I feel like I've reached that point where I don't really care about interacting with people who don't want to listen. Necessary components of my life are traumatic enough even without exhausting arguments with people who have no interest in being ethical or finding Truth. If you have no interest in improving, wallow in your exploitative, hurtful, privileged filth. I'll put in an incredible amount of emotional labor for people who are there for me, who aim to be people, who traverse the realm of ideas and not just the physical world. Most of the time I'll be overgenerous with sharing what I've learned and advocating for things that are objectively important. However, recent events in my life have put things into a bit of perspective that isn't new, but which I'm now forced to take far more seriously.
If you listen to ethical arguments and marginalized perspectives and resort to defense mechanisms or cognitive biases without lifting a fingurative finger to humble yourself to the truth of the universe and the truth of the living beings who surround you, then you simply don't matter to me. I've put my fair share of energy into outreach, argumentation, and social advocacy. I'm passing the torch and moving onto the next phase of my life! Knowing me, this'll be a phase and I'll engage tons of carnists/capitalists/prison advocates/transphobes/misogynists in the future, but for now I'm going to focus my energy on the superior human beings - that is, those who recognize that they are not superior, who relinquish any claims to unassailable dominance.
Please let this alienate some people. Please let this whittle down my friend circle to the people who are genuinely trying to be the best human beings they can be. Please let this offend people to the degree that they would rather sit mired in ignorance than subjugate their own pride to the well-being of others.
...Unfortunately, the reality here is that this will be read like a horoscope. People will undoubtedly read into it what they are predisposed to see. Those who want to be offended will be offended, and those who want to feel validated will feel so. So let me clarify. If you think it's okay to exploit animals, I don't care about you. If you react to anti-capitalist arguments unequivocal vitriol or dismissal, I can't trust your intellect. If you characterize disagreement that doesn't masturbate your ego as aggression or conflict, then you make it impossible for me to be myself around you, and I don't plan on spending energy or time on you. If your reaction to being challenged is to gaslight that intervention as abuse, then I can't very well take your narrative seriously until you listen to mine.
We only live so long. Living our best lives requires us to strive, reaching for our dreams and pushing our love as far as it will go, whether it be eros, storge, philia, or agape. We have to use that time to become excellent, or else we will die ineffective and unfulfilled. I have reached heights of friendship and personal accomplishment that are both far short of what I think I can reach, and more than adequate to prove that I must be more conscientious about my aspirations to reach those peaks. We are dying and the world is dying. We don't have time for casual, grassroots socialization to do the jobs that must be done. We have to dream. We have to work to realize those dreams. And we have to surround ourselves with the energy and circumstances that allow us to perform that necessary work.
I have too many dreams to fulfill them all, and my psychological profile is such that this overwhelms me to the point of total paralysis and subsumption by lifestyle inertia. I am faced with a question of whether I want to grasp a few of those dreams, or none. The way to arrive at the correct answer is yet outside my comprehension, but hopefully the pathways I've mapped out that arrive at the wrong answer will help to illuminate their inverse.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Friday, November 11, 2016
I want to be extra, crystal clear. Participating in the United States military is de facto an act of implicit racism and functions to strengthen the power of American oligarch hegemony. This is a bad thing. People do not go into the military intending to do this--and therefore it would be stupid and malicious to act like they are deliberately trying to destroy dark-skinned people. Yet we have to hold people accountable for what they actually do. And to the extent that the military-industrial complex is an evil system, we must hold to a certain kind of responsibility every person who participates in that system, whether unwittingly or not. I don't mean that we should say they're horrible people. I mean that they ought to bear witness to the emotions of the people they've unwittingly victimized. They ought to share the spotlight with the experiences of The Other, the people on the other side of the gun barrel. They ought to hear the rationale of the people who oppose the initiative they signed onto, as that initiative is not victimless.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Donald Trump will soon have access to the NSA. If you need to say or do anything that a bigot like him would take issue with, please be safe. Do NOT speak about such things:
-through the Internet
-over the phone
-or even with a turned on phone in the room.
Now, more than ever, it's important that we learn about Internet privacy and keep in mind what a potential fascist dictator will do with the power granted to the ruler of the most powerful country in the 21st Century.
Think about what the FBI could use to mischaracterize you or prosecute you. Think about the various things you admit to on facebook which are actually illegal, and consider how such minor crimes might be used to imprison political dissenters.
Learn about Edward Snowden. Learn about Putin's Russia. Learn about PRISM. Learn about censorship in China and North Korea. Learn about the American system of prison slavery. Learn about Net Neutrality. Learn about historical state oppression. Learn about different economic systems like communism, syndicalism, and socialism. Learn about different forms of governance, like anarchism, direct democracy, and mutualism.
Open up Wikipedia and start reading about history, while we still have access to it. Wrap your head around the theory of how we can change the world from the abysmal state it's currently in because of capitalism and long-unchecked power concentration.
Read Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power, Sun Tzu's The Art of War, or Miyamoto Musashi's Book of 5 Rings. Read whatever other books give you a better understanding of how people manipulate others. Learn about analytical ethics. Learn about cognitive biases. Learn about the Rise of the Third Reich.
Most importantly, be smart. If we are, in fact, looking at the rise of a genocidal maniac and a force of right-wing nationalists from rural America, which is a possibility supported by history, then we need to be many steps ahead of them. We have to consider the power of the American military. We have to think about how he brainwashes people so effortlessly, and we have to counteract those forces. We have to consider how he co-opts powerful institutions and large groups of people for unjust causes, and we have to consider how that can be safely, legally, and democratically reversed to buy us enough time to organize and create a Dual Power and a Dual Economy.
Stop falling for false rhetoric. Wake up and realize that incredible amounts of "progress" among the highly-socialized, cosmopolitan urban folk are easily reversed overnight with a simple resurgence of reactionary, conservative, right-wing, xenophobic, capitalist, nationalist zealotry in the places that don't get the same kind of attention from our government. Realize that the root causes of all this turmoil are always very simple: money and power. Realize that massive cultural paradigms have been being shaped for a huge length of time. Systems and institutions that are in place, cultural paradigms, and widespread beliefs, taboos, and norms are essentially investments of the oligarchs in a society that works for them. Almost every quality of our society works to keep them in power, and we have to recreate society so that it has qualities which work against keeping them in power.
Our government is extremely conservative--and extremely evil--right now. We have a lot to fear. We need to start thinking intelligently and planning actively. And we have to always be on the right side of the law, especially in our communications through recorded media. So fight for what's right while always staying safe. If you put yourself out of the fight by making stupid, risky decisions, you are putting others in danger. Your advocacy is a vital tool to your comrades, so preserve it and use it wisely.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Saturday, April 30, 2016
For whatever reason, the face of an old dorm-mate suddenly came to my mind tonight, and I remembered that we were no longer friends on Facebook. I remembered having an argument through Facebook messages that must have convinced him that I couldn't be reasoned with, because he unfriended me sometime after that last online discussion. The argument came about when he, opting to deal with his personal concerns one-on-one, sent me a message in response to a post I made about factory farming. He wanted me to know that it was belittling and dismissive to say things like "Vegetarianism is unquestionably a superior moral decision to eating meat," and very politely explained why he found this a Very Bad Way to Go About Things. This was my response: