Principles in practice
It is a yearly tradition among anarchists and squatters to protest (what else is new) for their friends in jail. Adorned with black flags, banners and music instruments they march, through the busiest streets trying to turn heads and focus attention on a failing justice system. Just like last year I was one of them and just like last year we were surrounded by cops start to finish. Keeping anarchy within bounds.
Again, it was a very intense experience. I try and join every anarchist protest, but this one is always a bit special since it is, as far as I know, the only one in Gent. I know the places we pass, I know the people whose heads we (hopefully) turn. It’s a strange feeling. Most of them have never seen this particular side of me.
What touched me most of all that day however, was a stupid little TV in a clothes shop. It was showing images of a drag boat race; the shop was sponsoring an event in Knokke. You could see the little helmed head shake inside the cockpit, and the contrast between his reality and mine struck me.
At the time when this was filmed, this guy was thinking about nothing else than keeping his boat stable, and winning the race. In a way we were very much alike, both striving towards a goal, though perhaps his was more within reach than ours. The main difference, and the cause of the aforementioned contrast, was the difference in goals. His race couldn’t matter less to us, and he couldn’t give a damn about our struggle.
So then from an objective perspective, who is right? Who is closer to the truth, him fighting for his team, sponsors and prize or us, marching in search of the justice we want? To me the answer seems obvious and simple, but I know it never is.
I know many roll their eyes when I say our justice system is corrupt, along with politics and everything concerning it. They tend to do so in my face, which gives me the chance to come up with examples. And from specific ones to general facts, I can name a few:
An ex-colleague of mine, a real dimwit, showed us his passport one day. It said "baron" before his first name. It was a title he inherited from his aunt, because she payed off some of our king’s debts. Yes, our king has debts. Despite his obscenely large paycheck with the taxpayers’ names on it.
"Big deal", I thought, but then he mentioned he got out of jail sooner because of it, after stealing cars or something.
Now, the "justice" system that is the only one used, and considered absolute and superior, has a few rules of its own. First of all, it must be divided from and uninfluenced by the economic system, so that the rich face the same punishment as the poor.
Second, it must be divided from the political system, so that politicians can’t cover themselves up and gain immunity from it.
And this guy, this dumb shit whooping out his passport, stood there and laughed. Rules as absolute and theoretically unbreakable as these, were stepped on and ignored. Not only did he got out because his marginal family happened to have money, but because the king "owed them", though he has never even met them.
So, what would happen if the prime minister turns out to be a pedophile? Might seem far-fetched, but here in Belgium, trust me, it isn’t. Or his friend, relative, business partner? Apparently the system we use to determine if someone should be robbed of his freedom, a constitutional human right, is as easily manipulated as the people supporting it.
The reason my friend and I can live in this roomy house practically for free, is because it was disowned by Volvo. Of course, not by Volvo itself, but by our trusted government, the people we elected ourselves, in support of Volvo. The argument used is the creation of job opportunities, which is a very good point. The economy will benefit from it and there is a lot to gain. Also because this factory is the first in Belgium to function entirely on clean energy, having recently planted three wind turbines in their backyard.
Funny little detail however, is that just around the corner, there are several acres of farmland that, when sold, would allow the owner to sit his ass in luxury for the rest of his life. It just so happens, the suburbs here are closer to the freeway. The actual factor making the choice between disowning an entire street, is convenience. Tell me our land isn’t run by money.
I have several more examples, I could be at it all day. In short, not just I, but We want the entire system reviewed. Not by the people we elect, but by us. Even if it was for just a sort of election, we want all facts, good and bad, placed crystal clear on the table and weeded out, resulting in an open and see-through way of running this country. No more meetings behind locked doors, we elect you and you be perfectly clear about what it is you are doing with our support. Simple, no? It’s a principle called anarchy, it’s not as extreme as society, the people in charge, wants you to believe it is. Coincidence? I think not.
I mentioned this before, but it seems that the last few years, I am confronted with a friend’s friend’s death on a monthly basis. Just recently, this trend has evolved into weddings/engagements. No disrespect, but I’m not positive on which I prefer.
It just so happens, I had an interesting discussion with my girlfriend and her friend about it the other day. This is, I don’t want to get married, or even live together, and no one seems to understand that. I love her with all my heart, but I noticed an emotional incompatibility a long time ago that I know would not work out when we lived together. I could go into detail, but that’s beside the point here.
Usually this triggers a very shocked reaction. How can I go on with a relationship when I know it has no future. But to me, my relationship does have a future, it’s as simples as, and in fact it is love itself. The idea that a relationship needs to evolve to exist, is an illusion. Actually, many people stay together with little else in mind than this evolution, forgetting about the essence. Then, when they are married and have nowhere to go, oh look at that, they divorce.
Why do I Have to live with my girlfriend? I love her, she loves me, it’s a beautiful thing I don’t want to put on the line just to fulfill the expectations. I’m fine with our relationship as it is, it stays fresh this way and it keeps us from taking each other for granted. We’re nearing a total of 6 years now and I’m still happy and excited when I see her. What more would I want? You can keep your marriage, oh and congratulations all of you.