Polarization,and neofascism in the new century

aka Tribalism in the new century

Well here we are, 2017 6 Muslims murdered, 17 Jewish synagogues and daycare centres shut down by bomb threats, mass demonstrations, hundreds detained at airports across the US, and an unapologetic demagogue derailing the US constitution, dividing his country in the most tactless manner.

So where does that leave us? I’m canadian so what can I? should I do? I’m a quite certain I know what the answer from the Alt right citizens of america would be… what they would tell me to do…. And believe me no one anywhere would be happier right now if the US existed in a bubble where its current dangerous, horrific policies did not affect other nations, particularity mine… But as the slaughter of 6 Muslims in Quebec drew gory attention to (being as the perpetrator was a white nationalist, who espoused support for trump, as well as other alt right anti immigrant politicians) What happens in the US has profound effects in the countries of its neighbours, allies, and indeed the world at large. Canada too has experienced an empowerment of the alt right racist nationalist in our country due to the trump effect. not just in the circles of extremism, but in the daily lives of “ordinary” Canadians the increased xenophobic dialogue, individuals that now feel comfortable expressing all sorts of “opinions” (and ‘i put that in parenthesis not because I want to draw attention to the word in specific, but because hate speech is not just a simple opinion, its something that doesn’t only damage the targeted individuals self-esteem, but can lead violence that results in injury even murder of the targeted group/individual) towards a specific group of people, religions and indeed skin tones….

Racism is not new to Canada, nor would I imagine any part of the world. Tribalism it seems is evolutionarily ingrained into human beings…..sadly….However that does not give tribalism (or as many define it racism) a free pass to be an accepted part of our society and everyday lives. indeed it should be the impetuous for us to make all efforts to overcome such destructive behaviour. if you read socio-biological studies about rapes role throughout human history, it becomes clear that in more primitive paleo societies it was not viewed as the heinous crime it is now. I don’t think many of us would argue that this moral advancement in our society and behaviour was a positive one (and if you don’t believe that, feel free to send me an email and I will gladly forward it to creep catchers and the police) Like rape, tribalism is an evolutionary hang-over that we should all be actively fighting against, both in ourselves and in our societies. I feel any person with the slightest bit of humanity would feel the same….. but they don’t, we as a collective don’t. we excuse justify and enable… Does that make many of us amoral barbarians? (part of me screams yes. the part of me that rages at the Muslims hating posts that have appeared on several media stories about the 6 killed in quebec) however I think it has a deeper cause , a permission within our society that has allowed it to flourish unchecked well beyond its evolutionary usefulness… and Trump is a prime example of how this has happened. Tribalism is a tool for governments corporations, and indeed even village councils (trying to increase attendance at local events) to aquire and maintain your support….

Used for centuries by kings to gather the serfs behind the march of armies conquering new lands, it is still used with the same effectiveness on our modern populations. its breadth has been extended in to the daily consumption, brand loyalty and preference. I have even found myself falling prey to this in the android vs apple wars as I prefer androids more open platform (although learning today that google had given 14+ million in political donations during the election with the lions share going to the republican party has tainted my brand loyalty a good deal)…. So we are bombarded daily with tribalistic messages “buy this because we made it”, “do this because you are like us and that’s what we do”…. not to mention we are raised in environments where nationalism is how we start our day, followed by school loyal sporting events, team allegiances… it’s endless and non-stop to the point where very few even notice it, and find themselves participating in it with rapt enthusiasm….. Go canucks….. even socially we are broken down into ideological and gender based tribes, women’s coffee groups, mens poker night, big hair, no hair, old, young…… all-pervasive… so why should it come as a surprise that all this tribalism then manifests based on colour and religion. we are programmed for it, and one starts to wonder if there is even a way to break its influence. of course power structures and corporate entities have no desire because their empires are built on maintaining our primal tribal instinct.

As for nationalist/populous/protectionism…..We are such easy prey for this programming. natural human inclinations to shift responsibility from ourselves (or those that control us) for our misfortunes, makes it easy to set us against each other, rather than putting the blame where it belongs. job loss and weak economies are entirely caused by bad governmental decisions/regulations and corporate entities that siphon wealth from the land and people, yet being as we feel powerless against these forces, we are much more easily swayed to blaming those we can do something about.. (of course this leads us down exactly the path we are on now building walls and killing innocent people)

My conclusion is one of complete defeat on sadness on many levels. what does this continuing era of xenophobia and hatred mean for us? it means that we can only hope that profit comes before insanity, and the leaders of our new world see it as unprofitable to continue to exploit tribalism for personal gain and power (because we the completely inducted population will not likely have the will to resist our own tribalistic programming) that they realise they will make more money, have more power if they consolidate us into one large consuming tribe, rather than divide us into war…..

What can I do? should I do? Well I would love to see us truly examine, with honestly, humility, and compassion, our motivations for engaging in hatred and blaming. I would like to think it is possible if we understand our weakness and lack of self-determination we can overcome our own natural instincts, much the way we have outgrown rape culture (for the most part). We need a good dose of logical, rational, self-criticism as a society, as well as individuals. Beyond that we need to stop hiding under excuses and fears, we need to take on the worst in ourselves, and confront the worst in others. Don’t just stand there when someone says “I fucking hate indians” don’t just look or walk away when someone makes jokes about bindi dots and curry, when someone berates Muslims, or suggests someone shouldn’t be allowed to be here. By silence you are giving permission, and if you sit down and have a coffee with that person the next day, you are in fact enabling them. you see, you are part of their tribe and by your silence you are assumed to be agreeing with them…. I know I have done this as well, and now regret every time i did not speak up. Because I am part of the culture that allowed a 27-year-old white nationalist to walk into a mosque and take 6 innocent lives… I am complicit in his crimes, and so are you….

space looks very beautiful today

Last nights rain must have cleansed extra particular matter from the skies. the most beautiful blue between the cotton clouds.

Those moments, the bluest blues, the glint and shimmer, the smile of birds and the gentle sounds of their beating wings. these are the moments the fatalist in me takes note of. Remember this I tell myself, because one day there may be no birds. the sky may never be this blue again. Fatalism doesn’t have to be depressing although the condition of the world does have me living in a constant haze of depression, but fatalism can be somewhat liberating. I have an acute appreciation of every pleasantry i come across, every memory of what was and what is has some value because I see it all slipping away into a dark future fashion by human ignorance and greed.

I’ll let my inner misanthrope shine today because on the weekends, when i get time, i always slip into that mindset. maybe my mindless banausic job is of some benefit? if only because it robs me of time to actually think about the state of the world or analyze the actions of humanity around the globe… see capitalism works! it stupefies us all, leaves us without time or energy to  consider what is actually happening…

I have to admit I have begun to wallow in a place of inaction, not because I don’t care, but because it hurts to much to care openly, to try and fight the overwhelming sea of madness that is taking us to the brink… The fight seems to me entirely futile, no one is actually willing to sacrifice enough to stop the train barreling out of control. You see them paying lip service in public forums…. seems lip service is trending… but what has changed? 2013 the world pumped more carbon into the atmosphere than ever before, no one nation of any consequence had meaningful reductions in CO2… political inaction, industrial inaction, and individual inaction has lead us exactly down the worse case scenario path, as it has for the last 3 and a half decades (the time frame in which the public began to become aware of the dire nature of the problems)

(distraction moment: a small herd of deer eating apple leaves when i stepped out for a smoke just now. immense beauty in those gentle eyes. watching 3 generations  in the simple act of obtaining nourishment reminds me why life is so amazing… and inspires a great deal of anger as I watch the tiny buck with his little antler numbs just starting to form, knowing his future is at the receiving end of a hunters gun. Some fucker who will go on a serial killing spree next fall for the pure pleasure of taking a life…. wild animals don’t live long lives out here to many killer monkeys rampaging in the forests…. ok turn anger off, back to rant)

Are we worth saving?

I see this question pop up in a lot of the articles i read. the self preserving optimists always have a sentence somewhere in those meandering paragraphs stating they think we are… My response has always been why? What exactly makes us worth saving…i think the positive answers you see are motivated  simply by arrogance and selfishness.. (my opinion has always been popular.  i think i must enjoy being told to go fuck myself) How is one animal that is destroying an entire planet never mind an ecosystem worth saving. You see it on documentaries and in articles, the efforts to eradicating invasive species because of the damage the are perpetrating on ecosystems… we make cane toads and feral cats look like saints. there is not one ecosystem on the face of the planet that is not in peril because of us…. we are breeding ourselves into the ruin of everything and we can’t seem to stop ourselves… actually worse then some unseen force driving us to consume and reproduce like a rabbit or fruit fly… we are doing it consciously knowing exactly what the outcome is going to be, and we consciously have made a decision to not give a shit, to march straight off that cliff. the crime is, we are taking everything over that cliff with us. and then selfishly we ask if “WE” are worth saving?!   My answer….. NO!!!

We are so alone all 7 billion of us (thank you Ernest Cline you revolutionized my outlook)

7 billion…. lets think about 7 billion 264 million shall we (# courtesy of worldometer).. say I could fold 200 paper cranes a day/ 1400 per week/ 78,400 per year it would take me 92 thousand 653 years to fold a crane for every person on earth, and what would the population be by then?? i think 0 is a likely answer. We are all ready running a resource deficit, we have exceeded the global carrying capacity by several billion, we use 5 planet earths worth of resources every decade…. we are in serious overshoot…

Overshoot….

People seem confused by that concept, for anyone slightly befuddled i will explain:  the earth can only produce so much every year, this includes biomass (hate that term but oh well) as well as non biological resources. each year the shear mass of humanity  consumes far more than the planet can produce in one year, so somewhere around the mid to beginning of august we enter what is call overshoot, where we are now dipping into the resources that the planet has produced over the last many millions of years. these past surpluses are limited however, they are finite and will likely not be replenished anytime in during humanities existence. so we are playing a game of continual diminishment. of course some resources like soil, our fresh water, once diminished create a cascade of further diminishing the earth ability to produce. shortening the time frame in which we enter overshoot. so we spiral down the drain faster and faster. lets add climate change, ocean acidification,  pollution  and the spreading scourge of urbanization to the mix. only place i have ended up, trying to consider all the things we are doing at once, is holy fuck… there is no other place to go, unless you are religious in mindset. in which case you go to your happy place, in the back of the closet, imagining some sick sky fairy is actually orchestrating this madness as some form of torture for sentient life….. and at some point he/she will flick the switch and say “ok i’m finished water boarding you all, lets have some paradise time”… really hope it brings you some comfort cause that god/heaven/Armageddon shit just pisses me off…. (more on that some other time)

The onion had a funny piece recently –> http://www.theonion.com/articles/71-billion-demonstrate-in-favor-of-global-warming,36984/

But you know what it wasn’t funny because in many ways it rang very true. we pat ourselves on the back for a showing of solidarity about climate change when reality was that most of the world didn’t participate. those in the developing world, many without access to media, were too busy trying to survive that day. and the majority of us in the developed world didn’t give a shit…. when most of humanity is unable to, or actively doesn’t want change, how do a few thousand monkeys figure they are going to change things for everything and everyone? shear force of will? positive vibes? I wrote a rant the day of the big “climate march” it certainly wasn’t my finest, however the gist of it was that marching around with a sign changes nothing… never has never will. Standing up and being willing to die for what you believe in can have slightly more impact.. but when your enemy is yourself, and there are 7.2 billion more enemies at the gates…… well……

Anyway I lost my intended train of thought…. what inspired me to write was the very blue sky today, and with all the forest fires here this year the sky hasn’t been that blue for a good long while. I missed the blue, and i worry that we are heading to the day where my memories will be the only time i see that blue again… every bit of beauty i see in nature is tempered with sadness and fear, all of it is under threat, and all because some fucking monkeys don’t know how to behave….

good night for now