16 February, 2018


I'm attracted very much to the idea of social change and progressivism. I believe in the ideals of freedom and justice. But there's something that really turns me off about modern, mainstream activism. And I don't know if it's intrinsic to activism, or if it's just what's popular now. But it's too commercial. It's about promoting a brand. Advertising a position, in the hope of inspiring support and participation. It's too caught up with public image, at the expense of authenticity and genuine realities. It's black-and-white, for-or-against - there are no shades of grey. Which is the antithesis of everything I believe in and stand for - truth, and honesty, and complexity. There's no room for discussion. Facts are ignored in favor of propaganda. Closer scrutiny - indeed any kind of a healthy skepticism - is frowned upon, and treated with suspicion. Everything is molded to fit the narrative. I can't condone lies and censorship, even if it's for a good cause. The ends do not justify the means.

Whatever happened to honor and integrity? When did "doing what's right" become a consumerist soundbite? Or hashtag? Instead of inspiring man to lift himself up to a higher standard, we're dumbing down virtue to a level he can understand. I don't doubt that this is a way more effective strategy. But it doesn't feel right. It feels like we're losing everything that matters. When people are compelled to do "the right thing" because it's the current fad (perfectly exemplified by Facebook's profile filters), it no longer reflects on their character. And what happens when the moral fashions change, as they inevitably do? Supporting equality now because it's popular (or easy) is no different than defending slavery back when it was ingrained into society. You're not better than they were just because you happen to live in slightly more tolerant times. If anything, you're just luckier.

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