FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Marginalization and Terror

Am I angry when 50- and 60-year-old congressional legislators say in television interviews say that the anti-war protests of 20-something university students are invalid because those students lack the perspective of living through the Vietnam war?

Yes I am.

Discussing this with my mom, she suggested that people of her generation and older had the disadvantage of lacking the long-term personal investment of someone who is going to have to live through the results of all this shit for another 80 years. My government is not representative of me, in part because there is no one from my generation who has direct input in the decision-making process. Why does government discriminate so heavily with regard to age? Because of the myth that wisdom is always gained with age? Please.

I know twenty-three-year-olds who know more about politics, relationships, love, intuition, rational thinking, and who have more wisdom than most people 3 to 4 times their age. I do think time is a resource across which some gain wisdom, and therefore many wise people are in the elder generations. But many people in elder generations are not wise. And many young people understand and learn more in their short tenure than has the aged inheritants of power in our governments demonstrate they have seen or learned. But who knows this? Only those who are themselves unusually insightful. The masses do not know this. A voting majority does not know this. Henrik Ibsen said “The majority is always wrong. Always.” And what he meant by that is that the best, most useful, wisest, stellar choices and opinions, due to their extraordinary makeup, always elude the majority of thinkers; hence, because the best ideas are not (easily) tenable by most people, the best ideas will not be agreed upon by a majority, thus the best possible choices will never be made through democratic process. The democratic process is not friendly to unusually bright suggestions. Unusually bright (or otherwise odd) suggestions must be trumpeted by a different horn. What is that horn? Among others, literature, propaganda, peaceful demonstrations, and terrorism.

You see, terrorists and the profoundly judicious share a common bond: most people aren’t listening to what they have to say. They are marginalized by societies and states. There is no way for their voices to be heard through the regular channels. If there was a forum for their frustration, a way for them to participate in the decision-making process of their world, then they would have no need to resort to extreme means to make their voices heard. If their need to speak and be heard is denied, then they will take the stage by force, will incite attention to their cause by, as many have said, any means necessary. Artists do this; they operate in a world where most people are not trained to understand in the way that they do, where most people do not have the sensitivity to feel what they feel. As a result, the majority always initially misunderstands their methods of self-expression. A majority, I will add, whose grandchildren will honor in museums the very same works their ancestors censored and felt threatened by.

Rudolph Guliani, hailed by our precious majority as a national hero, has demonstrated his lack of wisdom regarding this ancient issue in his attempts to censor prominent New York City art museums by withholding public funding because the museums chose to exhibit work that many scholars consider brilliant expressions and some less-educated people found offensive. The art community took the stage in creative ways to respond to Guliani’s own incarnation of barbarism. One is chronicled by an Australian Broadcasting Corporation website:

“New York is about to experience a new Sensation – a follow up to the exhibition that Mayor Rudolph Guiliani tried to put a stop to last year. You may recall he was particularly offended by a picture of the Virgin Mary adorned with elephant dung. Well, this time, in a show soon to open at the Whitney Museum’s Biennial there’s an elephant dung smeared portrait of Guiliani himself . It’s part of a most unflattering work by a New York artist which depicts the Mayor as a Nazi, with framed quotes by Guiliani next to a copy of the First Amendment, all accompanied by the sound of marching jackboots. The Whitney Museum does not rely on public funding – your move Mr Guiliani.”

Rudolph Guiliani is not a hero. His mayoral censorship endeavors are frighteningly akin to the international policies of global superpowers that have so marginalized and disenfranchised poor people in countries all over the world, including their own. Guliani’s economic sanctions against institutional cultural pillars marginalize artists in the same way that socially-average schoolchildren marginalized the suicide attackers of Columbine and the same way that the most powerful countries of the world have desolated, starved, and generally marginalized less powerful countries to the point that their people are ripe to be converted into disciples of terrorist leaders.

It is crazy to think that a country led by people who are so willing to censor their own citizens’ pinnacle forms of self-expression is likely to arrive at an optimal solution to the problem: What Role Should We Play in a World where Terrorists Exist? Many of our leaders have repeatedly shown that at the very least they do not comprehend the workings of systemic marginalization. Some of them have demonstrated that they are not even aware of such forces of cause-and-effect. Our leaders keep saying this is not a conventional war. Even though its face differs slightly from those of past military campaigns, I find it quite conventional indeed; it is a symptom-treating measure that blatantly disregards the root causes of terrorism. It is a momentary stopgap at best, and probably one that will have long-term effects that are exactly the opposite of our stated superobjective.

Where is this type of discussion taking place among you, the chiefs of my tribe? Is this type of analysis being performed by my elders who wish to discredit the protests of my peers, citing our lack of perspective? Do you not heap upon yourselves the very fate you are trying to avoid by refusing to listen to the voices of those who are crying out against your foolishness and lack of insight? And do you not, by marginalizing the critical thinkers of your own country, personally invite more severe demonstrations from those whose voices you would silence? These voices cannot, will not, be ignored forever. With each new denial and each new insult they do grow louder and stronger and are bound by necessity to rely on more and more extreme measures in order to be heard over the roar of your ignorance. CP

http://www.inhesion.com/

More articles by:

January 22, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
On the Brink of Brexit: the Only Thing Most People Outside Westminster Know About Brexit is That It’s a Mess
Raouf Halaby
The Little Brett Kavanaughs from Covington Catholic High
Craig Collins
Why Did Socialism Fail?
Dean Baker
The Trump Tax Cut is Even Worse Than They Say
Stanley L. Cohen
The Brazen Detention of Marzieh Hashemi, America’s Newest Political Prisoner
Karl Grossman
Darth Trump: From Space Force to Star Wars
Haydar Khan
The Double Bind of Human Senescence
Alvaro Huerta
Mr. President, We Don’t Need Your Stinking Wall
Howard Lisnoff
Another Slugger from Louisville: Muhammad Ali
Nicole Patrice Hill – Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Scarlet “I”: Climate Change, “Invasive” Plants and Our Culture of Domination
Jonah Raskin
Disposal Man Gets His Balls Back
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail