Necessities

*Trigger Warning: This is a very poor post.

As a wise old man once said, “The lies and the violence ARE the system.” They are part and parcel. There is no cleaving between the lies and violence with the the rest of the system. There is no having one’s baby back ribs without popping off a pig’s head. There are few (no?) truly unalloyed goods in the world. Even if one views government as a necessary instrument for preserving the social order, or, even, that the current governance structure is a force for good in the world, there have to be costs; this is aside from the literal monetary costs, but also includes the implicit human costs that are necessary for the system to work. Even if you assume the current structure of the criminal justice system is a net-good, you have to be honest and realize that innocent people will be hassledarrestedraped, torturedconvicted, and, sometimes, executed by agents of the state to bring you the goods. Hell, some self-identifying liberals believe that the possibility of convictions of innocents to be a feature, not a bug.

Many more-mainstream reformers and activists who choose to work within the system seem to believe that there is a possibility of eliminating those costs. Ridiculous. And, when they’re faced by the inevitability of tradeoffs, they act surprised that such a thing is necessary. Less delusional reformers and activists understand the necessity, even if they do not necessarily approve of what that cost is. There’s another faction, though. The radicals. Unlike most reformers or activists, they usually understand the system’s very nature. Instead of holding their nose while seeking to effect change, they, instead, actively reject the system itself and view any compromise with the system as failure. Hence, you have the destinationists rebuking the directionalists. This constant tension is part and parcel to the very concept of activism/ideology.

This inevitability, brought upon by the heterogeneity of human life, is evident in any and all forms of human interactions of sufficient complexity and communities of sufficient size(how’s that for some hedging). If you get enough people together, there will be variance in thought and action. There seems to be a notion among some that everyone in a particular ideological/activist group needs to fit a respectable mold before they can or should be taken seriously. One can stay in their respectability bubble and tut-tut those who are on the more extreme end of XYZ ideology/activism, but there can be no Martin without Malcolm, and there can be no Martin and Malcolm without the Black Panthers.

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