how many of you have been told to never give up?
thats terrible, im sorry to hear that. giving up is not bad thing. its great!
giving up just means broadening your horizons. giving up isnt always being lazy, giving up can be moving away from your traditions. giving up can be harder than trying, because it means doing something new. anyone that tells you differently has just accepted societys negative connotation too much and is scared, because giving up is not an inherently bad thing. giving up can be the best thing, because it inevitably means change in your mindset, and it can mean growth in a new direction that may be better. thats the beauty of a pliable mind and the ability to grow mentally. giving up is a beautiful thing, if you look at it the wrong way. it means getting rid of lifes grand narrative, and either replacing it with a new one better suited to the now or simply.. being, being without a rule of thumb. giving up in this case means giving up democracy. i respect democracy, i do. i do not, however, respect us deciding that since democracy is what this nation was founded on, and also that since this nation was at one time great, democracy is still great and democracy is great for everyone. democracy is terrible for me. democracy may also have been terrible for china or vietnam or russia, but we wont ever know that because america doesnt know how to accept undemocratic systems of legislature without armed confrontation. i am in no way denying that democracy was a good system at the time it was created. it was the logical predecessor to monarchy and it made sense as a system to help the people move out of antiquity.
but i mean, no one looks in graveyards for nobel peace prize winners. democracy is theoretically adequate, just as the founders were good men with good intentions. however, america now is not the same america that they were catering to, and our constitution, despite many of your best efforts, hasnt been able to keep up. americas big new thing seems to be protecting the american way of life. even someone as great as obama agrees that this is a top priority and he said so in his inaugural address. the american way of life? the american way of life is for the most part jingoistic and blind and just.. bad, and it prohibits actual progression as far as philosophy, intellect, or morality. i dont care if there are millions of people out there who arent this way. the majority of people are, and thats what counts in a majority-rules society.
this negative pessimistic cynic view of america: that is how i will always see it. perhaps it is because of my eighth grade teacher who told me that if i didnt love america right or wrong, that if i wasnt willing to blindly give up my life and unquestioningly-so, that i didnt deserve the title of an american. well you know what, youre right. i dont want that title. i dont want to ever degrade myself enough to become a facet of this machine. i dont want to get a job, and i dont want to work for the man. i dont want to pay for your wars or your half-ass education that has taught me more about the word democracy being synonymous with liberty than it has morality or maturation. i dont want to use your streets. i want to give up. i want to give up democracy, i want to give up the american dream, and i want to have my own.
a lot of you are probably thinking that its great that i have these ideals, and its so lucky that im in america because im even allowed to say them. i know that you are because hell, alyssas even told me so, and shes not the only one. but you know what? freedom doesnt mean i get to tell you that i want to leave democracy. freedom means that im allowed to leave it. but am i free to do so? is there a single nation that hasnt either been completely assimilated to our democracy and our white religion--that hasnt had the american dream force-fed to them and shoved down their throat. there are all these third world countries that i could go to. all the third world countries -- you know which countries these are? the ones that didnt play along and let us take their land in exchange for a nice new hand-picked leader and way of life. and you know what they get now, from nice old Big Brother America, to help them along? they get democracy, too, and a few million dollars to help it get started. good job to all the democratic leaders who set that up, because clearly thats not corrupt at all.
no. no thank you, i dont want this. i dont want to be a part of a world that america polices over. i want to be an autonomous entity. i want to live in a commune. i want to live in the jungle, or maybe i want to live right where i am without having to exile myself. maybe i want to stop choosing which nation i want to pay and leave them all.
this isnt me giving up bitterly and leaving america because im a spoiled little child who doesnt realize what america has done for me. america did a lot of great things two hundred years ago. sure, our democracy may be better now than a lot of tried and tested other ways. but.. is better synonymous with best? no. better leaves room for improvement.
i want to go in a new direction because giving up for me means trying something new. giving up means daring to do something that the rest of you are to scared to believe in. i want to leave this mass conglomeration of assimilated, brainwashed society, i want to leave this globalized nonsense because i dont see what ive gained from being involuntarily connected to three million people ill never meet, except for perhaps the chance to pay for various wars that this country has conditioned the mass of people to believe are correct.
america and society and what-have-you conditions people to believe a lot of different things beyond simple patriotism that makes war acceptable. conditioning, if you dont know, is a psychological term that refers to learning to elicit certain responses to a selected stimulus. for instance, during the red scare, any reference to communism was reacted to with fear and anger. in Hester Prynnes time, the people were socially conditioned to view a Scarlet letter A with indignation and reproach. Every society has a vast amount of social conditioning -- these are its fashions, its slang, and really its ability to hold on to the people through tradition. This ages social conditioning has been centered on jingoism and consumerism -- it has however also, and in a broader sense, evolved with various civil rights movements and a longing for change. The socially conditioned aspect of it, as I see it, is change focused around a purer sense of democracy. Change for democracy in other nations. Civic change and various tolerance-based movements. The most accepted of these changes work on the conception of a greater good, ensured democratically -- that is to say, through the majority. This is where my main problem with true democracy lies -- that is to say, a democracy that shuns not only jingoism and consumerism, but totalitarianism and any sort of tyranny. Tyranny is however inevitable in a majority-rules society. Tyranny of the majority. This occurs when the majority of people gets to vote and in doing so takes away the essential liberties or rights of the minority. This is the case in issues such as Proposition 8. The majority did take away the rights of the minority. In democracy, luckily, there is a judicial system to prevent tyranny of the majority, and to protect the rights of the minority even when they are unpopular. Or, at least, I thought it was so -- until the California Supreme Court decided that it did not need to protect unpopular rights. This was not the only time it has happened. Sure, I know that eventually California along with eventually the greater United States will have the right to love restored. Do I want to wait, though? Do I really want to wait for all of your social conditioning to erode, along with everything keeping you to the idea gay marriage is wrong just like it kept the mother in All Things That Rise Must Converge to the idea that segregation was right. However, this lack of tolerance can and will only end once it is a popular opinion. I think that perhaps America, if tended to carefully, will become a democracy that does protect natural rights like it promised. It will only do so after many, many more decades of fighting by the minority of people who had failed social conditioning, who failed to believe the warrants of tradition-- i mean thats what democracy came out of: it was initially just a breakdown of aristocratic tradition. but now instead of being conditioned to like monarchy, were forced to like democracy. like all progressives before me, my social conditioning has failed. I do not see any warrant in the tradition of democracy. I only see warrants in freedom, and I am brave enough to believe that absolute freedom would work, especially on a small scale -- with the disenfranchisement of all nations, to be replaced with just communities. no globalization, no connection to the millions of people you dont really need to meet. Perhaps America as a whole is not yet ready to see that. Perhaps the greater good that society and government is always striving for, maybe this would be hurt by absolute freedom because there is too much social conditioning. That in no way makes me more willing to accept the tradition of democracy. I do not want to restrain myself because of some imaginary greater good. Do you know what the greater good is? Stability. We are a nation, a way of life, aimed at stability. This is why anarchy is no good for you. This is why you hold on so dearly to democracy. You have all been conditioned to see instability as a pure evil. Even Richey thinks so, as demonstrated by his complete abhorrence of Holden Caufields emotional instability. I personally gave up on stability a long time ago. Instability is beautiful, and it creates art, and it gives birth to truth, and it is the reason that I have been able to see all of this. So yes, I may not be happy, in both my instability and in my theoretical undemocratic society. But I would sacrifice these things for beauty and truth any day. I would sacrifice them for freedom, and I would sacrifice them for equality. I would sacrifice my life for that cause, and I would not be doing so blindly, as my eighth grade PE teacher so suggested.
I am giving up on America. I am giving up on having the American Dream for all. You can keep your globalized democracy, and you can all keep trying to find some impossible balance between tradition, brainwash, and progression, but dont make me be part of this balancing act. I want to leave it. So i guess that my offering to America is a somewhat selfish one. I am not preaching world peace, and end to hunger, or poverty, or disease. I just want freedom, and I want it on my own terms. I tried to like the American freedoms. I even tried to make change. I dont think that my effort was worth it, because nothing real can or will ever come of it. There are too many flaws to be fixed. So, I give up on the route of civil disobedience and forward activism. I give up limiting the change that I make to the restraints of the American style. I am done moving in the same direction. I am finished being an American.