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A desensitised generation of followers?

16 Jun

rich-poor-divide1

Call me boring or old-fashioned, but I have always been under the impression that our generation is supposed to use the example of the one which preceded ours, and learn from their mistakes, improve on the visions they had, and also set a benchmark to be followed by the generation that will succeed ours. Are we not supposed to set an example for the next generation to be leaders so they can also equip the one after theirs with knowledge, or, am I just being old fashioned in my ways and a tad boring? No matter where you go in the world, the legacies of the revolutionaries who came before us are still alive –  through literature, murals, biopics, songs, graffiti, you name it – there is no denying that the ideals of long ago still have an impact on people many years later. The likes of Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Anne Braden, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Dorothy Tilly, Alice Norwood Spearman Wright, Steve Biko and many others, lived long before many of our generation were born, but their legacies have outlived them. These are men and women who were willing to risk their lives all in the name of equality and change and we owe them a lot for the example they left us. Regardless of whatever race, colour or creed we may be, there is no denying that they stood for meaningful ideals which were intended to unify nations, and chose to sacrifice their lives so that the sufferings they went through would not be faced by the next generation. We probably haven’t faced hardships and injustice in the same scale as they did so does that mean we therefore have nothing to fight against so we are entitled to carry on with our lives and allow the torch they passed on to us to be quenched? At this point I would like to point out that I am not talking about a racial issue here – colour has very little to do with the point I am trying to make as there were many white people who were involved in civil rights movements like Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, and were inspired by Che Guevara etc and chose to fight oppression. So what is wrong with our generation?

Could it be that because we did not see or experience the sufferings of the generation that preceded us, we have become so comfortable with life that we feel the current state of the world will suffice? Oppression caused the oppressed to rise up and fight, so could that be where the issue lies? I am not saying that everyone was born to be a revolutionary. What I am saying is that not everyone in the generation before ours was a revolutionary like Guevara but they still played a role in championing a change regardless of the role. Is a water-boy in a sports team to be disregarded because he isn’t directly on the playing field with the players? Certainly not! So why is our generation the way it is? Has the comfort of life desensitised us to the social, moral and cultural ills of the world? Everywhere you look, be it on social media or just walking down the road, it’s plain to see what our generation’s priorities are. We are more concerned about getting ‘turnt up’ and ‘wavey’ and ‘swag’. We are more concerned about keeping up with the Kardashians and their celebrity chums and what they are wearing. We are more concerned about what the latest football transfer is. We are more concerned about how many people follow our pages on social media. We are more concerned about what the next episode of our favourite television series has in store. We are more concerned about ensuring that our next pair of shoes are designer (to add to our already handsome collection). We are more concerned about what is occurring in the lives of the rich and famous. We are more concerned about who ‘twerks’ better than who. We are more concerned about being flashy and flaunting our material possessions – the shoes, cars, money, jewellery, homes etc. Why are we so concerned about these things when someone out there in our world is facing some sort of injustice, hasn’t got a roof over their head, food to eat, good sanitation, clean water to drink, clothes to wear and even a decent standard of education? What is wrong with this generation?

all i need

I saw the above picture on the internet and it made me giggle and had me thinking. I have nothing against people enjoying their lives, however what I am saying is that it looks like these things have become the focus of our attention. There is a saying that goes “only a fool thinks he can solve the world’s problems”, which to some degree is true I suppose. So what if we became a million fools, or even a billion, who will stand up and say “I want to make a difference!”? I believe there would not be a single child in this world who goes to sleep on an empty stomach and cannot afford to go to school. Personally I refuse to believe that it is beyond society’s ability and reach to change the world. The problem is this – we as individuals feel it isn’t our reponsibility, but that of the world governments and authorised bodies to tackle the world’s issues and be concerned for humanity’s wellbeing. This is where I believe we as human beings have made the greatest mistake. It isn’t that the world is poor and beyond repair – we are just not concerned about those who need aid in this world. Those whom we concern ourselves about are the rich and famous – you know, the Kim Kardashians, Beyonces, Rihannas etc who are living lavish and offer us nothing more than mere entertainment. We are so concerned about their lives and what they get up to, what they’re wearing and who they’re dating, so much so that we have lost touch with life’s real issues. Yet I question whether these celebrities actually care about the blinded millions who fund their lavish lifestyles. The millions who work hard daily and barely make ends meet but still contribute towards making them richer by buying their music, films etc but get nothing back for their unwavering allegiance.What is wrong with this generation?

The system has been designed to keep the masses ignorant regarding the things that REALLY matter and it’s a sad reality that the majority of society have fallen victim to the system and have allowed themselves to become morally, socially and culturally ignorant. Remember, educated people are far more difficult to manipulate than entertained people (and I do not necessarily mean academically educated). Think about it – how many people around the world knew of the whole Solange Knowles and Jay Z elevator kerfuffle? Millions right? It was the talk of the week and news feeds on social media were blowing up because of this incident. Now compare that number to the people who knew that around the same time of the whole Solange/Jay Z elevator incident, reports surfaced that between 40 to 59 children had their throats slit by Boko Haram on 25 February but the press did not cover this story as extensively as they did the 200 missing school girls. See what I mean?

It is so easy for us to shift the responsibility to world governments and sit back and wait for them to take action and tackle world poverty, injustice and what not, but here’s the problem though – it’s pretty clear that the governments do not care about the affairs of the poor. It has been stated countless times that the majority of government systems are designed so that the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, but I doubt society completely realise and understands the whole truth in this statement. How come there are billions that can be spent on World Cup tournaments to build stadiums and further enrich the already wealthy and comfortable sports stars and associated ministers, when there are people who cannot afford a meal nor do they have a home to live in? So what these governments are saying is that there IS money, but it’s only available when the interests of the rich will be preserved. Think Brazil 2014, South Africa 2010 and London 2012.

Why are we a generation of armchair activists who would rather shout “change!” from the comfort of our homes and keep a safe distance as we wouldn’t want to compromise our own lives for the sake of others? So what about the millions of people before us who gave up everything – their careers, livelihoods, families and even their lives for the sake of the next generation (that’s you and I) who they probably would never meet? Are we not to take their bravery and selflessness as an example? Is it not our concern what goes in the world? As long as we have a family, a good job and career, a nice car and a nice house, then whatever happens out there in the world is the government’s business. Are we a generation of cowards of have the times simply changed? It seems to me that comfort has indeed caused us to be blinded of the issues that concern us all. Our generation wants to be entertained, and not educated and I am not necessarily talking about academic education here. I mean educated on the way the world system works.

I was left rather challenged, motivated and inspired when I found out that revolutionaries like Thomas Sankara, Che Guevara and Martin Luther King had already begun world-changing movements in their late 20s, which is just a few years older than I am now. These gentlemen died before they were 40 in selfless acts for the next generation, and it is sad to see that there are so many of us around the same age as them with a lot of potential and a wealth of knowledge but allow ourselves to be governed by the world’s system of being controlled followers and not leaders. The time has come for us to start living for a cause, not applause, and ensure that when our time comes we go out empty, having given everything within us for our fellow man. Perhaps there is yet hope for our generation.

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30 responses to “A desensitised generation of followers?

  1. LibertyAb0veAll

    June 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Che Guevara, eh? Are you aware that he was a racist proponent of genocide who hated homosexuals? Not so obvious, but *absolutely* relevant.

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    • analyse196

      June 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      I am aware that having grown up in a rather wealthy and to do household, Che was ignorant and closed up culturally in his younger years. However, people views on race, gender, sexual orientation etc can change with maturity and I believe that is what happened with Che. He may have held very racist, homophobic and capitalist views in his younger years by I believe he matured and changed as a person unlike Jefferson and the likes of Rubio, in my opinion.

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      • LibertyAb0veAll

        June 20, 2014 at 3:35 pm

        It’s true that these things can change with maturity. They also (more often) change as popular and political pressures dictate it. I don’t believe that he was much different in the end, and I don’t believe that he’s the saint many make him out to be. Although, I’d love to see whatever information has led you to that conclusion…

        PS – What’s wrong with capitalism?

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  2. analyse196

    June 20, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    It’s very true that they do change due to keeping up with appearances that the public want to see – however, I would be very interested in knowing what leads you to believe that he was still bigoted even to his death. In my opinion, everything is wrong with capitalism. The World Cup in Brazil for instance. Millions if not billions have been spent on building the stadiums to host the tournament, yet around these beautifully designed stadiums are slums where people live. People with hardly any running water, decent shelter and clothes to wear. So what the government is saying is that there is definitely money, but it’s only available when there is a world cup to be hosted and also to pay those filthy rich sports people who earn in a week what could possibly change the lives of those living around the stadiums? But when people need to be sheltered, clothed and fed, there is no money? And that is what I dislike about capitalism. There is a lot of money in this world to enable us all as people to live equally, but capitalism does not permit – keep the poor people where they are, and let us continue to climb the ladder.

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    • LibertyAb0veAll

      June 20, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      I must admit, I’m hacing a hard time putting a label on you, Analyse…

      In any event, no economic system has had the most positive effects for the greatest number of people as has capitalism. That’s just the reality, and the United States – where poverty is nearly non-existent – is a fantastic bit of evidence of this fact.

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      • analyse196

        June 20, 2014 at 4:04 pm

        I think I would label myself as a bit of a strange fellow who just wants to see a change in this world of ours. I hear what you’re saying, however do you not think that the USA is the way it is (almost poverty-free) because of invading other nations and stripping them of what resources they have, thus building and developing itself? Look at Iraq for instance, left in ruins whilst the invader progresses.

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      • LibertyAb0veAll

        June 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm

        No, I don’t think it is the way it is “because of” that behavior. I think it is the way it is *despite* that behavior. Although such behavior is clearly misguided, and we’d do well to eliminate the military industrial complex. Our egregious defense spending and its implications regarding the rest of the world are not the result of capitalism, and capitalism as an economic system is not even remotely dependent on it. Indeed, thinking that war helps us in any way is a texbook manifestation of the broken window fallacy…

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      • analyse196

        June 20, 2014 at 4:21 pm

        I concur, if the military industrial complex was eliminated I would most probably have a different view. War is indeed a very lucrative business.

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      • LibertyAb0veAll

        June 20, 2014 at 4:31 pm

        It’s only lucrative for some, though. It’s a big part of the reason that the Baltimore/DC Metro area is so affluent – at the expense of the rest of the country. Government in general is the rest of the reason.

        But the point is that – like the broken window fallacy states – that money isn’t really helping our economy. It’s coming from somewhere else – from other things that would make life better for many people. So what I’m saying is, it’s not because of the MIC and the government and foreign policy that we’re a successful nation. It is precisely those things that are holding us back from being better, and better for more people.

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      • The Sober Avioder Rick Kelzke

        June 23, 2014 at 8:59 pm

        What,s wrong with you and the 9 billion other zombies that defend this system of freedom and opportunity yet slave away in jobs most of you hate for most of your productive time just so you can either be one of the few to scrape by or one of the many sinking into debt and and part of the all that cant afford to do anything if they ad any spare time to do it. To come out and defend this system with attacks on other systems that unless you have experienced them is moronic I bet that what you know of these other systems is what you have been told by the leaders of this system and then you never gave it a second thought yet time and time again we leave our families, risk the lives of our fathers, mothers, brothers to invade these systems that we really know nothing about. WHY? could it be that this system only works as long as no other system exists. Anyway What,s wrong with Capitalism? Nothing if your in the top 10% or your a moron. The Needs Of The Many (10% is not the many) see if you can work the rest out fool

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      • analyse196

        June 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

        Indeed, the system is conducive only to the very small percentage of individuals, who happen to control the system. I do agree that this system’s main goal is to eradicate all other systems that want to ensure that the world’s wealth is shared equally. It is a lot harder for individuals (the 10% you mentioned) who have known wealth and control the wealth to make the transition from being rich to ‘ordinary’ than it is for individuals who have been poor/ordinary to make the transition into wealth.

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      • LibertyAb0veAll

        June 30, 2014 at 6:17 pm

        But, that’s just not true. And you need look no further than Hong Kong for proof. FAR more people than “the 10%” benefit from a free market economy. No economic system in the history of the world has provided greater benefit for the common person than free market capitalism. Everyone I’ve ever met who can’t see this undeinable fact is simply blinded by envy.

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  3. LibertyAb0veAll

    June 20, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Regarding Guevara, all I know about him is that he was a bigoted, misguided revolutionary. I know (and you’ve acknowledged) that he was that way in his heyday. The only way I’d be able to decide that he changed over time is to see some evidence of such a change – which I have not. Have you? Are you just assuming that he must have changed his worldview because many people do as they get older? That doesn’t seem logical, no?

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    • LibertyAb0veAll

      June 20, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      It’s also important to point out that he is revered by many for his actions and statements made WHILE he was a bigoted, misguided revolutionary. So if you wear a shirt depicting the Che Guevara of that era, like it or not, you’re supporting the man as he was at that time. Just some food for thought… ;)

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      • analyse196

        June 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm

        I must say, am very impressed by your detailed knowledge. I came to the presumption that he changed his views mainly because of the revolution he championed. Leaving his comfortable life and wanting to change things. Perhaps it’s a tad difficult to point out exactly where he did/did not change because he died prematurely before anyone got to really know the real Che in greater depth. Had he lived longer, maybe we would have been able to ascertain whether or not he was the bigoted homophobe of old, or a renewed man who wanted to champion change. I am however not so sure if wearing a shirt with his face necessarily means you echo his views from his heyday. It would be different if his face completely changed from before the transition to after, if that makes any sense?

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      • LibertyAb0veAll

        June 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm

        It kind of makes sense, but if I’m honest, I think you’re grasping at straws. He’s a natural hero for those who at once hate government and corporations. Really, if I were to label you, I would use “Anarcho-Communist.” I believe that’s what Guevara was, and there are a lot of people on the cusp of libertarianism who feel this way. Norm Chomsky is one of the brightest and most vocal proponents of this philosophy.

        Problem is, Chomsky’s (and Guevara’s) philosophies are conspicuously absent a thorough understanding of economics. To eliminate the rich and spread wealth inherently requires government, and the application of a government monopoly on force. It is therefore fundamentally anti-liberty in nature.

        The idea of a worker-controlled system with no leaders and no rich people at the top is a lovely one, but in the end it is infeasible. And history has shown that it always tends toward oppression.

        True freedom cannot exist without economic freedom. And where economic freedom exists, there will always be those who have more than others, because not everyone puts in the same effort. Redistribution inherently limits freedom, and can only be affected by some form of government. In short, anarcho-communism is a paradox – a myth.

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      • analyse196

        June 20, 2014 at 4:52 pm

        I believe you’re right, I am an Anracho-Communist. If communism was so bad, why didn’t the west let it die a natural death? The west went all out to ensure they destroyed communism, hence they destroyed the Soviet Union. If I’m not mistaken, Cuba has had sanctions since around 1949 and today no one trades with Cuba until today. If the west had said “Cuba you’ll die a natural death, you can trade with anyone” and left communism alone, I am pretty sure Cuba would be doing far better than it is. There was a recession around 1945 (I think) and we are in a recession again because of capitalism. I guess what I am getting at is that the rich become richer and poor become poorer, which is what communism is against. Capitalism survives on war or rumors of wars. Capitalists start a war somewhere and that rumor of war will make those under threat or those who pose the threat to spend on boots, ammunition, shovels etc. Communism doesn’t seek riches, but unfortunately the west did not leave communism alone hence the situation with Russia and China. However these two countries are now slowly coming out of communism due to sanctions imposed. I just believe capitalism is anti-liberation, and anyone who wants freedom and their rights to be equally is viewed as a terrorist and an enemy of the state.

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      • LibertyAb0veAll

        June 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm

        You keep saying that “Capitalism survives on war,” but history does not prove this out. The United States saw it’s greatest years before it was even a world power. During the bulk of the industrial revolution – when people *poured* into the US for the opportunity it offered – our military was relatively modest and inconsequential. We were essentially isolationists. Even in WWI we were reluctant participants, and not huge players in the conflict (relatively speaking). it wasn’t until WWII that the effects of war mongering started to present, and at that point our economic growth was relatively lower than it was in the heyday.

        I’m not suggesting that your entire way of thinking is “wrong,” but you need to escape your fallactious mantra regarding war and capitalism before you can truly understand what’s going on, I think.

        Understanding economics in a very comprehensive way is the key to understanding why communism can never work. I wholeheartedly recommend reading Henry Hazlitt’s “Economics In One Lesson.” Here’s a free copy.. :)
        It’s a light read, and good read, and it just might change your mind…

        https://mises.org/books/economics_in_one_lesson_hazlitt.pdf

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      • analyse196

        June 20, 2014 at 5:17 pm

        The reason I keep stating that Capitalism survives on war is because I believe this to be very evident from the situations in Iraq, Lybia, Afghanistan, the constant threat between North and South Korea and now the USA want to arm Japan for example. I believe we are both stuck in our opposing views as a Communist and Capitalist :) Thank you for recommending this book, I will certainly have a read and maybe, just maybe, I may slightly shift from the angle I currently view things from.

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      • LibertyAb0veAll

        June 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm

        In order for your assertion – capitalism survives on war – to be true, then it would also have to be true to say that without war capitalism would fail.

        In fact, capitalism grew the US economy fastest during a period of relative peace, when government had little control over things (relative to today, anyway). Can you not see this fundamental, evidentary crack in your logic?

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      • analyse196

        June 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm

        Which period of peace would you be referring to?

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      • LibertyAb0veAll

        June 20, 2014 at 5:28 pm

        1760-1910. Excluding the civil war, of course. :)

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      • analyse196

        June 20, 2014 at 5:39 pm

        You may have a point there, but how do you justify the current goings on where there isn’t any peace? Is Capitalism still the answer?

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      • LibertyAb0veAll

        June 20, 2014 at 6:04 pm

        Absolutely. I think you’re unfairly conjoining the capitalism economic system with the current American political system and it’s nightmarish foreign policy. They are, in fact, *not* married at all.

        Our economic system didn’t create the nightmare – it persists despite what America has become in that regard. How much do you know about Hong Kong?

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      • analyse196

        June 20, 2014 at 8:23 pm

        I must apologise for the untimely response as I had to take my mother for her driving lesson. But yes, I know a little bit about Hong Kong, but not extensive knowledge I must say. Funny you should say that because I was actually reading an e-book about 2 weeks ago which was about the history of Hong Kong. I presume you know quite a bit?

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      • LibertyAb0veAll

        June 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm

        I guess more to the point – where’s the “Anarchy” in your “Communism?”

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      • LibertyAb0veAll

        June 30, 2014 at 6:10 pm

        In short, Hong Kong went through a period of capitalization in the 80s that drove it’s poverty rate into the gutter where its people used to be. They valued free commerce and international trade above all else, and had little to no government involvement in any part of the process. The capitalist model they embraced led to one of the most prosperous and upwardly mobile poverty classes in history and made Hong Kong a powerhouse in international trade almost overnight. The effects of their choise was even felt around the world as goods became cheaper and more accessible for nearly everyone.

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  4. LibertyAb0veAll

    June 20, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    You got me reading today, dangit… I didn’t know much about Sankara, and now that I do, I’m stunned. I’m actually appalled that you would even put Guevara, Sankara and MLK in the same box, frankly. MLK was a good man with noble intentions and right-headed methods. Sankara was a facist dictator who climbed to power under the guise of helping the little guy. In the end, he was an overt authoritarian! I… just…. I dunno…

    Perhaps the four years during which he was in power make a case for the viability of a socialist construct, but it is *critical* to note that his achievements were only possible as a result of EXTENSIVE coercion and government authority. And the problem with an authoritarian regime – as we found out when he was killed in 1987 – is that it is only as good as the person who currently leads it.

    So even if Thomas Sankara was a truly noble visionary, he wasn’t able to affect his socialist/commnist world view without setting up an immense power structure of the kind and magniude that can never be tolerated as it can later be abused by less scrupulous men. And history shows that it will *always* be abused in the end.

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    • analyse196

      June 20, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      I am glad you read about Sankara, however I must disagree that he was a fascist dictator. Burkina Faso, as it later became known, was a French colony. Yes the French gave BF their independence however, this ‘independence’ had some strings attached.

      The French wanted someone in power who would still keep the French interests alive and basically be a puppet. They still wanted to have control of BF’s resources and be what I’d call a government that governs the country without.Not much of an independence, right?

      Sankara was a communist who wanted equal rights for every citizen and a REAL independence, where people are educated, skilled and employed to make the country better, not to further enrich the already wealthy French colonialists.

      He was the first president in history I believe, who died with nothing because he chose not to be a puppet of the west and be transparent. Whe he came into power he reduced the government minister’s salaries significantly, which I salute, as he did not believe in ministers living lavish whilst the rest of the country remain poor. I therefore believe Sankara was a great example of a noble statesman who was murdered to doing what was right.

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      • LibertyAb0veAll

        June 30, 2014 at 6:06 pm

        But, he was only able to achieve that “socialist utopia” by imposing authoritarian – totalitarian rule over the people. There was plenty of killing and gestapo-style shenannigans. Is that a reasonable path to “equality?” Does the fact that he chose not to have a fancy house make all of that okay?

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