2. Reactionary vs. Progressive The huge tumbling boulders, the shifting land masses, the great flood that comes on the heel of the thaw, all of these represent powerful developments in the dynamic reality of the planetary soul, transformations in human consciousness which manifest themselves in a shifting cultural and socio-political landscape. To wit, when the frozen ice bergs of ossified, intransigent institutions, be they cultural, religious, economic or political begin to melt, when the fossilized social structures of a dying age begin to break apart, when the settled “land masses” of bias and belief begin to migrate and drift, when the pillars of identity itself begin to wobble and crack, those who dwell at the “top of the heap,” who have benefited most from the long standing institutions, structures and concepts in question often respond in a reactionary as opposed to a rational manner, succumbing to outrage, paranoia and deep resentment at the loss of their relatively comfortable, insulated position. And what does it mean by the way, to be a reactionary? A reactive person, or, better, because we are all susceptible to such behavior from time to time, a person when they are being reactive is a person who responds from a place of unfiltered, unprocessed emotion rather than emotion tempered by wisdom, knowledge, logic or reason. This can happen on a personal level or a political level. Reactionary in a political sense refers to a movement based in unfiltered “reactionary” emotions, emotions which come about in response to events or factors considered threatening or unjust by the reactionary group. In light if this, one might ask; why do men feel threatened by the rise of women? Why do the followers of one particular faith feel threatened by the rise of those who practice other faiths? Why do heterosexuals feel threatened by the rise of homosexuals? Why do white people feel threatened by the rise of people who are black or brown or some other natural shade of the human rainbow? Why do the native born feel threatened by the rise of the immigrant? Why are those who feel threatened unable to recognize the possibility that all may rise together? The answer of course is fear. Fear that if the other is allowed to rise, if the woman is allowed to lead, if the immigrant is allowed to labor, if the homosexual is allowed to marry, if no one great religion is considered truer, more holy, more the word of God than any other great religion, if no one race of Man is considered above any other race, they will lose the only thing that gives them an advantage, that gives them a sense of worth, status and power: the simple fact of their membership in a tribe, of their tribal or collective identity, of who they are not in the sense of character, talent or any of the ways in which human beings may distinguish themselves as individuals but in the sense of belonging to a group which, having achieved, often, at least in part through ruthless means a position of dominance, self-identifies as inherently superior to other groups: “I am white therefore I am clean.” “I am Christian therefore I am good.” “I am straight therefore I am normal.” “I am male therefore I get to be in charge.” Yet, in seeing the “other” only as the rival, the competitor, the threat, the reactionary individual fails to take into account how the other may help, how the other may add to their existence rather than merely subtract. Fails to take into account the gifts the other may provide: the beauty, the variety, the understanding, the friendship and the strength. Indeed, as it is said, we are stronger together. We are stronger when we are willing to lift each other up rather than lift only ourselves at the expense of our fellows. We are stronger when we are fighting as one against the true foe. Why are those who feel threatened unable to recognize the possibility that all may rise together? The answer again is fear. Fear that if others who were previously deprived of status and opportunity are granted equal access and standing, those ensconced at the “top of the heap” will have to share. This is not an easy thing to do when, as is the case with a certain portion of the reactionary movement, you are already struggling. Yet, the real reason there is never enough to go around, the real reason that people are in competition with each other for their very survival has little to do with the rise of the “other.” It has to do, for the most part with the greed and selfishness of the profiteers, of the financial elite, with those who, in order to shift the blame from themselves seek to pit one disadvantaged group against another. It has to do with displacements wrought by technology, displacements that are implemented without regard for the needs of those who are supplanted by that technology. It has to do with the self-serving abuse of so-called globalization, abuse that permits the financial elite to exploit those who are willing to labor for less and under conditions the native born would never accept, conditions prohibited in fact by their own laws. It goes without saying that these masters of distraction are highly practiced at connecting economic anxiety with various other kinds of anxiety, with racism and sexism, with homophobia, islamophobia, anti-Semitism and the like: Not only are “they” (the brown people, the people from the “shit-hole countries,” the “invaders”) taking your jobs, they are raping your women, murdering your children, pushing drugs and spreading disease and they are doing this because, at least according to the propaganda (the real fake news), they are inherently bad. What people need to understand is that they want us to fight and blame each other because as long as we are fighting and blaming each other we won’t be fighting and blaming them. As long as we are thinking the threat is from the “outside” however currently defined, we are less likely to focus on the real reason for our struggles and our pain. As history instructs, when that happens, when we are led to believe that the threat is from the outside, those of us who feel culturally and/or economically displaced invariably turn, in our reactionary state, in our fury and our dread to leaders who, though far removed in many cases from the actual problems experienced by their followers, (and on account at least in part of their own unrelated pathology) identify and empathize with the sense of victimhood to which their followers lay claim and which they are more than willing to exploit for their own selfish ends.
Two of Five