On the banality of life under authoritarianism

I used to watch movies and documentaries and wonder how people could live seemingly-normal lives in repressive states like the Soviet Union, Afghanistan, China, etc.

Now I’m living it in the US. Now I know how we get there.

Although the urge to scream and lie down in the middle of the highway to stop everything rises in me daily, the inertia of daily life is stronger. I have a child I have to keep functioning for.

I have a good job, a good family, and a good house, which I don’t take for granted.

I know it’s only an accident of fate that I can keep going about my business and enjoying my relatively-easy life because I’m white and middle class, because my family came here a century ago instead of a week ago.

I have a lot of privilege, compared to some.

But I also know that it would only take some small slip of fate to put me under the boot of Republican authoritarianism. I live in constant fear that the shoe will drop.

I finally understand the human need to keep on keeping on, even when all around us is dehumanizing.

So I continue to enjoy my privileged, middle class comfort while feeling increasingly guilty about it and wondering when my bubble will pop.

Most of the time I feel powerless to stop fascism, but I keep a flame of resistance burning for the future.

Happy birthday, America.

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