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Alienation Begone!

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Powerful structures, refined over ten thousand years, reinforce the elite, mechanical management of society. Robotically, individuals obey orders but rarely collaborate in execution of their labors. The organic solidarity of collaborating citizens is in fact abhorred. The disconnection of individuals from meaningful primary relations in favor of superficial secondary relations is fostered. Parenting to maximize children's ability to manage strong feelings productively, is discouraged. Frustration-aggression of individual and mob is preferred over organized response to anxiety and sadness. Sexism removes women from policy-making, and removes men from family even when they don't leave physically. Racism rewards the largest demographic for compliance with fascism.

Women are raised to accept definition as "the weaker sex". Men are raised to believe that kindness is weakness. All are raised to regard ourselves as fundamentally inadequate. When we bully another, they must deserve it else we are despicable. When our kids turn to drugs and gangs, they must be bad, else we are failures. The abusive forces that shaped us were those we trusted, as infants. As adults we invisibilize rather than condemn those abuses. It is easier to deny than to resolve the cognitive dissonance that tears us apart - our urge to embrace decency, kindness and tolerance on the one hand versus our need for community support and a job that pays, both requiring the rejection of empathy in favor of hatred of others and self. Thus do we ingest poison that separates us ever more from ourselves. This is the definition of alienation.

Time to acknowledge this sadness, and push back. By talking about it.

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David Weiner received his doctorate in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1964 and subsequently taught at SUNY/Buffalo and The University of Houston, where he received a Teaching Award. He currently teaches community college (more...)

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