The Dreaded Banhammer of the powerful, for preserving the status quo

Nowhere is Safe from the Tyranny of Global Capitalist Finance and Consumption

Once again, I have had the pleasure of reading the thoughts of my Iranian correspondent. Here's what he wrote tonight. (It gets pretty indignant and heated, in case you need a warning for emotive/inflammatory language.) As always, the words in quotes without attribution are his (although most of this is, really).

America, England and France are three countries that have turned the most advanced countries in the Middle East into ruins over the past fifty years, like Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion. Europe has been doing it for centuries, ever since Christopher Columbus set foot in the Americas. They have been fully supporting a terrorist government like the Taliban in Afghanistan for the sake of gaining oil, gas, and mineral resources. All of you are involved in the fate of other countries' people, even if you are just an ordinary citizen in your own country!

Yet, tell people this and they call for you to be silent, to stop spamming with negativity and crazy conspiracy theories, because even if they are aware, there is nothing they can do (or so they think). That is a lie! They just want to enjoy their "safe space" without negativity and actually having to make a meaningful contribution of any kind to combat evil, no matter how small.

Perhaps it is enough for them to close the chat window and enjoy themselves in a safe space from which they can easily walk away or leave because they have the luxury of that choice, of choosing the path of ignorance to the plight of others. Meanwhile, it's more than just having a chat about current issues and politics to others; it's their actual lives from which they can't just walk away, can't just simply choose to leave because they don't like it. Maybe it is not you directly whom is keeping them there, but someone is. While you are enjoying yourself, they are suffering because of your silence and ignorance of a situation that you can change but do not care/want to, causing them to suffer in the worst possible way, while you chide them for not remaining silent and moving on.

Are their lives and rights really worth so little to you, half the world away and far removed from their reality? Are they (and their desire for freedom) no more to you than a handful of goat droppings to be swept/thrown away? Shame on you!

"Every day at 3:30, several Iranian girls and boys are executed by the Islamic Republic for protesting against their poor living conditions. So every day they suffer. Even if we say it will be a good day, no matter how much you wish it to be so, it will not be a good day for us or them."

If your politicians in all countries withdraw their support for the Islamic Republic and actually do something to dispose of and oppose it, the people of Iran will be one of the happiest in the countries in the world, living in prosperity and health, and you will be welcomed free of charge throughout the country. (It is a beautiful country, full of history. I'd certainly love to visit the birthplace of Cyrus the Great if I could, if things were otherwise. Yet, to do so now would put my life at risk, which is a great shame.) Do you not want that? It seems not, because you are too self-indulgent and wrapped up in your own concerns to take action on behalf of others.

Personally, I doubt that most of the politicians of my country (South Africa) give a flying fuck about anyone but themselves (and those that do seem to be concerned only with solving the problems faced by the people of my country, which are admittedly quite large). That stated, I take the point of my Iranian correspondent and I support him in making it. We don't/shouldn't get to choose to focus on only some injustices and problems. Freedom for some isn't freedom at all if it isn't freedom for all.

"All of you are involved in the fate of other countries' people, even if you are just an ordinary citizen in your own country!"

That, in a nutshell, is the tyranny of global capitalism. People mostly don't care about the plight of others, though, as long as they get to keep buying and consuming "nice things" that bring them fleeting happiness. Johnny Cheese in New York wants a new smartphone. So what if poor Africans die in illegal open-cast mines for rare minerals used in its manufacture and he knows this? It doesn't affect Johnny one iota, half the world away. Hell, he'll probably post a poor-taste joke about it on Instaharm with his new phone. The heart wants what it wants, right? Why not go out and buy it and hang the consequences? I'm not a religious man by any means, but I do believe that gluttony, greed and sloth are sins. The First World revels in them, at the expense of the Third World. That much I do not doubt.

"Blessed are the gluttonous. May we bow down to be their whores. Blessed are the rich. May we labour to deliver them more! Blessed are the slothful, the rabble, the vain!"
 — Maynard James Keenan/a Perfect Circle; "The Doomed"; Eat the Elephant

Johnny can ignore the situation as much as he wants and buy a new phone now, but all mindless and unnecessary acts of consumerism will ultimately be at his peril (and those like him). Now, you hopefully see, in order for Johnny and his country to stay safe, the root of the problems must be eliminated, meaning that the politicians' actions must first be beneficial to the world, then to the people who are held hostage by the state of things, be those people African or Iranian. The politicians will not act in such a beneficial manner of their own accord, bound as they are by their ties to Big Business; it is up to us, the people, to force their hands or overthrow them.

What about those of us who give a shit and are trying to do something about the situations in which we find ourselves, no matter how small and futile it may seem to do so? We're not allowed to be angry and frustrated, to raise our fists and voices, to speak out and demand to be heard. No, apparently we're being negative and crazy and must shut the hell up, "die peacefully", so that First World people's pink and fuzzy positivity bubbles don't get burst and they're not forced to face the harsh reality of the world they're trying so hard to avoid, to which they have abandoned us! No! We must just work, buy, consume and die like the rest of them, as if everything's just fucking dandy, thank you very much! Now off we must go, back to work like good little slaves to the wage, before a "moderator" from the First World comes along and shadow-bans us for trying to change the status quo for the better, for telling the truth! Please, go ahead and tell us more about the fun things you did today while we tried (and likely failed) to figure out how to stay alive and out of debt for just a little longer, as if we care, you self-absorbed twat! (You know how it goes when someone gets steamed about how others treat them unfairly, right? That's what happened here.)

"When Chernobyl exploded, a large part of Europe was contaminated and there are still radioactive particles in the Earth's atmosphere and soil of the exclusion zone as a consequence. This position is from years ago, when the Internet did not exist, when the USSR hushed it up and people were completely unaware. Today, I put it to you that the Islamic Republic is a Chernobyl that has exploded for years and has contaminated the whole world, whether you know it or not. You can ignore it and be killed in a moment you can't imagine, or you can understand and decide to help us eliminate the root of contamination. It is your choice whether we die first and then you, or both of us live together and enjoy life."

I'm guessing you'll happily sacrifice us first, in the mistaken believe that riding the tiger for as long as you manage to hang on will keep you safe for just a little bit longer. The truth is that you aren't safe, not really, when you fail to act and allow evil to prevail. Capitalism, at least in its current form (perhaps in all its forms), with its infinite growth model on a finite planet, keeping people poor and pressing others into poverty against their will, is evil. An oppressive, tyrannical religious government (be it Islamic or Christian) is also evil.

"Did I disrespect this place and its people? Have I done so? I have been here for 24 hours, and all it takes is a few consecutive messages to break the silence, and then I am constantly told to be quiet! All of this happens while I am trying to find someone who can understand and, through conversation, we can reach a solution to solve this problem.

I asked you a question here about what exactly I have done wrong, and instead of answering, you are threatening to restrict and ultimately block me. Okay, you have the right to do that. But please be aware, before you threaten me, know that the Islamic Republic has been restricting and blocking me for years, not just online."

The sad reality is that people with privilege and in positions of power that give(s) them the ability to oppress others don't want to have honest conversations about things that upset them or the status quo, things that remind them that reality is harsh, unfair and not all positivity and rainbows like the illusions they've created and try so hard to maintain. Coming from possibly similar circumstances, I get it, really. However, you're clearly not going to get anywhere in a community that is filled with majority First World participants. I'm sorry to have to point that out to you and i wish it was otherwise, but that's the status quo and it's virtually impossible to change, especially with angry words alone. People resent anyone whom tries to change it and will push that person out, in one way or another. It is unfortunate and I really can't find words to describe the foolishness of this group of people, but it is what it is.

It follows the community standards or else it gets the ban again! Centralised Web 2.0 in a nutshell!

Sadly, my Iranian correspondent lost his cool and started telling people to go fuck themselves, invariably getting himself ban-hammered and not doing himself any favours. Oh well, so much for that ... I guess I won't be seeing anything from him for at least a week ... I hope the Nano we sent him proves useful, since he's unlikely to be getting any more from anyone else any time soon. It looks like not, since he returned it shortly after having a frothy. I guess some people just can't be helped, despite my best efforts. Well, that's too bad; he's not getting it back.

I don't care what your situation or politics are, a dick move is a dick move and the dude pulled many of them on people who genuinely tried to help him. No more crypto or ranting for him, then. At least he had the good sense to return it so it can be used by and for people who deserve it.

Thumbnail image: Ban Hammer from Cults 3D

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Rorschach's Journal
Rorschach's Journal

The void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world. Was Rorschach. Does that answer your Questions, Doctor?

The Babylon Project
The Babylon Project

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