Here’s a video that’s worth watching, if any video is. It’s not a fun frolic, it’s a serious lecture by a serious journalist, Chris Hedges. He talks about how the United States is sliding down the tubes, and why. I’m going to order his book.
One message that I take away from the end of this lecture is that electoral politics is futile. I’ve been saying this for a long time, but then chirpy people always say, “If you don’t vote, you don’t have any right to complain.” They’re wrong, of course, but that attitude muddies the waters. Voting is an acquiescence in the status quo. If you buy into the pretense that your vote makes a difference, then you won’t be motivated to take action.
The truth is, if you do vote, you’ve sabotaged your right to complain. You’ve become complicit in a lie.
All resistance, Hedges says, is local. I’m not sure what that means. I live in a comfortable suburban community, not in a blighted area. Complacency is very much the norm, hereabouts. What would resistance look like, for a white guy with money in the bank? I’m not sure.
One thing I can do is tell the truth. Often the truth is impolite. It upsets people. They think I’m being anti-social. (That’s the polite term for “an asshole.”) Maybe I just have to keep right on, and ignore their attempts to coerce everybody into acting nice.
But what scope does one have to tell the truth? Shall I write letters to the editor? That’s worse than voting! Gotta think about this some more.
May I sit alongside you on the thinking bench? This is just the type of questioning to stir the juice. My guts are stretched agreeing with your argument against voting and my own for. Hegel help me! I do though write letters to the dieter, letters to the president, letters to the oligarchs, letters to they common guy–it’s just the that I only send them to the latter. Thoughts not articulated in word, writing or deed are chimeras without substance. The same thoughts articulated and sent to the “leaders” are sperm on the floor. It’s the rest of yous and mes that we have to reach. I’ll try to find it and copy it for you, but if I can’t a cartoon from the early seventies that I still have (in the vein of Robert Crumb’ and Mr.Natural but by some obscure cartoonist): A business suited man leaving his house while the slippered, robed, curlered hausfrau regales him with “!!!!!!!!!!!!!.” In his thought bubble, “I don’t have to take this shit!” The caption: Mr. Mundane Thinks.