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Lifestyle as Tragedy
My thoughts on the relationship between consumerism and terror attacks.
Beyond a certain inevitable base threshold of bad luck and poor mental health coming together, terrorism, domestic and international is the direct result of large and small scale societal climates. In the case of international terror, it's the climate and conditions created by the US's insistence on world policing, the consequences of neocolonialism and global capitalism, which are required to sustain our culture of materialism and consumption. This same culture, which structures the society Americans live in completely, relies on escapism, dissociation, alienation, apathy, and confusion to perpetuate itself. It requires a combination of narcissism and self loathing that causes individuals to loose any sense of biological identity, an identification with the human race over time and history, and isolates them within their own consumer bubble. It is not a conspiracy, it's a choice made by millions of individuals over decades to participate, to adapt our dreams to the rewards promised by this culture, to not dream of a different structure, or actively try to create it at any scale within our means, or speak candidly with strangers and friends about what structure can replace this one, what we need and want in order to live together, and what we are willing to sacrifice for it. If we do not start deciding what sacrifices we want to make for a sustainable future for the human race, sacrifices will be taken from us without our consent, and I believe eventually our choices will become more and more limited, and our fate sealed.
Intersectionality to me is ultimately about dreaming a world where an equal amount of justice and equality and freedom is available to everyone, across the globe, but this comes at an enormous cost. The cost is our lifestyles, which seem mundane and personal, but limit the freedom and equality available to the human race. In countries in Europe with very strict gun laws, acts of terror continue to escalate. The problem is that people are no longer finding meaning in society, and either through active hatred, or intense dissociation, desire their last act on earth to be a public massacre. The War on Terror should take a note from the War on Drugs and see that making things illegal is a blind attempt at affecting change, that the desire to abuse freedom is a more complex horror. These events will continue to escalate throughout our lifetime, unless drastic change is affected, we will ride the wave of history until we crash into the shore of something, something I do not know, and do not want to know.
Check out Gus Van Sant's film, Elephant, if you want to see a visualization of my opinion here. It is a truly lucid film depicting the structure of feeling that leads people to this level of dissociation.