Belief

I have had a turbulent few days. I find myself having difficulties sleeping, as my mind is looking at new things. Things I have only begun to see recently. Things that I don’t even know the words for! This is unusual to me, I generally know the words for everything.

It feels as though I cannot sleep because my mind is too awake, too awake after having been sedated for too long. That my synapses are firing, and my eyes widen, and it is as if I am looking at things from a very new perspective.

It’s as if I am looking up at the sky, and I am beginning to see the cracks forming in its firmamental peripheries, like bloodshot eyes trembling at something impossible.

And what I found was faith. Not religious faith, but the other kind. The faith in humanity, the faith in good and evil, the faith in the future, the faith in others. The sort of faith that lets you look upon the world with a sense of wonder. The sort of faith that makes good people smile, and evil people roll their eyes. The kind of faith that gives you a passion for poetry, and art, and romanticism, that makes you vulnerable in your honesty to yourself.

The sort of faith that is so discouraged, and punished and ridiculed and combatted by so many forces in society.

From the billboard that calls you a stupid fat loser who needs to buy more toothpaste or die alone, to the TV screen that tells you how the world is full of worthless double faced degenerates who are looking to kill you as soon as the street lights cover the city in an amber hue.

From the popular culture that tells you that being cool is when you lean on a wall and express complete and utter apathy to the humanity around you, and treat the universe as if it is just your own personal doormat.

From the brutally cynical self-help author who preaches the gospel of self-affirmation, and who tells you that the first step to success is to get an enormous sense of entitlement, who tries to tell you that by being a self-centered reprobate, you’re actually a “go getter”. That nobody owes you anything, but at the same time, everything is yours if you just feel entitled enough. A religion of parasitic corporate henchmen who would burn down an orphanage if that’s what their quarterly reports told them to do.

From the pundit and the politician who proclaims that the world is dotted with savage races who worship poverty, terrorism and false gods. To the intellectual who tells you that the universe is a vast, infinite, empty and ambivalent place where you are just a small and helpless being whose sincere convictions are nothing more than Cartesian delusions.

Whose thoughts and feelings are little more than chemicals bubbling inside a sponge. Whose notions of dignity, respect and purpose are just libidinal dysfunctions shoved into your head by millions of years of violent, miserable, pointless and tautological natural selection. That you are just a self-aware causal accident who is too stupid to comprehend your own insignificance.

That you are a fleeting soulless and disposable automaton whose ultimate function is to rot into a skeleton, and feed maggots who cannot even comprehend that you were ever alive. That time, society, reality, belief, civilisation, humanity, philosophy, art, culture and love are just novelties we thought up to numb ourselves with distractions, since we are the only animal who knows that we’re going to die some day. That all the people you love is going to die some day. That it doesn’t make a difference if you care about them or abandon them, because in 10.000 years the result is the same.

From the Bohemian anarchist suburbanite who quotes Deleuze at you, in some toxic effort to proclaim that humanity is a broken and corruptible species who, when organised into large numbers, will inevitably give in to the naturalistic urge to make holocausts, and wars, and racism and genocides.

Who believes that good people are just fascists with impulse control, and that power reveals us all as heartless opportunists. Whose moral imperative is based on the idea that the only difference between the master and the slave is that the master won the coin toss.

Who tells us that we must vindicate our species by entering into a perverse and utopian Eden where we all live as insect eating primitives, shunning all transcendental motives in favour of some doomed ideation of the miserable, incestuous and dehumanising conditions of bronze age communalism.

That twisted doctrine of pure and unadulterated late-stage consumer capitalism. Where science states empirically that you are just a mortal vessel meant to be stuffed with cheap and mass produced junk food, drugs, alcohol, pollution and pharmaceuticals. That your mind is just a sewage plant meant to process electoral politics, adverts, news, tabloids, popular culture and irreparable personality disorders that rack up medical debt and insurance bills.

That your arms exist to be worn out and exhausted and broken and sprained, toiling away for your boss and your landlord. That your lungs exist to be corroded by pollution, industrial fumes, overpriced cigarettes and shitty high maintenance vaping equipment.

That your liver exists to be bloated and poisoned as your living room chair becomes a lonely island surrounded by a vast and endless sea of empty glass bottles, who reflect the pale light of the satellite TV.

That your eyes exist to be hypnotically transfixed on those swirling pixels who — through a miraculous process of generation spanning and centuries long scientific research and telemetric invention, have become realised into impossible technology that allow us to internalise data and information through multiple sensory organs at light speed — is now labouring to make themselves into the underwhelming visage of Bill Maher, who is smugly laughing at his own joke about how stupid poor people are.

That your feet exist to be sore and tired and red and swollen from standing at a counter all day doing the same thing over and over and over again for seemingly no other reason than that if you don’t, the people you love will face the dangers of an empty stomach and a cold gutter.

If you ever want to know what love looks like, then take a look at the people on the evening commute. The disheveled, tired and overworked parents and spouses who can barely keep it together. Whose eyelids strain to hold the burdens of a thousand early mornings.

Who feel every inch of their body as their nervous system is raw from every possible stress point tension. Whose bodies ache and scream for rest. Those people who, in spite of having been senselessly beaten up by the world. Whose minds are occupied with bills, debts, expenses, fees, rent and insurance costs.

Who have spent the last decade barely treading water in a cycle of recessions and austerity, only finding fleeting moments of solace in seeing the contentment of their little ones running off to school. As they must then turn their heads, get ready, and take off to yet another cycle of ten hours of work, and five hours of sleep.

If you ever want to know what love looks like, then take a moment to get to know such people.

And if you ever want to know what hate looks like, then take a moment to get to know their employers and their landlords.

Take a moment to get to know their insurance agents, healthcare providers, local representatives and the rest of the endless parade of bandits and thieves who are slowly and methodically picking working class peoples’ lives apart, one bank statement at a time.

So is it any wonder then that we live in this artificial bubble of media-cultivated ideas of what society, morality, culture and truth should be? That we live in this cheap and angsty doctrine of postmodern nihilism where even though everything is bad things can only get worse?

I can’t help but feel that this lie is wearing off. That I am not the only one who is tired of hearing about how being a jaded scumbag is the same as being smart. People often give me a hard time for being trusting and helping others, I’m told I’m being taken advantage of.

But how is that? Sure, I might lose money or time or effort, but I’ve also been sober for several years. Because I no longer live in a universe that hates me. Turns out that seeing the good in people has a really compounding effect, and before you know it, you start seeing the good in all kinds of things.

In fact, suddenly you start seeing good in general. As well as evil. Suddenly life becomes full of wonder and imagination, and you can see how it might actually be possible to make things better. That not everything is a lie and a scam.

Suddenly it doesn’t seem very intelligent to live by the doctrine that having no convictions is the only way to not be wrong about life. In fact, that seems more like cowardice. That seems like a good way to detach yourself from your motives, and just become a cynical and self-serving egoist, who can’t even reconcile their own virtues without some grueling and reductive diatribe about psychological reward systems.

Maybe morality isn’t just some clinical phenomenon that can be defined with recycled eugenics, where people are “Sociopaths” and “Narcissists” instead of “Villains” and “Assholes.”

Where some people are just medically and neurologically flawed, and that to be moral is to be part of the physiologically supreme master race.

How, all the bad people who do things that defy the neoliberal status quo in its legal and political interests, are, just as it happens, completely incapable of feeling pain and fear.

Thank heavens, for a moment I thought they looked like human beings, but upon further examination it seems like terrorists, criminals and other enemies of the state have an empathy disorder that makes it perfectly reasonable to kill them and deprive them of their rights.

Especially since, as it just so happens, sociopaths are completely incapable of telling the truth. So when they say “Oh please dear god don’t hurt me just please let me go!” then that’s actually just how they’re lying to you. In truth they don’t mind being tortured since, unlike us undiagnosed people, they’re morally tone deaf.

I just don’t think that’s very realistic, and upon second thought, our contemporary notions regarding science, philosophy, morality and civics are probably not the end of history, and God probably isn’t dead.

It’s just more likely that we’ve spent the last 30 years being trapped in a post-Soviet dark age where rich people successfully ruled the world and privatised all our national resources, and then used them to regiment us all into weak and self-defeating consumer psychology so they could consolidate vast amounts of power.

Maybe it’s good to be radical, and maybe if you starve and oppress a bunch of people in the third world long enough then it’s sort of logical to be a terrorist.

I don’t think I’d be a very good terrorist, but to be fair, I don’t think terrorists are very good terrorists either. Most are just like those overworked parents on that evening commute, except they don’t get to look at their kids with contentment each morning as they run off to school. Because there are no schools. Instead there’s dysentery and landmines.

Like I’m pretty sure I’d join the terrorists under those circumstances too. Better than to just sit around and wait for your family to die.

Because at the end of the day, most poor people are good, and most rich people are evil, and we’ve got 10.000 years of recorded history to prove it. No amount of nihilism or postmodernity is going to change that. History clearly isn’t ending, and logical positivism isn’t an evidence based worldview so much as it is to pretend that most of the universe doesn’t exist.

And I’m fairly certain nothing’s changed. We still need this faith that puts poetry into the world. That gives us determinism and purpose. We still need to combat nihilism, because nihilism is a slavish obedience to secular authorities.

The crisis we face won’t be solved by level headed moderates who heed every caution against questioning the status quo, it will be resolved by fanatics and romanticists who dare to look the postmodern intelligentsia into the eye and say “Fuck you! I’m doing it anyways!”

Because a society that never changes is a society without democracy, democracy only exists as societal determination, if it does not express determination, then it is not democracy.

Because what stands in our way? We have the productive forces to end world hunger, we have more vacant houses than homeless people, we have the technology to make medicine, housing, work and food accessible to all, and yet we don’t. Why? Because without poverty, there is no wealth. Without the leverage of scarcity, the rich cannot control the masses.

And it is precisely because of this motive, this ruling class imperative, that it is the liberal moderate who is the biggest tyrant, who, through the use of endless petrochemical wars and cold war sabre rattling, is hoping to stagnate humanity into conflicts and cycles of violence that will effectively press the pause button on history, and maintain their power forever.

And this is why you are told to believe in nothing except for the facts.

The manufactured, corporate publishing, advertiser friendly, trustee funded, expert accredited, Overton window facts.

Embrace the mystery of life, make it yours, shroud yourself in what is inscrutable, and never let some two bit authority figure convince you that you have no soul.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store