Saturday, August 27, 2005

My Creed Part II: The Double-edged Sword

I've also seen - and I wish I hadn't - that the revolution, when it's carried out seriously and succeeds, brings forms of injustice and oppression even more abominable than the current ones. I've seen those new forms of injustice and oppression in the eyes and the words of the most sincere, hardest working, most loyal revolutionary leaders. They feel themselves messianic saviors, avatars of history; they think they know my interests, my wishes, my needs, better than I do; they don't consult me or listen to me; they've struck off on their own as my representatives, as vanguards in my struggle; they are paternalist tutors; they pre-configure today that future olympus where they will make all decisions for my well-being and my progress; they'll make the decisions and they'll impose them on me in my name, through fire and blood in my name.

-J.M. Briceño Guerrero

Reading this struck a nerve. I realize this quote can be used to defend the anti-war movement in the U.S. today, and the anti-communist movement across the world. This is how the anti-Bushites see Bush- as a messianic, paternalistic, self-created hero who is acting against the will of the people. This is also how the anti-castristas see Castro- as someone who claims to work in the best interest of his people, and yet when he kills them it is because of "counter-revolutionary activities" and the like...
Over coffee and a German breakfast yesterday, my best friend and I discussed our lack of a political box to fit in. She is a liberal, having grown up in a home with a single mother who put herself through college and grad school while raising two kids in the poorest section of their hometown. Her mother opened the first clinic in the area to serve Spanish-speaking women; out of a broom closet in the projects. My best friend and I often have opposing viewpoints as we had different upbringings, yet in many ways we had similar experiences. She brought up a point- that although she fits much neater into the liberal box than I do into either, she can't stand the paternalism of the liberal movement which is exactly why I can't stand their platform OR the manifestation of their policies.
I believe in self-preservation, but I also believe in government economic stimulus. I understand the economy goes through cycles that not even Alan Greenspan can control, but I also understand that not everyone benefits from those cycles and oftentimes regardless of education and class people find themselves unemployed and unemployable. During the recession in 2001 my husband worked at the Employment Department for the VA. He met with top-level executives who were without work and were overqualified for the jobs that were available. These were people with MBAs, PhDs, etc. who were making 6 figures one week, and the next week trying to figure out how they were going to pay off the debt they owed on their boats, cars, and houses on the river.
What I found interesting was the quickness with which the liberals pointed the finger at George Bush, blaming him for the economic downfall. Since then, there has been a subculture of "blame politics" that, in my opinion, has spun dangerously out of control. This is the economic and political shift that could be the start of a revolution of sorts. As the communist growth in Latin America is now trying to tap into our nation's poor, (Hugo Chavez promising cheap gas in the 'hood, Castro sending African-Americans to medical school in Cuba) there are multitudes who will jump on the train without questioning the source of his newfound "benevolence". It is ironic to me that if it were the other way around, if it were George Bush promising something...people would be screaming bloody murder without batting a lash. It amazes me that with all the anti-Bush stickers, rhetoric, TV shows, politicians, anti-war protesters, (on Bush's PROPERTY no less) we don't have any political prisoners to show for it. Yet countries that violate human rights on their own soil day after day, we embrace their paternalistic policies like kids in a candy store.
It is not my goal to change everyone's politics to match my own. It is my goal to challenge everyone to THINK CRITICALLY. Don't take anything for face value, regardless of the side you are on. Don't believe numbers, statistics, etc. just because they make you comfortable. Don't automatically believe what you hear on TV, the radio, the internet, or anywhere else lest you research it first. Everyone thinks they are the ones with the "real scoop" the "hidden numbers" if you will. Know this- everyone has something to sell, but before you take out your checkbook, look them in the eye and ask yourself if they deserve your time, money, efforts....


Anonymous said...

I have been giving this whole issue that you talk about a whole lot of thought for months.

There is a book entitled "The dumbing down of America" that provides a very exhaustive look at how this trend of "don't question anything" began here in the US.

I just read recently that while readership of news magazines like Newsweek have gone down, tabloid magazine sales have gone up. This really speaks volumes of where we are as a country (and world for that matter).

Yeah. Been thinking a whole lot about this one.


Tremenda Trigueña said...

Reading the comments on your blog from folks who seem to think that just because I support Bush means I love Trent Lott...why does it have to be so frickin' catastrophic? I just find myself politically stuck, and the only way to get out is to write and figure it out after I've said it. I will definitely look into that book...thanks for putting me on your blog list! :)