The Egyptians are notable for creating dozens of powerful images that have withstood the test of time. The Eye of Horus, the Ankh, the Scarab, not to mention their dozens of divine representations that have served as inspiration to countless ancient furries. Amongst their more obscure symbols, and the centerpiece of today’s diatribe, was the Ouroboros: A snake that eats its own tail.
Over the years, the Ouroboros has been used as a symbol by the Greeks, philosophers, alchemists, and psychiatrists as a symbol for eternity and the cyclical nature of material existence. It’s some deep shit. You’ll get it when you’re high.
Taken much more literally, I find the Ouroboros to be a very appropriate image for the American Left as it currently behaves: A constantly shifting organism whose only constant behavior is its desire to consume itself.
One of the constants of American politics, in addition to the exploitation of the poor and a two-party system based on identity politics, is the comical lack of ability of left-wingers in this country to collectively band together. Throughout our history, plutocrats have rarely had to flex their own muscles against socialist or populist movements because they generally collapse on their own like a soufflé at a Rob Zombie concert. See: Wall Street, Occupy.
As I said back in December, it’s fundamentally important that we, the noble and unwashed opposition, band together in the face of the teeth-gnashing Conservapocalypse that is nigh upon us. If we’ve learned anything from the election polling numbers (discounting all the illegals and dead folks), it’s that the Anti-Trump population in our country vastly outnumbers the Pro-Trump population. Surely this fact alone should be enough to motivate us all to band together, join hands, and Red Rover-guard the shit out of the oncoming onslaught on women’s rights, health care, the environment, and the dozen other things on our new Republican overlords’ hit list.
Last week we saw a stunning display of solidarity as hundreds of thousands of people gathered across our country to exercise our right to peacefully assemble, hold up traffic, and wear goofy fucking hats.
Obviously, I applaud each and every person that came out to these marches. It does a career cynic like myself good to see that kind of cooperation on a massive scale without any kind of major incident to discredit the movement. Look no further than the co-opting by conservative pundits of the beating of a mentally challenged Trump supporter by four black youths as an indicator of the “violent” American Left.
But we don’t need pundits, the police, or Donald Trump to attack our cause. We’ve got well-meaning liberal douchebags on our own side to undermine the whole fucking thing for us.
It did not take long after the march for the thinkpieces and social media screeds to roll in from members of our own opposition decrying the movement for not being “inclusive enough” to members of the trans community or to people of color. They’ve already begun sewing the seeds of shame (the neoprogressive weapon of choice) for the people that marched last week, derisively asking what they hope to accomplish after the march now that it’s over. Never mind the fact that it was the largest gathering of protestors in American history. Never mind the fact that it all started as a largely spontaneous and hastily-thrown together event on social media. Never mind the fact that our actual fucking enemies are in power as we speak. Never mind any of those things. THERE’S SHAMING TO BE DONE ON SOCIAL MEDIA DAMNIT! GIVE ME MORE LIKES AND SHARES!
I am perhaps expressing an unpopular opinion here, but I am sick to fucking death of the holier-than-thou horseshit attitude that has pervaded progressive politics. It’s a goddamn cancer that will devour us from the inside. Actually advancing an agenda or crafting a unified community has taken a backseat to an ever-building need to assert the moral high ground over one another. Feel like the rally wasn’t inclusive enough? Cool. Host your own fucking rally then. Call it the “One Billion Strong Trans-Queer-Straight-Colored-Mexo-Indigenous-Albino-Female-Male-1940’s-Fighter-Jet -Alliance March”. Call it the Super Bowl. Call it Wrestlemania. Invite all your friends, your friends’ friends, and their friends too. But until then, shut the ever loving fuck up and stop criticizing every goddamn thing because it doesn’t fit into your halcyon Eden hallucination of what a liberal movement in our country should be.
The above picture is a perfect manifestation of what I’m talking about. Let me be clear and say that I don’t disagree with Angela Peoples’ presence at the march or her right to carry that sign around. However, I do believe that this is the exact rhetoric that needs to go away in order to move forward with a progressive movement. Exploiting the already-tired statistic that 53% of white women voted for Trump does nothing but create further division and antagonism between marginalized communities. It’s obvious that none of the women present at the march voted for Trump, so why use a sign that’s obviously intended to condemn or shame an entire group of people? Does that not defeat the entire purpose of “inclusion” or am I just taking crazy pills here?
Angela Peoples’ later gave an interview about the sign, saying that it was intended to make white women aware of their privilege and benefit to the pre-existing patriarchy and white supremacy culture that gave us Donald Trump to begin with. This is a fair point to make. There’s no question the turnout for the march was overwhelmingly white and upper-class. But that sign didn’t come with a footnote at the bottom that explained that shit. Instead it was just more incendiary rhetoric that superficially divides us all on color lines. Couldn’t there have been something written that communicated the same point to allies and potential allies without being so damn antagonistic?
This brings us full circle (*rimshot*) to the image of the Ouroboros. Last week’s gathering proved we have more than enough people to form a core opposition. Believe it or not, we still live in a democracy. There’s been a lot of talk since the election of people being “scared” or “helpless”. We seem to have forgotten that this is still our country. Not Trump’s country. Not Congress’ country. Not Russia’s country. We still possess the power to rise up and alter the direction of our country. This has been demonstrated countless times in our nation’s history. Our biggest enemy is ourselves and those that seek to undermine and sew dissent in our own ranks. We must stop eating ourselves.
It’s a big fat cliché, but the time has come to lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way. This is no longer the time to nitpick the progressive movement in our country. That ship sailed on November 8th when Hillary lost and the Republicans got a free reign to do whatever the hell they want in Congress for the next two years. We need two things right now: A set of objectives and a leader. We already have the numbers.
It’s time to stop squabbling and get action.