Recognising the tools that are used to divide us is the first step in fighting back.
From Emma Kathryn
I often say that the only real freedoms we have left to us are what we think and how we spend our money.
I am wrong.
Our spending habits are dictated largely by our needs in life. Make the cost of living, the cost of surviving higher, then you are already well on the way to snatching this freedom from us. How many of us, in so-called rich, first world nations, struggle to survive, struggle to eat, to heat our homes, to even keep the roofs over our heads? How much of our income is left over, so that we may enjoy ourselves in a world where everything costs?
For many, this freedom does not exist, and for those whom it does, it is eroded daily. If you can’t even afford to survive, if you can’t afford to buy the basics necessary to survive, then you are not free.
We are sold the dream of normality: our own house, a car or two, branded clothes and package holidays. How many people aspire to such a mundane existence? How many think this is living the dream? Any deviance from this norm, from this mindless, thoughtless norm is regarded with suspicion. If you don’t achieve these things, you’re a failure. It doesn’t matter that this lifestyle is financed for many by debt: car finance; mortgages; credit cards and loans.
It doesn’t matter, so long as it looks like we’ve ‘made it’, that it looks like we are successful.
We are the freaks, those of us who know our true nature and strive for our own dreams and wants. We who shun this false norm, who forge our own paths, we are the weirdos, we free thinkers are the odd ones. Embrace your weirdness, your otherness–for it is this that will keep you free.
Our thoughts, how we think and what we think, are the last bastions of true freedom, and thus, the tools of state, of capitalism seek to destroy this. Thoughts are powerful things. The greatest (and the worst) achievements of the human race all ascend from mans ability to think.
If you take a moment to consider man, as an animal, he is a poor specimen. By rights, we shouldn’t have survived as a species. We aren’t particularly fast, we aren’t physically strong, we have no fur to survive the cold, we’re physically slow. The list of man’s inadequacies to survive in the natural world is long. And yet we dominate the planet, are at the top of the food chain. If not for our brains, for the power of our thoughts, who knows what would have become of mankind! Thoughts are powerful things. If in doubt ask any occultist!
So to dismantle the tools of state, of capitalism then, we must familiarise ourselves with the tools they would use to control us.
The attack on what and how we think is insidious, sneaking in to all aspects of life. Schools are failing our children, so instead of educating them, kids are taught to pass tests, the pass rate and Ofstead (a government body that inspects state schools) rating of the school more important than teaching the children quality knowledge, how to think for themselves. Instead individuality is crushed.
And it’s not the teachers fault! Here in the UK, teachers and successive governments (all governments too, left and right) are always at loggerheads. Teachers increasingly have to teach children things that were traditionally taught in the home, through example and experience and just general parenting. There is often talk of extending the school day in line with working patterns, and in this world where both parents must work full-time but quality childcare is unaffordable, it sounds like a good idea. The erosion of the family (and that’s family in any form!) is not a conspiracy theory!
Then there’s advertising and television programming (they’re called programs for a reason!), all hinting at what we should feel in regards to this stimuli or that. Opinion pieces and chat shows, morning TV, the news, are all designed to elicit certain responses. It’s like a drip effect.
What actually spurred me to write this piece, though, was a government report into race inequality that was recently published. This particular report, the ‘race disparity audit’, looked at the link between races and wealth and privilege factors, including the ownership of homes. The report found that white British people are more likely to own their own homes and be in employment than those from ethnic minorities.
I stumbled upon this story whilst scrolling through Facebook, and though I know I shouldn’t have, I couldn’t help but read the comments section. I had hoped to see people call the report out for what it so blatantly was – a piece designed to invoke difference and friction. What the report ‘found’ was nothing new, offered no new insight, no insight at all really, and only served to make people defensive. Defensive people fight back.
Whilst people were busy blaming one group or another for being ‘lazy’ or ‘privileged’ (divide and conquer indeed!), they were missing the obvious flaws of the report. For one thing, in Britain, and as far as I have experienced, issues of race and culture can be quite complicated. For example, the report looked at White British, Black, and Asian, all seemingly very concrete, very different subsections of society. But what the report fails to do, or doesn’t make clear, or outright ignores, is that such differences, in real life, are often very blurred. For example, I’m mixed race (White British and Afro Caribbean if you’re wondering), and British. Half of my family are white, the other half black, where would someone like myself fit into it all? And that’s the problem, issues like this aren’t clear-cut, are multifaceted, with many contributing factors. Reports like this are designed to cause friction between friends, neighbours, and sometimes even family.
Reports like this are designed to distract us. Whilst we are busy arguing amongst ourselves about man-made castes and classes, we aren’t scrutinising the government. I think people sometimes forget that governments are meant to be our representatives, are meant to govern for us, not over us. I think governments have forgotten this as well. Or maybe they haven’t, hence the need to divide us all over shit that doesn’t mean anything and doesn’t matter.
And distract us they do! How many pointless online arguments are there between groups and people, who often times have quite similar beliefs and opinions? Instead of uniting, people get caught up on the semantics of a concept, arguing obscure points that mean absolutely fuck all in the real world (what I mean by the real world is the everyday lives of the people who just want to get on and live their lives ). We argue over the most trivial things, blame one another for the problems created by an unfair system.
This separation of people, this ploy to distract us can be seen in all aspects of modern life, personal and professional. At work recently, my manager had to do a progression plan with a head office type. We have a small staff in the shop, and we all get on, are a team. In an employee survey, our manager received full compliments from us, his staff, and instead of this being seen as a good thing, the manager was told it was too much! That he shouldn’t be so popular amongst the other plebs, because that is what we are, what we are seen as.
When the plebs, the people, (because we are all plebs in the eyes of government) unite, it spells danger, not only in work, but in life generally.
Any kind of unification of the people is a danger to governments. Look at Catalonia! Look how other governments around the world denounce the Catalonian people and government. It reminds me of the Brexit campaign, when other governments threatened us with no trade agreements, that we as a country would be ‘at the back of the queue’. Fear is a motivating factor, and as such, another tool that governments use to separate us.
It’s hard to stick to your guns when your threatened with this and that, harder still when you have children or others who depend on you. It is scary, change and the unknown, but we are powerful, we must stand united, all people, from all backgrounds. It’s the only chance we have for any real change.
And so, an important aspect of the good fight is to learn to recognise the tools the state would use to divide us. Learn to recognise media reports that aim to set one group against another. Do your own research, form your own opinions based on solid research because media reports often try and portray a certain perspective, elicit a particular response. Get out and about in your community, because a good, strong community cannot be turned in on itself, neighbour will not turn against neighbour when they know one another. Start at the grassroots level, because everything stems from there.
We are powerful things, and we must learn to recognise the tools and tactics capitalism, and thus The State, would use against us. Recognising the tools that are used to divide us is the first step in fighting back.
My name is Emma Kathryn, an eclectic witch, my path is a mixture of traditional European witchcraft, voodoo and obeah, a mixture representing my heritage. I live in the middle of England in a little town in Nottinghamshire, with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs, Boo and Dexter. When not working in a bookshop full time, I like to spend time with my family outdoors, with the dogs. And weaving magick, of course!
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