I know what you may be thinking.
If you’re a conservative, you’re thinking, “Fuck that. They’re immoral, against god, partisan …”
If you’re a liberal, you’re thinking, “Okay, sure. Jesus said turn the other cheek. And if you don’t believe in Jesus, that’s okay. Martin Luther King Jr., said we must strive to get along with one another.”
If you’re a religious zealot (fundamentalist anything), you’re thinking, “Fuck that. They immoral, against god, partisan …”
If you’re a secularist, you’re thinking, “It depends.”
If you’re rich, and therefore have power because it’s been bought, you’re thinking, “Who is this bitch? Someone get rid of her.”
If you’re a politician who believes that donor money is okay, then you’re thinking, “Who is this bitch? Someone get rid of her.”
If you’re a corporation, you … well, you’re not a person, so who gives a shit what your CEO thinks.
. . . .
Giving voice to the many as opposed to the few is what our First Amendment bestows upon us. Its purpose is egalitarian. But over the many decades, conservatives and religious ascetics and zealots have tried to narrow the First Amendment so that it only applies to the few. They believe that it actually means,
“The First Amendment means my religion is paramount and you had better believe what I believe. If you don’t, I will bury you. My life is more important than yours, so bow down in fear before me. And I can say whatever the hell I want because your opinion doesn’t matter–unless it’s the same as mine. Then Hallelujah, praise god, and let’s have a circle jerk.”
Okay, maybe not that last part of the sentence, but it’s point is the same.
Over the many centuries, and in the case of the United States of America, decades, the rich have tried to preserve a slave class. A serfdom. They have been stopped occasionally, but by and large, they have succeeded because we–all of us, not just those who aren’t well-off and comfortable–have been taught to believe that they are better than us because they have money. Someone somewhere decided their bloodlines are superior, based solely on what a few people believed.
“This guy’s a king because … well, that guy said so. Bow down.”
“This family name is better than mine because … well, they say so. Bow down.”
It’s all because those so-called ‘royal’ bloodlines or family dynasties came from money. I’m sure you can think of a few names. Windsor. Tudor. Vanderbilt. Kennedy. Dupont. Rockefeller. Morgan. The list is long, but it pales in comparison to the list of names that belong to everyone else. The 99.9%.
We live in a hierarchical Patriarchy. This requires an unequal system and can’t thrive without it. Children, regardless of age, are relegated to childhood and disrespect every time their parent, no matter the age, walks in the room. Maturity does not guarantee mutual respect and equality. A father at 80, sees his son, at 60, as his little boy. His son hasn’t ‘earned’ his maturity because he’s still ‘lower’ on the totem pole than the ‘father’. This hierarchy gets passed down, and so the behavior and belief get passed down. It ensures, and insures, inequality.
Patriarchy also places males above females. This invites criminality and aberrant behavior.
Without lop-sided belief systems, men and women are a reflection of the animal kingdom. They are equal in the eyes of nature. They have their roles, their strengths and weaknesses, and they balance each other. Bring in belief, and that balance suffers. Nature will try to regain that balance, but if the belief system countermands it, then the whole suffers.
Patriarchy also places one class above another. See above about the rich. This societal structure doesn’t come into play, directly, when one lives in a caste system. That sort of system is different than class in that you can have the same economical status, but your caste system says that those who prepare the dead for burial are lower caste than those who clean the streets. They make the same amount of money. They provide needed service to the community. But some asshole somewhere decided that funeral services were beneath them and convinced others to treat them with open hostility—until you need those funerary services, then you have to soil yourself to use them.
There are people around us, bless their hearts, who believe in an egalitarian point of view. Laudable. Everyone’s viewpoint or belief system is no less important than another’s. They tell us that we have to consider everyone’s point of view. Consider your friend’s. Consider the stranger’s. Consider your enemy’s. “Be open to another view.”
Okay. Let’s do that.
Now we’re all respecting of each other’s opinions.
No. We’re not.
Those of the conservative and/or religious/classist viewpoint not only do not see everyone as equal, they refuse to do so. Their belief system prevents it.
And let’s get down to brass tacks here. If you are a conservative. If you are a fundamentalist. If you are rich. Then here is what we who are not have seen from you:
You see a poor person as a blight on society, and as someone who doesn’t deserve help, and you are not only willing to walk past as they lie bleeding in the street, you are adamant about it. You are willing to create laws that discriminate against them. You create laws that force a cop to shoot them for being something you despise: different than you. Skin color. Eye color. Eye shape. Belief system. Bank account. If they aren’t on the same level as you, based solely on the numbers on a page, you want them out of sight.
Clean my house. Clean my street. Make my water run clean. Make my car. Make my clothes. Grow my food. Tell me my health is perfect. Fix it if it isn’t. You know they’re there, just out of sight. Your eye will not go there. You can’t stand to look there. You know they’re suffering . And you don’t care.
So, ladies and gents. Those of you who say we must respect and allow everyone’s viewpoints …
Should we really allow those whose viewpoints would willingly see others suffer to be in charge? To be respected?
I’m sorry. But egalitarianism, like democracy, should only go so far.