I had mentioned before – I see our culture and civilization ever-accelerating in the direction of servitude, bureaucracy, totalitarianism and the restraint of personal freedom.
Before the Renaissance, and since then, the everyday person has an experienced a dramatic fall in the cost of acquiring information, to the point now when it is virtually free. This collapse has resulted in some of the pinnacles of humanistic society and thought; and some of the worst abuses of the human population.
One of the greatest treasures found in the foundation of this country, was that it was founded on the intent that reason be paramount; and that each human had a set of natural rights which could not be trampled upon. Martin Luther King Jr. rediscovered and learned of these traditions, and his subsequent power derived from the most conservative (i.e. classical) sources. He insisted that the principles of America and the principles of Christianity were not utterly corrupt; therefore, they should continue to be paramount goals. He, and his movement, represented one of the last great demonstration of civil reason in our society.
Racism, sexism, and all of the other _isms that seek to denigrate a class of humans into a comprehensible class, allows for the subjugation of that class. It was a notable demonstration of political philosophy by Thurgood Marshall in arguing Brown v. Board, that the act of unfounded classification itself is an injustice, and commits a transgression upon such classification, to the degree it affects their daily lives. Brown v. Board did not simply argue people of different races to school together – it argued on the existential identity of all citizens, and the lack of utility of classification into bogus groups.
Those at the highest aspects of power – North and South – who derived the greatest benefit from racism, sought to blur the boundaries – to destroy all hint of all classification among individuals – and thus lump together reasonable and suspect classifications as though they were the same.
Since the days of the SCLC and desegregation, those in our society and civilization who wield disproportionate power to their numbers, have been eagerly trying to re-establish their balance, as they consider it. Racism and sexism were great instruments of subjugation, laying low vast numbers of the population as they still do today. However, their execution became much more difficult.
Rather than gangs, paranoia must now substitute. In a community, a universal mistrust of the unknown must be heightened and reinforced. The news is full of Amber Alerts, and nice people who kept to themselves who were ghastly criminals, and ministers as sexual abusers and such. We are stripped of our natural social ability to protect each other from predation, and the result is fear.
The prison of fear goes hand in hand with the prison of isolation. People are fearful and isolated and dislike human exchanges; and when they do participate in them, they are marked with the ever-acceleration of hostility and rage.
The event in Florida – the shooting of Trayvon Martin by Zimmerman – seemed to me as though a showdown by two scared people. People rush in to opine on which one was at fault. Nobody seems interested in how such an exchange could occur, between two rather average people in broad daylight.
The more separated we become by fear, the more vulnerable we become to predation. Ask any predator. And for some reason, we seem to be especially good at rearing predators in our community.