Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Rising Tide of Unrest


Ok, so today’s post is simply a rant on something I’ve been thinking about. Pardon the attempt to connect things that have nothing to do with each other whatsoever.

The Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting in August by a White Supremacist. 
The girl who tried to set her family on fire, also in August. 
The Empire State Building shooting, also in August. 
The Aurora, Colorado shooting at a movie theater showing “The Dark Knight Rises” in July.
The survivalist who hid in his self-built bunker after killing his own family in April. 
The little boy who tried to suicide bomb in embassy in Kabul. 
The 81-year-old man who is accused of killing an 82-year old cop in Kentucky in September.
The killing of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, as well as the riots in Syria and Australia due to the Anti-Muslim video spreading. 
I know there’s the general sense that politicizing these events unfairly cheapens them and objects them to political party spins to get people to vote for whomever. But political discourse cannot ignore them.
Despite the fact that all of these things happened for different, individual reasons in very, varying places, what strikes me is that they’ve happened unusually close together in time. 

I think it’s easy to associate these things with the economy not substantially doing any better, and therefore easy to blame Obama. It’s easy to somehow tie these things to the restlessness and anxiety of people not finding jobs and his so-called “not changing anything”. But if we’re to follow that thread, we’d have to begin asking why there is a lack of jobs, where can the jobs come from, how do we fund that, how much of this is he truly in control of, who is antagonizing him, etc. 

But I digress. 

The number of people on unemployment insurance, or “The Dole” as The Streets would call it, has gone down, but this could be because people have ran out of government assistance and given up on applying to jobs, losing the ability to support themselves as well as some sense of purpose in today’s world. Given that they are still human beings, with the desire to contribute or consume from the world around them and take care of themselves and no place to go and do either, a frustration begins to mount and recklessness colors their actions.

Even amongst the employed in many businesses, there’s a sense of dumbing down and aggressiveness. At my friend’s “office” job, everyone shouts everything across the office to everyone else, completely obliterating any kind of discretion or respect for personal business or opinions. When customers calls and they’re angry because of some sort of disservice or faulty product that’s been sold to them, their call is inconsiderably passed off to other employees, who probably in turn pass it to someone else. The employees there decide for themselves what they do and don’t feel like doing, despite the fact that this attitude is what’s pissed the customer off in the first place. Management does virtually nothing about this. As a matter of fact, I think there’s one managerial person that supports it a bit. Additionally, more than half of that office is made up of people with jail records or people without degrees, and if any given 2 people are not sleeping together, they’re fighting, either with raised voices or fists.

It’s almost seems as if, as bodies age and opportunities shrink, brains regress, and people began to act out in rage all over the place. And it continues to become worse and worse as the richer get richer and the poor get poorer. Perhaps the apocalypse is indeed on the horizon, although I haven’t seen any 7-headed dragons or the Lamb Christ in the sky with 7 seals……yet.

This greedy, capitalistic economic divide is going to continue to turn us into money-starved monsters, all stepping on each other’s heads in order to either keep our jobs or over the mentioning of a job opening. This is what happens when you put the majority of the country’s wealth and power into hands of a small few, especially when that few are business-owners in the private sector, where they have the ability to fire people for anything they want and pay people anything they want without regulation or policy that supports the workers. Plenty of money will come in, but only a miniscule piece of it will reach the people who deal with clients and do most of the work to keep the place afloat. And when workers complain that the labor most certainly does not match the pay, they are simply replaced with someone else much more desperate. And when the people become fed up with having to completely object themselves for a private business or corporate profit and not having any other options but still being hit with gas and electric bills and no way to feed their children or pay rent, naturally they began to entertain some sort of outlet, wrong or right, to strike back at all this.

We need to calm the fuck down. 
Help each other, now more than ever. 

The anger of these violent crimes is, if not directly representative, then symbolic of the growing unrest. But a strong nationwide community can give these people (even the boy in Kabul) something to rest on when circumstances in a particular individual’s life are terrible at any given time.
Additionally, a strong community will show these greedy business people that we don’t need them. They need us. As I’ve said in a previous post, we need to pass each other opportunities and information about jobs. Obama needs to continue putting an unwavering foot down on keeping unemployment funded, especially if the government agrees with letting private businesses be a strong portion of the economy. There should be places where communities can pool resources together and people can take what they need (with everyone being accountable so that it is clear that they need to take from the resources). Everybody has families and bills and the like to take care of. Rally against an empowered private sector that has the freedom to suck up the economy and leave droplets of paychecks for their workers.
This, of course, does not even begin to be a new idea, but it also is not yet a reality. I have no idea what the nature of those communities-within-a-nationwide-community should be. I suppose it’s different for every culture and geographic location. I just know that today’s focus should not be how to get ahead for yourself, but how everyone can get ahead for each other.