So you’ve heard it. We all have. Someone says, “You’re not a true American,” when you express an issue with the power mongers who destroy people and planets. Or you hear, “You should be grateful,” when offering criticism of a country who enslaves its entire population. When I hear people weaponize patriotism and gratitude from a fear of change, I laugh, then shake my head at the multifarious dynamics of oppression, and then laugh again.
You and I know offering criticism of a system that continues to use oppressive tactics to fuel it’s engines isn’t anti-patriotic. But if you’ve had any type of education in the humanities you also understand how symbols are created and used to control populations. We all have flags and statues and iconography, and each is used as a tool for house slaves to control the field slaves (the savage slaves who see through the curtain).
Under a supposed freedom-based system, dissent should be the norm. How are you going to make the system as strong as possible if you don’t have individuals criticizing what’s not working in the hopes it will start working? Because house slaves are so quick to weaponize their master’s tools indicates no one is free. If the masters give just enough power to specific groups to control other groups, then all groups are not free. The masters are free. The rest of us are fighting over scraps. Some have more scraps than others and will protect those scraps at all cost, including wielding an overused symbol and challenging someone’s patriotism.
In a world controlled by patriotism, the only patriot is the anti-patriot because she is a patriot to all.
Now, with this gratitude nonsense, I suppose people are thinking in the perspective of haves and have-nots, where the have-nots should be grateful for the scraps because people in third world countries have-less scraps than the have-nots in a modernized country. Was that confusing? But there are third world streets, ghettos, and reservations inside every modern country, so that line of thinking would not be true. It would be myopic from an isolated individual who needs to drive out of their small space and see other parts of their own community.
If we need to be grateful under these conditions now, imagine how grateful we’ll all be when we criticize this system to point where it can “Think Horizontal.”
How do you think silencing works? What other tools have you seen used to silence people?