In Love And War

I’ve been listening to Rage Against The Machine again. Yes, I know it’s not 1996. Some twenty years later I still admire their energy. Lyrics like: “Is all the world jails and churches?” and “Fear is your only God” serve as a call to arms.

The Revolution grand narrative to which the band attached itself implies cooperation and order. Oppressed persons from different regions and from different backgrounds would need to rise up together. But the world is chaotic and contains too many moving parts. People have conflicting interests; uniting behind one cause doesn’t mean that everyone will agree on other important issues.

We can’t en masse reverse the System, only protest against it at the individual level. Embracing the sentiment behind “all politics is local” is a good place to start.

Also, much of life exists beyond reason. There’s no quantifying impulse, desire, feeling. Scientific analysis of the spontaneous and sublime diminishes the already-fleeting intensity of the High. An actual revolution would take more brain power than muscle, and it would require a great deal of faith in unattainable degrees of logic.

Love is personal and irrational. It’s you losing your mind but knowing exactly what you’re doing. I meet someone who’s “on my side” and share my life with her. Talk about solidarity. I aim to satisfy the needs of someone other than myself simply because my “heart” tells me so. Now that’s dedication to a noble cause.

Releasing anger feels good, but there’s little to cheer about after the passion subsides. After years of sticking it to the Man, a band with rage in its name could use a little love.

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Filed under Culture, Life, Philosophy, Politics

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