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Politics

        Every facet of life is inherently political; art is no different. I have never posted about my politics or made explicit my exact feelings. This writing will not change that drastically; however, I will state my political ideology, my oppositions in politics, and how politics has bled into my art within this piece.

        My political ideology is loose, like everybody’s. I change and am changed by the world around me. Though I am not an anarcho-communist, it is probably the closest moniker that can be used to describe my beliefs. When a person is an anarcho-communist, they believe that government should be laterally structured, giving equal power to every person in that government. They also believe that democracy should not be mediated via representation, but rather voting on all issues would be directly in the people’s hands. This requires more regular voting for the populace. They are in favor of emancipating government from the political will of capitalists (and thus capitalism), wage labor, and (of course) oppressive hierarchical regimes (a.k.a.: caste systems). I agree with all of the previous beliefs with the addendum that I don’t believe in violence to achieve these goals. I don’t advocate violence and I never will. We fundamentally need a change of system, but if we use violence to accomplish that goal then our effort is wasted. The only way to truly turn people from the “eat or get eaten” mindset of capitalism and colonialism is to choose not to eat while not being eaten. There seems to be great change occurring in the hearts and minds of many people right now. This goes in both political directions, many people are choosing to take their political ideology to its logical limit. This has been more obviously occurring with the extremism present on the right; the coup attempt on January Sixth stands as a stark reminder of our proximity to a loss of democracy, even if it is the least and most ineffective form of democracy present in the world. Democracy is supposed to put power directly into the hands of the people. Right wingers will argue here that the free market accomplishes this. I ask these detractors to recognize the prison population, the impoverished population, and the homeless population as just three examples of large groups of people who are not given adequate access to resources in order to facilitate monetary acquisition, let alone participation in the free market as somebody who actually makes money off of it. The rich get richer in capitalism, the poor stay poor and are held incapable of even voting a lot of the time. I want us to create a world where people aren’t left behind. We live in a time of abundance, but they don’t want us to know that. The grocery stores throw away massive amounts of stock because of the ”sell by” date being past. The food is still edible, but they lock their dumpsters and cart it away to rot.

       I want government to play an important, positive role in peoples’ lives, but it seems that many Americans just want government to go away. This mistakes individual, negative freedom as the goal when we need the positive freedom of a government that invests legitimately in its citizenry. I don’t know how we convince people that government can be used for good. I don’t know how we get them to understand that regulation keeps people safe. People in America want the American Dream to be real. They want to believe that tomorrow they’ll come up with the million-dollar idea and “make it big”. I’m not so deluded. I know that capitalism favors the winners over those that have not won already. It’s all a scam, more so than ever now. The whole system is a scam set up to benefit the most wealthy. Billionaires are being given tax breaks while people are struggling to pay their bills. Things can’t keep going on like this: we have to change the system now!!

       I believe that a government should care for all its people equitably. I agree with Bhutan’s domestic policy of maximizing happiness. If we demand that our government care for us, then it will eventually. It is a hard, fraught struggle, but maybe we can really change things soon. I hope. People aren’t happy right now. I remember seeing the news about the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and thinking about how to get out of the country if they started killing my kind. I thought about how many other people thought about that. I remember getting up for school when Donald Trump got elected and as I walked to my locker I heard people laughing and joking. There were many people that were happy that he was elected. I wanted to yell at them. I stayed silent because I was scared. When we left the Paris Climate Deal I was anxious. When the president told Israel to move their capital to Jerusalem, I was livid. He did so many things that made me angry and scared. I saw incorrect science and misinformation being spread out of control. When COVID began he told everyone that it didn’t exist. I was still scared and screaming. When he left I knew it wasn’t over, the fever for fascism had grown in the conservative faction. I had watched them extremify as my life went on. I remember that there were neo-Nazis in my school that were open about it. Nothing’s really changed in a way. I’m still scared.

       I think that the fear I felt has galvanized me. I know I can’t be silent anymore. We have to stand up and speak truly. It is my duty to vote and it is my duty to bring light to political issues. It is my duty to make clear the unclear. Politics is some murky waters, but I am a white flame with blue underneath it. I will burn the puddle until there is naught but mud. Quaking within we can see the lesion of hate and fear that is attached to all of us. We all hate and fear something, somebody. I believe that this lesion cannot be destroyed; we must become aware of it. Some of us have more fear, some of us have more hate. I think the hate is worse, but it all stems from fear. My art is political because I am showing people that their hate is misplaced. The oppressive systems that are in place ARE capitalism and representative democracy. The founding fathers were imperfect and did not create the constitution to live on forever unchanged. They were slaveholders and honestly horrible people… We need to break from the system they built because it exploits people and makes people’s lives worse right now. If you don’t care about that, then I’m sorry, but you aren’t okay. If you think that some people should have less or suffer while others maintain their constant, infinitely bored pleasure, then you’re not okay.

       I guess I’m trying to say that my art says all of this too. I talk about how people have suffered because we must be aware of it, and the role of telling these stories should not fall to those who have suffered through it. The emotional trauma of talking about police violence as a black person is something I will never understand, but I can educate people who don’t have that experience. I want to create a better world without hurting anybody, with the power of love and compassion. I don’t know if that’s doable but I will never raise a weapon against another of my kin. For we are all kin on this Earth. I want to look in the eye of the CEO and tell them that I don’t want their life. I want them to reckon with the fact that I think their successes mark them as lesser. I don’t actually think this about their soul or their humanity, but about their projection? What they show to the world? I think lesser of that façade they maintain. They don’t feel the world as you and I get to.

       My art condenses these topics and ideas. I have a billion thoughts about politics because everything is inherently political. Politics may seem to be more painful right now, but it’s always been like this if you care. I think what happened in America is that everybody started caring a lot more about politics. Maybe that’s the 24-hour news broadcasts, I don’t know. The first step either way is to get people caring, we’re past the first threshold now and there’s no going back. We all have to pick a side because the idiotic centrist position is not viable, never was. Do you want to improve everybody’s rights, give government a hand in your life, and benefit from a system that helps everybody equitably? Do you want to restrict the rights of specific groups while improving the rights of a select group, take away yet more power from the government, and benefit from a system that harms some and helps a small subset? Your choice, but when it’s all spelled out…would you really go with option two?

       Hierarchy is the element that bothers me the most. People are equal, fundamentally. I am no better than the beggar on the street or the hedge fund manager in their high rise. Hierarchy as a system is what maintains our status quo. Our ultimate choice in politics is whether we want to continue the system of hierarchy or stop it. There are some who would say that they can reform away the issues, but they’re wrong. We can’t get rid of the issue unless the system is gone. Hierarchy and capitalism will always seek to complete fascism’s goal of placing an increasingly smaller set of people at the top. They are emanations from the same place because to everybody other than the nations that colonize, those nations are fascist. Do you think that England was not a fascist country in its treatment of millions of other people that they subjugated? Do you think that America was not a fascist country in its treatment of slaves and the forced removal of American Indians from their lands? Fascism in America is nothing new and is in fact the system that we have had in place for its entire history. The only people that refuse this history are conservatives and especially white conservatives.

        My politics is in opposition to hierarchy. I believe that we must remake our systems of governance to better help the populace as a whole. My art seeks to enact my political ideas both directly and indirectly. In some pieces I am direct with my messaging and I make clear my positions on issues (see Intention). Other times I am less obvious and I suggest this shared humanity and other important emotional and spiritual understandings of the world in order to help people realize how hierarchy is socially constructed. Our world is simulated for us. We live in its discourse and maintain it by our consent to be present in the system. So, what can we do? I don’t know, but I will tell you that protesting has brought me some margin of joy, of hope, of despondency as well. I guess I want my art to wake people up to the world around them. I want them to look about and see the pain of those who are their kin. I won’t ever know if I changed anybody’s mind or helped somebody understand the reality of modern politics, but I can try.

        I want to end this by restating my political ideology. I am nothing. I am close to an anarcho-communist. I am a pacifist. I believe in equal rights for all people. I believe that capitalism as a system is inherently exploitative and must be stopped. I believe that hierarchy maintains capitalism and prevents the upward mobility in society that is mythologized by conservatives and neoliberals. I believe that people need to be more active in government through a system that encourages regular voting and an equal say for all citizens. I believe that government should seek to maximize the positive freedoms that are given to the populace while maintaining certain negative freedoms (e.g.: privacy and some private property). I believe in our ability to care for every person in our country, in the world ultimately. I want these things to be possible so that nobody has to suffer. We should all lead dignified lives, but we don’t need people to have more than others in order to do that. We don’t need to keep people in chains through prison in order to keep other people happy. We need to stop making others hurt, so that they too can help us. We must all change to love everybody in our country and around the world. We must stop letting petty personal grievances from preventing our collective action. Our hearts are beginning to beat in unison. We are all the human body. Let’s stop punishing it.

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