Wednesday, January 16, 2013

class warfare

when i started watching Eugene Jerecki's The House I Live In, from everything I'd seen about the movie, I thought it was going to be about how the war on drugs is really a race war.  Modern day slavery, concentration camps, incarcerations.  By a staggering margin, leveled primarily at minorities.  In the end, though, it hit a little closer to home.

It is a war on the lower class, the dead weight of society.  People most likely to commit crimes, least likely to work, people who often need help paying for health care, or even food and shelter.  And this includes all the different reasons therein, for which one might end up as such a person.  Be it systemic racial discrimination, or just plain old being buried by a life of unfortunate circumstances and hardships.

These are also the people most prone to escapism.  Turning to drugs just to cope with the bullshit life turned out to be.  Not that it's utterly impossible to get out of it, but most of us are just trying to live.  We aren't blessed with the neurochemistry of an overachiever, who runs marathons even if they're a paraplegic who has to do it on arm stilts, made themselves out of popsicle sticks.

We're just trying to get from day to day, and make the most of it.  We assess our prospects of making more of ourselves, and try to make the best call we can, as to whether it'd be more realistic to just get drunk.  Or high.  Whatever works.  Lot of people learn the hard way that fighting for something more just doesn't work.  It's just not how life goes.  We make the most of what we have.

It's all so very complicated, and while some are bound to disagree, I think the bottom line is in the simple realities of it.  What happens, not what should happen, or why.  You've got this subset of society that has a much higher rate of recreational drug use, self-medicating, or just coping.  Some civilizations might seek to better themselves by discarding those people.  Find a way to vilify them, justify marginalizing them as much as possible. eventually even eradicate them.

Other civilizations might take a longer view, maybe feel that if you put the resources into lifting those same people up, they might eventually contribute.  In the end, for a more prosperous society overall.  It's a bit of a stretch though.  Takes a certain faith in our fellow man, maybe.  I'm not sure we're quite there, yet.

There isn't even that much of a choice, though.  This comes down to a direction humanity is heading in, where the economy is driven by systems of commodities that are growing more and more efficient, requiring less and less people to supply.

Unemployment rates are going to keep going up.  Work ethic is fading.  It will reach a point where no amount of self-serving systems of discarding the lower class will be able to compete with the masses of people who contribute to a functioning society on a much deeper level than economics.  The ever evolving social foundation of humanity, which holds everything else up.

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