Damn I've been stewing over some shit the past couple of days and now I'm ready to share.. The world has become increasingly more globalized largely due to technology, not only by disrupting institutionalized economic models and industries- but with those shifts come the cross pollination, assimilation, appropriation, and tragically, violent reactionary byproducts of differing ideologies. If I were to measure what social progress means to me in this era- in the face of extremist terror whether it’s state sponsored, religiously fueled, domestic or abroad- any person or group that believes in a centralized ideological supremacy risks the consequences of a one size fits all solution. To me, being cloaked in any flag means acknowledging the imperfections and missteps that plague any country’s exercise of their chosen set of ideologies. That by merely being a sore exception to someone else’s sacred beliefs, your existence is a threat to their very way of life.
When I hear mind numbingly jingoistic cries of “attacks on our way of life” there is one part of me that immediately repels because it makes me feel like I’m being recruited for an army of mental slaves because I’m not sure which way of life I’m supposed to assume they’re talking about. But there is another part of me that readily accepts at the core of our imperfect reality- my very real way of life I enjoy is because of the proximity of my privilged nationality. A nationality that was inherited because of a lifetime of sacrifices made not only by a lineage of those related to me but also to countless suffragettes, social activists, free thinkers and doers, and anyone who has given their life to freedom- who all believed in a different, better world that gives voice, value, and equal rights to those who historically have been denied. Because of this, it makes me more vigilant about the milestone social progressions and strides that have sent loud messages to not just the rest of the world, but also to those of us living in these so called first world countries what can and does happen when people continually come together to understand the injustices and welfare of others that are different from ourselves.
So when I think of how “our way of life” is being attacked, I think that though often times “our way of life” can be and is criminally imperfect and dysfunctional, it is important to continue to be critical of even our own ideologies because our interconnected futures in this global society are probably not as linear as we would like to believe. Peace is not a given. Achieving and maintaining it is a process that in this day an age, to benefit from it seems like a first world privilege and exception to the overwhelming toll of human suffering that has always existed. I think as long as the future doesn't slip into a complete "Idiocracy" type situation, there will always be hope.