Saturday, 4 February 2017

9 out of 10 prefer...

We have so many choices – makes some wonder what we have to complain about – after all, if we can ‘choose’ from so much to improve our lives, when life feels impossible, it’s implied that this is as a result of our personal ‘choices’.

Like those comparison sites that tell you if you just spend some time, you can find and choose a provider that is priced reasonably – first though you have to work your way through the thieves and muggers with the hidden charges, rising rates, expensive marketing and myriad of ‘choices’ that give you a sense of frustration and inadequacy along with the illusion of control… but with personal effort, maybe you’ll get the first 3 months at a reduced rate, rising gradually to astronomical over the course of a few decades of a contract linked to inflation in a small offshore tax haven and a free pen to make you feel good about it along with a finale of congratulations from construction workers dancing in shorts and stilettos to tell you how right and clever you are.

We can choose which app we use to control our heating from our phone
We can choose from hundreds of versions of a plain cheese pizza
We can choose to buy now and pay later
We can choose the same cat foot that 9 out of 10 cat owners prefer
We can even choose whether to writhe in agony for an operation we already paid for through taxes – or instead pay more for private treatment quickly.

There are some things that are beyond our reach though in this world of choice… things we’re told are going to happen regardless of our knowledge or concerns:

…we CAN’T choose what poison fills our children’s lungs from industry or if we play roulette with the safety of our water or if dangerous waste and toxins are left to fester deep underground before they journey gradually up through sources of that water and eventually agricultural land to emerge in our livestock, our crops and the symptoms of our sicknesses and reasons for birth defects.

...we can’t choose who our government kills in our names in wars they deem necessary.
…we can’t choose whether our taxes pay for weapons to kill or healthcare to heal
…we can’t choose our system of government – it is inflicted on us and comes in disguise as a ‘democracy’ with the illusion of 'choice' every 5 years when a pen is presented along with a choice of options supported by promises that will be broken.

Those who become activists as a result of realising how dangerous it is to ignore these myths of choice and truths of harm, know very well too – that you can’t choose to Protect your young or defend what matters – without interference and aggression from the system of government and its agencies.

We can’t even choose our politicians really – like a vending machine, the system of government only spits out same-shaped objects to choose from. Anything slightly radical, any new-fangled flavours or healthier options – just don’t fit the machine… so those with heart who aim to enter the system to help change it – find themselves trimmed, neatened, cut-off in parts and moulded to fit the machine… or they just don’t make it.

Our system of government is an abomination. Like a greedy, selfish, nasty psychopathic partner – it just takes and takes from this relationship between citizen and state. Each payday we give it our money in the expectation that it will ensure the children are educated, our elders can access care, the sick can be treated and planning is in place for the provision of the necessities of existence like safe air and water… instead though, our partner gets drunk on subsidised champagne, has a row with the neighbours, builds a wall, buys a gun and calls itself a hero for keeping us safe.

If you’re not already raging – you’re probably the right shape for that vending machine …nearby, a chorus-line of dancing bankers are rejoicing every time you choose to shut up, sit down and take what you’re given.

Activistism is not a choice - it is an obligation, a responsibility and once accepted - a lifelong commitment that shouldn't have to be