I went to a bar earlier today and I ran into a profoundly ignorant person - it troubles me that I don't think this person is unique, but rather really, really, really, common place.
She saw things through a lens, which for lack of a better term, is stereotypical of a "Social Justice Warrior". We talked civilly for a while, but at a certain point I became profoundly annoyed with this person because it crossed a line where she was actively attacking me. The thing that bothered me the most was the method in which she kept dismissing examples from my life as essentially an anomaly in a greater system that impacts her
, and other people besides me. No matter how I might relate to the problems she was describing, I couldn't also be a victim of those problems, because I'm ultimately the perpetrator. I'm resonsible for the ills of society because of my race and gender and privilege.
She constructed a world in which everything she is a victim of, but where I could show the same levels of victimization in my own life, she ignored or actively told me why they should be dismissed. I tilted the conversation to play this back on her - when she described an ill, I described how she was immune from it herself. For example, she talked about how she was ostracized for being ugly, how her pursuit of being a stand up comedian has been dismissed because she isn't pretty, or perhaps how the more 'pretty people' have it easier than she did - but then I pointed out that she wasn't ugly at all and she got defensive. "Don't tell me how I am!" she demanded, and then proceeded to define exactly who I am.
This game of "I'm the greatest victim that has ever lived" and also, "I only live to triumph the greatest victims" is extremely pervasive. There is no way to over come this in 2016.
I believe that in 100 years, if there is a way to understand the world that exists in 2016, it will be incomprehensible. It will be one of those zeitgeists that seems beyond the approach of logic and reasoning. That we have two candidates running for office who both exemplify insanity to the highest degree; but only because our society, it's self, is insane. We have what we deserve in politics today.
For the last several months when I've engaged in these ridiculous political conversations I've tried to steer them back to the most basic of political conversations: that of political class. There are poor people, there are rich people, there are people in the middle. What happens to poor people is a truism throughout the world - what happens to the wealthy happens to the wealthy - there are no exceptions to this rule based upon identity. Meanwhile, when we look at the world through identity we find a dozen exceptions - exceptions that have to be dismissed, because they don't fit the concept the ideology wants to subscribe to.
It's as if I could demand the whole world listen to Zizek more. Alas, Zizek is probably the anti- of everything. Thinking of Zizek, it inspired me to see what he has been up to and his commentary on today's society. This brought me to the prime example of today's absurdity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNeeGORcOhU
- this video was, notably, only after I watched an insightful video about his views on Trump.
Everything is wrong today. No matter how much you do right, you are in the wrong. It's bizarre, it's horrible, it's discouraging for the youngest version of activists. I can't imagine doing what I did 10 years ago today.
Edit: I should probably just quietly study, perhaps more Hegel, but I have yet another Jefferson book next to me...