“It’s ironic. Radicals dream midnight police raids, or sit around over coffee and talk with glittering eyes about Repression–about those internment camps that are waiting empty. And all the time Miss Jones does her quiet thing with the kids in third grade. People like to chat about the fascist threat or the communist threat. But their visions of repression are for the most part romantic and self indulgent: massacres, machine guns drowning out La Marseillaise. And in the meantime someone stops another tenth grader for a hall pass check and notices that his T-shirt doesn’t have a pocket on it. In the meantime the Bank of America hands out another round of high-school achievement awards. In the meantime I grade another set of quizzes. God knows the real massacres continue. But the machine gun isn’t really what is to be feared most in our civilized Western world. it just isn’t needed all that much. The kids leave Miss Jones’ class. And they go on to junior high and high school and college. And most of them will never need to be put in an internment camp. Because they’re already there. Do you think I’m overstating it? That’s what’s so frightening: we have the illusion that we’re free. In school we learn to be good little Americans–or Frenchmen–or Russians. We learn how to take the crap that’s going to be shoveled on use all our lives. In school the state wraps up people’s minds so tight that it can afford to leave their bodies alone. Repression? You want to see victims of repression? Come look at most of the students at San Diego State College, where I work. They want to be told what to do. They don’t know how to be free. They’ve given their will to this institution just as they’ll continue to give their will to the institutions that engulf them in the future.”
What’s to be feared most of all in our civilized western world is actually more nauseating than any senseless act of violence. I actually become emotionally burdened when I think of the utter disgrace we experience on a routine basis, continually throughout the course of our lives, as we breathe in and live a doctrine that condones a repression of our desires. What should be feared most is the complete lack of thought we give to the choices that should matter. I state the problem once more: LACK OF THOUGHT. This makes me want to grab people by the neck and shake them as hard I can in hopes that they gasp and wake from their state of servitude and rip off the shackles that have been holding them down. Rousseau declared it best when he wrote “Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains”. Our society perpetuates this lack of thought. We accept what we’re given! From our parents, our teachers, our bosses, our government, our religions- and FAIL to realize the responsibility we have to ourselves are free human beings to do anything and be anything we want. We simply have been told what to think and we discredit any thought we do of our own. In the civilized western world there is a mentality that has molested our minds and has caused us to halt all self-motivated advances in fear of failure, punishment, or just about anything that stands to tear us back down.
The commentary by Jerry Farber is illustrating a problem that has persisted throughout time. We are in bondage. We have no lack of excuse. We are now more than ever before submersed with knowledge and insight, yet we continue to let the milestone around our necks grow heavier as we grow tired. We are trained, programmed, and tied down. Fed answers and taught to obey and surrender to someone else’s ideals, passions and revelations while we silently suffer suffocate inside. This is an epidemic that is sweeping the world we live in. We hang on the words and promises of those in power, yet receive nothing for the lives we were conned to forfeit. There is no reward at the end of it all. There is no great cause. There is no great war. We were manipulated and lied to. Now we are empty and sad and slowly growing pissed. There is a great depression. That depression is our lives. There should be no wonder why we lie, cheat, steal, and take the lives of others. The civilized system that governs over us lies to us, cheats us into thinking happiness is around the corner, steals our dreams and takes our lives. No wonder.
Jerry Farber illustrated the brutal truth of the matter by exposing the broken lives all around us. Depressed and hungry for some truth to aid their exasperated lives in the aimless search for content. The perception that there is something dangerous out there and we need to rise up in arms. There is nothing to fear out there. There is no one bashing down our door. There is a war, but this war exists at home. The battles are fought in the hallways and classrooms of our schools. The heartbreaking reality is the population is losing. We are taught to surrender our will to another’s. If our founding fathers in this western world were the radical thinkers, we over the generations of time have become the passive non-thinkers.
The fear to be recognized is the void that exists in the spirit of men when we fail to recognize the responsibility we owe to a life we own. We fail to distinguish our individual value and the infinite potential inside us. We are told what to think, what to learn, what to fear, and we surrender our will in the process. Fear is the complacent attitude of the relinquished control of our lives.