Let’s Talk For A Moment About Why We Hate One Another
I have a problem. It’s a problem I’ve had for a long time. The problem is, I don’t really work well with hatred, of any flavour or degree. I get that ‘anger is an energy’, and I’ve been known to blow up on occasion myself. It’s part of the cost of being a human being, I suppose. But where some people feel justified, even self-righteous when someone crosses them, I usually feel distinctly uncomfortable for everyone involved, myself included, because I know with some certainty that at least one if not both or all parties involved are at least partly wrong, or overreacting to the situation at hand. I’m never smug about it, however, because I’m usually too busy trying to make peace and bury hatchets well out of reach of the offended parties.
So what’s all this prattle, you might be asking, if indeed you possess a vocabulary that includes words like prattle. The thing is, I’m really uncomfortable with a lot of people, including people I don’t know, but definitely including some people I DO know, who are all feeling pretty smug for the first time in ages. They’ve been in hiding a fair bit in the last few decades, and I can’t claim to have missed them. But thanks to the 2016 election, they’re all coming out of the woodworks, like things that scuttle and scurry for the dark when you turn the lights on in the morning, only in reverse. Because the lights are going out, and for a lot of misguided, angry, disenfranchised people, that’s alright. They haven’t seen the light in years, so it’s no burden for them. They’ve been skulking, waiting for a chance to spew the poison from their bellies for ages, and it seems their time has finally come.
You might think this says something about human nature and the truth of how we really are as a species or some such thing. It does. It says we can be wrong. And sometimes, we can be so entrenched in our fundamental wrongness that no arguments to the contrary can convince us that we aren’t the misunderstood ones.
Here’s the thing: we are ALL the SAME. We are. It’s how we’re built. We all have the ability to do and be all fo the good things and all of the bad things we have ever heard of. It’s not only possible; it’s probable.
When we accuse another race or gender or sexual proclivity of being oversensitive, what we’re really saying is, we don’t feel offended because the joke isn’t about us.
When we accuse another race or gender or sexual proclivity of being too privileged, what we’re really saying is, we feel diminished as our privileges are being reduced.
When we say we hate anyone who isn’t exactly like us, in whatever categories we have accepted as our default identity, what we’re really saying is, we refuse to understand anyone else’s point of view, no matter how right they are to feel and think as they do.
We do it because we’re tired of being told we’re wrong. We do it because we’re tired of having to relearn things we were told as children were the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We do it because we can no longer trust with certainty the authorities that tell us we are in the wrong about something we feel pretty justified in thinking or feeling, even if we haven’t really given it a great deal of thought.
My problem with all of this sin’t that it’s not natural to lash out against those we perceive to have wronged us, whatever the circumstances.
My problem is, we refuse to admit that we could be wrong. We refuse to accept responsibility for the misfortunes we may be experiencing. We refuse to pay the piper, even when he comes for our children. And that’s a problem we all should know better than to fall into the trap of by now. But we do it anyway.
We tell ourselves we’re not bad people. We just don’t like when foreigners come in and steal our jobs. What we don’t dare admit to ourselves is that they have lived in poverty for generations because the economic forces that have governed the world for the last few generations have been depleting their natural and workforce resources to benefit our society. It doesn’t matter that we didn’t know, or weren’t told, or couldn’t believe the sources telling us these things. It doesn’t matter that we would never knowingly take advantage of people like that. Because we did, and we do, and we are in the wrong. We complain about refugees, but refuse to admit we allowed the situation over there to become so toxic, those people had to risk their lives to get out and find a new place to live.
You see, the thing is, there are very few zero sum arguments that appeal to me. I don’t believe our resources are so limited that we can’t share with others. What I DO believe is that we have been allowing a few very rich assholes to hoard all of the world’s wealth for so long, and we defend their right to do so because they have dangled a carrot in front of our noses, telling us we could be rich too, if the sun smiles upon us in just the right way and we say our prayers and eat out Weetabix. Basically, we allow ourselves to be lulled into the belief that ours is the greatest lifestyle ever imagined by humanity, and yet, only the best and hardest working of us can be allowed to enjoy it.
We’ve been lied to.
It’s never going to be our turn simply because we’re white and male and straight or any of the other things that we’ve all been conditioned to think makes it an objective truth. And you know what? That’s because the liars are laughing at all of us, black, white, brown, yellow, red and any race, creed or gender description imaginable. We are all pawns, and when you turn your hatred and fear and jealousy against The Other, the rich, greedy capitalists who manage all of our lives from their mansions behind the electrified gates laugh. They are secure in the knowledge that we will never grass them out, because they have made a secret pact with us, that if any room is made at the top, it will be for us and us alone. And it’s the same lie that ever rich bastard tells every poor working slob, regardless of what country we live in.
What I’m really saying is, it’s not really race or religion or sexuality that separates us all. That’s what we’ve been conditioned to believe. It’s a shadow play. A sleight of hand trick. We’ve been bamboozled.
It’s right in front of us every day, and yet we don’t… we can’t see it, because we’re told that money is a necessary evil.
Here’s the thing: trading goods and services is at the core of our civilization, and there is nothing inherently wrong with that. Really.
What IS wrong is that we are greedy little monkeys. Given an advantage that makes our lives a little better than everyone else’s, we will defend it to the death.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. The so-called 1% are never going to give us what we have earned with our blood, sweat, tears, or our dreams.
They will only do the right thing if we make them.
And we can’t do that effectively if we’re constantly being pitted against one another like dogs in an arena.
It really is time we stopped fucking around and woke up. Realize where the real injustice is. Stop buying that dirty little lie being whispered in our ear since childhood. The one where they tell us we’re the special child who will be made queens and kings if we’re good little girls and boys.
Lies. And not even necessary lies. Greed is and has always been the worst trait humanity has. But it’s not necessary anymore, if it ever was. We can share, and in sharing, we can feed the world. We can take care of everyone, if we really wanted to. Science and technology have made it possible to eliminate hunger and disease and famine and poverty.
We just don’t want to.
Because we’ve been made to believe that there isn’t enough to go around, and that only the rich deserve to be rich. We never ask why. That question is forbidden in our culture. It just is.
And I say it again: it doesn’t have to be.
But you probably would rather go on hating the Others of the world than admitting we’ve all been lied to. Because overturning the table we’re sitting at guarantees we’ll never get to be rich, right? But how long do you have to wait before you realize it’s never going to happen to you? Until you’re too old and infirm to fight back?
There are few things in this world that I truly hate. I don’t even hate the rich. Not really. They’re just doing what most of us would do in their place, given the chance.
But I hate greed. And I hate lies. And I hate being wrong.
So this is me overturning the dinner table. I don’t want to be like you, whoever you are that has been moving the pieces and making everyone dance and argue and fight. I resent what you stand for. There is nothing you can tell me that will make me stop fighting you. Your privilege was never earned, and your wealth and power are undeserved.
And if I ever meet you, I hope you have the humility to admit that you were wrong, and that you’ll do better. Because right now, you disgust me.
Look at the world around you. If it isn’t improved by your actions and ideals, then you truly aren’t living right. If the world you see is as broken as the one I live in, or the ones that those even more impoverished than you or I are living in, then can any of us claim to be right?