing in Europe? Attacking people and trying to push Islamic acceptance onto those nations. And what are the leaders doing in response? Ignoring it, making excuses, accusing Europeans of being a bunch of nasty racist xenophobes if they voice their concerns about it. Sounds to me like they’re essentially telling their citizens that their interests no longer align with those they pledged to serve. Basically you’re on your own. Begging for your governments to do a damn thing about any of it is losing battle since they’re the ones responsible for unleashing this problem on you. And they won’t stop. Won’t even slow down. Not even a little bit.

OUR LEADERS DO NOT CARE ABOUT US.

Nobody is going to swoop in to save Europe. Our hands are already full and all of our leaders are in cahoots with one another. Europeans have to figure out a way to save themselves. The United Kingdom made a bold move in voting to exit the EU, but look how long that process is taking and how they’re being punished in the process – WITH THEIR OWN ELECTED LEADER WORKING AGAINST THEM. Yep. Sad but true.

And it turns out disarming swaths of the UK police force (and traffic wardens too?) wasn’t such a bright idea since they now are getting their asses handed to them:

Very sad. Hard to watch. The thugs were brutal and acted with no remorse.

Thank goodness they let a few of ’em keep their tasers.

Not that Sweden’s looking any better:

Yeah, hard not to be embarrassed for them with all that nonsense going on.

Anyway, we like to think if we could reach some sort of critical mass, maybe then the folks in the military would cease taking orders from on high and instead turn their efforts to defending the peoples of the nations they swore to serve and protect. But I’m seeing a whole lot of paycheck-chasers out in the crowd, truth be told. Same as among the domestic police force. Where do you turn for help when this appears to be the situation at present? Keep waiting for shit to change and for more eyes to pop open and for people to find a way to peel ourselves away from our screens long enough to maybe, possibly, do something to enact change?

I don’t know. We may be waiting a long time, folks. And so many are dependent on these systems to where if it came down to it, I think they’ll opt to be on that side of the fence, aligned with their power-hungry leaders, working to protect the lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to that preserves them in relative comfort. They’ll cry about how they have kids to feed, bills to pay — like they always do. As if nearly everyone isn’t in the same boat on that. But that’s the bootlicker’s favorite excuse. Count on hearing a lot of excuses along those lines.

Hopefully the people of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and now Germany and Italy will prove successful in their ambition to stand up for themselves, their cultures and their values. It’s such a mixed bag over here in America that I’m not sure what sort of effective resistance we’d be capable of constructing anytime soon. A nation utterly divided. Nowhere to run. Preferring to shout at one another on college campuses and online, as if that’ll ever change a thing. Or lose ourselves in video games, television shows and porn. Really useful endeavors such as that occupy our time and energy.

It deserves to be restated that this third-world onslaught isn’t typically my primary focus. Got other concerns on my plate, though I keep an eye on that ordeal since I don’t want it sneaking up on me or my loved ones. We can bet it’s coming here too eventually. Appears to be heading everywhere, worldwide. WHY? Because certain entities out there have decided they want it that way, even if that abandons us to sink or swim. Guess it’s ultimately up to us in the end on how that plays out.

Lastly… “Hungary has cut its illegal migration problem by 99 percent. Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó explains how”:

The sane road home

Dr. Jordan Peterson is absolutely correct on his views about freedom of speech and how we need to remain free to honestly think out loud. Not simply because we may want to, but because psychologically this is how we process life and living. We think, we talk, we interact, we dispute and debate and ponder and have our thoughts challenged externally and then hopefully internally as we continue onward in processing and attempting to make sense out of life and living. This is an integral process that is non-negotiable for our individual and collective well-being.

This is precisely why our forefathers encapsulated freedom of speech (and to assemble and to disseminate information via a free press) in the very first amendment of our U.S. Constitution, clearly establishing their recognition of this as a primary natural (inalienable) right extended to us from God (meaning extended from outside of mere human jurisdiction), essentially stating that no government should be tolerated to trespass against us in a manner that interrupts/disrupts our freedom to SPEAK and exchange ideas and associate with one another. They did not conjure up this notion out of their own baseless wishful thinking — they discovered this to be an incontrovertible Truth (as likely others who came before them had as well).

This is where we run into the concept of Objective Truth — that which (inescapably) constitutes the substratum for Reality. Meaning it is elemental, uncompromising, and thereby independent of any predilections or social constructionism convictions we might like to overlay and toy around with. All that we humans are capable of perceiving and experiencing rests upon a primordial foundation of such Objective Truths (however many there may prove to be); and consequently, all human endeavors rejecting this prerequisite understanding are destined to fall apart and turn wickedly insane (i.e. non-life-affirming for our species).

(Skeptics and naysayers obviously remain free to investigate such claims about renouncing Objective Truth/Reality and to discover the fruit borne as a result, as untold numbers of people already have and assuredly forever will — it being in our natures as human beings to relentlessly test boundaries.)

Whatever else may appear true down here on the ground among us squabbling humans remains more of a mystery and is partially determined through our clashes against one another and within ourselves, also partially uncovered as Life perpetually reveals itself and shows us the way (most often via demonstrations of what won’t/can’t work, what leads into dead-end abysses from which we can’t escape, what generates tremendous pain and misfortune with little or no subsequent benefit to humankind, etc.). Articulation of thoughts and ideas is an indispensable means through which we parse what we consider to be reality, disregarding what the conversation or argument in question at any given moment between us might be.

The reason we in the United States of America historically place so much emphasis on the First and Second Amendments of our Constitution’s Bill of Rights is precisely BECAUSE such incontrovertible Truths are necessary to accept if any nation is to remain functional (or, for that matter, if any group of people wish to remain intact anywhere at any point in time). Meaning it’s not a choice for us human beings. Rather, it’s a Fact of Life. We must remain free to speak and assemble and share information BECAUSE this is what it means to be human. Remove that capability and watch horrific chaos ensue. Such leads to finding out about ushering in hell on earth by way of distorting our understanding of Reality, disconnecting us from It as well as from one another, twisting our psychologies against our inborn Free Will and any alignment that may prove possible between ourselves and that which we call God.

One only has to look at fairly recent history to find numerous examples where humans’ ambitions led them to create hell on earth: a primary case being the totalitarian Soviet Union of the 20th century (as Dr. Peterson has brought to many of our attention). Also Mao’s China (heck, to an extent even China of today). These systems weren’t bad simply because they were communistic (as many harp on about); they were dangerous because they required control over people’s speech, thoughts, organizational pursuits and media in order to maintain and expand power. ANY SYSTEM that attempts to do the same, regardless of ideological underpinnings, will suffer a similar fate. Doesn’t matter if it purports to be capitalistic or socialistic or theologically-driven. Same difference.

The importance of our 2nd Amendment was to maintain power in the hands of ordinary PEOPLE so as to check our government if ever it turned tyrannical, specifically in regards to tampering with the 1st Amendment which all else in a civil society depends upon. Some like to pretend to not comprehend this concept or dismiss it as archaic and of little or no modern value, yet these people are fools who willfully abdicate their own power under the mistaken belief that those who do rise in the ranks within our System will sustain dedicated interest in the general well-being of the citizenry and upholding our Constitutionally-protected rights, despite repeated evidence to the contrary.

The willfully blind and ignorant seek to place newly-minted legal restrictions—effectively handicaps—on their fellow humans in an effort to bolster the power of the State that so many have grown thoroughly dependent on. This is by design a trap that we humans orchestrate against one another time and time again, learning only when it’s too late what it is we’ve sacrificed and what such folly truly served in the end. That points back to a character “defect” within us born out of fear of embracing personal responsibility — essentially a “failure to launch” in terms of actively engaging one’s own individuation process while struggling within the context of broadly collectivistic (and evermore complex) social dynamics, further complicated by witnessing (and feeling complicit in albeit rendered unable to effectively resist) modern experiments with empire-building and the emergence of globalized centralization projects.

Today so much is commonly framed in a LEGAL context, as if only that which is made lawful is of any real relevance in modern times. Laws are mere codification of that which is deemed customary and necessary in a functioning society. But where do the content of laws spring from? Some from exercises in dispute resolution and imparting justice, but others are not of our direct making, as discussed above. Higher Truths matter regardless of what any law might say. They exist beyond, and cannot be constrained by, any legal code devised by man. We are wise to take into consideration these Truths and to incorporate them into any system (legal or otherwise) we might wish to preserve as functional. Though, unfortunately, laws have a way of becoming jumbled in the minds of people over time, causing difficulty for us to discern between them in terms of status and inevitability. Over time, one law comes to be viewed as equal to any other law, meaning just as modifiable, overturnable and discardable. This is where we go wrong, and soon enough we’ll be shown why.

Turns into an unavoidable lesson on separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. It appears we humans are destined to contend with these vital lessons again and again and again, immemorially. Then, this goal is further frustrated by never quite figuring out how to impress the significance of these revelations on the minds of successive generations. So each generation winds up fated with facing the challenge of re-learning what was lost before.

Here we are yet again. Confronting this age-old problem once more, this time in the 21st century. Surrounded by dazzling technologies, connected to people from all over the world online, debating and discussing an infinite number of topics with one another, all while centralizing political and economic schemes unfold across the world in the backdrop. It’s a surreal time to be alive. Also troubling due to countless distractions and information overload accompanied by a deluge of sophisticated (and academically aggregated) thought exercises. A sea of theories and ideas swirl around us. Some better than others, but all requiring our mental energy to suss them out and to try to make sense of their potential relevance. So much is being taught to us, both by teachers and popular personalities broadcasted across societies. Is it any wonder that while living within such bustling, busy times we so often lose track of what’s fundamental?

All comes to appear as little more than just another thought experiment. Politics, legality, ideology, religion, culture, individuality, philosophy, science, psychology, sociality, technology. We rank each according to our personal priorities, regarding such assessments as relative. Most are. Yet fundamentals still remain.

At some point, a society is destined to turn on itself and to lose sight of whatever it was intended to be and originally founded upon. We the people grow too distracted, too casual in our valuations, too soft thanks to comfortable living, to where we no longer can properly discern what is truly fundamental, unable to tease it away from the rest of our preferences and wishful thinking. Progress leads us to thinking that whatever we might dream up can (and should) be somehow brought to fruition. If only we press hard enough, if we “educate” others to see things our way, if we pressure laws to be changed to suit our ideological leanings and visions for the future. We begin looking at ourselves and one another as belonging to teams, political or otherwise, and resort to competing over the most banal matters.

Eventually, we get lost.

Tyranny depends on a confused and disoriented populace. Hence why it sows divisions among us. All serves to distract and keep us busy so that we don’t react against the powers-that-be. Those powers shift and change over the Ages, but always they play a similar game. Who are they? Mere humans. What do they strive for? Power, control, wealth, and a God-like stature that enables them to usher in their particular vision for humanity. Why? Because that’s how human nature works when ambition and greed is allowed to run amok for too long unchecked. What do we do about? Very little considering how tasked we are by our day-to-day obligations and triflings, compounded by our various disputes of however much substance that undermine our ability to unite with one another to launch an effective response (as would be needed to go up against the scope and ferocity of powers at play today). Often we talk about what is wrong with the world and what we ought to do about it. Yet, here we are: watching, listening, waiting, wondering. Feeling pressed. Wishing to stave off conflicts that appear more inevitable with each passing year, hoping our luck will hold out, nevermind future generations likely being left to contend with it on their own (despite their utter lack of preparation to do so).

I get bogged down by these considerations on a regular basis. What is one to do with an outlook such as this? How does one defend against a Leviathan that’s been allowed to grow this massive and powerful? How does one form bonds with their fellows when we’re all so divided and seemingly incapable of coming back together anytime soon? What is one’s individual role in response to this then?

Lots of questions arise, begging for answers I do not know. What we do know is that we must remain free to think and speak honestly if ever there will be a chance of sorting any of this out.

The pondering rolls onward…

On the Intellectual Dark Web | Glenn Loury & Bret Weinstein [The Glenn Show]

An excellent conversation between two people I admire:

Also, Bret Weinstein’s perspective on Trump’s Hitler-esque strategy was interesting. His general political views are somewhat in line with my own, although his are more liberal or Left-leaning, but I do grasp how there’s something very wrong with our political system on both sides of the partisan aisle and agree that Trump isn’t necessarily a special indicator of how off the rails it’s all gone. Trump is just one more in a long line of people who should never have been elected, but Hillary Clinton was certainly no better option, and that in itself is the problem: the choices we’re being presented with are shit and have been shit for a long, long time. Guess it’s difficult for me to be strongly distressed over Trump they way some of my fellow Americans are since I felt similarly about Clinton, though neither option were worth a damn.

But, then again, we get the System we’re willing to tolerate. I vote 3rd party while others scoff, but I don’t see any benefit in playing into the duopoly game. Not in my lifetime anyway. Observing the Political Left losing its shit over this most recent election is somewhat amusing, though also kind of unnerving how animated they’re all becoming, particularly in the mainstream media. Some do indeed seem to be angling toward stoking a civil war, and that’s not likely in any of our best interests. But whatever will come will come. Can’t probably stop that train, try as we might. Good to keep the channels of communication open though and to prod one another to think more deeply about all these topics, including what elements of society we think we’re aiming to recreate and/or preserve.

Reckoning with where to go from here (Saturday morning journaling)

Not been writing much on here lately. Less and less over the last year or more. Been trying to get out of my head and more into my body through exercise and distractions. Why? Because I am stuck in a mental rut and can’t break free. On and on and on it goes.

Existential panic a few years back turned into a full-blown crisis, which now has subsided a bit and transformed into what might be considered a curious form of nihilism-of-sorts. Not sure how to define or describe it, but I grasp that it’s not a state of mind a person wishes to remain in indefinitely. How to escape it, though, is the million dollar question. Can’t reason my way out of this conundrum, as I’ve figured out.

Hence why people like Dr. Jordan Peterson can have such an impact and attract our attention, giving us hope for pulling our shit together by offering a gameplan for physical action. BUT…even there in studying his words the last couple of years I’m feeling left out in the cold due to irreconcilable differences in our outlooks for the future. His traditional orientation, life-affirming as it may be, does not gibe with this 21st-century citizen’s outlook on life. One reason being that I am child-free by choice and out of a sense of necessity, the reasons for which are numerous. This obviously reduces my ability to place so much emphasis on family in my own orientation. Not to mention that I am from a fractured family myself and lack a sense of connectivity in that sense as well. Which then can spill over into impacting one’s view of the community — in my case I live a very atomized existence within a community where I did not originate and apparently have never successfully assimilated. These aspects alone create a severe discrepancy between what Dr. Peterson teaches and what I actually experience, much as I continue to appreciate his viewpoints and share his material with others.

Furthermore, I’m not so interested in becoming what he and others suggest is the healthier option. Not because I wish to remain unhealthy by comparison, but because it doesn’t make sense for me personally. A few years ago I tried to fit this square peg through that round hole and created a great deal of pain for myself and others in the process. In the end, it doesn’t appear to have worked much and likely only shaved a few years off my life through the emotional/psychological turmoil it brought about. Wasn’t the answer I had hoped for in the end either, but here we are, required to face the facts that not all can live in accordance with such ideals. If anything, it’s spit me out with a renewed understanding of how deeply my own personality penetrates my being, how it cannot simply be overhauled or denied without severe consequence to my overall well-being. Come to find out.

Yet where I stand now doesn’t feel like somewhere I’d recommend to others. Doesn’t feel like a place where one can grow comfortable and accepting of what’s what. Hence why I continue searching for answers or at least better questions to ask.

Introducing routine exercise over the last 3 years has proven very beneficial insofar as helping lift the sense of depression that had been plaguing me. Quitting drinking for several months also aided me with better orienting myself and improving self-control, though nowadays I go back and forth between spells of drinking and not drinking. Giving up cigarettes this year was another bonus, though I remain addicted to nicotine through vaping technologies. Finally severing the relationship of the last 7 years also provides some peace of mind, though he and I remain friends at a distance. Been sleeping more, at least some days, and that too has improved my mood stability. Lost 40 lbs. from my highest weight, with hopes of losing 10-20 lbs. more through improving my diet.

And yet, the neuroticism remains. Ain’t that a bitch? Appears to be a deep-seated part of my personality. Some say you must find some sort of creative endeavor in which to pour all that energy, and there I’ve been coming up empty-handed. Been writing less than usual, assuming writing even helps in that regard. Haven’t painted in years. So instead I offer up my help to others to work on projects around their home or yard occasionally so as to keep myself busy and learn new skills. And I cleaned my apartment thoroughly this spring, trying to reduce the smoke smell in this place after 9 years of smoking indoors here. Been trying to socialize more and meet new people, with mixed success. Haven’t been reading print books much despite a desire to do so, though I continue listening to audiobooks regularly. Resumed cooking new recipes that are in line with a low-carb diet. Also have been training at the range with my weapon, trying to improve my marksmanship.

Also continue keeping a finger lightly on the pulse of what’s going on out in society, though my interest in politics in general has waned over the years. All appears to be a losing battle — yet another reason for not bringing kids into whatever the future may hold. There are literally thousands of causes and issues calling for our attention, and yet we could spend 10 years focusing on only one and still may (likely) wind up with nothing to show for it in the end. Sad but true.

Sounds nihilistic? Does to me also. It’s not much fun being accused of being “negative” and a “downer,” so I try more and more to keep my mouth shut around most folks. It remains true that technologies are moving too fast for someone like me, that they’re leaving me behind and giving me a strong sense of foreboding for what is to come on down the line. We humans care an awful lot about power, control and respect, and yet here we are, confronting a very uncertain future where it looks extremely likely that the vast majority of us will lose more power and control over directing our own lives. And what does respect even mean in a time when it’s become customary to sell our souls to the highest bidder? Or just to make a living? Giving ourselves over to corporations in order to secure our livelihoods as well as for our material sustenance.

This is an inescapable existential quandary I find myself in. Simply shifting my perspective and pretending that what is occurring is actually fine and fun doesn’t appear to be a realistic option for someone like me. Consider it a shortcoming on my part if you must. Blame it on a lack of imagination or pragmatism. Whatever. I’m coming to resist this outlook less and less though. Hurts less when I accept it as being just the way things are and cease chomping at the bit so much. But it’s also a very alienating way to live. Gets in the way of social connections, particularly with new people. I do pray occasionally and ask for guidance, direction, and the answer I’ve received back troubles me. Sounds like another waste of time and energy, although I can see where it’s more than that, where it’s an opportunity for honing one’s skills in a way that never truly goes out of style despite being threatened by emerging global political designs. One word: sustainability. Seems to me it all comes down to that and always has, always will.

Yet I’m reluctant to jump in that direction as well. Not sure why, considering I’m not doing myself or others much good sitting here preserving myself in this apartment year after year, fretting over matters I have no control over. But I think we grow so accustomed to our lifestyles, even when they’re painful, because they’re at least known to us. The unknown is far more unnerving, even if it might prove ultimately beneficial in the long run. And of course changes often require money, financing. Life doesn’t sit on hold without money to maintain it. All of our material goods require a place to store them, lest we give up everything we ever worked for. The car must be paid off. Credit cards must be paid down. Have to figure out how to afford gas and the cell phone bill each month if no longer bringing in an income.

The plan that keeps running through my mind is giving myself over to helping on small, family-owned farms. Sounds crazy, right? But what’s crazier — trying that or continuing to live like this without a sense of purpose? Grandma says I wouldn’t last a day in that life, and maybe she’s right. But what realistically is my alternative at this point? When life gets to feeling like a very slow death, something must give. I’m less miserable than I was a few years back, but still I’m feeling the years slipping by, wondering what it’s all for more and more. Life’s been teaching me that suffering is inevitable, that really your only choice is to choose your pain. Suffer here or suffer there. Suffer physically or suffer mentally. Helps to become addicted to the pain, to embrace one’s inner sadomasochist. Endorphins are our friends. So far as I can tell, it’s all crazy no matter which way you turn. Human life all unto itself is crazy. We just grow accustomed to certain forms of craziness and accept them as the norm.

I don’t have a better answer than this. It’s not exactly what I wished to be presented with either, but that’s what I get for praying. Whatever I am praying to…

Self-preservation for the simple sake of doing so is such an empty endeavor. That much I have figured out. Life is meant to be lived, not hidden from. Not merely managed through the use of mind-altering substances. We’ve become the domesticated beasts who must beg others for what we need, and that’s a pathetic mode of existence unfitting for human beings. Our relations with one another are growing less authentic with each passing year while our lives are simultaneously growing more complicated. What’s all this technology for nowadays? To cage us? Does it really make our lives easier and of better quality? In some ways yes, in others no. Slavery truly never really ended, it just changed forms. Seems to me that now most of us are slaves and serfs, even if we don’t realize it. I’ve stayed out of the corporate game so far as work goes, but there’s no escaping corporatism in this day and age. This is what people are resisting when they call out capitalism, though they aren’t articulating their concerns very clearly. It’s a worthwhile fear, if you ask me. Not as benevolent as some like to portray it as. Extreme economic disparities being just one problematic feature it possesses.

I don’t know if humans can overcome this trend or if it will eventually overcome all of us. Am not convinced we common people might win this battle — that remains a question. Plus, I’m not sure most even want to. We’re not all on the same team, nor will we ever be. Any alternatives envisioned can’t help but differ as well. For years I’ve rolled around the thought of 10,000 communities going their own way, pondering what that might mean and why it seems necessary, so now I’m being called upon to practice what I claim to believe. To deny this calling is to become a complete hypocrite, a talker who will not DO. And it kinda pisses me off to feel like my hand is being forced here, being the rebel that I am and all. But what real alternative is there for me? Keep sitting here, day in and day out, pondering on life and growing more weary while feeling like I contribute little of actual value in response? My contributions will always be small, and so be it, but contribute in some productive way one must. Lest the nihilism blacken our hearts and minds and turn us against Life and those who seek to affirm it.

As a woman I will probably always have one foot in chaos, per my nature. And that’s all right. It’s to be expected. In the end, I expect Nature will ultimately win out regardless of what we humans might do. And I’m okay with that. Keep trying to remind myself that it truly is about the journey and not the destination since we’re all destined to be turned to dust. Waiting for what the future might hold is a waste of each day. Dark as I might be, I do love. Much as I personally might lack a sense of community, I can grasp the importance of it. No human being is an island. And local power is the only real power most of us will ever potentially be afforded. Which is to say through our interactions, interpersonal communications and work. Squalling online doesn’t change a thing. Forever trying to get laws passed to force the hands of others only will ensure that others will fight you on the political battleground indefinitely. Reason and argument can go a long way in changing hearts and minds, but not quite far enough. Not as far as bonding can take us. And we bond through what we share in common, through the work we do side by side and the respect we earn in one another’s eyes. Perceived differences tend to shrink in such scenarios.

I don’t know what’s right, but I have a few ideas on what’s wrong. What’s unsustainable yet heavily invested in leads to wrong. Leads to people doubling down on what won’t work. Leads to ideological possession and fanaticism because the truth can’t or won’t be accepted. And that leads us to a very ugly side of our natures, good intentions be damned. I’m not sure what’s really real anymore, but I have an idea or two on what’s obviously fake and false. It appears this is what’s meant by worshiping false idols — human-made idols that we’ve grown attached to and have our egos enmeshed with. Hard to let that go. Tough to admit how wrong we’ve been.

I don’t have any answers here, just a bunch of questions. And a recognition that what’s been tried so far isn’t sufficiently fulfilling. Life feels very long, even as each day slips by too fast. Might want to take advantage of our health while we still have it, put it toward some better use. Might want to use our minds for something better than continuously arguing with one another over matters that most of us don’t have any real control over. Casting blame and shame and forever seeking scapegoats to pin life’s problems on. Or entertaining ourselves to death through means that don’t actually help us improve our skills or well-being. Someday, when this country eventually falls, will we be a failed nation full of people with few practical skills beyond pushing buttons, rendered helpless and/or criminal when that which we’ve relied on falters? Will we then beg for any leader, foreign or otherwise, to remedy our plight, even if that means forsaking all the freedoms this nation was once about? I bet we will. Unfortunately so. We’ve lost something, in fact so much, that was once considered sacred in our spirit. It’s not about religion, it’s about character. My own character needs adjustment and healthy growth, and I don’t know if that’s possible in this current setup. Seems our common way of life unto itself is undermining in this respect. Impacts us all. What might change that? Guess that’s a question we each get to ask ourselves.

An introduction to the Frankfurt School (Philosophize This!)

Don’t expect any mention of Erich Fromm in this podcast though, unfortunately. Fromm being the Frankfurt School author I’m most familiar with. But it’s still an interesting podcast to listen to, especially recommended for those who have a knee-jerk reaction against anything relating to the Frankfurt School.

Part 1, “Introduction”:

Part 2, “The Enlightenment”:

Part 3, “The Culture Industry”:

Part 4, “Eros”:

Part 5, “Civilization”:

Part 6, “Art As A Tool For Liberation”:

What is referred to therein as “monopoly capitalism” sounds to be the same as what I generally refer to as Corporatism and/or oligopolistic capitalism. The difference being that the market situation has grown and expanded through the domination of sectors by key major (and increasingly global/multinational) corporations that wind up working in tandem to shut out competition from smaller businesses and upstarts (whether via political lobbying efforts or through technological strangleholds, etc.). To me, calling it monopolistic at this point oversimplifies the reality we’re confronting, though I can understand why Marcuse would use that language in the 1970s.

Part 7, “The Great Refusal”:

Pausing at 4:55 in that last clip…yes, and it’s precisely that concern which drives my own interest in the arguments and ideas put forth by people like Dr. Jordan Peterson. Though Peterson is well-known for criticizing neo-Marxists and those he refers to as “postmodernists,” he’s still absolutely right about how one needs to “clean your own room” before attempting to engage too far in the process of attempting to overhaul society. Why? Because “cleaning one’s own room” is about more than just literally doing domestic chores — it’s about developing our own individual selves, grappling with our own limitations and shortcomings, and taking more time to study history broadly so that we can have a better handle on what all has come before and why we humans find ourselves where we’re collectively at now. These are complex matters, not simply bumbling errors brought about by idiot, racist/sexist/”traditionalist” predecessors who gave too little thought to life and living or who were all so blinded by their own destructive agendas that they gave no shits for the fate of future generations. That’s too close-minded and uncharitable of an interpretation of the unfolding of history and the motives of people in the past and the institutions they designed over time. We have to step back and really take time to think deeply about what we’re confronting here today and how it came into being incrementally over the course of the rise of civilizations. Not any easy task. Requires a great deal of personal reckoning as well, due to our own individual biases and wishful thinking and brainwashed programming delivered via mainstream sources, educators (even those who were well-intentioned in their own right), and the wider culture and the narratives it depends on in order to survive.

The further I’ve gone down this rabbit hole over the years, the deeper I recognize the rabbit hole to be. There are no simply answers here. Not even that many clear-cut enemies necessarily. Just a bunch of us humans trying to make sense of reality and to play the games according the rules we understand (or rebel against them if that’s our bag). Domination and power certainly do factor in to the lived human experience, but so does SO MUCH else. It’s not so simple of a matter as destroying hierarchies and we’ll all eventually be free to live in peaceful equality with one another. No, that’s just begging for the creation of a power vacuum which will be filled by the ambitions of other groups of people operating under their own ideologies that will very likely prove even less effective than what’s currently in place. It’s a precarious situation at present, compounded by so much idealism in the hearts of protesters who like to imagine themselves as having the magical, never-before-tried answers to what plagues humanity. And many of them are blind to the lessons of history as well, largely due to ideological obsessiveness and the narrowing of focus that commonly entails. They will not prove to be saviors either, I’m willing to bet.

That doesn’t mean we have to throw our hands in the air and accept the current status quo as the only game worth playing because all else (like communism) likely will prove even more fatal. But it does ask of us to be careful and cautious in moving forward, to pay closer attention and to not be so arrogant as to assume we ourselves and those we politically/socially identify with have discovered ultimate answers to these complex problems and issues. Humility is absolutely essential here, lest history just keep on repeating (or rhyming, rather) in a downward spiraling fashion (thanks, in part, to new and powerful technologies coupled with greater centralization than the world has ever known before). Power available today is like that of no other time in history — be heedful of that fact.

Many of us want to see change be brought about, for human societies to become healthier and less dominated by economic interests solely. Plenty of us grasp the alienating features of modern life and what that can and does do to us psychologically and socially, and how that then spills out to impact all other aspects of society. But the way to bringing about change indeed isn’t going to come through simply protesting in the streets or certain interest groups vying to dominate within academe and the corporate and political world. That’s just a recipe for more disaster, so far as I can tell. I lost all faith in that approach. It’s become more a question of individual development and social evolution, of working with what is within our direct control and making decisions that allow us as individuals (and the communities we choose to devise or partake in) to live more in alignment with the values we claim to hold dear. Not trying to force the hands of others, since that won’t work. Better to find ways around the perceived obstructions and to test our own mettle than to attempt to overthrow society as a whole, especially when no better game plan is yet afforded to all of us on a society-wide scale.

People don’t wish to hear this, because it sounds harder. Much easier to instead try to push for change in the streets or by screaming at people in lecture halls and pulling down audio equipment so as to disrupt speakers we dislike. Much easier to behave destructively, rebelliously, than to take the time to comprehend our own inner tyrants and the consequences that produces in a reverberating fashion across society and on up through history. Much easier to blame the “other,” somebody else, than to recognize our own part played in this due to the human nature we share. Doesn’t matter that we were just born into this and didn’t ask for this. Nobody originally ever asks for anything, and all were born into it. That’s no excuse for refusing to do the heavy lifting required in this life. Turns out that giving in to such destructive tendencies and acting like rebels without a clue winds up doing more harm than good oftentimes, especially to our own selves, though it’s usually years on down the road before we can recognize it for what it is.

There are no easy answers here, and there likely never will be. It’s just us and our strivings and our need to learn to communicate more effectively with one another about our conflicting points of view. And that’s okay. This is what we have to work with. There was never a rose garden back before, no ideal worth returning to necessarily. Just the movement and expansion of Life in all its complexity on up through time. Never perfect, at least not in the rational sense that we humans like to dream about, nor will it ever be. But we co-constructors of this reality, particularly in terms of our own actions and choices herein. So we start there, inside oneself, that being where we have the most control and are capable of reaping the greatest benefit in our lifetimes.

Simple, yet not easy. C’est la vie…

“MENTAL ILLNESS IS THE BIG TENT SCAPEGOAT FOR CIVIL RIGHTS/POWER GRABS FAR BEYOND GUN CONTROL”

“White Farmers Slaughtered in South Africa | Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux”

“Joe Rogan Experience #1081 – Bret Weinstein & Heather Heying”