The Verdict

The jury has spoken.
But what has she said?

She has said that we are a nation of Laws
and that according to those Laws
George Zimmerman is
not guilty.

And thus
she has reminded us that
Law ≠ Justice.

Law is meant to be a tool of Justice.
But when instead it is used as a tool of Tyranny—
when laws are used to exonerate killers
when laws are used to sanctify killing
when laws are used to spy, torture, oppress, and exploit

Then we,
the civilized masses of people being brutalized by this uncivilization
have a duty
to ourselves, to each other, to life itself
to not respect these unjust laws
to instead expose them, resist them, defy them, belie them
to fight until true justice is served.

Because if George Zimmerman is not guilty of killing Trayvon Martin,
then we are.

We as a society are guilty.

Guilty of creating a world where George Zimmermans exist,
where they exist and flourish and get away with murder
every single day.
Guilty of allowing our world to be governed by sociopaths
who pillage the earth and crush human souls
in a parasitic quest for power.
Guilty of betraying our own freedom,
by adoring the chains that keep us bound to our oppressors
and divided from one another.

This is the real verdict,
the one woven in between the delusional lines of the court’s determination
the one hovering above the anguish in the courtroom and on the streets
the one staring us in the face at every crossroad that we refuse to see.

We are guilty.
Sentenced to life in prison.
Of our own volition.

Because we accept this fate
every day that we live our lives
without naming injustice for what it is
without fighting against it with all we have.

Our silence.
Our apathy.
Our ignorance.
Our compliance.
All accessories to our collective murder-suicide.

This is what the jury said today.

©Stavroula Harissis

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Freedom: To Oppress and Exploit?

“Not freedom for all, not equality for all, but a fight against the oppressors and exploiters, the abolition of every possible oppression and exploitation–that is our slogan.” -V. I. Lenin

Everyone believes in “freedom” but how many people actually think critically about what that word means? I doubt anyone would advocate ABSOLUTE freedom of the individual, because that would have to include the freedom to murder and rape, which most people agree is unacceptable. But where then do you draw the line?

It was once acceptable to “own” people as property, as slaves. We now see this as abhorrent. Will we eventually realize that the capitalist system of wage slavery is also abhorrent? Should individual human beings have the “freedom” to “own” the resources we ALL need to survive, and to withhold those resources from people based on their ability to “pay” with a currency they “earn” by selling their labor? Is that the highest form of “freedom” our species can envision or attain? I certainly hope not.

Ideology of Truth & Justice

I am a seeker of Truth and Justice. I will not put political ideology above either of those things. I will not defend someone who uses dishonest means, even if I agree with their ends. Propaganda is propaganda, no matter who spews it. Violence is violence, no matter who the victim. You reap what you sow. Simple as that.

I want a revolution. But if a revolution is based on violence, dishonest propaganda, and/or dogmatic ideology, I want no part of it. Because a TRUE revolution is one that has the courage and creativity to break free of the prescriptive chains of ideology. Anything less than that is just a change in regime. Do I think that some form of Socialism or Communism would be better for our world than Capitalism? Yes. Will I do “whatever it takes” to bring Socialism/Communism into being? No.

First off, such blind allegiance goes against my commitment to TRUTH. If all of my debates use a particular political ideology as a springboard, then I am not really seeking truth, I am only seeking to reaffirm my beliefs. Do I see truth in the theories of Communism? Yes. Will I continue to question them even as I attempt to bring them into action? Absolutely. Because all ideologies are flawed. And yet we all must live according to ideologies in one form or another. We are all guided by beliefs. But the question is, do we cling to our beliefs and ideologies as omnipotent, indestructible absolutes? Or do we use them to guide us towards an ever-evolving truth and understanding? I choose the latter.

This stance is not only consistent with my personal core value of seeking Truth but I also believe it is the only way to build a successful revolution. A legitimate revolution must come from the masses of people. The existing masses of people have a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs. In order to unite, we must respect each others’ opinions and work towards consensus. This includes listening to and considering the opinions of people we instinctively disagree with. Because no individual is in possession of complete or absolute truth. We must recognize and resist the tendency in ourselves to preach and to indoctrinate others to our beliefs. Our collective knowledge and creativity is what gives us strength. If we do not approach one another from a position of openness and humility, we cannot unite. It is not an easy task, but our humanity demands it.

Moreover, our humanity demands that we remain committed to JUSTICE. Committing to do “whatever it takes” to bring a particular political ideology into being goes against a commitment to justice. The ends do not justify the means. The intentional killing of another human being is never OK, in my opinion. So if it takes killing and oppressing “capitalists” in order to bring about a better system, I will not support it. We must find a way to break the cycle of violence that plagues our species. Oppressing our oppressors does not make us free, it just changes our role in the continuation of oppression.

Some say it can’t be done, non-violent revolution. I say that attitude is selling ourselves short. I say that attitude is cowardly and amoral. We must stick to our principles, even in the face of certain defeat. Because what is the worth of a victory gained by contradicting your own moral values? It is no victory at all, in my eyes. As Gandhi said, you must BE the change you wish to see in the world. When all human beings can BE what they say they wish the world to be, THAT will be the real revolution.

*I appreciatively welcome respectful comments, counter-arguments, and cooperative discussion.*