“The primary cause of disorder in ourselves is the seeking of reality promised by another.” ― Krishnamurti

Catalonia. Bolivia. Hong Kong. Chili. The United States. And many others. What do they have in common? Unrest. And this was before the pandemic got into full swing. Now, it’s the United States, yet again, with France, the UK, Germany, Russia, Iran, and too many others to list. A good portion of this unrest is due to the pandemic restrictions, but much of it is not, especially like in Catalonia, Brazil, and Russia, not to mention recent events in the United States, are entirely political, and sometimes terrorist, in nature.

What is happening with all this? A few things, unfortunately, and they boil down to what we’ve known for a while but have paid little attention to or brushed off as absurdity, dimwittedness, or some random excuse was given, of which there are hundreds.

One thing that have been drummed for a while now is the influence of social media on peoples’ behavior, of which I’ve touched on before myself. Like others, I end up going back to social media, but unlike others, I do change my behavior and focus on what I’m working on and researching. Social media is a tool to present ideas to others just like an essay is. Sometimes tools can get out of hand, but we as people are used to taking control of dangerous tools and I don’t see any reason we can’t on this. The issue with fixing the problem with social media seems to revolve around confusion over what free speech is. Free speech is free speech until someone calls for someone’s head or gives out advice that can get people killed and then it’s something else. Of course, there’s always some excuse, and everyone’s favorite is ‘I was joking’ and then they want to cry because they get pushed to the sidelines after a few bad ones like that. Best to stay away from those jokes. Which sorta comes back to why this misinformation and hate speech is so prevalent on social media: people talk different when the person they’re talking to isn’t in front of them and social media platforms feed that difference. Any of us who have done customer service has encountered the customer that talks loud on the phone and is all ‘yes, sir’ and ‘no, sir’ in person, and that applies to the majority of people. You’re forced to process that you’re dealing with a real person when face to face and you also don’t have an army of trolls backing up whatever irrelevant point you have with a flood of nonsensical memes. But instead, the echo chambers created on FB and other social media sites (you know who does it, they’re who deletes everyone that doesn’t agree with them) fuels the online extremists and gives them the fuel to act on what they say because what they’re saying to each other becomes normalized. This particular problem seems to be related to people not having any respect for the rules they’ve agreed to follow, because everyone agrees to not engage in hate speech on those sites via the End User Agreement, regardless of who it’s against (and I wonder if that’s why some BLM and Antifa pages were silently pulled last year in the midst of the far-right pages being pulled). At the end of the day, your ideology is irrelevant and all that is relevant is whether or not you threaten people that don’t agree with you, because as I’ve said before and will continue saying: The political spectrum is a circle and there’s no difference between Far Left and Far Right except details in their ideology because they both want to hunt down/lockup/kill/cancel those that don’t agree with them. This makes the far-wings the same in essence even if not in detail.

Another thing causing disorder is that literally no one has a plan or any idea of what they’re doing. From the Hong Kong protesters, to the Portland protesters, to the DC protesters and all the others waving some stupid banner over the last year, none of them have a clue of what comes after A. It’s like the Area 51 people over and over. Yeah, you could do X, but what are you going to do after that? Crickets, that’s what, mill about while listening to crickets. Because without a plan to move past step A, all you do is listen to crickets and argue with people that say you don’t have a plan. Like that woman that thought she was going sell Pelosi’s laptop. Did she really have a plan to make it far enough to hand that thing over and accept money while apparently telling everyone around her about it? Of course not. The Portland protesters? What was their plan other than to burn stuff and push silly excuses over how someone losing a house over not paying their bills was some sort of moral crime? None. What was the militia people going to do if they’d actually kidnapped a governor? besides getting hunted down like dogs. I don’t know and neither do they. Same with the people involved in the January 6th incident. No plan, no thought, just mob mentality that landed a bunch with Federal charges. Same thing with Trump. He could have graciously accepted the loss and made a very strong run in 2024, but that isn’t going to happen now due to his general lack of planning and long view. Same thing with the Democrats pursuing the current impeachment against a disgraced and finished ex-President, like they did for four years before, instead of focusing on the somewhat large problem we have called the Covid-19 Pandemic (our response to which is the walking, talking definition of ‘no plan anywhere’ and no, Biden isn’t spontaneously changing that). No plan, just flailing like a fish out of water. People think we’re close to a civil war now. What a joke. Just wait until people like AOC and Ted Cruz are in charge of things if you think our politics are a monkey farm now. The only discernible skill some of these people have is to grab a snowflake and call it a waterfall while bathing in the cheers of people that agree with them.

The disorder is also being manufactured. This stuff is bought and paid for. Buses don’t magically appear out of the air to take protesters to ‘events’. Donors don’t give money to groups like that without knowing who it’s going to. People don’t answer shady political ads offering work without having a good idea of what they’re being paid to do or put up with. It’s the same reason you see the nonsense political posts being pushed out onto social media with info from news that literally just happened: trolls on both sides are being paid to produce it. Whenever you share a meme with Trump, Biden, or any other politician on it with some fart joke level quote, you’re sharing some troll’s work and making them proud. ‘Don’t feed the trolls’ includes not taking their offered food either. This stuff is designed to create divisions through high emotions because that’s what in turn feeds the spread of this stuff. The by product is that people, being people, buy into it if they’re not careful. It’s the old adage of ‘never believe your own bullshit’. But some people are forgetting that and thinking the bullshit they repeat is actually them and then it turns into a ‘their bullshit vs. my bullshit’ argument. They buy into the identity politics part of our politics, essentially, rather than into the identity of being citizens of the same country to rise above that. If your ideology tells you that another citizen of this country is an enemy just because of their differences, then you have a pretty serious issue with your ideology which leads into something I’ve already mentioned: both far-wings want to lock up/hunt down/kill/cancel anyone that doesn’t agree with them. We’re in for a world of hurt if either far-wing gains full control since both are what they claim the other is since the political circle ends at some form of totalitarianism if you go too far left or right. I’m not the only person to notice the tendency of extremists to have similar characteristics even if different ideologies. In politics and most things in life, moderation is key.

The other big motivating factors in this anger, frustration, anxiety, and despair over the lockdown rules. People don’t like being told what to do or to say inside with limited activity for long periods of time. At heart, we’re all three and just want our ice cream. It take self discipline and personal control to successfully navigate the pitfalls of a world wide pandemic. Many people aren’t doing so. The ones that have gone out and bought into the protests that ended with people killed and charges filed have failed at navigating these pitfalls. So have the people that messed up in some way by relying on unemployment they didn’t get or by not having taxes taken out of unemployment they did get (along with other issues associated with the stimulus and unemployment payments). This is a major event that is constantly changing. We’re trying to up the flow of the vaccines while we have multiple variants appearing, some of which are mutating around the vaccines (which makes me wonder if we’re actually feeding the virus with these vaccines like antibiotics create resistant bacteria, but that’s a subject for another time) and we don’t even actually know if the vaccines already developed will have an impact on things or how much of an impact since the antibody load drops considerably after only four months. Meanwhile, the whole lockdown situation is a travesty of common sense on every level. ‘Almost’ only works with horseshoes and hand grenades, everything else should be pulled off the fence and made concrete: either charge forward like it’s war and we’re going to lose people or go on complete lock down to root the violator out, but don’t do half of each. This seems to be a feedback system and the more this is mishandled, the worse it’s getting. The virus issue has been secondary to the economic issue for a while now, but throwing a bit of money at it won’t change anything, and the pandemic is quickly becoming secondary to the extremist situation also. Meanwhile, people continue to suffer more and more from the negative effects of the pandemic and the rules surrounding it which in turn feed the disorder.

There’s no easy fix to this. Biden nor Trump nor anyone else can wave a magic wand to make this go away and everything be okay. The ‘fix’ to this is as unromantic as staying realistic and hopeful while not buying into the magic fixes that cause bubbles of hope to pop and shower you with negative emotions. Yeah, we could get another stimulus, but don’t bet on it. Yeah, the vaccine could magically fix everything, but don’t bet on it. Yeah, some politician could pull off the deal of the century in Congress, but don’t bet on it. Yeah, all this restriction and mask stuff could be over in six months, but don’t bet on it. What we can bet on working is to keep our heads straight, watching our backs, don’t entertain or spread extremist talk that involves targeting citizens, keep working a job, wear our masks, wash our hands, and limit contact (for extremist reasons as well as viral reasons, because a lot more people are going to die and lose it before this is over) until this passes, because whether this situation takes you out by sickness, or getting shot/stabbed/crushed at a protest, or starved to death because you can’t find a job or get a handout, or shot by a random conspiracy extremist, it’s still the situation and new world disorder that got you.

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Further reading:

A world on fire: Here are all the major protests happening around the globe right now: https://www.businessinsider.com/all-the-protests-around-the-world-right-now

Mapping coronavirus anti-lockdown protests around the world: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/2/mapping-coronavirus-anti-lockdown-protests-around-the-world

Russia: Protests erupt over Navalny prison sentencing: https://www.dw.com/en/russia-protests-erupt-over-navalny-prison-sentencing/a-56434780

2021 storming of the United States Capitol: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_storming_of_the_United_States_Capitol

Extremism, fake news and hate: effects of social media in the post-truth era: https://via.library.depaul.edu/etd/245/

Red House stalemate: Neighbors complain of guns, explosions: https://www.koin.com/news/portland/red-house-stalemate-neighbors-complain-of-guns-explosions/

The Social Dilemma: Social Media and Your Mental Health: https://www.mcleanhospital.org/essential/it-or-not-social-medias-affecting-your-mental-health

The Toxic Mix of Extremism and Social Media: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/extremism-social-media/

Facebook’s Ban on Far-Left Pages Is an Extension of Trump Propaganda: https://theintercept.com/2020/08/20/facebook-bans-antifascist-pages/

Jan. 6 Rally Funded by Top Trump Donor, Helped by Alex Jones, Organizers Say: https://www.wsj.com/articles/jan-6-rally-funded-by-top-trump-donor-helped-by-alex-jones-organizers-say-11612012063

Paid protesters? They’re real — and a Beverly Hills firm that hires them stands accused of extortion in a lawsuit: https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-crowds-extortion-20181021-story.html

Yes, George Soros Sent Money to Fund the Riots—and So Did Taxpayers: https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/jeff-reynolds/2020/06/03/yes-george-soros-sent-money-to-fund-the-riots-and-so-did-taxpayers-n487939

How Similar Are the Far-Left and the Far-Right: https://www.theperspective.com/debates/politics/similar-far-left-far-right/

Covid: Lockdown had ‘major impact’ on mental health: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-54616688

Understanding the Effects of Social Isolation on Mental Health: https://publichealth.tulane.edu/blog/effects-of-social-isolation-on-mental-health/

Workers overpaid in pandemic unemployment may no longer have to return the money: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/22/workers-overpaid-in-unemployment-may-no-longer-have-to-return-the-money.html

Emerging evidence suggests new coronavirus variant could be problematic for vaccines: https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/21/health/coronavirus-variant-problem-vaccines/index.html

COVID-19 Vaccine: Will It Protect Against New Variants And Do You Need A 2nd Dose?: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/02/02/963047878/covid-19-vaccine-will-it-protect-against-new-variants-and-do-you-need-a-2nd-dose

For months, he helped his son keep suicidal thoughts at bay. Then came the pandemic.: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/11/23/covid-pandemic-rise-suicides/

Lockdown Suicide Data Reveal Predictable Tragedy: https://www.aier.org/article/lockdown-suicide-data-reveal-predictable-tragedy/

COVID Shortened U.S. Life Expectancy by Over a Year: https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210115/covid-pandemic-shortened-us-life-expectancy-by-more-than-a-year#1

US economy adds 49,000 jobs in January — a grim sign for the jobs recovery: https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/05/economy/january-2021-jobs-report/index.html

Illinois state’s attorney identifies 3 killed in bowling alley shooting: https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/28/us/illinois-bowling-alley-shooting-details/index.html

Published by ephiroll

Jeremiah Donaldson is a writer and game designer from Ky.

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