We can’t give up hope, I often hear. Keep hope alive, the saying goes. If we lose hope, nothing will ever change…or so they believe.
I’m here to say: Fuck hope.
At best, hope is a frivolous privilege.
At its worst, it’s a dangerous cop-out.
In common usage, the verb hope is virtually synonymous with “pray,” while hope as a noun is often interchangeable with “faith.”
In other words, hope does not get results.
Monsanto, for example, doesn’t rely on candlelight vigils or humans standing in the shape of a peace sign. They get busy putting their people into positions of power, writing legislation, and bullying and smashing anyone opposed to their omnicidal agenda. (You might even call it “direct action.”)
Exxon-Mobil doesn’t reserve its opinions for government sanctioned “free speech zones.” All forms of communication and pop culture are inundated with their taxpayer-subsidized propaganda – just as the planet is inundated with their noxious output.
The predators who abduct and traffic women and children, those who normalize and profit mightily off misogynist violence called “porn,” those who restrict reproductive rights, those who institute rape as a military tactic? They create a plan and ruthlessly make it happen (often enabled by their supporters, apologists, and handmaidens). For them and others like them, hope never enters into the equation.
Let’s abandon hope and instead aim for vision, wisdom, strategy, courage, endurance, solidarity, critical thought, and finally: some goddamned results.
Let’s heed the words of Rita Mae Brown: “Never hope more than you work.”