No Life “Matters”

The necessity of creative expression demands that received wisdom and plain cant be derided as often as possible, since there is no other use for the webnets.  We as modern culture humans used to shop, used to conduct research, used to listen to music, and tried not to be burdened with contacting every family member about our or their doing every minute of every day – so there is nothing new under the Jezz Befos  (everything store Amazon proprietor) sun.

Of special concern are the two shibboleths of the day – the one new, the other old. To get rid of the hoary one first, a German journalist  named Karl Marx laid out a plan for the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” under the banner of “Workers of the World, Unite!” Marx, who would later be played by Jackie Gleason  in his biopic, evidently was so smitten with the salt-of-the-earth dude who came to change the coal in his coal pots that he wanted this hard-working fellow to be put in charge of all the world’s institutions. Others in the Marx neighborhood were not so sure about that – the coal-potter worked hard, everyone agreed, but putting him charge? As a dictator? Karl, for christ’s sakes, one neighbor told him, he’s a damn good coal-potter, but he don’t know shit from shinola about modern complex bureaucracies.

And since then, easily-led revolutionists have gotten exactly nowhere with this put-the-working-stiff in Charge of All  concept. Not this the current political system of rewarding psychopathic apparatchiks works to any great extent, but there are a few competent managers doing the grunt work of advanced civilization, such as some insurance adjusters,  and  it is better that they seem to have been plucked from the management-aspiring classes, not from the blue-collar country-music crowd.

The second tag running around our times is the pathetic response to “Black Lives Matter” –  “All lives matter.” Of course, more than one sane, non-racist white person thought of this rejoinder as soon as the tagline was formed, but there is great merit in  concept that black lives should matter, but often don’t matter in the political calculus that rewards hedge fund criminality but places ghettos outside of reparation. Human lives do not “matter” – they have come and gone without a moment’s notice by the universe. Human actions condemn other human lives , through both overt war and murder, and through the less direct methods of driving a car, letting poor people breathe foul air, letting poverty continue across the country and the globe, permitting smokers to but their products legally,  buying a carrot that was grown in a field that killed countless meadow denizens, just by the act of taking up space as the world’s number one predator. If all lives truly “matter,” then there wouldn’t be a slice of suffering or oppression visited upon any of our fellow humans, and that is never going to happen.

What “matters” is what can “matter” to your conscience, your intellect, your social circle, but there will never be agreement on those issues or spheres, so it’s going to be mostly a matter of , as the proletarian Huey Lewis sang, “taking what they’re givin’ because I’m workin’ for a livin.”

2 Comments

  1. Wow, I think Chesterton wrote this about you:

    “But the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. . . . As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. . . . The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.”

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