Sliding to the left

8 05 2008

I know that it’s a common trope that the older one grows, the more conservative one becomes. It’s not working like that for me, though, I can tell you that. The older I get, the more leftist I become. Let’s all say it together, kids:

It’s not ‘he who dies with the most toys wins’. It’s ‘if we all fail to cross the finish line together, we all lose’.

The world is getting smaller every day, and all the ways in which we are each utterly, inextricably interconnected are becoming ever more apparent. Us versus them is such a common, socially domineering concept that it’s almost impossible to raise kids with a pluralistic outlook in this culture. Different is not bad, same is not always good, when you see something on the surface, look under the covers at the whys and the hows. There is always, always more going on than you think there is.

This is also the virtue of teaching history. The world around us does not emerge from a vacuum afresh every morning, but so many people in this country lack even a fundamental grounding in history that it seems as though it did. Every day is a brand new day on Fox News! Don’t notice the pattern, don’t remember alllll the way back to the 80s when we funded kill and rape squads in Central America, or when we gave Saddam Hussein the wherewithal to fight and kill Iranians (and his own people, of course). Don’t pay attention. Paying attention is unAmerican! Just ask all the critics of Jeremiah Wright, who, while lacking in tact, has at least been paying attention to how things work in this country.

Don’t think about how all those ‘leeching’ ‘illegals’ are ‘pouring’ over our borders as a direct consequence of the actions of US big agribusinesses combined with NAFTA to strip hereditary protections from family farms in Mexico while simultaneously removing price controls on tortillas and corn. Don’t even KNOW that, much less think about it.

The truth is painfully simple, and as such, inescapable. We’ve sown the seeds, and now we’re reaping what we’ve sown.

Don’t know, don’t think, don’t pay attention, and don’t question. Just buy. Buy crap you don’t need, but feel like you’ll die if you don’t have. Feed the machine. Feed the march to oblivion. And don’t ever ever ask a hard question, or even worse, demand an answer.

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