Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our secret prison

We are all prisoners. All of us, every last one, lives in a world where our prison walls are not made of concrete and stone, not of cold steel and glass, but of barriers built in the human society itself.

These barriers are barriers of fear, of anger, of hatred, of derision and deception, wrought and worked in the fires of political expedience and the pursuit of power. Divisions, as always, are used to force separation, and thus remove cooperation.

We humans are a divisive lot, faction-filled and apparently programmed at the genetic level to compete, to find advantages for ourselves, and disadvantages for those we dislike. What is the truth? Among all the races, among all the factions of humanity, at the core of what makes us human, we are all the same. We are born, we live, we bleed, and ultimately we die. It is the nature of things, and of humanity.

When we are young, we are filled with wonder, and the world is full of flowers, and even the clouds and heat-haze of the roads reaches into our mind and pulls forth the imagination. When young, we do not hate, we do not fear, unless we are taught to do so, and be so. When brought up together, unless someone tells us it is 'wrong' to be different, we treat each other the same. We, however, seek an advantage, and in our equality, the greatest advantage is found when we separate others from us, and from their own. Because they are different they may be singled out, forced out, isolated, and targeted. They, for whatever reason, become something alien, something depersonalized and dehumanized, upon which our anger for our own perceived shortcomings boils forth.

When we hate, we focus on that which we see is not like ourselves, but the true measure of our anger is for that which we see in ourselves, and reject. We step out, reach out, and see a world that is so very full of temptation, of shame, of wants and desires, jealousy and lust, and because we sublimate them, hide them, and deny them, we attack, so often, the people that hold the very hidden desires that we cannot admit, not even to ourselves.

The greatest advantages one can place is via the power of the law, attempting to create advantages by force and coercion. Sometimes, however, it is more expedient to simply see to it that there is a disadvantage laid upon the back of a group. This process was supposed to be eliminated by the nature of general government, and the common law. The Jim Crow laws of the south, the gerrymandering, the outlawing of firearms for unpopular classes, poll taxes, literacy tests, and so many other things were designed, not to simply prevent certain classes from voting, but to prevent them from being seen as human. But.. were they not human? I believe that they can be argued to be nothing else.

As we tried to move from the hatred of people due to skin color (without regard to any 'color' of race) there were those who recognized a great deal of power in that hatred. By creating fear, they could sway crowds, incite people into the mass mind, the mob mind, where their individuality and critical thought ceased. However, the old methods of separation were slipping. What, then, was the answer?

The power was recreated fairly simply, creating classes that had labels that could not be seen in the skin, could not be understood, and that seemed so utterly alien that the political process could declare them to be monsters. They created labels, held them up to society as monsters, then let the old inner demons run forth. But how much more dangerous is a label to be feared that can be applied to anyone, at any time, that requires no proof of veracity, no evidence, just a simple allegation? A nebulous label which you can apply to anyone, quashing their rights.

I may be a total idiot... but even I can see the terrain that path leads through. We may be prisoners, but we don't need to make every mile... the Green Mile.

Read more!