A companion blog, The Metacognition Project, has been created to focus specifically on metacognition and related consciousness processes. Newest essay on TMP: Goals and Problems, part two

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Where is the Anger?

Where is the anger that there are people who don’t have time to prepare food from fresh raw beginnings? Where is the anger that people are not receiving education sufficient to allow them to read the labels on the foods that they eat and drink? Where is the anger that people are forced to abandon their children to TV, Video games, peers and gangs rather than walking or driving them to school and greeting them at the door in the afternoon, rather than visiting the schools to see the lives those ‘oh so precious children' are living during the day? Where is the anger that people can work two minimum wage jobs and still not be able to afford a safe place to live or safe and wholesome food to eat?

Where is the anger that other humans have so gamed the economic designs that they collect for themselves hundreds, thousands and millions of times as much of the substance of the world as others of their kind? Where is the anger that the people who do so justify their greed by denying that they are like the rest, justify their accumulation by claims of superiority rather than fortuity (from the root word that gives us ‘fortune’)? Where is the anger that one percent of the world’s people have gathered to themselves, depending on how it is measured, between 50 and 90 percent of the productivity of the planet’s natural systems?

Where is the anger that our media has so distorted the process of reporting to us the events of the world, the very information that allows us to act responsibly and meaningfully, that lies cannot be separated from the truth? Where is the anger that we are ignored by power and denied the information that would inform us sufficiently that we could demand to be heard?

Where is the anger that those with economic and political power can decide that we should live or die for their interests and not for ours? Where is the anger that the US congress is preparing to pass laws that will enrich insurance executives and others in the economic elite by controlling the delivery of healthcare services? Where is the anger that billions of dollars are being lavished on congress to buy a decision that will collect hundreds of billions from us all in tiny life determining bits?

Where is the anger that our sons and daughters are being chewed up physically and mentally in wars for economic domination – our children as foot soldiers for the economic elite? Where is the anger that the human capacity for adaptation and invention is being turned to tools for soulless wars where our children are in spotless rooms driving machines thousands of miles away, delivering dirty and soulless death and maiming for reasons that they and we do not understand, delivering death to people and to lands that we cannot even find on the map?

Where is the anger that thousands of species of living things – living things whose genetic legacy of survival, billions of years of continuity, is the same as ours – are being removed from the universe forever every year as a consequence of our mad expansion into every nook and cranny of the living space? Where is the anger (and the fear) that this will doom us as surely as shooting holes in our lifeboat will doom all therein?

I feel the anger beginning. I see it in the completely insane bigotry of the hard right – beginning to bubble like the first sizzling sound of a heating pot. I can see that mad anger infecting the nascent frustration of the above questions; can see the options clarified to real action rather than hopeful impotence. If it comes as I suspect it will, it will come messy and it will come dangerous, and it will change all that we know: for the better or for the worse; that part will be up to us.


Ron said...

Coincidentally I read your post today after reading this (Ian Hacking - Timing of Chance); "...the greater the level of indeterminism in our conception of the world and of people, the more we expect control."

There you have it.

And if you include the vast majority will only changed or act when they are forced to, nothing will happen for a while, I'm afraid.


James Keye said...

Certainly humans, and all animals, must have designs within which to function, and just as certainly, as Hacking states, these designs will be in cultural or community expectations or 'we' will expect them from some other source like a tyranny -- at least that is my understanding of Hacking's quote. If I understand, you are saying that 'we' accept these truly unacceptable conditions in trade for some level of control, enough to give a sense that the vital world beyond our personal power is being taken care of.

I would agree that there you have it.

As to 'time table' for action -- There is much frustration here in the US building up with no where to go; it is waiting for some triggering moment. So, ultimately, I do not know where the anger is. It is a little like a particle physicist looking at the tracks of particles after a collision and not finding where all the original energies have gone: there is something moving, something happening, that is yet to show itself.

Michael Dawson said...

The anger is short-circuited exactly here, in my opinion:


Anger cannot cohere without a target. Commercial television is systemically hostile to depicting the proper targets (or even any targets at all), as Herman and Chomsky argued in 1988.

TV is physiologically addictive, as are many ingestible substances. It may prove to be the 20th century's most dangerous invention...

James Keye said...

I agree. What is fascinating (and presents us with the greatest uncertainty) is what will happen to the unfocused anger as it increases in increasing numbers of human bodies. As the reasons for anger increase in both number and dissonance only so much can remain internalized. I do not expect the consequences to be rational.