We Made It All Up

We made it all up. We fight, we scream, we move forward, we move backward – but when it all boils down, we made it all up. All of our societal structures and concepts, they’re all an illusion we collectively buy into. And good thing we do, it’s what keeps us from utter chaos. But because we made the rules, it stands to reason that our whole system is subjective and tilted towards the rule makers. It’s like when you make up a game when as a child and you change the rules along the way so you could win. Sadly, the old white men are the children making the rules here.

Our decades long political battle over who gets what rights is rooted in a serious fear of change or a power shift. It should come as no surprise that the old white men so vehemently holding onto power simply fear a loss of control, prestige, and status. They often espouse the belief that we have rich traditions that should be carried on. But traditions, like our entire system, are collective illusions we all buy into. And so, we as people are stuck playing a game that some whiny bastards made up. “We’ve always had these rules I made up, we can’t change.” It’s all so childish. 

And this system we buy into, this system we pretend is worth changing, it’s been wrong from the start. Consider that revisions had to be made once the older white men finally conceded that other humans deserve the freedoms they enjoy. Consider the horrific treatment of indigenous people, slavery, women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement, and Black Lives Matter – all of which were attempting to rectify a horrible power dynamic, those traditions that the old white men in charge hold onto so dearly.

When you hear people talk about upholding traditions, they’re just trying to hold on to what privilege they have. They don’t want to lose the esteem. Is it a tradition not to trust the citizenry to directly elect their leaders? It would appear so because the Electoral College seems to be here to stay, at least for the time being. How do you ensure that you stay in power? You fuck with the vote, you draw new lines – and then you call it tradition.

The point is this: we’re fighting over a system suspended entirely by our belief in it. If everyone collectively decided that the charade was over, order would collapse. We need the system, or I should say that we need a system, to reign in all these people. But, we can’t forget that it’s all make believe. Politicians and lawyers – they all deal in make believe, and think themselves heroes for doing so – just ask them, they’ll volunteer it. And because the system requires our belief, we can change it dramatically. Traditions are meaningless in so far as the laws are concerned. How many of these laws had to be changed to accommodate basic humanity? 

We made it all up, and we can change it.

Published by Christopher Goodlof

Writer, Visual Artist, Musician

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