“Why should we not form a picture of the ideal life, built out of abundant information, non-hierarchical work and the dissociation of work from wages?”
The following is a series of political classifications. I’ll explain my choice of title at the end.
Everyone is political. And those actively politically apathetic do themselves a disservice, because politics is a little like the weather: it affects you whether you take notice of it, or not.
Politics is a deeply personal issue. As well it should be. The way you vote should be little to not at all influenced by anyone you know, admire, detest, or, even, vote for. Although, there is every reason for how you vote to be affected by how you expect or wish your vote to affect others. Democracy, ideally, should be about uniting disparate groups of people as much as possible. And mitigating the consequences of any division between them. Unfortunately, western democracy today seems to be doing its utmost to create, deepen and widen divisions. Which is a shame, although it simply reflects that some people either want division, or are misled into thinking they do by people with an agenda who are more intelligent and/or powerful than them.
Ignorance or naïvete abounds in politics today, as it always has, and always will, to whatever degree. Below and in my own words are a series of classifications and clarifications of three political positions. Knowing where you stand is key to making your voice heard:
A regressive is someone who wants change, but change back to that of an earlier time. Usually a time that never really existed, in which the regressive thinks their personal life would have been better. If you are regressive, you are one or all of the following: racist, sexist, religiously zealous, capitalist (or even feudalist or tribalist), homophobic, a philistine, nationalist, and/or others along a similar vein. You don’t like that the human race is moving forward, and you don’t just want it to stop. You want it to go backward. Unfortunately, this is a rather futile position to hold, but one that many do, regardless.
Conservatives basically want things to stay as they are. This is fine in some ways. Catastrophic, in others. Many conservatives may have regressive tendencies. Just as many regressives may have conservative tendencies. Conservatism is also quite futile, as – as the old saying goes – you can’t stop progress. Often, the harder you try to stop progress, the faster progression occurs. Conservatism is to progress as a child throwing a tantrum in a supermarket is to their mother getting the shopping done. It’s basically just regressivism for the lazy.
A progressive wants change for the better for everyone, or as many people as possible. They want their society to be better. They want their environment to be better. They want technology to be better. And etcetera and etcetera. Humanity relentlessly progresses. That’s simply what it does. Even if you only hold a progressive outlook, and do almost literally nothing practical to actually further progress, you are still doing more to help the cause of progressivism than a regressive or conservative, and are thus more likely to reap the fruits of progress than the two latter. This is of course the only rational political position to hold, and in fact any arguments against it (especially those that are religious, racist, sexist, and so forth) are irrational.
*there is no such thing as political correctness. There is only correct, and incorrect. If your defence when someone criticises your views is that the critic is being politically correct, then your views are probably incorrect. And you probably know it – otherwise you’d come up with a better argument than two words which, when put together, are redundant, and sometimes even oxymoronic considering how often the truth is obscured or outright abused by politics and politicians.
The reason, as I failed to explicitly specify in previous drafts, for Political Correctness as my choice of title is twofold. 1) quite aside from whether there are objectively correct political positions to hold, or not (there is, one), it’s important that one is cognisant of the position that aligns with their needs and worldview; and 2) progressivism is the only correct political position to hold. Period. It wouldn’t be progressive of me to tell you you can’t hold other positions, but I can point it out. Although, unfortunately, many regressives and conservatives don’t know truth even when they’re slowly belted to death by it.
It’s easy. It’s so, so easy. I guarantee you that being right-wing is easier than spilling water from a chicken-wire cup. You see, it takes effort to create things, like a socialist (not (an especially Soviet) Communist, which has never really been a thing), or destroy things (mostly philosophically, and from the argument that destruction is a form of creation), like an anarchist. But to be right-wing, all you need to do is keep things just the way they are. Or try your hardest to, which not even ironically isn’t really very hard. (Because calculated laziness masquerading as conscientiousness is both contagious and addictive, hence its popularity in the form of conservative votes on polling day in most liberal democracies, most of the time.) Unfortunately, the way things are is the way things always have been, to varying degrees: sexist, racist, violent, bigoted, desolate, exploitative and massively disparate in terms of every form of wealth and happiness. So it’s reasonable to suggest that if you prefer things the way they are, you must be obscenely rich, evil, dumb, or all three. Which would also make you (quite literally) comfortably (because it’s like sitting in an armchair and making everyone else sit on the cold hard ground) right-wing.
“But surely,” you interject, “it can’t be that simple to be that at once greedy, bigoted and self-righteous?” you foolishly query. Well, I respond, it is. Though there are some guidelines to follow, or dispositions, if you will, to adopt for you to out-dummy all those already blissfully happy right-wing dummies:
You’ve got to hate everyone and everything. Immigrants, natives, the poor, the (more) rich, different sexualities, different religions, different politics – basically anyone and anything who or that is in any way different to you. And then hate them/it to the degree in which they/it are/is different to you. Difference, as a right-winger, scares you. Your natural instinct might now still be that understanding difference reduces or eliminates fear of it. But over time, you will twist that instinct on its head to rightly, pun intended, boast a muscularly white hot reactionary fear of any and all difference. Things that are different to you, my proud beginning conservative, are the reason why your life isn’t better (or so you must believe). So if you hate them, and vote for a representative who shares your hatred, such hated might either go away or become more like you. The hated don’t have rights, because you’re right, because you’re gosh darned right-wing. Good on you.
- Wilful Ignorance
Like hatred, but useful otherwise and only in that it should be avoided at all costs, the enemy of the conservative is enlightenment. Enlightenment makes gays appear human. Enlightenment makes a (justified, but you will learn to wholly reject that or at least defend and strike out against it) mockery of religion. Enlightenment dares to reveal that guns, while not the sole cause of mass shootings, are almost certainly the major contributing factor. Enlightenment scares you. And what do we do with fear? Particularly fear of worldly knowledge? Avoid it, through wilful ignorance. The GLBTIQ Mardi Gras Festival just came on TV? Change it to Sky/Fox News, where it will at least be covered more accurately if at all. You just read that society’s better off with equal participation and remuneration of women in the workforce? Go buy a Zoo Magazine. Global Warming wetting your collar? Crank up the air-conditioner, buy some fossil-fuel company shares, and/or buy a faster/louder car. You don’t need pesky facts and reality compromising your principles. So bury your head in the sand or up your arse or up another right-winger’s arse. You will be safe there, you will be welcome, and, and because, you will be so deliciously deliberately ignorant.
Now, you don’t actually have to be wealthy. But you do have to not only want to be wealthy, but expect against even the worst odds or logic that you will be. These are the two wealth-related conditions you must satisfy before you can become right-wing. And there are no – I repeat no – allowances for contradictions on this point (though hypocrisy is fine, and there’s more on that). For example, let’s say you’re a successful, at least upper middle-class artist, but you support immigration and multiculturalism. You’re not a conservative. You own a chain of popular restaurants, but you’re a fan of hospitality industry penalty rates. You are not a conservative. You’re the CEO/director of a Fortune 500 (or national equivalent outside the US) company, but your employees like you and feel equally valued regardless of gender, race, religion, sexuality or disability. My friend, if you’re a conservative, you’re doing much too damn good a job of pretending not to be. You have to be – or one day expect to be – unashamedly, un-empathetically and never satisfactorily wealthy. While also denying it so much as you have the power to from all but the most un-deserving and already so materialistically disposed.
Told you it would come up again. Being right-wing, though inherently simple, requires certain conscious and maybe complex but conveniently and strictly managed contradictions. You don’t have to be a good person to be conservative, but you do have to infallibly appear to be so. This is a vague but still prominent rule. Religion? It helps, but is not absolutely necessary. The important thing is that if you are a religious conservative you, again infallibly, appear to be so. You can’t, for example, be against infidelity and promiscuity on an especially religious basis yet be found to have committed adultery on numerous occasions. The economy? This one’s definitively simple. You must convincingly profess to intend vast and ever-rising wealth upon all, but so much as is in your power actually direct the most wealth upon those already most wealthy. It is the most simple of the rules: say one (or many if you like) universally pleasing thing(s) in public, and do other, elitist pleasing things in (concretely) private. Your right-wing stocks should dramatically rise or fall on how well you adhere to this rule.
- Repression, Repetition and Regression
That’s right: the right-wing three Rs. To become and stay conservative you will enlist these words in your every introspective and extroverted thought or action. Order of their use is not as important as the flexibility of their use in response to need. You just found a member of the same sex vaguely attractive? Simply repress it. You wish to convince your electorate and/or teenage son that marijuana possession should remain illegal (despite the actual fact that its personal use is far less harmful to anyone’s long term future than is a criminal record)? Repeat such spurious reason, indefinitely. You find the opportunity as a member of the public, at least, to declare that workers have too many rights? Or as a politician, at most, to actually strip workers of rights? Do it. To regress and to force regression on others is if not at, then very close to the cold, barely beating heart of the conservative. The right-wing three Rs are your sword, shield, and steed, whenever needed. Unflinchingly weild them in your war for stagnation, apathy and homogeneity – always.
All of anything, as long as it’s the right (again, pun intended) thing, is never enough for a conservative. Even if it’s the wrong thing, in excess, by being right-wing you can actually legitimise it. Alcohol is a prime example. Traditionally anathema to conservatives, both in practice and as preached, a drink or even many can be acceptable if it’s your sole departure or at worst one of very few departures from moral prudishness. Wealth, also, depending on fashion might be seen as an objectively undesirable excess. There is one not necessarily terribly costly word you can use to maintain appearances, if so: philanthropy. Hypocrisy is also a useful practice to again engage in, in the management of excess. To return to alcohol: you can be at once an alcoholic and proponent of prohibition. But, in such case, you must keep your alcoholism private. And if your hypocrisy was to be discovered, the simple yet painful solution: give up, unreservedly, one of the contrary practices. In the case of right excesses – go nuts. You’ll be the envy (another important conservative trait) of your contemporaries, and a useful focus of hysterical derision from those poor goody two-shoes on the left. Pity them. They are deserving of nothing else from you.
The purest and simplest to follow of the conservative dispositions. The source of all your energy, and the manifestation of all your beliefs and actions. “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interrèd with their bones.” – Mark Antony, from Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. Evil gives you strength, and strengthens conservatism itself long after you’re gone. The evil that Adolf Hitler and the (about as far right-wing as you can get) Nazi Third Reich inherited lives on, now, in such phenomena (and so, so deliciously ironically (yet in all seriousness, which this post is only barely and satirically engaging in, tragically)) as apartheid Israel. You are the bearer of the flame of evil, and your purpose is to spread it among the ever tinder dry grasses of humanity. That said, you needn’t fear good. As Shakespeare observed, it will die with you – and serves during life merely to sustain you, your family and your fellow right-wingers. You may use and impart good on others only in order that it might serve as a suitably obscene foundation for the proliferation of evil. Evil is your purpose, the very essence of your being. And, God (who the best among you will come to usefully know does not exist) willing, it will not be defeated nor diminished by those opposing it with the loftiest good.
Hate, ignorance, wealth, hypocrisy, the three right-wing Rs, excess, and evil. These are the seven main weapons at your disposal in the war of the right-wing against what is perfectly ironically (objectively) right. Because wrong is the best word you can take away on your continued journey of conservatism. You are wrong. Seek it. Accept it. Enjoy it. Perfect its use. Let it direct your every thought and action. Know that what is wrong for the world is right for you. That what is right for you is wrong for the world. Ingrained and projected selfishness is what you should practice and strive for with your every breath. I’m sure you’re at least beginning to see that it really is so very simple. Like slipping into a hot bath, being right-wing requires fleeting moments of initial pain and weakness, then acclimatised pleasure and strength lasting as long as you are willing to turn and keep turning the faucet of wrong. But remember your core aim: to prevent change. Like all things bad, it really is so, so easy. And like all things wrong, it should feel, and motivate you to be so, so very, very right.
If you’re too serious people will say you take life too seriously. If you’re too laid-back they’ll say you don’t take it seriously enough. Those who claim power over you will always seek to put you in a negative light. It gives them an excuse to exercise more power over you. And they will always want more.
All around me. Other people. Doing things. I must avoid them all. I live in a capitalist society. If I avoid them, they cannot profit from me. If I avoid them, they can’t realise they have nothing to gain from me, and that they must ensure my death. They’re doing things right now. Profiting from others. Taking from them. Giving little if anything in return. I answered the phone to a telescammer yesterday. Listened to the opening spiel. Then sighed, and said “You think we’re stupid don’t you.” He asked why would he think we’re stupid. I hung up. Shouldn’t have picked up in the first place. Because he was a person. I should have avoided him.
I’m seeing a psychologist soon. But I don’t want to. Because she’s a person. I’m taking my partner. But I don’t want to. Because she’s a person. I don’t want the psychologist’s help because she merely seeks to profit from me. I don’t want my partner’s help because I don’t want to burdern her. I don’t want anyone’s help because it leaves me open to be profited from. Or it makes me a burden. I want to be valuable to people, without losing that which makes me valuable in the giving. I just want to be. It’s a cliché. And not a realistic one. Because we can’t just be. Because we have to do things. We have to be people. And we have to profit from other people. And hope that when we die it’s because our body is simply finished. Not that we’ve had everything taken from us. By people. I must avoid them. So I am. But they’ll be back.
THE BEARD – http://wp.me/p3xMwL-4R
An excellent (at least based on this one post I’ve read) blog addressing the bigotry and marginalisation which afflicts this country in thankfully small doses.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
My parents arrived in this country on a boat, and yet I call myself an Australian.
As a disabled woman, I am in a minority group, yet I call myself an Australian.
But according to racist pages promoting a new rally – the ‘Reclaim Australia Rally’ – ‘patriotic Australians’ need to stand together and stop the minorities from changing our country. They’re marching in April to tell the rest of Australia that they don’t want halal certification, burqas and the teaching of Islam in government schools. In short, they don’t want Muslims in our country, and they don’t want our country to change to suit them.
3,306 likes in Perth, and another 500 or so in Bunbury. One in almost every state. It saddens me, because this is the message to…
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Sometimes in life, everything feels right. And I know that might make it seem like this is going to be an essay on a cliche. But please bear with me, because this is something I’ve thought deep and long about. Things occasionally, even regularly – but hardly constantly – seem to work like a dance: either slow-paced and intimate, like a waltz, or fast-paced and superficial, like a full-moon drug-crazed beach rave party. Or somewhere in-between. Either way, you’ll feel sort of at peace no matter actual external circumstances. You’ll know what’s going to happen next, strongly suspect, or else effortlessly react to and control unexpected eventualities. Things feel about that way for me right now, and in fact I never write unless they do. It’s similar, this sense of life rhythm, to when people say “everything is under control” – which usually simply means their or their subordinates’ tasks for the day are proceeding at an acceptable pace not likely to be upset by possible surprises. Of course “everything” is never actually under control, but when someone says that it means their life, and their various ties to it, feels controlled. One senses mastery of one’s world at such moments.
It’s my girlfriend’s birthday today. She’s in Sydney with her family, getting up to things such as climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. And I’m housesitting her studio apartment overlooking a particularly picturesque vista of the southern Gold Coast. And my brother is away on a buck’s party weekend. So I’m luxuriating in my own company for the duration of the Australia Day long-weekend. I’ve got a mug of coffee by my side, Irished up with some Vat 69 Scotch whiskey. I’ve also got cigarettes, chocolate, chips, and an almost whole case of beer. It’s a pleasant afternoon, and the sun has all but descended beneath the horizon out of my view to the west, as I sit on the south-east facing balcony listening to bluesy, jazzy and funky beats on Double J digital radio. Even the local community, when I’ve ventured into its centre to attend to chores mainly relating to food and drink, feels peaceful and leisurely (mainly probably because most are off celebrating the end of summer holidays by getting drunk and scoffing sausages in caravan parks while fretting only about thunderstorms). Life, to indulge in cliche, is good.
That’s not to say things are perfect. My girlfriend is away for three days, and I love and miss her like nothing and no-one else. I enjoy spending time with my brother, and can’t help some concern for his safety while he parties in Surfers Paradise. I’m delaying dinner by writing. And the table I’m sitting at is a little rickety and needs a folded up piece of paper under one of its legs (which I probably won’t bother doing). But otherwise, this sense of rhythm I’m feeling in tune with right now is unperturbed by life’s constant small imperfections – as is crucial, because they are always there in whatever measure. The rhythm isn’t happiness. It isn’t contentedness. Nor relaxation nor inspiration nor satisfaction. Though each of those positive feelings and more might be felt concurrently. It operates independently and regardless of all other (even negative) emotion, seems rarer, but can in fact be more common; even constant, if not constantly comprehended. Its subtlety is such that only the introspection that comes with solitude can fully reveal its presence. In this sentence, added here after completion, I worry that I’m not doing a very good job of describing this feeling. But such doubt only strengthens my point, as only through consciousness of rhythm can the arguable futility of describing it be felt. It’s a conundrum, but one which fits nicely.
It can best be described in real terms as the opposite of paranoia – if such can be described as a consciousness of every possible but unlikely fear one may have. Rhythm, as I’ve defined it, can be seen as recognition of ultimate truth. Or truth above and beyond the idea that truth is a matter of perspective (which it can be, sometimes). To wit: I can look at a nearby roadway, right now, watch the cars cruising past and know that though their inhabitants have minimal, if any, impact on my life, what impact may exist is neither malevolent nor benevolent. The voices on one of the balconies above me mean me no harm, and if I was to pass their owners in the hallway, little but positive greetings from a hello to an invitation for friendly drinks would likely result. Others can tell when you’re feeling rhythm, even if they aren’t. Your own sense of rhythm can momentarily reflect onto and afford them relief from their wait for it to strike them first-hand. So they will smile, internally if not in fact, be glad for you and look forward to enjoying the same. All others you meet are your short-lived dance partner, when you’re feeling rhythm. They’re attracted to it, but likely won’t abuse it, and in such a state-of-mind you wouldn’t let them if they wanted to.
It can end at any time, too. At such times life goes back to normal. Life’s myriad tasks and interactions will once again be fulfilled still with rhythm, which is always present if varying in degrees of power, but with less or no consciousness of it. It’s a shame that this ever needs to happen to anyone. I’m reluctant to speculate why this happens. Perhaps it’s something that needs to recharge. Maybe it only reveals itself at moments truly necessary. It could be that the absence of rhythm or acknowledgement of it is really all part of a greater rhythm. It doesn’t matter. Conclusions aren’t necessary. In fact they’re unwise. Everything is in a constant state of flux. Things don’t happen for a reason. They happen because of a reason. Cause and effect, not spiritual pre-determination. This is why I so enjoy moments of conscious rhythm: I’m able to react to or control situations, even if they occur in almost complete solitude, in ways that ensure the best possible reaction from people and things around me. In this way – even though everything is and always will be a trade-off, as Sigmund Freud once observed in his book Civilisation and its Discontents – life feels bettered. And anyone who knows me will know that, apart from those with loved ones, I enjoy no interactions more fully than those with the written word. For me, there’s no more satisfying sense of rhythm.
The WordPress.com statisticians prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 23 trips to carry that many people.