for the past year i have been reading the work of Albert Camus. I am currently reading “The Rebel”.
this work extends upon the ideas in “The Myth of Sisyphus”. The Myth of Sisyphus concerns itself with the central theme of the absurd. life is an absurd thing and in the light of this realisation what should the individual do? needless to say life is worth living as Camus concludes.
The Rebel (have read only a little so far) focuses on the system of relations between an individual and their world and in particular where the individual is no longer willing to tolerate oppression.
for me, as for most people i imagine, oppression can come in many forms and degrees. the unnerving thing about oppression is its tendency to escalate if not confronted. the relations between two people, or a person and a group or a community with a society can go from fair and equitable to ruthless and domineering in a very short space of time. we have all seen the desperate carnage played out on our screens over the last two decades (this could be extended backwards ad nauseam).
the ramifications, in this case, for the Muslim community in australia have been extremely sad. villified and marginalised is a fair description for the treatment they have received from the government and the mainstream media and community at large. this damage will take a while to reverse if and when it does stop. i want it to stop.
unfortunately societies tend to link the actions of an individual to a greater community if they share any number of characteristics or beliefs. this tendency is weak, baseless and simplistic.
just as a tiny minority can ruin the standing of communities in the mainstream consciousness so too can a tiny minority in the mainstream hold sway over the thinking and attitudes that dominate a society. they are the ones with an agenda. their agenda may spawn from any number of reasons. i do however hazard the statement that fear and ignorance motivate much of their frothing at the mouth.
what other reasons might motivate this tiny minority to pander to themselves and the perceived attitudes of the mainstream. well; in our current setting (capitalist driven economic monster) a triumvirate steps forward to take centre stage.
power, money and prestige.
if a mainstream organisation (say redbubble for instance – for it is after all quite mainstream) is threatened by the actions of someone or some group in relation to their power, monetary earning potential and prestige they will take the necessary steps to protect their position.
the big problem here is that these kind of actions feed greater actions. if a small act of censorship is condoned and overlooked it will make possible further, greater acts of protective vigilance possible. they build a pathway to serious oppression.
keep your ears open for the ratta tat tat.