In Order to Do Justice
With an education system that teaches us to memorize certain facts, but not to analyze and think, and with a failing structure that deserts ethics and life itself, one does not have to be blind to see that there are incredible changes going on now that are disturbing our sense of peace and security. For most of the world, there has not ever been “peace” and “security.” The global cognitive dissonance is real. For Europeans, South and Central Americans, indigenous cultures, Asian nations, and almost everywhere, a rise in anger, confusion, and disillusionment is going on. It speaks, from my point of view, at various levels of the success that the state (wherever and whichever) has had, in blinding people to the truths of history, culture, and certain factors of life. In fact, there are many who will die with an understanding that war, victory, and narcissism are normal and perennial.
I, for one, as one who is over 60 years old at the time of this writing, who has lived in post-occupied Japan, who has been with Turkish and Kurdish leftists and activists, who has been with activists in Europe and Central America, and with indigenous cultures in the US (Hawaii and the mainland), Europe, Turkey, and Japan, who has taught and done research, I understand such notions of war and humanity, to be taught and molded into people. Similarly, the nuclear family model, and individualism’s stranglehold on globalization’s desire, has not proven to work in the serial killing heaven (the United States), nor has the community-oriented cultures proven any better in the killing fields of nations professing to be community-oriented.
There are no easy answers, nor do I profess to carry solutions. But I think some things work for a wider group of people of difference, with values and worldviews that are not understandable or tenable.
Moreover, I understand that some people are not interested in a better world, or ethics, or kindness, or love, or working together. In fact, many do not even understand these words. If one doesn’t grasp that these realities are true, one can never be one professing a liberatory path.
I think that *Killing Diversity* is among the top 3 realities of our actions today, including the “value diversity” movement. Assimilation is at the heart of much of it all. Accountability is fast-disappearing and it is much needed.
Toward this, I have a Beginning List of what I feel have been tested (by others and myself), and have been used through the ages in various ways, that would help towards a better future, leaving skills and ways. Otherwise, we’re just repeating.
As a Black-Japanese Amerasian, and as one who reflects, studies, does research, and acts in relation to my life in relation to social oppression and post-colonial ways toward liberatory ways of informing toward a different future of the world from the present, I, of course have many things to say, like everyone else.
But I want to name a few *Basics* that I think are necessary to think.
These are not some deep internal brilliance, but culminating and always in process and changing, within my contact, immersion, and research in postcolonial social-cultural anthropology (which includes studies in post-structural, post-colonial, neo-Marxist, feminist, queer, and liberation thought in relation to history and action), Zen Buddhist training, intercultural communication, diversity consulting, sports training (volleyball), and diverse experiences in various work environments.
The following list of seven (7) things to keep in mind, is not meant to be complete (nothing ever is), but a First-Step way to test out a life-path towards change and ethics.
- Everything is Multiple. Those who reduce everything to one thing, and are reductive in thinking, will be doomed to always be in binary wars.
- In understanding internalized modernism, which includes the notion of influence and missionary work (convincing others to our own truths, even if we name it “god’s truth”), to be a continuation of #1, relying on a single truth– we must seek to look deeper at such foundations that inform the way we form our truths, beliefs, and values — which often rely on creating victory over others, or excluding others.
- At the same time, Liberatory paths are *Not* about INCLUSION. Inclusion into What? The systems we have created after the world wars, are largely based on some type of genocide and ecocide. Our pyschologies bear this out. Multiculturalism is most often a failure —because it seeks to benefit corporate interests and the interests of greed and privilege as opposed to justice. Being “against” corporations would not be liberatory either.
- No theory, worldview, structure, belief system, religion, philosophy, or panacea— can have “answers.”
- In fact, what we should do is to ask Different questions from the ones we usually ask— with foregone moralities and assumptions in place about how things “should be”). This means that our questions would also not focus on either missionary work towards some “world peace” or does not rely on victory and defeat dynamics.
- There will be very few, but always a few, of what we may call “Non-negotiables.” If we have many, then we foreclose in interrelationship. Without interrelationship, in our present world, we continue alienation, dislocation, and enemy-making.
- Keeping CHLP in mind, would help in any situation requiring questions, responses, and action. CHLP is C (culture and group understanding of any kind); H (Historical development and factors of repetition, maintenance, and refusing); L (Language– which always creates factors of worldview, history, understanding, and communication differences and overlaps); P (Power Relations in any given moment).
This is a preliminary, short-and-sweet kind of putting forth some grounding ideas toward a future that is different.
I for one, do not think anything grand toward liberation is possible in our present world, but we can lay small groundworks in our own lives (individual and group) that will pave paths toward the future.