By social media, I basically mean Facebook. I hold Twitter in contempt.
The purpose of this essay is to offer some explanation for why I post some things to Facebook, which some may find helpful.
My Facebook posts fall into 2 basic categories: cat videos and hard hitting commentary. ‘Cat videos’ would be me just chillin’ with light-hearted fare. Hard hitting commentary is pretty self-explanatory.
Here is the deal: the hard hitting commentary is reserved for those that I deem able to cope with it, which means that for the most part, this commentary is ‘preaching to the choir.’ But even these might be interested in knowing the driving principles behind my remarks. You can find them summed up to the right on this page under “Anthony’s Three Principles.” But, if I post on Facebook, its usually with this principle in mind:
Prevent the next holocaust-level event from occurring and stop the ones that are presently on-going. He does not share the optimism of some that humanity has ‘progressed’ enough to avoid it…
In other words, my commentary is meant to ring alarm bells. People who see this commentary may be sympathetic to my perspective, but they may not have the time, energy, or resources, to investigate them in the way that I can. My commentary is thus intended as a service–specifically, to alert those who have ears to dangers that are out there that could potentially threaten them or their loved ones.
There is not a 3rd category: debate and argue (I mean ‘argue’ in its technical sense). If ever there was a time when I argued for the sake of arguing, that time is long gone. If I contribute to someone else’s conversation, rest assured it is not because I find it entertaining. I tend to stay off of other people’s FB pages, but if it is on my own Facebook profile, it still isn’t posted because I like debating. Nothing could be further from the truth. My time is worth far more to me than people are likely to realize. No: my goal is to lend my expertise to those who might be interested in hearing my perspective.
And what is my expertise?
I study death. I study mass murder. I study genocides. I study the collapse of societies. I study repressive regimes. And by study, I mean, I actually study. I read, and read, and read. I seek out primary sources. I do not rely on others to tell me what to think. I do the work so that if I speak on a topic, I am qualified to do so. I have a personal library of some 3,000 books, paid for out of my own pocket. I don’t say it as a boast, but as evidence of my quest for genuine insight into the world.
Here is what I don’t mean by ‘study’: “I saw a meme, once…” or “I read a paragraph in a text book when I was in 9th grade,” or “I learned it in Sunday School!” or “The NY Times says it, so it must be true.” I have no time or patience for people who argue a position which rests on such infantile foundations.
Unless I have some kind of relationship to warrant putting up with such childish opinions, I’m not going to waste my time talking to them. Viola! And like that, they are moved from my list of people who can see my hard hitting commentary to only those who see my cat videos.
A sizable number of the books on my shelf are written by people I disagree with completely. I spend 90% of my time reading the websites frequented by those I disagree with completely. Why?
Answer: To make sure that my perceptions of an issue are not filtered through the words of another. I don’t need person X to tell me what Person Y believes. I listened to Person Y in his own words. And you can sit there on the other side and piss and moan that my view of Person Y is skewed, or biased, or whatever else someone wants to throw out there, but I will not be cowed by belligerent, ignorant, uninformed rants to the contrary: because I know. I KNOW. I heard it out of their own lips.
As I have taken to saying: Don’t pee on my leg and tell me its raining.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but there is no good reason to think that any of history’s worst calamities cannot unfold right here in the United States. More bad news: we are never as far from it as we suppose. Even more bad news: all the elements that have enabled Americans of divergent viewpoints to co-exist (relatively) peacefully since its founding are steadily being eroded, corroded, and purposefully undermined. (Hint: the people doing this are not Christian conservatives.)
This of course doesn’t mean that we’ll see a Bolshevik revolution tomorrow. Things don’t work that way. On the other hand, things can happen faster than anyone could have guessed. There are a number of potential scenarios, and all of them require some kind of catalyst, which almost by definition cannot be predicted (eg, an assassination, such as Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.)
It is not my purpose here to go into all those scenarios, or discuss likely catalysts, etc. My purpose is to explain that I believe that, as in other times and places in world history, the fuel is being gathered for the fire, and whether by lightning strike or by arson, a conflagration is more likely by day–not less.
Before I sign off on this post, its worth mentioning too that in rejecting the utopian vision of those engaged in the perfection of society, I firmly believe that the best explanation for this state of affairs is as the Christian scriptures lay them out: people are fallen and sinful–everyone of us. And the rest is true, too: this world is going to be burned. There is one hope, and only one hope, and his name is Jesus.
If you want to hear more from this perspective beyond what is on this blog, you can friend me on Facebook. You ought to send me a note telling me that you are worthy of more than cat videos, otherwise that may be all you ever see.
[Caveat: there are other reasons why I might not show all of my Facebook posts to all people beyond my feeling that they cannot handle commentary. For example, I use Facebook to keep in touch with family somewhat, and there is no particular reason to expose THEM. So, if you are currently a FB ‘friend,’ the fact that all you see are ‘cat videos’ doesn’t necessarily mean I find you unworthy of more.]