Maybe, to the extend that we are institutionalists, we need to recognize that our vote doesn’t free us from any other obligations between elections. Maybe we need to recognize the ways our commitment to institutions that abuse others have caused abused people to despair and mistrust us. Maybe we need to admit how we were wrong about the nature of our institutions, how we believed they protected and benefitted everyone simply because they protected and benefitted us. Some of us, if we are particularly unthreatened by fascism and particularly benefitted by supremacy, might need to realize that listening and following are more effective anti-fascist actions for us now than speaking and leading.

Or maybe, to the extent that we are anti-institutionalist, we need to recognize that our anti-institutional alignment doesn’t mean we aren’t still culpable to the degree we are, and recognize that if we are taking that alignment primarily to evade culpability, we’re still aligning ourselves spiritually with that institutional supremacy. Maybe we need to recognize that while elections aren’t the only thing, they are still a thing. Maybe we need to recognize that just as voting doesn’t free us from whatever culpability we carry, not voting doesn’t free us, either.

  • It’s not entirely your fault, but “The Thing That’s Coming” is such a uninformative title. This post could benefit from a subtitle that explains what this essay is about.