The underpinnings of a revolution
The current state of American affairs
I sense it happening. Every day. Like the tremors before an earthquake, something’s happening.
I know this is a result of my social media echo chambers. Heck — it’s thanks to all the propaganda I consume on a daily basis. All the advertisements. All the critics and the cynics and the skeptics voicing dissent.
We’re undergoing a revolution nowadays.
It’s not as dire and apocalyptic as some people would like to make us believe.
People are organizing. They’re taking to the streets and protesting. They’re continuing things in the American tradition — things that show how we’re changing from the inside out.
Our systems are failing us, we say. We protest against big and fast everything — big pharma, big agriculture, fast food, fast fashion. We see how consumerism has consumed the minds of so many in our nation.
And we’re not having it.
America — as the oligarchy it is — is growing smarter. More critical. And more fearful.
We have someone who acts like a tyrant — albeit a charismatic one to those who like him. He denounces the media as full of lies, claiming that he’s one of the only sources of truth. He prophesies doom and despair, like America is no longer as “great” as it used to be.
America’s never been “great.” It was better in some ways in FDR’s days. But not in empowering people who’ve traditionally been marginalized.
Right now, there’s a movement to disempower and disenfranchise those who aren’t wealthy. Those who aren’t minorities. And things are happening quickly — more quickly than you could believe.
Power dynamics are changing. But my worry is that power corrupts people in ways that are difficult to change, even if the population possessing such power is changing demographics-wise.
The educated elite aim to lead in positions of power and disenfranchise those who are less educated. Exploit the minds of those who are trapped in poverty to profit off a system that’s failed too many.
Many rich people look for tax breaks and loopholes to hold onto more of their wealth, rather than using that wealth to empower those who are oppressed.
Many powerful people continually silence people who are oppressed, noting them as too “sensitive” or “attention-seeking” for voicing legitimate concerns.
Both rich and powerful people are extolled and put into the limelight for their beliefs, as if they were demigods. Their voices and opinions are broadcast to the masses almost as purveyors of truth.
The demagogues are winning in the world today. But the rest of us are not having any of it.
I stopped watching the news because I was tired of being fed lies and misinformation. I believe the heart of journalism has been tainted with emotionally manipulative stories, stories that aim to mislead and distort the truth.
Because a lot of what the media fails to recognize is the progress we’re making.
It erases the efforts of researchers who strive to improve the quality of knowledge and life for those around them.
It highlights corruption without depicting the virtue present in the people today.
It demonizes certain groups of people for being a certain way.
And it encourages partisanship and division through sensationalism. Through black-and-white stories of good vs. evil.
But at the same time, things are changing. Quickly.
I see Hollywood’s portrayal of strong women. Of people of color as strong leads. Of diverse casts that diversify the dreams of the children today.
I see Hollywood’s portrayal of more sensitive, nurturing men. Of men who are strong and vulnerable at the same time.
The structures inherent in society today are changing as more millennials rise to try and battle the systems that keep people down in the first place.
But the battle is a quiet one.
I think things are going to look vastly different over the next few years.
As immigration continues and minorities become the new majority, a slew of problems will arise with it. And I think this fact is scaring people and turning them to extremism to cope with it.
But there’s no need for such extremes. Not when most people are likely moderate in their beliefs. Not when most people still have the capacity to judge which perceptions of the world are more accurate and based in reality.
Or so I’d hope.
But when I see people flocking to libraries, I see people who want to be as informed as they can be. I see people flocking to churches searching for reasons why this is all happening. I see people reading history books to learn more about human nature and the patterns we’ve subjected ourselves to time and time again.
So I think things are changing.
It’s not as dire as I spell it out to be, either.
There are technological advances being made in medicine.
Most people can live longer, more healthier lives.
There are lawyers who represent those who have traditionally been voiceless in the courts.
People are fighting to correct a failing criminal justice system.
People are fighting to correct an education system that’s let too many students slip through the cracks.
And people are fighting to ensure we still have the privacy and security we need to flourish.
For every danger in society, there are people to respond to it. People who rise to the challenge and protect our own liberties and freedom. People who try tirelessly every day, oftentimes without acknowledgement or recognition, to try and help people in these chaotic times.
These are the people I see around me. People who’ve dealt with shit in their life, who may have an assortment of mental health problems, but are trying their best to do what they can to make the world even marginally better than it was before they existed.
These efforts are to be lauded. These efforts matter.
So shine a light to those who do good, who work tirelessly and/or burn themselves out again and again to try and do whatever’s in their power to benefit all of society.
That’s what being an American is all about.