I think trigger warnings are a joke, but I am giving you one if you are so intellectually weak and unstable that you cannot hack another person possibly having an opinion different than you. With that being said, and the title itself should be a good indication of what’s to come, you’ve been warned.
I am going to diverge a little today. Generally speaking I avoid political stuff for this blog, but this is going to cross the line a little bit. Mostly I am going to deal with ethical, cultural, and spiritual aspects, rather than the politics of what I see going on .
Black lives matter.
Blue lives matter.
All lives matter.
The problem is, no matter how much you want a particular group of lives to matter the other side of the equation matters as well. I am not an apologist for the police, nor will I stand up for the actions of race based activists. Right now in America we have created a breeding ground for hatred that this nation has not seen since the 1960’s.
There are very few eras in American history where neighbor turned on neighbor to the point of violence. The labor issues of the early 1900’s was also quite a time of upheaval and brother vs. brother, particularly in the coal fields and before labor unions became a force for good (an era that died out in the 1970’s where they became more of a bane) Before that time which civil unrest was high the previous ways this stress and disagreements over cultural vantage points what’s by bloodshed on Civil War scale. Both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War came from similar levels of disagreement of the people against each other as well as against the governing.
I fear in 2016, we are coming up on another era that has the potential to become another War. Why is this upon us now? Because the last two generations have stripped out from our society the value of human life. In all truthfulness, this began far earlier than this. The me generation of baby boomers was the beginning of this erosion of ethical values by not teaching their children the idea of an objective concept of Good and Evil or the value of human life. Instead everyone was left to follow their feelings, and objective reality was buried under a horrifying blizzard of feeling based subjectivism. To steal a line from Dr. Laura:
“You feel hot, you feel cold, you feel sad, you feel mad.”
Feelings change and they change often Emotions are fickle and not a basis for rules, law or society. Look at what we have now and you cannot deny this is truth. They do not think or reason, and yet Gen X and now Millennials have been indoctrinated into believing feelings are more important than reason or thinking.
The intention was good, but as my grandmother was fond of saying:
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
In an in an effort to right the wrongs of racism that had been banished totally from the Civil War and even went through a Resurgence in the 1930s with Jim Crow and Segregationist policies. All things that had to be ended. Instead of getting on with their lives after they had won, they decided to make it a life cause and overcorrected. Now, they found themselves needing to perpetuate the illusion the threat was still there to keep their paychecks and livlihood.
That generation forgot the words of some of the leading cultural philosophers of that era where content of character should matter more than color of skin. Martin Luther King no longer led the charge of culture in the world of race relations, Malcolm X gained popularity and now has started to supersede the non-violent personal responsibility laden guidance of the former. A hand that is now clenched like a fist, but not without your provocation.
We are seeing a rebirth of Malcolm X vs Bull Connor. Extremists in both rhetoric and action are beginning to lead. Police have forgotten that they are Servants of the people not their keepers. The growing militarization of police and the insistence on Zero Tolerance policies has caused a combative impasse between cultures. But what hides beneath the surface is that both sides of this equation have little to no respect for the value of human life or anyone who disagrees with them.
So why the title Animal Farm Lives Matter? Simple, too many people believe that all lives are created equal, those they agree with or identify with matter more, and therefore must be given supremacy. Just like the pigs become like humans in the book while little changes for the rest… or in many regards, get worse. Thus, George Orwell’s damning indictment of special rights for special groups comes home in a stinging slap to our American cultural face.
To say that only one group of lives matter, is to become the racist, bigoted evil you claim to hate. You assume that other group of lives matter less than those you support.
This is the racism.
This is hatred.
It is no better than what the Nazis used to teach children in school. (You can take your Godwin’s law and shove it sideways up a tender orifice if you try to play that card with me. Reasonable comparisons are valid.) When you reduce another person to nothing more than a caricature or straw man in which you can vent your spleen upon, you are dealing with abstracts that do not exist, nor exonerate you from any guilt for having such evil desires in your heart or actions taken with your hands. Why anyone would want to teach a child this let alone act like this is an adult is abhorrent to me. Yet it happens every day.
Where did this come from? When people decided that there was only one arbiter for what is good and what is evil, as well as divorcing legality from morality. With that, we set up a culture in which cultural immolation would occur. If the individual is the only valid arbiter of what is right and wrong, good and evil, legal or moral, then there is no universal code in which we understand how to relate to one another as a culture. There is no agreed upon social contract which then creates chaos, and we descend into the theoretical hell of Social Darwinism till a new societal paradigm stabilizes in the form of the strongest authoritarian voice. We still live in a world that is controlled by use of force and the side most willing to kill and die for their cause will become the dominant one. Don’t believe me? Publish a cartoon of Mohammed. See what happens. Who’s culture is winning there? That’s right. The one willing to kill you.
But until that new ‘strongman’ culture takes over, there is only one possible course: chaos and nihilism. If people cannot or refuse to recognize that other lives outside of their own personal existence or tribe’s existence have value, how is it that we can even preach to another person the idea of goodness, charity, or righteousness? If you do not believe that even your own life has value, how can you see any other result then complete destruction of a society?
If we are to get through this without destroying ourselves as a nation and divorce ourselves from what our founding fathers created, all lives must matter. This is not a negotiable point. We can’t sit there and scapegoat like the Nazi’s did, first to the communists, till they secured their power, and then to others like the Jews and Gypsies. If all lives do not matter equally, even the lives you don’t agree with or value, then no life matters at all. This is why we are stuck in such a terrible crossroads. You do literally have two camps… no let me rephrase that we have three camps actually forming.
One that believes all lives matter and every life is important. I will call these “Rationalists”, because they are using more than just their emotions and bias
Another camp that believes only the lives that look and act and think like they do matter. I will call them the “Bigots”, for they want to destroy anything that is not like them.
Those that do not care if any life matters because their own life does not matter to them. These are Nihilists and Anarchists who just want to watch the world burn.
The problem is made worse because the Bigots want to protect themselves, but destroy the rest. The Nihilists want to kill everything, and will sabotage any attempts at bridge building. The Rationalists are caught in the crossfire between two groups of bigots and the Nihilists trying to make things as bad as possible. What needs to happen is more people to move into the Rationalist all lives matter camp. No special rights, fiefdoms or powers. The corrupt and wicked need to be rooted out from all sides in this, and all must turn on the Nihilists and take away their power or ability to incite cultural sabotage and disaster.
Sure, you might think that is a hypocritical statement, but its not. You cannot have people running around who’s goal is to foment destruction and chaos in any society. They must be neutralized. But from a rationalist point of view, you must also realize that there is a point that comes along that when you have no choice but to put down mad dogs. Be they bigots, or be they nihilists, or even if they’re rationalists who somehow pervert the right for people to coexist.
Of course, none of this will happen till we can come upon a new objective, universal set of societal rules that can be learned, taught and enforced. That means this emotionally driven trigger-warning, offensensitivity culture must go too. Society cannot walk on egg shells anymore because you think you have the right to be as comfortable as a day-care toddler. That life ended when you became an adult. Sorry it’s such a shock, but time to focus on being adults, or get out of the way and be quiet so the adults can fix this mess. We’ve run out of time and money to coddle anymore.
Life’s offensive. Learn to deal. Your opinion is not worth more than mine. Your life is not worth more than mine. Develop some mental toughness and stop trying to call for mommy to come get you from your day care culture by throwing a tantrum. Learn to overcome intellectual adversity and deal with your stress. Only then, when you can behave like rational, thinking adults, do you become a valuable member of society instead of a turd chucking monkey playing law of the jungle with other people’s lives.
Nor will spouting slogans and catch phrases fix this. Real debate and discussion is required. A skill long abolished from universities across this nation because feelings have become supreme and people call objective facts racist. I saw a wonderful little Q&A with Ben Shapiro the other day where a woman wanted to talk about institutional racism. Ben was all fine with that! What institution is racist, and what did they do? The problem is, that was just a buzzword to the woman. She had never considered that for an accusation to be true, there must be a real, objective noun behind it, not just a feeling. Demanding the elimination if institutional racism is fine in theory, but we are talking practicalities here. Mr. Shapiro challenged her to name the institution and the actions they had done so he too could fight them with her. She had nothing, because nothing really existed.
This is what we have to overcome. Objective reality and facts come first. Subjective feelings and theory come last. To take an ill used quote from George Bernard Shaw:
You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?
In the realm of culture like this, the answer to “why not?” is “Because it is not.” We must deal with what is. Then, and only then can we move forward and fix what is wrong with this nation.
All lives matter.
Now butch up, Sally Frillypants. We have work to do in repairing our culture, and throwing tantrums is helping no one.