I dusted off my old history books the other day. I felt it would be wise for clarity because my swamp strata has gone down a path that seems to be worrisome. I felt it both prudent and reasonable to check my suspicions and research the evidence. Sadly, it would seem I was correct to be suspicious. The politics in my swamp are strikingly familiar to regimes from a different time .
Friends and people who know me outside my home suggest I’m too caught up in the swamp politics. Their advice suggests I should just show up to the Annual General Meeting and sanctimoniously spread righteous authority on my group of volunteers (I’ll call them the gang) for another term. My friends tell me, “You are one voice. Don’t bother – just close the door and live your life.” Problem is, I don’t like gangs. I especially do not like my particular swamp’s strata gang. They have an ideology that begs to be resisted. Questionable ideologies left unquestioned are a dangerous thing.
Fascist ideology has particular markers that help define it. It is interesting how, over its last term, my swamp gang governed in a manner with striking similarities to fascist regimes because it did the following:
1) Created a sense of unity through “powerful” leadership
One of the first things my swamp strata did over the course of the last two years was create a swamp sense – a sense of unity. Nothing fosters good feelings like beverages, a deck and a group of like-minded swampers. The gang is together all the time and soon, without even realizing it, the swamp has an identity and lickety-split, if you are not with them you are against them. The community gives them control almost in an unconscious fashion. It’s almost as if the gang unity chant was set to “We are the World” up there amidst the sun and beverages on the deck.
2)Disregarded individual rights
When the majority of swampers is silent, they are essentially tacitly approving the unity of one group within their community. Silence can be so loud it is deafening even in a swamp. Under all that non-noise, rights of every swamp dweller become undermined because the gang has taken control and what’s the most fearsome thing for a gang? Division within the rank and file. A unified gang must trample the rights of any individual or group in order to maintain control. They give disrespecting my individual rights all they’ve got.
3)Created a common enemy and isolated that enemy
I’m the ogre in my swamp…you know the one they come at with either shrieks and pitchforks or nasty whispered slander. I am the de facto enemy of the swamp. The gang work themselves up into a frenzy everytime they have to deal with me and create a mob mentality so that swampers who don’t even know me have come to believe I’m the worst kind of ogre. I’m really just a well-educated ogre and I guess nothing is quite so fearful as knowledge to an ignorant swamper. Mass ignorance is fuel for the swamp gang though …. the gang feeds on ignorance.
4)Dominated thought with “security” forces
Mass ignorance generally requires some show of force and in my swamp we don’t have a military to keep us all in line but we do have innuendo, bad behaviour and fringe legal entities. Perception really plays a compelling role here because what one doesn’t see is often more mighty than what one can see. Perception and sacks of money give noise clout in my swamp whether its heavily accented or motor driven: if it sounds like intimidation it must be intimidation.
5) Used Sexism
Funny thing about gangs and perception is the element of sexism. Most gangs are male but in my swamp, small, weak men are completely controlled by women. In my swamp the women understand how to exploit men in order to achieve their will. It’s quite clever really because the male swampers married to female gang members need to pummel their chests every once in a while in a public arena because they are so demasculated at home. So, the gang spouses do all the dirty work and the gang gets credit for being nice, hardworking volunteers with the best of intentions. It’s a cunning facade. The only male swamper in the gang( affirmative action) has a beverage addiction, extraordinarily small stature and a need to feel more important than he is capable of being. I think he hides a propensity for anger and cowardice though and eventually like another small man with delusions of grandeur he’ll be undone by his girl gang or himself.
6)Controlled circulated information
The swamp gang controls the information in the swamp. When swampers are being lied too it is very important to completely control all the information. The gang goes to great lengths to silence any questions. This gang manipulates the swamp purse so that swampers think they are authorizing one kind of expense when really they are authorizing a rather large blank check. Censorship is a dangerous thing especially when it is perpetuated through the “good intentions” of the gang and swamp fees reassigned through smoke and mirrors accounting of the protector.
7)Used a third party as protection for itself
The swamp gang protects itself with a strategic outsider – a protector of sorts. Ostensibly this protector knows more than anyone including the ogres about swamp life. I don’t agree and regularly point out the glaring mistakes the protector makes but even so the swampers have been so brainwashed by the gang propaganda they do not see the quicksand in the sand. It’s tough to go up against the frenzied mob of pitchforks who dutifully protect the protector who, I should say, doesn’t live in the swamp and laughs all the way home at night; ignorance is bliss and financially rewarding for third parties.
8) Used spirituality as a tool for control
In the swamp the gang has figured out the spiritual base of the community. It is a floral and green alter. Swampers cannot help themselves and bow and scrape to it enmasse because the swamp is a fairly dark,dank place without it. The gang uses this foliage temple to insinuate their twisted politics into the hearts and minds of the swamp. Who can resist pretty colours in a rather murky swamp? Nevermind the swamp is overgrown and not maintained ….let’s just plant pretty things strategically and mask the imperfections.Voila, swamp curb appeal!!
There are other ogres in my swamp but they don’t appear to have the same sense of duty as me. They mostly keep to themselves or when they do come out they do so only to support their own agendas. It’s a shame really because a group of educated, assertive ogres and swampers could, at the very least, have a louder voice that could be heard over the sounds of deception and silence. Perhaps some of the swampers would like to hear what a group of ogres has to say. Ideally, all swampers should enjoy living in the swamp.Voices should not be silenced through intimidation because that kind of silence is deafening.
10) Discourage academic or creative thought
The swamp gang enjoy the more simple aspects of life…drinking and smack mouth. They are so enthusiastic in their visceral moments that the needs and interests of the other swampers get drowned out by the gang mentality. Another idea or thought presented in a creative or intellectual manner is toxic and the gang becomes so loud in its negative denouncements that the original idea or thought is lost in the noise pollution. If the rest of the swamp doesn’t hear about new ideas and thoughts it becomes easier to control and my swamp is stridently controlled.
11) Abuse Crime and Punishment
My swamp gang is very thorough when it comes to crime and punishment. They present themselves as very mindful of jurisprudence for every swamp dweller – except themselves. The law is for everyone else to follow and the swamp gang to exploit and abuse. No one questions the gang’s abuse of authority but a few swampers and me. I’m derided for it and even though my fellow swampers must see the dichotomy of the gang, they stay silent for fear of the noisy motor sounds and heavy accents that proliferate from every corner of the swamp at all hours both day and night.
Its good to have a complimentary partnership that works for the good of everyone. There are good partnerships out there. In my swamp the gang leads through corrupt cronyism. It suits them well and my fellow swampers are either too apathetic to care, too lazy to educate themselves and speak up or too intimidated to value their individual rights and freedoms. I do know some of them like to hide behind an ogre with a sense of swamp politics: “Just let the ogre talk – if she wins an argument, we all win; if she loses we’ll just do what we always do – hide in plain sight.” The best way to ram a point of view is to stack the gang with easily manipulated minds so there is no room for objection and plenty of opportunity to call in favours.
13) Fraudulent Elections
When the masses go (or don’t) go to their annual general meeting and stay silent and perpetuate the status quo they encourage electoral fraud. When they are uneducated, swampers don’t bother attending because they are insecure and fearful. If swampers do get the courage to attend, they are broadsided by blabbocracy, rabblerousers with thick accents, and the spiritual green swamper who leads the gang. She sits quietly atop of the gang pile letting her minions speak for her because really, she has no voice just a large green thumb which, for the purposes of the meeting, she sits on. Her submissives dutifully and loudly encourage electoral fraud and so for another year despite reasonable arguments against her gang,(throw out “disenfranchisement” and watch the fun) she gets power and control over everything. Once the election is over she stands and surveys the swamp. She rubs her hands together and in a particularly lewd fashion, she strokes her thumb, clicks her tongue in some kind of call to duty, and her gang surrounds her. Is it my imagination or did I hear the little guy with the beverage addiction suggest the need for a swamp flag?
So, the masses are indeed asses. In this day and age I thought societies were over being intimidated by the thunder of panzers but I guess when you abdicate your democratic rights by any means you deserve to be revisited by dangerous ideology. History has a tendency to keep repeating itself. Well they won’t be getting my books to burn and they won’t be intimidating me because I will resist. My corner of the swamp will be a safe haven for resistance against “neo-swampism” because history books prove any type of fascist ideology requires mass ignorance in order to make a run at democracy. I won’t be a silent ignoramus ….