Here are two things that you need to read. Neither of them are warm, fuzzy, all about being grateful.
- Against Authority, Against Terror:”That is, terrorist acts push the self-destruct button of Western Civilization. When a terrorist attacks a city where Authority has become so perfect as to become invisible, it re-appears and rushes to show itself as powerful, just, and righteous. Capitalism is supposed to be perfect, Democracy is supposed to create peace, and governments are supposed to have the sole monopoly on violence.Terrorists prove that all of that to be illusion, attacking Authority with its own game, which sets in motion a series of events which show Authority to be what it really is–just another violent regime which treats its own people well and other peoples viciously.
This isn’t to say we should thank the terrorists or even sympathize with them. Like watching a stand-off between a white supremacist and police, we should take neither side. Instead, we should look for the moment of our own liberation while violence is pre-occupied with violence, while terrorists–and the Authority which creates them–destroy each other.
Our liberation comes from reclaiming our meaning. If Paganism teaches anything, it’s that our meaning need not come from authoritarian priests or violent warlords known as ‘governments.’ Rather, our meaning comes from ourselves, our gods, our dead, our forests, and the whole dance of creation which we stand in the middle of, witches and mages, poets and rogues, singing in an other world.
Resist giving up your ability to create meaning in the world, which is the very essence of your magic.
And fight everyone who would steal that magic from you.”
- You know the last time a group of people felt economically and culturally oppressed and looked to “the other” as the source of their problems? We’re there now.
“There is a wildness in our politics that goes back beyond this administration. But the election of this president—and his stubborn insistence that he be allowed to act like a president—has brought a focused volatility to that wildness that is unprecedented in the years since the turmoil of the 1960s. The lost illusions of American exceptionalism, and the loss of the dominant postwar American economy, make the results of that poll sadly unsurprising. But that basic disillusionment has been percolating around American politics for decades. There is something different about it now that is the result of years of exchanging history for desperate propaganda, a yearning for a past that never was, at least not for all Americans. In the 1960s, protests like those going on at various universities, and like the one that’s ongoing in Minneapolis, would have been completely unremarkable.
Now, though, thanks to 50 years of steady drum-beating about how it was in the 1960s in which the country began to slide into decline, and how it was in the 1960s that the power drained away from You in the direction of Them, a culture of victimization has arisen despite all the data proving that the victims in question have not been victimized at all, at least not in comparison to their fellow citizens, anyway. What has victimized them are economic and trade policies that have drained the country of decent paying jobs, the decline of organized labor, and a lot of sleight-of-hand political jibber-jabber that continues to this day. It’s just easier to get people to blame each other. And that’s what’s coming to a head in the country now.
That poll is chilling in its detachment from actual empirical reality. The people polled in it are chilling in their certainty. That certainty makes them believe that the police are their Myrmidons holding back the power of their fellow citizens who happen to be black, and who wield so much power that any means of resisting that power is wholly justified. That certainty makes them believe that protesters on a campus in Missouri are some kind of threat against the dwindling promise of a real American middle class. That certainty makes them jump at shadows, predictably. That certainty eventually curdles into a rage that lashes out blindly at all the wrong targets. For too long, too many people have been willing to believe that which is not true. At some level, people rebel against the nonsense they’ve come to believe. They feel stupid. They feel like suckers. They look for easy targets. Rage is general, like Joyce’s snow, all over this country. It is not a good time.”
Picture found here.