Sometimes it is difficult to be a passive observer of the hidden webs of power and control within society. If we take the time, those strings that come out of the sky to determine the movements of people through their day, become starkly highlighted. Sometimes you just want to yell at people, to ask how they could possibly not see that they are not in control. A little further pondering and you remind yourself that most people don’t want to be told about the strings. Many even find it comforting because they are relieved of the task of thinking for themselves.
One day when you don’t have anything particular to do, make a conscious decision to spend the entire day looking out for those strings. Be prepared for a deluge of data, because you will discover a multitude of ways in which society enforces its contract of compliance in return for the right to particpate. Be prepared also, to discard a great deal of those observations at the end of the day – because if you don’t then you are likely to spend the ensuing weeks tormenting yourself and those around you with further revelations of the nakedness of those strings.
Anarchist thought suggests that government and government structures are inherently evil. That even the best intentioned rule is simply an artiface that will lead to further rules and further loss of the ability to control ones own destiny. Sometimes, it can seem that such thoughts are ridiculous. The rantings and ravings of the dispossessed, the incapable or the lazy non-participant. However, once you start recognising those strings in your day-to-day, you won’t be able to stop noticing them. They will impose themselves on your peripheral vision even as you avert your eyes from the more obvious examples.
Here is one that irks me.
Australian society is continuously made aware of the road toll from car and vehicle accidents. Enormous money and effort are expended in an attempt to bring the behaviour of all we errant drivers into line with that expected of concerned, upright and correct thinking members of society. Media thrills to remind us of the current state of the road toll on long weekends and in holiday periods. The tally is compared state by state, with gory and graphic photos and video to back up the impact of those figures. It’s as if society is being chastised because there are accidents on roads.
If you listen to the government messages and the tone of the media you will come away with the impression that the road toll is out of control. That society is full of dangerous and uncaring individuals, hell-bent on driving at reckless speeds or in some other way failing to exercise due care.
Now make it your job to go out and find the actual road toll statistics for Australia. Look at the trends over the past years. You will find that the road toll has steadily improved. i’d bet that this is not what you expected.
Now make it your job to go out and find the number of people who commit suicide in Australia each year.
The number of people killed on our roads is considerably less than the number who find life so difficult that they feel they can no longer participate. How can this be? Why is the focus so heavily skewed towards stopping the accidental deaths of people on roads when the intentional deaths are kept quiet? If you read about the idea that this is to stop copycat suicides then don’t accept this as sufficient in itself. It cannot be.
The quite noble intention of the road toll campaigns is to do the absolute best to stop every death that can possibly be stopped. Even one death on the road is too much. Totally agree. However, even one intentional self killing is way, way too much.
My statements can be distorted to suppose that i am uncaring of deaths on Australia’s roads. This would be manipulation of the highest order but fully expected, as we are told what we should think in these regards and anyone questionning the accepted version of the world must be driven by their own insidious purposes. It could be argued that there is no Great Scale where you can balance up the relative importance of one death over another. Again, these are bylines that would seek to move the argument away from the key point. And the key point is that we are being told what to worry. Often enough that we believe that what we are being told is the truth.
Time to open our eyes.