Friday, March 19, 2010

Because the personal is political

Sometimes an anonymous commenter comes along who really makes me think. Which, in my opinion, is always a good thing. In his last comment, anonymous said, "I don't think it makes sense to say that society wants addicts in the throes of their addictions. Using behavior is unstable, expensive and anti-social."

The comment brings up a very good point. I don't think society, which is different by the way from the individuals that make up a society, consciously wants the addict in their addiction. The individuals in society don't think about it until it affects them personally, nor should they. But when the societal system is observed as a whole - objectively, it works that way. There are certain groups of people who continually get the short end of the stick. These groups are getting larger and larger in case you haven't noticed because they comprise what used to be our entire middle class.

When you say using behavior is unstable, expensive and anti-social I couldn't agree with you more. Here's the thing: everyone is addicted in this society. We're addicted to production and social mania and chasing our own asses in an ever-tightening circle. We're addicted to television, video games and Hollywood, and we're lazy. We've forgotten that good health is directly related to the foods we eat which is directly related to how we treat Mother Earth and all her creatures which is directly related to the lack of meaning most of us have acquired as a result of being part of a dysfunctional, addicted society - this society and this time, particularly.

When I write on Eclectic Recovery I'm holding a much bigger picture than myself and my little problems. This blog has never been just about me. My intent has always been to reach a certain audience who while often quite functional, is still having trouble maintaining sobriety and who is uncomfortable in the more prevalent recovery venues, i.e., AA. In the process of exploring my own issues with addiction, I've become more and more aware of how delusional our society has become as a whole and I've been following the crumbs to what could possibly heal the individual and society at the same time.

My friend, Chani, replied this to your comment: "Anonymous, I've been following this thread and I think you're not seeing the big picture. The way I interpret Angela's observation is in the more global social context. Does the social system we live in right now require an underlcass to survive? You betcha! This is basic economic reality. Addicts are judged and pushed into the underclass because there is a fundamental lack of compassion at the root of our current competitive system where some have to be on bottom for others to remain on top."

She's right. I'm always looking at how the personal relates to the global/social context. Or as my friend, Eric Francis puts it, how the personal becomes political.


kikipotamus said...

I think it's true that we are almost all addicted in some way and that this society / culture and economic system rocks along because we are. Some people I know are addicted to TV. I am to my laptop and internet connection. We are almost all using something to numb and distract us from the uncomfortable feelings we could otherwise be facing, natural periods of discomfort that come with growth.

This society in as far as it's linked to the organism called capitalism does not want the boat rocked. If we all decided tomorrow to vote with our pocketbooks and stop buying things made in China...well...there would be a collapse of the system as we know it. In my mind, it would be a good collapse, but things would get much uglier and less stable before we could find out way to sustainable systems as a majority. Maybe it won't happen as one big crash; maybe we can all slowly start making better choices, as you and Brent are doing in investigating permaculture. People like you are leading the paradigm shift that may save our lovely mother Earth and the species whom she gives life.

patti said...

I'm enjoying your posts Angela.

Have you ever visited


It is all about drinking, abstaining, alcoholism, drinking culture etc. A very interesting blog that you may find helpful.

Anonymous said...

Approvingly your article helped me very much in my college assignment. Hats incorrect to you post, choice look audacious in behalf of more cognate articles without delay as its anecdote of my pet subject-matter to read.