Arcs Of History

People will talk about the long arc of time and history bending toward justice, and maybe it does. But as some protesters today pointed out, that doesn’t just happen by itself – it isn’t some kind of magical wand waving. It requires the work of people on the ground.

And that’s really what I see all the time now. I mean sure, talk about echo chambers, cultivated algorithms, and what have you – but in issues like this abortion ban, there are so many people who are vehemently and vitally opposed. That’s what I see all over. Any time I go out to protest, I see these huge throngs of people of all kinds, all of them from whatever walks of life and all opposed to fascism and right-wing control and the impeding of progress.

It’s a difficult thing because the power is all concentrated at the top, at least in a legal sense. There’s an unelected Supreme Court that can just wake up and do whatever they want with basic human rights like abortion. The politicians increasingly have less and less reason to listen to us on the ground unless we’re lobbyists handing them checks. So it can feel helpless. But I really don’t think it is. Seeing the people who come out to these protests, it’s clear we don’t need to have any fealty to these people. We need to work toward change and sometimes that change will involve just doing things on the ground, being there for one another when that fucking feckless, soulless boot of the state is not there to do anything for us. Whatever happens, I think there will be likeminded folks who are doing good work. This isn’t to say that we have to be unrealistically sunny. But I do find positivity in those people who are dedicated to human rights. And I think there’s a sizable portion of those out there.

I think about exactly how to change anything really. Like being a left political type of person, thinking in that way, that means that you’ve going out there on a limb and saying things need to be radically different. You’re not some kind of defender of a fucking status quo. You’re thinking of things as a great possibility for the future. Of course to some this makes you a spoilsport. You’re not in lockstep with some corporate flunky, so you must be sour grapes for their message.

But those people aren’t really serious folks. Change will come from those on the ground who are moving humanity forward – those in office are pretty often ineffectual or clowns, people with no real integrity. It’s a goofy worthless show. We have to look out for each other. I’ve wondered a lot if change is even possible, and how to achieve it at all, as so much of the time it feels like we’re not doing enough. But it comes in drips and drops, and any little action is still helping to move things along.

I was in the middle of writing this yesterday when the shooting in Buffalo happened. Horrific. A racist Nazi scumbag came into this Black neighborhood and just murdered people. Out for groceries, and this happens. Atrocious – the worst thing that could happen. There’s a growing movement of this kind of rabid, organized hate. You can see it in the movement to legislate trans people, to regulate women. It’s all sort of connected. Society is changing and there’s a reactionary movement that doesn’t want it to, and they come sometimes with guns. This is what we’re fighting against.

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