Fuck has anyone noticed how everything is more expensive lately?
I just had to pay a ridiculous amount of money to get a set of sheets that wouldn’t make my skin so scratchy or itchy I couldn’t sleep in them. And it was, with a huge discount, $60. Which is a lot for me but I know it’s less than I’d pay for replacing sheets over and over again because my body wouldn’t handle it or the sheets were so flimsy they’d rip apart the way my old sheets did (only I’ve gotten years and years of use from my old sheets, including after patching them over and over until they fell to pieces beyond the ability to patch). I’m just lucky I could afford it this month.
And I haven’t got an appreciable cost of living increase in years. Meanwhile my rent has gone up, food prices have gone up, medication prices have gone up, everything possible that could go up has gone up. Oh and did you know that for $60, I got ONE set of sheets. As in one pillowcase, one sheet, and one fitted sheet. WTF.
It used to be that, without food stamps, I could meet all my dietary needs for the month and have money left over for not only necessities (including replacement household goods), but random crap too. Now I’ve got maximum food stamps and I’m scrambling for the basic necessities most of the time. And I know I’m lucky I qualified so much, mostly because of ridiculous medical expenses.
This really worries me. Because it’s not like the economy is as trashed as it could be. I don’t know that I could survive on the streets or without healthcare. I’m so afraid of the Republicans gaining more power. Not that the Democrats are good, they’re plenty conservative these days and Obama is… don’t get me started. But I would vote for him a million times over because the alternative is death for a shit ton of people. Including me. The Republicans these days are scary and I’m not sure a lot of people appreciate how scary. Let’s put it this way: Lots of my friends have been Republicans in the past, and can find no place for themselves in the party now, and some of those same people are too far left for Democrats now. I’m not sure a lot of Americans realize our nation is ultra-right-wing compared to the rest of the world.
I didn’t intend this post to become that obviously political. But… I see things. I mean, I see patterns in the world. And those patterns tell me that we are in for terrible times sooner than people think. More terrible than most people imagine.
And we have to be communities during those terrible times. We have to band together and protect each other. Especially people facing multiple types of oppression, who could easily die in huge numbers. We have to because people might not survive. We have to because I might not survive. Survive changes in the world that will make World War I look easy for the world to handle.
People have to stop focusing all their attention away from these possibilities, hoping that if they don’t think of it then it won’t happen. Whatever will happen will happen whether you’re focused on escapism or not. If you’re not focused on escapism, you’re more likely to survive, and you’re more likely to help others survive.
To be a community as I’ve said many times before, you have to be focused on love above all else. Love meaning everyone doing everything they can to help everyone else. I’m not talking feelings, I’m talking the deepest level of ethics there is. And that means focusing on what is the most important.
Human beings as a species have only ever survived because we help each other out. We’re a social species. Which doesn’t mean we like chatting, it means we rely on each other in a deep way for every aspect of our survival.
Contrary to popular opinion, that doesn’t mean throwing out the people who are the most likely to die so that everyone else can live. There is a lot of archaeological evidence that severely disabled people have been assisted by other people since we were living in caves. People who needed to be carried everywhere, helped with everything, their food chewed for them, survived into old age.
So people who think just a bad economy, or any other kind of privation, is ever a reason to throw disabled people (however severe) or other vulnerable people to the wayside to save the privileged people who ~really matter~, is so full of shit I don’t know where to begin. We have been part of society since at least the dawn of the species and we will continue to need to be part of society and recognized as real valuable people who make important contributions. Anyone who thinks we need to be sacrificed to save everyone else the minute things get hard, doesn’t know what love or community means.
This kind of thing will become more important as time goes on. If you hear people saying there’s any kind of person who needs to be jettisoned so that everyone else can survive, tell them why this is not true. Fight them on it if necessary. It’s a myth that literally kills people. You may not convince the person you’re arguing with, but you may well convince bystanders. Remember the worse the situation the more important love and community, in the true senses of the words, are for our collective survival. There is no such thing as a non-contributing member of society. And the closest thing to that idea is not a disabled, poor, or otherwise marginalized person, but a person who consistently pushes hate-filled sociopathic ideals on everyone else and thereby ensures people will die.
Remember this when you make decisions, both large and small, that affect the society you live in. Remember this when our societies take the inevitable sharp downturn that they will take sometime this century. And especially remember this and pass it on if I don’t survive the changes that will inevitably come.
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