We are all born with a clean slate and most of us are born with expectations from our parents and in turn we have expectations. We all think we will do as well or better than our parents. We all see the riches on TV, the ultra rich making insane amount of money and at the same time we see abject poverty.
We all want to impact the poverty and we want to be rich but we can do neither. We ourselves cannot become rich and the rich seem to be apathetic about the poor. What can we do? Well, when we cannot fix or create we can still destroy. That’s what many turn to. The Islam radicals don’t care for Islam, they care for lack of jobs and lack of realization of dreams and so they take the next one that is offered to them. The Tea Party voter has no interest in electing someone who will effectively destroy the American government, he wants to have a job, savings and ability to live out his life as his parents did. But he doesn’t see that happening with the current system so he elects someone who says that without the system he will be better off. The anti-BDS kid in college doesn’t care about Israel or Palestine, but he does see Jews and Israel as part of the establishment that seem to do well while the little guy Palestine like him goes no where. He doesn’t actually think he can help himself given the student debt, the global warming and a government that doesn’t seem to listen to him, but maybe with this organization, he can destroy a proxy called Israel and if he can do that, maybe he can get some control of his life by having control over someone else.
This is the defining issue of our generation. We feel out of control in the fast past news cycle, the intense and fast changes of technology and the demands put on us by the hyper changing environment and world around us. Even those who ran on the treadmill in High School know that a divorce or a loss of job or a sickness can make all that hard work irrelevant. And those without a college education or parents who were able to pay for it feel even less in control of their life.
And so we smoke weed, and party, and do coke and get drunk and fuck because those small things we have control over and they make us forget the intense pressures of the world, of family, of friends, of ourselves on us.
And that’s the lucky ones. Because the Latino and Black kids who had no choice of a good school, of parents who could pay their way through college and laws which did not treat them in a courtroom for smoking weed like kids making mistakes, but sent them into dark depths of prison from which they would never recover and the girls into the endless poverty of early mothers because the religious and white majority took away their education and ability to plan their own lives and childbirth the way white women can.
This pressure, this fatalism, this inability to do what we feel we were born to do seems to be at the core of Tea Party, Occupy, BDS, Terrorism, Daish, the drug war, the destruction of family, falling away of patriotism, lack of trust in food or vaccines, the lack of belief in the government and all things which could make our lives better. Instead we all embrace hate of religion or non-religion, the punitive power of war, the destructive power of drugs. Because when you cannot find a way to fix and do not have the power to create, you turn to the one thing you have control over; the ability to destroy.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. In an age when education is a must, providing that education without creating indentured servants through unreasonable debt or tuition that makes it impossible for a whole subset of people to participate in our society. Making housing affordable by limiting the number of houses that old people have and collect checks which reduces the housing supply and makes rents and costs of housing so high that young cannot afford a house or create wealth. By doing away with schools which are funded by property taxes creating rich schools with high taxes and poor schools with low taxes limiting the opportunities of those who need the help and funding most, by offering trade education to those who are not academic by nature and offering good enough starting wage so everyone can feel like they have enough, by giving people ability to choose when they can start to have a family because they can afford it and not having arbitrary laws that punish specific races because the society is sick and requires drugs. These small changes could change everything. Because these are the ills we must fix, not Islam, not Israel and not “government.”
These are the things in our collective power, these are the things we can create, we can fix and thus not have to depend on the one power we do not need as it would only make things worse, the power to destroy. It is our choice and it is our only hope.