Disclaimer: The writer of this piece is a cis het man.
Is it so hard to live in a decent society, free of poverty, inequality and, most of all, fear? No, that’s the wrong question. It is not true that we do not live in a decent society, we do. What is true, is that inglorious men with unholy ideas have clawed their way to power and they intend on staying there. They derive their power from the throngs of mindless individuals they oppress. By day, they ensnare their passions to fight for a past that will always just be a story and by night, they lull their senses with the opium of a glorious future to ensure that they do not, not once, not for a second, discover the truth. That they, too, are expendable. The truth that this glorious future can never and will never include them, because they future is meant only for the men who masterminded the violence in the first place.
The world is meant to live in peace and harmony, of that there is no doubt in my mind. Art and science, co-existing, gnawing at the two ends of the spectrum of the human experience, rationalizing it, abstracting it, is the purpose of our collective existence. The money that greases the wheels of this so-called progress is important but not paramount. It does not bode well to confuse grease with crude oil and yet, that is the world we live in.
The capitalist and his appropriation of private property has emboldened the political class to both benefit from their wealth but also to use it as a stick when they go out of line. The politics of our time is one of discord, not dignity. The existence of our fellow man is contingent not on their active offering to the collective, to the community, but their passive status inherited from their fathers.
The patriarchy, as is replete throughout this text, is a bedrock of oppression that we are all steeped in. The idea of ‘man’ is as repulsive to me as is the idea of the ‘hate-monger’. At least the hate monger, is kind to someone, at the end of the day, albeit an animal. The ‘man’ on the other hand cannot, in most cases, be kind even to himself. What a tragedy. And ‘man‘ knows this, deep down in his bones and as such is lashing out. A tantrum of historical, civilisational proportions. And, assuredly, I am no exception.
What must be done, what must we do, what must we say, what must we cut from ourselves to be rid of this cancer. The cancer of the ideologue who sees nothing but the flecks of blood and bone in his razor sharp teeth when he looks in the mirror. A devil, to be sure, masquerading as a god. It’s the oldest trick in the good book. The bible had the devil ensnare Eve as a serpent who offered enlightenment. The devil of doubt creeped into Arjuna’s mind as righteousness on the onset of war. Enlightenment, Righteousness, all properties we would ascribe to a good god, appropriated by the devil to mislead and to take for himself what was not his to take. The capitalist offers a similar bargain. Convenience and efficiency, productivity in lieu of your attention, your health, your money. The politician offers a similar bargain. Development, respect in lieu of your obedience. Obedience to what? To kill all those who disapprove of the manner in which the development is done, the manner in which respect is earned.
A seething rot has entombed the minds of the young and old alike. I would have said that we must make no effort to dig them out, to save them. Let them perish under the suffocating weight of their own insecurity and manhood. But it is clear, that they have eroded the foundations and the walls thus… we are entombed with them.
How do we dig ourselves out without aiding and abetting the blood in the streets? Most systems have justice as a recourse. As a means to avoid what some called ‘natural law’. But those systems, too, have eroded with the ramparts.
Terence-Hari (he/him) is a writer, filmmaker and a man.