reply to post by Demetre
I love your analogy of boxes, and your statement that we lose our identity once we step into one.
I was inspired to write this by what you said:
Here are some examples of popular, politically charged labels in the United States (covering the whole world and its myriad nations would take much
too long, so I'll use this country as an example): Republican. Democrat. Conservative. Liberal. Legal. Illegal. Anti-immigration supporter. Immigrant
sympathizer. White. Black.
The vast majority of human beings on the planet feel that they belong to one or more labels, and in this country the majority of human beings that
live in it believe they belong to one or more of the above labels in particular. And, as is well known, in America people love to take part in fights
between these ostensibly opposing labels and groups. What most people never consider, however, is whether these are false dichotomies. That is to say,
most people never even bother to question what the REAL problems are that these divisions and categories mask.
People who choose to label themselves as Republicans often express a deep disdain for those who label themselves democrats, and vice-versa. People who
consider themselves conservative often regard liberals as crazy or a threat to the country and vice-versa. My question: Is the real problem that
people are one of these or the other, or is it that these are in every pragmatic respect the only viable political options available to people with
any expectation of victory? Why is it assumed, perpetuated, and financially reinforced by those with the most power and money (on both sides) that two
parties are all we can ever have in office, and all we can expect for leadership as human beings, which are by nature infinitely diverse and can never
adequately be represented by only two small wedges of the human political spectrum?
Many people who sympathize with illegal immigrants regard those who oppose illegal immigrants as close minded bigots. Many who oppose illegal
immigration regard sympathizers as weak and as helping the "illegals" to undermine the economy while simultaneously benefiting from it. My question:
Is the real problem that either of those scenarios are true, or is it that there is a division between so-called "illegals" and the rest of us as
fellow human beings in the first place? While people are busy arguing about whether America or the immigrants should come first, I ask, why are we
distinguishing between the two? Are they not human? Are we not human? Are we not ALL human?
Many whites feel that they are the victim of reverse discrimination. Many blacks feel that they are oppressed economically and socially by whites. My
question: Is the problem really about ethnicity, or is it that any economic (and thereby material) disparity exists between human beings in the first
place, anywhere, for ANY reason?
You may notice that the pattern in all of these questions is that there is one label we all, by virtue of existing on the planet, share automatically:
human beings. But this is what happens when we allow ourselves to be labeled, or label ourselves.
A label is a box. An easily manageable, easy to move, simple to replace, and above all, academic to control, unit. Once you're in that box, people
much more powerful, wealthy, and influential than you can pick you and everyone else in your box with you up, and put you wherever they want. They can
put you at odds with the seemingly polar opposite boxes. They can discard you completely (disenfranchise you.) They can put you on the top of the pile
of boxes (make you the upper class.) They can strategically position you to siphon influence and power away from other boxes above and below you (make
you the middle class.) They can use every means at their disposal to control you because they know what we refuse to even think about in our busy
lives filled with the pursuit of material wealth, manufactured ideological categorization, and above all just trying to survive: that to divide and
conquer is the only way to ensure their own perpetual power.
If everyone stepped out of their box, and into one, large, shared, human box, there wouldn't be a force on the planet that could prevent that box
from erasing the disparity, conflict, and inequality that presently dominates the world. But that will never happen. Because people not only label
themselves, they will defend their box to the death. That's the way the boxes are designed. They're designed so that people say, "Dammit... this is
MY box! And you can't make me come out! Go back to your own box! *Stomps foot*" Because once you're in your box, a part of your identity is lost.
You become your box, and everything that goes along with that box. It doesn't matter if that's how you see yourself or not, because the opposing
boxes will automatically reinforce the limits and rules of your own box for you, and vice-versa. To them, you are only your box, so in every practical
sense, you are your box.
And that is where we stand today. It's why we can treat illegal immigrants as less than human. It's why people with a lot of money and a lot of
power can divide us and make us do unthinkable things, make us hate one another, and make us sit idly by as our planet burns around us (whether you
believe we're responsible or it's a natural phenomenon... two more boxes, incidentally, since either way, climate change and extinctions are
occurring regardless of the blame game.)
I don't know about the rest of the world, but I'm human and I care about the rest of the humans on this rock with me, and the rock itself. Those are
the only boxes I'm worried about. They may not be as small and easily manageable as the other aforementioned boxes, but at least they might, perhaps,
be worth keeping alive and vital.
Please note that everything above is merely my personal opinion, and I am not asserting it/them as a fact/as facts. Thank-you.
[edit on 5/15/2010 by AceWombat04]