In my previous post, I questioned faith and its supposed opposite, both socially constructed as ideas opposing each other. I linked this with Judith Butler’s questioning of Gender and the idea of maintaining truth, in general, which may construct legitimate self-motivations to get rid of ‘the other.’
Another aspect of this dynamic, to support this terrain of thought, is the idea of the repetition of these ideas through history, internalized and used in institutions, and then its appearance in the world as a ‘truth.’ So, if we are to apply this to a construction of an identity that would become unquestioning of itself, then the faith and its maintenance of being ‘a man’ or ‘a woman’ begins to lose its ambivalence and become a ‘fact’ and supported by a defining of it as a ‘truth’ and that this ‘truth’ must be maintained. Making it into something superior and or violent, would then welcome the deconstruction of the oppressions we call heterosexism and sexism. There is internalized oppression and violent-ization–the creation of violence, within the identity on the self and outward. Through social discourse and repetition with others within a culture that agrees with this, it is reinforced as majority, and majority–apparently to some, means that it is more ‘true.’
In this formulation, we can unpack many of these LINKS that reinforce an idea of a ‘truth’ of gender and its supposed link to one single form of sexual relations (heterosexual). And if this ONE gender practices this ONE sexual relation, and then is supported by the laws and policies of a culture and/or nation created by the people who feel the same, and institute this in the schools etc. then it supposedly legitimizes its compulsory nature, its legitimacy to look down upon and/or destroy the other through assimilation and most likely, normalization–a filtering of everything through a self-created ‘normal.’ If we look at history, we see that ‘normal’ changes throughout time and circumstances. If we question how to bring freedom from oppression, then we MUST look at the fleeting nature of the violence of normalizing and making it ‘Truth’ against other truths.
This is where we must link this dynamic of maintenance and the fear of disintegration, as intense dynamics in relation to the killing of liberation. Indeed, for some people I’ve met, they do not recognize liberation as liberation. They think it is THREATENING. So my intended question in the previous post is: What is threatened at that point? What would be something that needs to be protected by aggression, hostility, or the softer forms: superiority and prioritizing (which would mean an internalized hierarchy of some sort)?
On the other end of the spectrum, it would be “I don’t have anything I’m protecting. I am FREE’ idea. This, as I had mentioned previously, is a dangerous concept that appears harmless at first facing. But if we look, usually these beliefs prop up many actions that are detached from others, from human concerns, from suffering. I have heard people who say they are ‘FREE’ who actually blame others for their suffering. Yes, they may twist the idea of ‘karma’ for instance, and say that the earthquakes and tornados and tsunamis were brought on by themselves, that they deserved this. This is akin to the videos in the earlier posting on ‘Smile or Die’ and the effects/intentions of ‘positive thinking.’ Or, a person may be ‘free’ and act very intensely in social justice movements yet never attest to their own oppressive stances. Most ‘free’ people I know, who are ‘free’ from an identity or a faith, etc. will not admit to any racist or sexist or homophobic thoughts because those things are ‘beneath’ them. So this is why I mention the word ‘dangerous.’ It looks one way in the beginning. Even after years we find out that there is denial of the political and historical aspects of their thinking and it is justified by their ESCAPE from the responsibilities of being a politically, culturally, and historically-created person in the world and in social relations. In fact, some people, especially in the United States, go as far as to say that they are not historical, political, or cultural and that they are ‘free’ of those things’ and they are just an individual. This is very convenient indeed. For me, if they were to deconstruct this posture, they would arrive and what James Baldwin had mentioned in the previous posting on my blog– they would arrive at PAIN. Trauma is much of what people are running from. Trauma and so-called REALITY are too much to bear. So in a sense, it is a fragile place from which someone has built their strength.
If we were communities that worked to heal and have strength in social change, such people perhaps, may not resort to escape and de-politicizing, and de-historicizing, as a strategy for a personal freedom. Perhaps liberation of humanity from the tyrannies of our institutional ways of governing and our nationalisms, and our maintenances and fears as a nation or a culture or a person, would be done collectively and a person could face their traumas courageously. Perhaps they would not, in the future, go through those traumas in the first place, which are always SOCIAL to begin with.
Deconstruction is a tool to begin liberation-practices. There aren’t any solutions and answers. Our solutions today are of changing people’s worldviews to a good one that we supposedly are (which is condescending) or to criminalize them or kill them. Nation, culture, community, individual….take our pick. How will we proceed?