Congratulations on your new job!
To be honest, I’ve never understood how people like you can do practically anything for their job, while the whole world around us is burning.
This is not a criticism of your person, but only my attempt to better understand your way of life.
I know you do have some understanding that our entire culture is based on violence and exploitation and destroys all life on the planet. Nevertheless, you do everything to be a functioning part of the machine and to live a “normal” western life.
It must be because we have been socialized in completely different ways. You belong to the wealthy middle class, and they are doing everything to maintain the status quo. It must be because they are more separated from the physical world, from the real world, than I am. They have something I never had, namely a world of their own.
It is this bubble of their middle class status that still guarantees them many privileges. They can afford flights and holidays, they have the power and status to travel to many places in the world, and they always have enough money. The bubble gives them a false sense of security through privileges I’ve never known. They live within this bubble and do not perceive themselves as part of the real physical world around them.
For me, it always was about whether we could afford another pack of noodles or potatoes at the end of the month, or whether we could pay the rent, so we wouldn’t get kicked out of the apartment. The apartment that was owned by someone from the middle class, to whom this entitlement and the rent he exploited from us gave exactly this deceptive security.
Because they live in their own bubble of privileges and “security” and not in the real physical world, the destruction, which frightens me terribly, doesn’t frighten them as much, or at least can be accepted much better because, in their perception, it somehow happens outside their own sphere.
I’ve been an outsider from the beginning, I’ve always lived on the edge. The narratives and symbols of this culture have never made any sense to me, because I have seen and experienced relative poverty, oppression and exploitation from the beginning. The pictures of slaughtered whales and the sea of blood I saw in Greenpeace magazines at the age of six stuck in my head forever. For me, there has never been a status of comfortable “normality.” I‘ve tried for a while to adapt, to become “normal,” but I just couldn’t. I know by now that normality can never exist within this culture based on violence and exploitation. At least not for me.
But strangely enough – and this is exactly what I find so difficult to understand – the narratives and symbols of this culture still make sense to you affluent middle class, even though you are educated and know that the world is on fire. Somehow you still manage to stay within the system and serve it. And somehow you guys are doing pretty well. I wonder what it takes to break your “normality,” to get you out of your comfort zone and do things that are not “normal.” The fact that 90% of fish in the oceans have disappeared is not enough. The biggest mass extinction in the history of the planet is not enough. The imminent threat of climate change to all life on planet earth is not enough.
I can‘t help myself, but it keeps me thinking of our recent history, when the good German citizens did everything to preserve “normality.” About 1000 concentration camps in the German Reich and the occupied areas, in which millions of people were systematically industrially slaughtered, were not enough to get the middle class out of their comfort zone. The (presumably middle class) SS commander in the concentration camp was a loving family man in his spare time.
But the thing is, if the planet is destroyed, it will affect you too. You too will lose your privileges, because when the planet is destroyed, all of us lose everything. You too are dependent on clean air, clean drinking water and halfway decent food. This is the absolute truth, even if all other “truths” around us (propaganda, ideology, you name it…) are extremely flexible and can be adapted to the prevailing political system.
I wish you all the best and a good life inside your bubble. Perhaps we’ll meet some day in hell, when the dystopian nightmare I already live in has destroyed your privileges and your lives too.
Love & Rage,