What is rage, anyway? Where does it come from? We are taught to “manage” it, to “bring it under control.” Management and control are two of the means that the oppressors use to keep us in line. And for the most part, they are successful, since we learn to internalize our rage from a very early age. If we don’t, we are said to “be acting out,” and “appropriate” measures are taken, punitive and isolating, mostly so that adults can keep on living their numbed and dumbed-down lives in peace. All institutions, systems, confinement strategies, hierarchies, and leaders use these means to maintain the status quo. They like things as they are, very much out of balance for us, but top-rate for them.
By the time we are adults, these means of management and control are so internalized, so much a part of our inner world, that we are on auto-pilot. WE LIVE IN A PRISON WITHOUT BARS (oh, there are bars on every corner, but I mean the other kind). We automatically respond to the feelings shown in the image below by smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, eating, gambling, having sex, watching movies, getting lost on social networks or the Internet in general, and just zoning out in general. We are told that we must obey the law, we must be polite, we must conform to the workplace rules, we must respect private property, and so on. And if we become chain smokers, alcoholics, drug fiends, obese, and the like, we are told we have no self control, that there is something wrong with us. No one dare to “go against the grain” and question the injustice, the inequality, the degradation of the quality of life, the annihilation of the planet to extract profit, the endless succession of wars and the refusal of “our leaders” to listen to our needs and work for us rather than those who make them wealthy.
Have you ever used a pressure cooker? There are safety valves so that the steam can be released in a controlled manner, so that the lid doesn’t blow when the pressure reaches explosive levels. We are constantly barraged by these release valves so that our stress won’t blow. They come in the form of consumption of endless things we don’t need, crap food that appeals to our lack of time and money, techno toys, distractions (sports, video games, entertainment, the “news,” fashion, need I go on?), pharmaceuticals, and pablum created by the highly paid meat puppets, officials, technocrats, over-educated professionals, bureaucrats, and talking heads put into position by the invisible elite. This invisible elite intends to hold on to its wealth and power until the end of time, and to extend them by any means.
Have you ever noticed, for example, that only the poorest people suffer from the devastations of climate change and other disasters? Why is that? Does anyone bother to ask?
But after long-term stress and pressure, the safety valves wear out for some people. Many of them are under 18. They seem “normal” and “calm” even to friends and family. Then boom. There goes another mass shooting. These shootings are so common nowadays that the media hardly bothers to report any but the most sensational. These “crimes” are reported as aberrant and those who commit them as insane, deranged loners or other ridiculous explanation pumped out by “professional” blather. On any given day you can find dozens of acts of violence perpetrated between human beings on the planet. Many of these are sanctioned by the government via drone strikes, war, police activity, and such. But we are turning on each other now more and more. And this is a measure of the terminal illness of humanity.
I like to think there are those who are becoming the change they want to see, quietly and steadily, on every level of their lives. These are the people who offer a future for the species, but there are no guarantees. Not as long as the dominant culture foments such rage and violence because of the suppression and helplessness and meaninglessness created by those in power. I keep the thought that sooner or later those in power will die, just like any other mortal. The problem is, there are always more who will step up and take their place. I don’t have a lot of optimism about humanity’s future. We are frail creatures with brains that are big and complex. We know nothing about nature or life, although in our arrogance we believe that we do. We have not learned how to respect ourselves or the planet. Our survival hangs in the balance.
I will leave you with a question: Is there such a thing as healthy rage?