Back when I still had a shred of hope left that politics actually mattered, I got caught up in the puppet show over who would be elected president in 2008 and again in 2012. The harsh truth that I learned is that it doesn’t matter who is elected. What matters is that they are accepted by the people who actually run the show. I can turn on Fox News and CNN and hear the words “democrat,” “liberal,” “republican,” “conservative,” more times in 20 minutes than I can even count. Words, words, words. They’re all empty words that don’t mean anything. One word you don’t hear that actually does mean something is “corporatist.” There was once this dude, who went by the name Mussolini: One of the founding fathers of fascism. Maybe you’ve heard of him… Anyways, he once said, “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” The same corporations that destroyed millions of lives before us are still profiting from destroying ours.
[quote_right]We spend our lives being taught all of the same things so that when someone questions it’s credibility and effectiveness, they are the ones that society ends up dubbing ineffective.[/quote_right]
I was in my 4th year of college during the 2012 election. I was also a frequent smoker of marijuana at the point. Everyday I found myself laying up at night reading articles and watching documentaries that continuously opened my eyes up to the ugly truth that everything I had been taught to believe about the political system was a crock of shit. It was that same year that I had my first psychedelic experience when I decided to trip on some mushrooms. To this day, I have never dropped acid and I have dabbled with mushrooms only twice in my life. No discredit whatsoever to psychedelics. Coming from a state that is still slated grey on all of the legalization maps, I’m lucky enough to have regular access to weed let alone psychedelics. In that one trip, I learned so much about myself and about life in general. My eyes became open to the fact that so much of the meaningless nonsense that became the cause of my everyday stresses just didn’t matter. Anyone who has had a similar experience knows that trying to describe it to someone is close to impossible. It was soon after this eye-opening experience that I started to see how much of a joke the education system in our country truly is. We spend our lives being taught all of the same things so that when someone questions it’s credibility and effectiveness, they are the ones that society ends up dubbing ineffective.
[quote_left] Sure, we could’ve been doctors, lawyers, what have you, but the system began preventing that the moment we were accepted into it.[/quote_left]
Entering into a system based on debt in exchange for labor and hopes of success is a prerequisite for failure. The end of April will mark my one year of graduating from college. At almost 24 years old, I am roughly $40,000 in debt, possess a college degree, and I’m currently trying to figure out at what point on the timeline the system plans on throwing all of the “real” jobs into the mix because it sure as hell isn’t now. And I am one of millions. There are few things in this world that are more discouraging than looking at your hard-earned college diploma and immediately feeling the weight of its debt beginning to crush you. We were always told that with the education came the job. We all know what a load of garbage that was. In the last decade, student debt has rapidly climbed higher than consumer debt. Sure, we could’ve been doctors, lawyers, what have you, but the system began preventing that the moment we were accepted into it.
Not a school year went by without periodic visits from military recruiters for those whose interests laid outside of the higher education system or those who wanted to pursue a different path. Millions of those men and women fight to defend our freedom every single day. No matter what road we take, we all pay our own debts to society. The fact that we can even compare suicide rates of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans to the amount of these brave men and women who were killed while fighting in those same wars should blow your mind apart. The Department of Veteran Affairs recently reported that, on average, 18 veterans commit suicide everyday.
It’s mildly terrifying to consider the power the elite citizens of this nation have to create senseless wars and the ability they have to make other people fight them. What’s even scarier is that one of these senseless wars, the War on Drugs, is a failed fight against all of us. While we may not all be drug dealers behind bars, we are the ones paying for them to be there and it’s one of the countless bills that we as a country simply can no longer afford to pay.
[quote_right]Influencing public opinion and inciting violence are ethically, morally, and politically incomparable and it happens in the land of the free every day.[/quote_right]
It shouldn’t scare me even a little bit to write stuff like this, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t. There is nothing more threatening to a corrupt government than a group of people with large voices and let’s face it, Americans were never meant to be quiet. Protesting and speaking out against this sort of inequality and political action has become criminalized at the hands of the Department of Homeland Security which is funded by a political system who poses more of a terroristic threat to citizens than ACTUAL terrorists. Influencing public opinion and inciting violence are ethically, morally, and politically incomparable and it happens in the land of the free every day.
People say we should keep our enemies close but it’s important to know who they truly are first. They aren’t the people who tweet an arrogant comment to you or judge you for the way you live your life. They’re the people who threaten your right to live your life the way you want to and drag you down however they can in the process.
[quote_left]When you turn your head to the reality of what is, it’s just as good as slapping those people in the face.[/quote_left]
Don’t get me wrong, college definitely taught me how to think. But it taught me how to think by being a fundamental part of a corrupt system that has been nothing but a prime example of everything that a governing body should never be. And I refuse to conform to the role of indifferent citizen that the government prays for us to fill. I might risk sounding juvenile by quoting JK Rowling, but as the author of Harry Potter I think we can all agree that the woman deserves her props. She said, “Indifference and neglect often do more damage than outright dislike.” It’s normal not to like things. Hi. This is life. And it’s full of a million things for people to dislike and they aren’t going away. But when you remain willfully indifferent to something that you know is wrong and you neglect the voice inside your head telling you to speak against it, you’re doing nothing more than allowing yourself to become the most important piece of the puzzle that continues to paralyze a nation founded by people who fought way too long and hard to establish a place where such conditions were feared rather than expected. When you turn your head to the reality of what is, it’s just as good as slapping those people in the face.
But what do I know? I’m just a stoner with a bachelor’s degree.