Questioning Group Think

When I was a young hippie woman I used to wear a button that said, “Question Authority.”  Questioning Authority seemed like the best policy then and it still does.

It is one of those rules  like, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Every single day for the last six months I have been getting 20-40 emails from various elected officials telling me how the sky is falling and how we are doomed if I don’t give them money I don’t have.

My partner and I are really going through some hard times after a series of minor disasters combined into a major disaster.

Things are bad to the point of my selling off my trans-library and archives on  eBay and our looking for things to sell on Craig’s List/FaceBook Swap Meets.

Mostly though,  the pitches combined with a growing feeling that both the Democrats and the Republicans actually represent the interests of Wall Street, the Banks, and the ultra rich  leave me feeling apathetic.

It sometimes seems as though the two parties met in a big board room and dealt out a bunch of cards with freedom denying special interests on them that became the make or break issues.

I’m old enough to remember when both parties had leaders who banged heads of their parties various morons and stubborn jerks until the two parties were able to work out compromises.

But then too I’m also old enough to remember when there were actual newscasts on television instead of propagandists pounding their particular messages in to the heads of the sheeple that follow them 24/7.

In June we were doing a swap meet in a small town where the cable service in our hotel room was out.  I picked up a trashy action thriller paperback and realized I actually enjoyed reading something other than “non-fiction” propaganda.

Face it many of the social critics wrote one book which they issued under many different titles.  Considering the stress we are under I’d much rather read formula fiction from Lee Child or some other fiction writer.

I mean it doesn’t take some genius prognosticator to see that mankind has totally fucked up and we are rapidly heading into what preppers call TEOWAWKI (The End Of the World As We Know It) and the SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan).

Butter has gone up some $2 since the start of the year.  Our food supply is being impacted by major drought.  We have well over 7 billion people and most people seem unwilling to recognize that population is at the root of all the multitude of disasters that are coming home to roost.

At the same time activism has fallen victim to the false allure of Identity Politics, where allegiance to and commitment to the group and group think has replaced individual thought and any questioning of authority. Woe unto the person who deviates from the Stalinistic approach to group think.  People who are wannabee activists, aka make a middle class living doing activism will mount Twitter Campaigns and troll you into submitting to criticism/self-criticism, aka forced confessions, or face social ostracism for heresy.  I know about such campaigns.  Nearly 15 years ago I was subjected to one that lasted over two years.  I came very close to suicide.

When it comes to Transgender Group think, I am a heretic, an infidel, a non-believer.  I honestly don’t give a shit.  Rights are rights and bullshit is bullshit.  I support the rights and try my damnedest  to ignore the bullshit.

We divided people up into these identity factions, told them that is the be all and end all of their existences.

When someone asserts we must be “out and proud” trans-women, I am forced to ask, “Why?”

Being transsexual/transgender isn’t the same thing as being gay.  It just plain isn’t.

For us coming out equals transition and living the sex/gender of our core being.  That doesn’t equate with being out and proud.  That equates with living the sex/gender of our core being.  They are two different things.

I have a lot of trans-friends on FaceBook and when they aren’t posting about being trans they aren’t really different from non-trans-folks.  Those of us who are old have the same problems as old non-trans-folks.

I realize there are trans-folks out there who want to celebrate their trans-ness and that’s okay but lay off the trip pushing.  Your trip is not my trip. Trans-folks are very diverse people with diverse politics and likes/dislikes.

We face a very hard future.  Identity politics has been a major part of the problem that has got us in the situation we are in.

I really don’t give a shit if a change of direction and way of doing political activism means the whole current crop of activist suddenly winds up working the floor in big box stores.

We need a new direction.  We need to rethink the dogma.



2 Responses to “Questioning Group Think”

  1. Sharon Gaughan Says:

    Words to live by: “Only now, at the edge of the precipice, is it possible to realise that everything we are taught is false.” ― Arthur Rimbaud

  2. Edith Pilkington Says:

    There is a self sustaining non-profit industrial complex. The revolution will not be funded.

    It is so bad here. Any organization that really had the good of the public as their focus has been co-opted by those with deep pockets who are looking for a way of dodging taxes while maintaining iron fisted control over public policy. This applies whether the focus is the environment or social justice.No one wants to bite the hand that feeds them. Rhode Island, with its world renowned art school, surrounding art community and Ivy League school, is a textbook example. To make matters worse, Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government is 45 miles away up the road. They try things out on us before they go to places like Detroit.

    The new urbanist movement is the scariest aspect of this scenario. The movement portrays itself as “progressive” but is all about neo-liberalism – privatizing services people have taken for granted for so long, and controlling land use, to the point where those who do not belong to the elite will be excluded in a movement that will represent “enclosure”, 21st century style.

    Women and minorities are used as the face of our local non-profits by corporate male elites – mostly white – who chair the boards of most of them, here, but who never make public appearances, lurking in the shadows as if they were Hamas using the innocent as human shields. Our future governor’s husband was Corey Booker’s roomate at Harvard. She takes her orders from the Manhattan Institute(founded by Bill “October Surprise” Casey) who is as fond of her as it is Booker and as it was of Rudy Giuliani. They’re both neo-lib Democrats. They have more in common with Giuliani, Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron.

    The Manhattan Institute is on record blatantly expressing just how much they want – everything. There is a youtube video documenting the exchange with our state treasurer and future governor – the third video in this piece by Right Wing Watch:
    Our state treasurer, during a question and answer period, after a ceremony where they presented her with an award for screwing public employees out of part of their pension, encouraged the suggestion of “making an inventory” of all of Rhode Island’s public assets so we could sell off these assets “like crazy” the way the did the the “Eurozone”. Think of Greece. She has been heavily funded by John Arnold of Enron fame who has lead the so called “pension reform” movement across the country. Matt Taibbi and David Sirota have written extensively about her and what has gone on here, in “liberal blue state” Rhode Island.

    People are being sold out in exchange for human rights that don’t have any impact on the corporate bottom line. Forget about any human right that does affect the bottom line, though. The price for any gains we make in social issues will be our schools which Gates, the Waltons and Rupert Murdoch want really badly and the infrastructure – roads, bridges, public water supply, etc. I don’t think people really understands what they’re giving away. Until many of these organizations are taxed out of influence and public policy is directed by those who have actually been elected without corporate help, this will spin totally out of control. Actually, it already has.

    I have a feeling that you are fond of the Center for American Progress but I think a lot the talking points used by the Democrats and affiliated social justice organizations are more monolithic than even the ones the Republicans use. The CAP is the organization proliferating a one size fits all agenda designed to appeal to their corporate donors who are never to be offended. I don’t think any national organization is interested in critical thinkers. Critical thinking is disruptive to the juggernaut. There is a lot of conformism in liberal politics.

    I understand the difficulties people have in the heartland and the South but the backwards conservatism, there, obscures a lot of ills that are brought about by liberal establishment types. It is hard to be critical when one is living in desperation but those holding out false hopes have calculated how much they are able to leverage such desperation, very carefully, as they do with anything they’re invested in.

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