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You Can't Be Content While You're Being Oppressed

It was really hard for me to accept a life of struggle. I think I tried everything that looked easier before I gave in to the obvious.

During the "Pop Psychology" days of the 1960s and 1970s, the key word for everybody was "adjust." "I've adjusted" generally meant the same thing as "I'm happy" or "I'm content." A "well-adjusted" person was someone who had it made. If someone (me) wasn't happy, he/she wasn't fully "in sync with his/herself" and needed to "adjust." There were all kinds of elaborate ways to help people get adjusted, and most of them involved long expensive therapy sessions. Some involved massage, some involved heavy sedation, some involved electric shock, some involved brain surgery.

I never met a therapist who didn't subscribe to this "adjustment" business. To that extent, they are agents of the status quo. Maybe all of them aren't, but then I've not met them all.

Why Adjust?

But why should we adjust to an unfair world? Why should we adjust when we ourselves are being oppressed, and we can see a lot more oppression on other people? Why should we adjust when we could make things better?

There is precious little peace for anyone in our society. “Getting and spending, we lay waste our lives,” said Henry David Thoreau. Actually, most of the world’s population doesn’t have enough for the bare necessities and spend their days searching for subsistence. Have you ever heard that half the world's children don't have enough to eat?

Most of the people who do have enough can’t stop driving to accumulate more. Some who have enough and have stopped grubbing for more become degenerate spendthrifts. Are any of them content?

The Only Possible Peace Comes from Fighting

Countless religions and motivational speakers promise that you can adjust to the present society and find contentment, but you can’t. The only contentment within a contentious society comes from striving to improve it. Figuring out how to do that doesn't take a lot of brain power. It might take a little courage.


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