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Impotent Rage

Impotent Rage

It is with a sense of justice that most of us cling to the idea that all wrongs will in some way be righted. It is the romantic belief in law and order, that somehow an impartial system of arbitration can and will find the solution to millions of moments of intimate suffering. Despite any benevolence, it instead becomes like most things a cynical profession, lost is the passion and notion of righteous morality.  Right and Wrong are not instincts cultivated through influences and role models, they are instead mistaken for legal and illegal. 

Every day too many experience the shame, anguish and pain of an injustice. Real horrors and terror bludgeon their day to day, robbing them of love and comfort.  All they often know is this suffering.  An outsider, free of such personal destruction can fantasise about an angelic retribution or some universal force but in reality for many the pain so very real, the rage though is impotent. Unfulfilled. Whether they personally lack the ability to exact a form of retribution or they do not have the power and true mechanisms to take control of the nasty nature of what they have experienced. 

Beyond the criminal violence that many experience inside of their own communities where corruption or bureaucracy fail to satisfy their need for justice, there exists other victims those who befall the pragmatic coldness of policy.  Those whose property are legally stolen, those whose child is brutally slaughtered by men of sanctioned authority and those who are shamed to go through it all over and over again because of where they are born.  They can only suffer in silence, mocked by distant indifference and should they heed the call of that rage they likely become terrorists.

Rage is a human trait, it is not in itself a singular virtue but often it come from a real place. Those seeking ‘climate justice’ may feel a panic and anger at what many of them believe to be an impending doom, instead of as individuals working together to curb their personal pollutions, many beg the government and international bodies to impose some law. Impotently they bow to authority. Imagining that they are empowered by demanding it to act. In the bloody mist of a mass shooting the victims and onlookers who feel a need to prevent the tragedy from reoccurring again look to their masters of government for a solution. They demand, plead and campaign for stricter laws their fear and anguish fuel a rage.

When it is the masters in government committing mass murder, destroying the planet the rage from those seeking gun control or climate justice are often absent.  Those dead bodies, those coughing up the poison are usually different and distant.  The mantra is often that it is “our planet” and for “us all” and yet when it is those distant who are dying the solidarity is lost. The rage almost non-existent. Entitled and comfortable bodies can lack an empathy to understand the ongoing misery of constant hunger and the fear of daily death, most often inflicted by the ‘good guys’.  The Masters in Government that those comfortable in mostly Western nations go to for their ‘justice’, are often the killers and most frequent destroyers of the planet.

It is with often a masculine delusion that a man imagines that he could protect those he loves and should anything happen to them, then in some way he would be able to avenge or rescue his loved ones.  But most are comfortable with the idea that a professional class of enforcement officers exist as a deterrent and if need be investigators who could recover those taken. Often, they do and for those professionals in law enforcement many are in the uniform for that very reason, to serve and protect.  Then again under some circumstances the evil is too great, too strong. Whether it is through corruption or incompetence or because those doing the wrong are in fact the powerful then that professional class is useless.  The traditional man is lost in a purgatory of his own impotence surrounded by an indifferent society insistent that he should move on, that there is nothing he can do about it. That is life.

The maternal instinct of the generally female is as strong, their love powerful and the need to protect and nurture those dear to them, those innocents can also drive them to a point of rage when the system, the entity charged with justice fails. Or should they be in a distant frontier lost in the chasm of war or where it is the powerful nations inflicting the misery all that she can do is watch and hold the broken embers of what was once everything to her. For those parents inside the regions of the other, why must they always be doomed to suffer? What have they done to be so condemned? When women are almost exclusively targeted for rape and sexual slavery, forced to live in a state of pain because a culture, system of laws or rogues continue to inflict such terror on them, what mechanism exists for them to materialise their rage?  Where is the indignation abroad, beyond the university and boardroom of comfortable feminism these women live and die beneath a real patriarchy of violent abuse.

For the parents who babies are blown to pieces because an aircraft fires its deadly cargo into their school bus, are their kids of less important than those who died by the bullets of a vile spree killer?  When a father holds his broken child in his arms, still warm in its tangled heap, the air force pilot on his way back to base, are his tears not as real as those standing by the ambulance as their child is taken away, watching the lone gun man in handcuffs disappear with the police?  When the mother cries over her family, all taken in one single blast does her pain not equal that of the mother whose innocent was taken in an act of incel anger?  Yet, the rage that will soon find the parents in Yemen or Afghanistan has no validity to those from the parts of the world that inflict such pain. When the murderer is usually one person, acting alone the rage consumes the community, the blame is widespread, the guns, the computer games, the memes, the podcasts, the red hats and so on are blamed.  When an organisation of professionals armed and funded beyond the imagination of the poor they often kill, acting on the policy of elected faces in suits, the blame is at best limited to the present head of state.  From within. Outside, those in the frontiers of such pain, the memory lasts long and hard, the hatred militarises, the blame is for all of us.

It is not hard to understand human misery, pain like this is the opposite to tangible love.  It is the absence of everything precious.  It is the realisation that something so innocent, naked of ideology and the learned impositions of civility can be deflowered with malicious and repeated violence. It is not good versus evil, it is often the powerful against the weak. The powerful many of which believe inside their heart of hearts that they are good, because they too love, they too hold dear their family, for some of them it is reasoned that the innocent must suffer in order to defeat evil. But what is more evil than to murder a child?

It is hard to imagine as one person of privileged birth right to live in a place where foreign drones fly above with regularity, occasionally reigning death and destruction with randomness.  It is hard to understand how it would feel to have men in uniform armed and with an unease operating checkpoints that humiliate those who pass through them.  It would be incomprehensible to imagine what it would be like to hold your child in your arms, its body collapsed from hunger because food is a luxury denied to your community by the most powerful nation on this Earth.  This may be an alien nightmare for most of us but this is the reality in the past and now.  Imagine the rage, the helplessness, the indignation, the impotence to change it. Imagine what you would do. Imagine what you could do, if you were embedded in a nightmare of destruction that could almost all end, if they just went home. But they won’t, imagine the rage.

To know that through some irrational rationale that you and your kind are doomed to suffer in silent genocide because the killers are on the blessed pages of history, through complicated realpolitik beyond your comprehension a world can watch with indifference as you die. Yet any moment of frustration, any time one dares to fight back, whether just or not, is a condemnation against your entire people, region and culture.  You are punished because others who looked or spoke like you did something wicked, even if their terrible act was a likely response to an imposed misery.  Even if often those murdering terrorists killed your family, your loved ones as well. Those far away from the lands of relative wealth and power scoff your plight, divorcing themselves from the conduct of their government, disregarding the consequences of their national policy, it is not their fault they dismiss, they do not have any power they bemoan in between the ritualistic orgies of partisan politics.  Yet you and your familiars starve, while their culture swells with a crisis of obesity and anxiety.

Imagine hearing these fat faces claim that they have no power to stop the wars of their governments while they go to their governments for grants, welfare and subsidies. Imagine seeing them waste food on their social media griping about being so poor, imagine witnessing their protests over the environment, a climate change that they chomp on about demanding their governments act, yet the air around you is acrid from burnpits, corpses and the flames of war. Imagine watching the black plague from depleted uranium or the lingering mutations of agent orange and hearing those divorced from such pollutants worship a child because she demands more power to the entity that would drop such pain on such a large scale that it is incomprehensible to imagine.  Imagine climbing through the derelict technology that you yourself can not afford, some of which are months old stacked in mountains. Ripping from them the precious metals so that the same people who would dump these devices on your once fertile land can have a brand new piece of electronic jewellery for another few months. Imagine slowly dying from such waste, for little pay and then you hear in the wind those who dump such on you calling for justice, not for you but for them.  Imagine the rage.

Closer to home, what could one do if the vulgar predators were not uniformed professionals of government but criminals funded by the inevitability of a black market. Men of opportunity that are loyal to their own hedonism and wealth.  Those who view the innocent as a thing, a begging victim as a squirming worm beneath their beaks. Though not above the law, they manage to exist because of it. Inside the cracks that it provides, thriving in the darkness of illegitimacy. It brings them wealth and reputation, both of which causes others to turn away, either through fear or because they like whores benefit from the profits.  The naïve belief that these fiends fear the police matters little when their conduct is done.  If they gunned down your loved one, raped your precious or bashed into a coma someone close to you. What would you do?

The law is there by all means and should enough evidence be available then it is likely those responsible would return to jail, for how long? Is jail enough? Does jail not benefit some of them? Regardless suddenly the determinations of the fate of those who harmed that which is most important to you has now been outsourced to a public service.  Whether they are found guilty or not, what if you are unsatisfied with the punishment? Do you simply move on? It is after all that which you are expected to do.

Perhaps the evidence is ‘lost’ the case falls apart because well meaning though improper police conduct released these predators.  Maybe they simply have a better lawyer, whatever the case the legitimate course has failed and with smug confidence they disappear back into the shadows and with a bolder outlook. What could you do? What would you do but watch on with a mute anger?  What have you ever done in your life that could stand before such men of violence? How long until the rage subsides into acceptance.

The humble answer is that you can do nothing. This is the truth of the powerless. Begging your local politician to reveal justice to you is an expose of just how perverse the dominion that most of us live in is. In intimate cases, where the politician may be unaware of yours and other plight, then this is a noble pursuit. But in obvious instances where the nation is eagerly waging an endless war, the victims are not unseen props but with frequency appear on our news feeds, in the conversation and on occasion in printed media.  Why was this politician blind to this issue at all? What is after all in it for them to even discuss this issue among their peers, media or public.  When most of them already know about it. 

For those far away, not privy to such a government for the ritual voter, what is the sanctioned recourse? What is the legal steps that you can take to seek justice?  How do you reveal the crimes against you and your community when the planets most powerful have committed them? You cannot, all you can do is watch on in muted rage.  And sometimes that rage manifests, sometimes with violent fury individuals become vigilantes and terrorists.  Often the cycle spirals on, the innocent, the next victims they suffer and those loved ones once the sorrow dims the anger boils. What one can or will do with this anger is a place of both fiction and history.  Unfortunately, those of us in the lands of privilege continue to write it.  Unfortunately, until those who continue to inflict the pain do not feel it for themselves, then their removal from it shall only embolden their violence.  For the rest of us that care, are aware but most of all those who suffer it endlessly their rage shall go on with impotence.

Kym Robinson, September 2019

Published inPhilosophy, Society and Liberty