I get it. The pithy expression is suppose to mean that one has seen the light. Hallelujah! They have been awoken to our corrupt, crumbling democracy and enlightened to social injustices. Quite literally ‘Woke As Fuck’ is meaningless and as more people and companies jump on this adage to make a buck from the sell of t-shirts, stickers and hats it’ll become one of those passing trends where the youth think it’s cool to wear something with the word ‘Fuck’ on it.
The real meaning however is not lost on the few who understand the large picture. They are people who don’t support the corporate oligarchy, they don’t buy things, they recycle everything, they have organic gardens and don’t go to restaurants. They walk the walk, talk the talk and don’t wear T-shirts that say so. Although they live in this world of gas-powered vehicles, electric bills and internet service, their carbon footprint is left to a minimum. And that’s not even the far side of Woke As Fuck.
I happen to reside on an island where people actually live off the land literally. They create crude homes in remote areas near waterfalls. They grow their own food and have to take a canoe back to civilization when the tides and currents are at their safest. They grow crops and bring them to the main town to sell or barter for goods to take back to their camps. I’m not talking about a commune with shared resources. These folks live in groups of two to four adults without children and it’s hard work. That seems extreme for most of us but for those living off the grid they couldn’t be more happy.
There are those who would say those types of folks are ignorant due to their lack of awareness of what’s going on around them. Actually they are so attuned to what’s going on that they’ve made the choice to leave. But with all the modern conveniences why would they live that way? Modern convenience is just another word for consumerism. These people don’t want to feel like a slave to corporations, collect a measly penance for working 40+ hours a week, spend their money on being plugged in or contribute to overpopulation and pollution. No. They want no part of that.
Living off the grid seems closely linked to conspiracy theorist who think the end of days is upon us. They create underground bunkers filled with supplies and weapons in preparation for a nuclear weapon attack or other event which would cause social chaos. I have a relative in a large city who keeps his basement filled with bottled water and canned goods just in case. But many of these types of doomsday preppers are not considered WOKE but rather folks who are preparing for possible catastrophic disruptions in society.
What does that say about the rest of us who claim we’re Woke As Fuck? People slowly may awaken to the reality that our government is filled with wealthy elitist. Pompous capitalists that care little about the common people and take money from big corporations to further their agendas of raping the Earth’s natural resources for profit. Everyone has someone to blame. Women groups say it’s a male-dominated system of violence. LGBTq groups blame intolerance. Republicans blame liberals. Left blames right. Everyone wants to point their finger. But it does not matter who, when, why, where. What matters is that problems exist and they won’t go away by playing the blame game. So before you point that finger just remember what the King of Pop, Michael Jackson said, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.”
WE are all the problem. Not some arbitrary group or specific person. No matter how Woke As Fuck you think you are unfortunately you are part of the problem. Fortunately, the answers to world problems are not complicated.
“The simplest solution tends to be the best one.” – William of Ockham
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ― Confucius
“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” ― Henry David Thoreau
“Manifest plainness, Embrace simplicity, Reduce selfishness, Have few desires.” ― Lao Tzu
“The greatest ideas are the simplest.” ― William Golding
“Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.” ― Albert Einstein
“Or, rather, let us be more simple and less vain.” ― Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci
“Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.”~ Edwin Way Teale
For centuries great minds talk about the value and virtue of simplicity. But people are so intertwined in complexity that they think it takes great minds to create solutions to the planet’s problems.
A comedian on twitter posts, “Billionaires have literally BOUGHT the White House – and it’s the same ones who funded the Citizens United ruling. It worked perfectly.” And a follower replied, “how can we get rid of them .. like soon?” Obliviously this person is asking the wrong question to the wrong person because people want to listen to celebrities as if they have all the answers. However there are people who truly understand what it takes to create positive change in this world. It starts with changing how we live and think.
Capitalism has been the most powerful system to advance human existence but opponents say it can no longer work due to our planet’s limited resources at an unsustainable rate. Professor Richard Wolff, an Economist, is a critic of contemporary capitalism and advocate of alternative economic systems and has written knowledgeably about this subject. Many today believe that capitalism has created a monster; The Alpha Class. They are corporate leaders, wealthy exclusive members of elite schools and clubs, prominent military officers, establishment politicians, all of which hold the highest positions and set society’s political agendas. In 1984 George Orwell called them “Big Brother.” Their goal is to be the dominant group that controls a disproportionate amount of wealth and political power. They are also called the one-percent (1%) since they hold more wealth than the rest of the 99% of the population combined.
In 1938, Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to warn us that the growth of private power could lead to fascism and spoke clearly about monopolies and the concentration of economic power:
“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”
In 2013, Pope Francis also tried to warn us by referring to capitalism as “tyranny” that judged human beings purely by their ability to consume goods. Look around you right now. What do you see that you truly need? I’ve used a host of quotes in this article to show how great minds of our past have left their words behind to give us guidance. Simplicity seems to be the common theme.
There is an eccentric activist named Reverend Billy Talen who heads up a Church called The Church of Stop Shopping. It sounds like a joke. But this man has the right idea for people to follow. He preaches a simple message to resist consumerism in a documentary film called What Would Jesus Buy? It’s a great example of how commercialization has overtaken our society.
Consumerism is one of the biggest problems facing us. If one claims they are Woke As Fuck, then they should choose to stop shopping and throw away their credit cards. Using your money to consume commercial products effectively goes in the pockets of the 1%. If you do not want to support your own slavery then stop.
Of course, there are many things that we need to live in modern society. Try Responsible Shopping. We rely on the mobile phones and refrigerators, and gasoline. It’s all part of modern life. But what about all those gadgets we say we need?
Crowds line the streets at an Apple Store – Getty Images
We lineup around a block to purchase the latest IPhone, games, sneakers. We go to the grocery store and purchase all brand name foods. We flock to the malls to grab new shoes and purses. It’s insane. It’s crazy. We are funding environmental devastation. We are funding habitat destruction, the extinction of wildlife, depletion of air, water and soil. We are funding sweatshops which take advantage of children and workers trapped in a cycle of poverty. We are funding Big Pharma and the American Legislative Exchange Council. We are filling the pockets of the greedy 1%.
If you want to protest, then use your pocketbook. Support products that use ethical production practices. Support small business, farms and neighbors and consume locally. When you see well-known brands like Walmart, Amazon, McDonalds or Starbucks don’t shop there. In the grocery stores if you see Nestle or General Mills, don’t buy them. There are alternatives. Everything that is “well known” is the problem because of their direct link to the corporate elite. Buy local, buy organic, buy Non GMO, eat sustainably and stop eating meat. Support companies that believe in that philosophy. Do you need to buy clothes? Does it have to be Michael Kors? Why do you need the latest brand name jeans? Ego? A desire to fit in? Personal image? Does this matter more than the planet? Do you have a desire to change the world or not? Go to a second hand store, shop Goodwill or find a yard sale. It’s estimated that 15 million tons of textiles are thrown away each year. Have you heard of the saying Repurpose, Recycle, Reuse, Reclaim, Restore, Reduce?
It’s simple to make positive changes to the world and liberate your freedom. If the majority would stop putting money into the pockets of those at the top it would devastate their agenda to build an economy that works only for them. This is not going to fix all the world’s problems but it’s a great place to start. And while great minds work to revise the current capitalistic system, we should work on helping each other. There are simple solutions to complex problems. We need to build from the ground up because you can’t build a great country on a weak foundation. Education is a key element because it has a causal effect on society’s health and well-being and gives people choices, purpose and value. And yes, the 1% want to take that away from us too.
But the consumption of goods is advantageous to the economy, right? And who really wants to stop spending their money on shiny, wonderful new things? This is exactly what the 1% want us to feel. They influence us with their commercials and advertising telling us that this is what you want, this is how you should dress, this is how you should look, this is how you should act. They entertain us with their new products, movies, reality TV shows all to keep us distracted because the motto of the Alpha Class is, “Placate the masses and conquer all.”
Are You Woke As Fuck Yet?