The Privilege of Ignorance
White privilege, toxic masculinity, elitism, cultural bubbles, wealth, anger, bullying, evangelism, supremacy, red states, civilization, denialism,cultism, theocracy, national security, patriotism.
What do all of these have in common? The privilege of being ignorant to reality. There are many variations and amplifying stages to Ignorant Privilege, but in the collapsing world as we know it, the basic issue is still the hubris of being allowed to do hurtful things or avoid action because of intentionally or culturally 'unknowing' something.
The next level is to use anger or coercion to protect that privilege rather than to accept and try to change for the better.
The only differences between people of privileged ignorance might be in the level of anger or violence or money they use to protect it.
A supreme court nominee calls in favors from his drinking buddies to make his ignorance look legal in precedent and law. A paranoid white christian decides his ignorant fear is God’s will for lashing out at nonchristians. A desert dwelling tribe decides their cult of anti-modern beliefs must hijack the symbols of western oppression to attack western oppressors. A political party fights consumption taxes and nuclear power on blind belief in altruism while the atmosphere heats from fossil fuels and unfettered rapacity.
Humans all over the world are born with an urge to learn new things. They learn to walk, to talk, to laugh and to share. Then, their parents and teachers force them into a mold and draw the religious, patriotic or selfish blinds to make miniature copies of themselves. With the 'best intentions,’ children are taught that sharing is 'God’s work' or that education has to be patterned and people are 'special' (and if they look or believe differently, they are less special or not people.
It doesn’t matter if a child is born rich or poor or black or white: they still fight harder for their version of Privileged Ignorance (the more credentials, the worse, and one of the worst 'credentials’ is skin color) than they will fight for truth or someone else’s life or any abstract future world, especially if it doesn’t include their personal brand of willful stupid.
It’s usually trauma that breaks the shell, but even that rarely causes a rebuilding of one’s worldview. More often, any cracks are filled and reinforced. People who fail at their particular ignorance belief don’t look for facts or physics: they find more easily believed fantasies and believe harder.
Human: a primate that builds a model of the universe inside its brain and upon physical maturity, moves its ego inside that model and avoids reality at all costs; with a lot of help from its friends.
Evil: an action taken based on an unquestioned belief.
This is systemic adaptation by humans to civilization (we call it “fitting in”). It’s been going on for thousands of years and now we are organic beings adapted to being a subset of ignorance central. When we feel that something is wrong, we sell diversions and wars instead of seeking new ideas. It’s all done to protect our shells of ignorance.
Rather than learn about abundance and freedom from indigenous people, explorers have always bullied and killed their way to install the Privileged Ignorance Brand.
We are standing at the precipice of total global failure of everything that ignorance has crapped into existence, and it doesn’t matter where you look; you see it (and do it) too: the selfish, mindful hoarding of our uselessness in the face of overwhelming reality.
It isn’t magic or destiny or God or fate: we have been cultured to be assholes by the ignorant assholes around us and before us.
We can stop it anytime, but it takes the courage and curiosity of children. Stop letting the so-called “adults”(heartless, stubborn fools) tell us that people have to be stupid about every goddamned word or skin color or credential. Stop buying what they’re selling.
Be useful. Be open to ideas. Be kind. Oh… and if someone isn’t; paint them with a laser because there’s always another bomb on the way.