From the Greek politika, meaning “things concerning the polis,” “polis” meaning the city, or the people. The Greeks gave us political philosophy and the idea of democracy. This evolved away from a system where power was held by a single person, usually a king, and gave it to the citizens, which is what we supposedly have today. This is the notion on which our nation was founded, to get out from under a monarchy and the absolute power that comes with it. In a democracy, the good of the many outweighs the good of the one, or of the few. All are parts of the whole, and submit to the good of the whole.
We the people elect our representatives, and we submit to the body of laws as ruled by the highest courts. And we are supposed to trust the courts, because we elected the people who put them there. So, fellow citizens, if one would be willing to rewrite the US Constitution because they have exhausted the process and would not accept the outcome; then, they likely don’t have a problem with “the Democrats” (as they would have you believe), but with democracy itself.
Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius used the word “social” to mean something that benefited all the people, as nature intended. If a thing was social, it was for the good of the people. Pursuits of fame, good reputation, and other carnal pleasures were called “appetites”, were considered animalistic, and were to be resisted; while more reasonable things, like truth and justice were things to be sought after and prioritized above all others. The opinions of others were to be considered inconsequential, and one’s own opinion of himself and his own actions should be his focus and the basis of his “goodness”.
We have since then twisted the word “social” and bent it to seek and feed our own vanity. We love ourselves over others, and we hold ourselves more important than others. We use society and social opinion (and social media) as a way to gain all the favor we can for ourselves and forsake the rest. We seek out all the opinions that agree with us, that favor us, or that please us, whether they be good or not, moral or not, just or not. Social, where it used to mean for the good of the people, now to us means how we can use people for the good of just ourselves. So, against the nature of the word, “social,” we have made it vain, self-seeking, and “anti-social”.
Truth is defined by Merriam Webster as the body of real things, events, and facts. It is in accordance with facts. Truth does not change based on the speaker, or the hearer’s willingness to believe it. If someone’s opinions are loud and aggressive, but contrary to nature (or law or order), it does not make them true, just because some are inclined to accept them as truth. Opinions are not facts, no matter how many people are convinced of it. Each man has his own set according to the experiences which have been allotted to him. If all he knows is all he has experienced, then this becomes his version of truth. If something comes to pass, let a person examine it, observe the evidence, and find for himself the truth. And if we will not, let us not pass it along for the sake of sensationalizing a thing. There is no real purpose for doing this, and has real consequences to a person without the benefit of reason.
“An absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution; a ruler who exercises absolute power oppressively or brutally”. (Merriam-Webster) I’m going to go ahead and say it. In these United States, no man should be above the law. I know this is an idealistic view, but aren’t we getting too far already from the ideals that founded our nation? Don’t tell me that it’s tyrannical for someone to take away your precious social media (which no man is “entitled” to, but rather agrees to); if you are ignoring the big orange elephant in the room, the actual tyrant we’ve been living under for the past few years. You don’t know tyranny if your complaint is about losing your phone privileges.
I find grossly hypocritical how the protests of last summer were met with secret militia and employed unspeakable tactics to control the crowds, even the peaceful crowds; but the group storming the capitol the other day were encouraged, weaponized, and practically given free access to do so by the very president and his guard. Some will argue, that one is just as bad as the other. And on the surface, the acts might appear the same. But if you zoom out a little, let’s consider the causes for a minute, as neither of these occurred in a vacuum.
One group was protesting police brutality and institutionalized racism, systemized unfair treatment of Black people and unjust murders going unanswered and unpunished. They were responding to the unfair death of a Black man, and protesting for the rights of all Black men, and all Black people. Their grievance, to convince the world, simply put, that Black lives do matter and can’t simply be taken unjustly. They were called terrorists. They were harassed. They were shot to death. Those deaths were celebrated, and the shooters were called patriots. The collateral damage, American lives, some property damage, some statues and a lot of hurt Confederate-compassionate feelings.
The other group, irritated by results of democracy, incited by the president himself, convinced into believing something that even the highest courts would not accept as a valid claim. They were protecting one man, at the cost of the country. They could not rewrite the rules to the game, so they flipped over the whole table. Their grievance, their “privilege” was not privileged enough. All their White power was not powerful enough. The collateral damage, some American lives, the sanctity of our capitol, our institutions, and those ideals we hold sacred to the whole country. They were let in, they were let out, and they are still dictating the terms of their punishment.
One group is hated because they just won’t die quietly enough, and peacefully enough; and the other group cannot rule omnipotently enough.
We are not fighting the same war.
2 thoughts on “Modern Meditations on Politics & Anti-Social Media”
Love this piece. On point. I like the explanation of the definition of words because it’s important to understand the true meaning of words and points out the fact that words have meaning and that’s should be respected and considered.
Thank you dearest reader! I am nothing if not wordy, and think sometimes we should get back to basics, like what are we really saying, what does it really mean?? How did we get so far from center, and more importantly, how can we get back? I start with my words. Love you more. Mel.