The coming of civilization, why, that’s just the death of society.
The modern Conservative movement, if left unchecked by moderation, repudiation, reconfiguration and defeat, will end society in a bonfire of vanity and lost identity. Because civilization, as many on the “right” construe it is the actual end of expression and identity, a segregation demarcated by wealth, pigment and ideology.
Segregation. A simple word that conjures up images of sugarplum fairies and dandelion meadows.
What I meant to say is that it is one of the few words to have been generally stripped of any positive emotive qualities. It isn’t simply an evil word, it’s part and parcel to the dehumanization project that humanity has been perpetrating upon itself from time immemorial. Whether it was the forced separation and resettlement of conquered people by the Assyrians or the Warsaw Ghettos to the social divisions enforced by Jim Crow in the post American Civil War to the present.
The goal has always been the same, to dehumanize, to destroy self-identity, diminish self-worth and to convince the oppressed that they are not fit for the company of decent people. That their participation in society is not wanted nor do they have anything to offer to the greater culture. Segregation takes that which makes us distinct and teaches us that it’s a flaw, a festering wound that must be first excised and then cauterized. It wields shame like a flail, casting about, wreaking havoc indiscriminately. It declares difference to be a catastrophic moral anomaly. By all accounts, segregation is the most inhumane of human devices and it’s most common of weapons. In all our long existence, humanity has arrived at no greater or more lethal method of torture and inquisition; death is a greater mercy.
And this is why I hate gay pride parades and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 among other things.
No, I’m not joking. But I will explain.
You see, those two things are fundamental in understanding the tragedy that is the story of humanity, the story of America. We punish difference, impoverishing ourselves in the process.
Think about it. We’ve had to legally threaten educated, generally caring individuals to treat their fellow citizens, all because the color of their skin was a shade darker, or the one they loved was the wrong gender, equally with decency and respect. We’ve generally been unable to come to the place where we can own and express a moral position without demanding the power to quash dissent and difference. Most conservatives tacitly affirm that we live in a pluralistic society, but the reality is that they want to really only allow a narrow bandwidth of diversity the right of legitimacy. Because on that narrow strip of land, that kingdom of conservative affirmative action, they control the rhetoric and the outcome. But tolerance is the flying buttresses of any pluralistic social experiment at democracy. To remove tolerance and enforce homogeneity is to end liberty and advocate a certitude only available to the divine. This is the hallmark of any totalitarian state, be it one of theism, polytheism or atheism. And people, that’s why they are losing, because the bedrock of democracy is the rejection of hegemony, of ideological domination and unchallenged institutionalized power.
Now, aside from the fact that I really, really hate parades in general, my dismay at the existence of gay pride parades is based upon the truth that a segment of humanity created imago dei was and is treated with such indecency, inequality and often brutality that when they are accepted as part of humanity with genuine reciprocity they’re compelled to acts of triumphant jubilation, all with the proper city permits of course. I guess my point is that we need to end the conservative collective policy of treating homosexuals as if they are schismatic sectarian terrorists hell bent on infecting them with their “gayness.”
And as far as the Voting Rights Act, I see it as evidence of our colossal failure as a society to uphold certain rights that are not to bestowed by the whim of the ruler but are as inherent as the right to not go hungry or thirsty.
To the conservatives of power and means, in the courts, the legislature and the whorehouses of the elite I send out the words of Tiberius Gracchus, I think they fit.
A tribune, he said, was sacred and inviolable, because he was consecrated to the people and was a champion of the people. “If, then,” said Tiberius, “he should change about, wrong the people, maim its power, and rob it of the privilege of voting, he has by his own acts deprived himself of his honourable office by not fulfilling the conditions on which he received it; for otherwise there would be no interference with a tribune even though he should try to demolish the Capitol or set fire to the naval arsenal. If a tribune does these things, he is a bad tribune; but if he annuls the power of the people, he is no tribune at all. (Plutarch, Parallel Lives Vol X., Life of Tiberius Gracchus)