Rage

Capitalism is the state religion of sociopaths.

I recently came across a crackbook post of a politician running for POTUS (president of the U.S.) with a table of 2 columns, one the old capitalism and one the new capitalism, https://www.yang2020.com/blog/the-new-capitalism/. 

Old Capitalism New Capitalism
People are economic inputs for a system that uses GDP and corporate profitability as its measures of success. People are the centers of the economy, and human well-being indicators (health, education rates, engagement with one’s job) are the measures of success.
Technology and automation will replace human labor. Technology and automation will free us to devote energy to things we value.
Health care is only available for those with resources or a job that provides it. Everyone has access to healthcare as a right of citizenship.
Education is designed to produce effective laborers. Education is designed to produce effective citizens and humans.
Businesses consolidate and capital flows to fewer and fewer people. Money is reinvested in individuals and communities to allow all economies to thrive from the ground up.

I was like really!??! You actually think capitalism is going to work as the empires it has created crumble.  I pity people who still believe this system of exploitation works and will save us.  Of course the ‘new’ capitalism isn’t really capitalism at all but that is a conversation for another time.

I started writing this blog post several months ago.  The idea stemmed from the rage I was feeling at what the U.S. was doing to Venezuela, essentially orchestrating a coup of a democratically elected government, spewing propaganda and blatant lies, just another case in more than 100 years of the U.S. trying to expand its empire and control any territory where fossil fuels can be found.

The other impetus for this blog post was that I stumbled upon an article that a friend had posted on crackbook about Feminine rage. I was intrigued by this as someone who has throughout life experienced intense anger & rage primarily directed at folks who just stand by and let shit happen.  It turns out from a quick internet search that there is quite a lot of material discussing this, albeit not necessarily from evidence based research, rather from writers & thinkers. I do certainly believe this is a time of great transformation, that is happening whether we like it or not, whether we acknowledge it or not.  Just like my life, the planet is also experiencing a fundamental shift, but we still haven’t hit rock bottom. 

I suffer from osteo-arthritis due to repetitive work from farming.  I remember the pain started shortly after we moved to our rural property. One of the main tasks we needed to take care of was stacking wood for our woodstove, our primary heat source.  I would get this stabbing intermittent pain in my wrists.  I remember going to the doctor and getting my hands xrayed, and yes the beginnings of arthritis were evident.  Fast forward many years and I finally went to see a specialist. With another xray, the doctor without even looking at it but instead looking at my hands, stated without hesitation yes you have a severe case of osteo-arthritis and here are the treatment options.  I was like what?  I am only in my 50s. 

I am lucky, my body is forgiving.  I should have been in constant agony but I was only experiencing pain if I did the physical labour.  I am mentioning this since years ago when I did some research as to possible causes of this, I came across an interpretation of arthritis from ayurvedic and chinese medicine which stated anger was the underlying cause.  I was like well that makes sense! 

Time has passed and so my rage has definitely subsided.  However, as is typical, underneath the rage is excruciating pain, a crippling sadness.  If I didn’t give a shit, if I didn’t care so much about the planet, then I would be fine, but then I would also be a zombie, a socio/psychopath.  I do embrace my rage as I do feel it is an appropriate response to what is going on around me and inside me. 

My rage is directed towards who have manipulated themselves and in turn manipulate others to not care about the long term impact of their actions, or only care about their immediate loved ones and fuck the rest. If you aren’t raging inside in light of what is happening either in your own backyard, or anywhere else in the planet then I think there is something fundamentally wrong with  you. Perhaps you are a psycho or sociopath thus not feeling anything impacts you about the climate chaos that surrounds you.  Perhaps you are just too terrified to feel your rage, or your terror, just to feel anything.  I get this. But if this is where the majority of people are at well we are screwed.  I do believe we are screwed anyway with what we have as the pathetic excuses for political and economic leadership found everywhere, as is evidenced by their lack of recognition of the severity and immediacy of climate collapse.

I have recently changed the quote I have at the end of my signature on my emails.  It reads: “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people”, Martin Luther King Jr. I learned many years ago that it the so-called nice people who are actually the ones who are dangerous and are ‘the problem people’.  A typical comment from so-called nice white people exemplifies this: “I treat everyone equally. I am not a racist”.  My eyes just roll.

My heart breaks at the misery that so many people are experiencing, at the same time it is filled with rage at those who still champion the business as usual (BAU) operation of society based on cheap fossil fuels.  My anger has always been fuelled by the pain that the planet is experiencing.   I mean there is something seriously wrong with you:

  • if you don’t mourn all the life that is killed when you see a clearcut, too many forestry folks & gov’t officials still haven’t learned that clearcutting is not responsible forestry – short term thinking and the almighty $ reign supreme;
  • if you are not scared and angry about the fact that orangutangs are dying so you can have your cheap processed foods that use palm oils;
  • if you are not terrified about the fact that bees and other pollinating insects are disappearing, threatening food production, leading all life to starvation;
  • if you are not raging against industrial agriculture for killing the bees and other insects with their poisonous practices (e.g. roundup ready GMO corn), and the masses in western world continuing to consume animals without a care about their welfare;
  • if you are not heartbroken seeing one of the remaining west coast orca pods carry their newborn dead calf for weeks;
  • if you are not sickened by the aerial shots of the tarsands devastation of the lands or film footage of exploding mountains to get at the coal;
  • if you are not outraged at the federal gov’t going into the business of oil pipelines, trying to blackmail us in believing that we need to do this as we transition and pay for the implementation of renewable energy installations which won’t save us either (one needs energy to make all that is needed for renewables – factor this into all we do);
  • if you are not outraged at the ongoing relentless colonialism and imperialism experienced by Indigenous Peoples in the world, people who have wisdom about ways to live so that some of may survive;
  • if you are not distraught that there are generations of children being born and raised never knowing peace… only war.

The list could be a lot longer but I think you get the picture.

I don’t mean to be mean but:

  • there really are people who are stupid, alas the situation as depicted in the movie Idiocracy has come true as the director of said movie said in an interview after DT got elected;
  • being ignorant is no bloody excuse, nor is ‘we didn’t know any better’… well actually we did, some did, but we didn’t listen to them, it is so unfortunate that the voices of reason that speak about the right way of being & doing are almost always vilified at first to eventually be adopted by the masses;
  • get over yourself and start acting in a way that acknowledges your privilege be it white, male or upper and middle class/higher socio-economic status;
  • stop whining, grow up and yes change your lifestyle, those creature comforts of refrigeration and heating are luxuries not rights;
  • stop blaming those ‘beneath’ you, instead engage your rage at those ‘above’ you, you know those responsible for accumulating so much wealth it is obscene and immoral just because the system of capitalism lets them and we let them with our consumption habits and addictions and with our apathy;
  • being silent is tantamount to approving of what is being done to all life on the planet, let alone human beings;
  • recognize your denial, get the support you need to process this, working to channel the energies that give rise to the denial to instead engage in constructive action.

I am reminded of the following by Martin Niemoller (turns out there are various versions, you can insert different marginalized groups, e.g. LGBTQ, racialized peoples, the homeless, people who are poor, women):

First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Socialists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Socialist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.

I am encouraged by several actions taking place in the world, one being the Extinction Rebellion movement.  We need a mass mobilization of people taking to the streets, not just marching but actually shutting down BAU, conducting education in public spaces, removing the evil from leadership positions.  As Greta Thunberg, one of my heroes, has stated, “…we can’t save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed. Everything needs to change. And it has to start today. So everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience, it is time to rebel”. (2018)

I will end with one of my favourite quotes I came across years ago when I began my journey into nonviolence:

“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. . . Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running and robbing the country. That’s our problem.” – — Howard Zinn, “Failure to Quit”, 1993, p. 45

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