Is structural violence in actual threat or have we let our governments push us so much so that we truly believe there is nothing better to do than succumb to the options our social-environment will allow? Governments are supposed to serve the peoples best interest not the other way around. We’ve been continuously fed a misconceived concept of governmental interaction that we’re now allowing them to get away with things that are extremely detrimental and not beneficial towards us in any manner. Our concept of government has changed over the years because of continuous pressure from the government itself, media, and money. We think having a couple choices (where there is an inevitable conclusion no matter the choice we pick) is freedom. Freedom is not a set of predetermined and controlled options. Freedom as defined by Merriam-Webster “The absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.”
People are so oblivious and null to the true extent of control and structural violence imposed on us that we say things like “It’s just the way of things”. It’s okay to have beliefs on the different subject matter but there comes a point where lack of knowledge and understanding will reveal why we think the way we do.
A couple people brought up the question last Tuesday along the lines of what research should we trust and vice-versa. I believe I can adequately answer this question as I have extensive personal experience and in doing so I’m wrapping up this blog with the last point that knowledge is power and without it we are weak, easily deceived, and confused as a society. It’s time to take responsibility, take advantage of this great resource called the Internet, and come together as a group to overcome any obscure obstacle that doesn’t serve our best interest not only as a country but as an entire species. So what to trust and not trust when researching? The answer has more clarity with an in person explanation, examples, and a greater word limit but ill start off by saying one: to find/understand trustworthy research you’ll have to become a more critical thinker. This may sound demeaning but it’s just something that a lot of people lack today because our education system does not teach us how to be critical thinkers (even school systems that are “high quality” like the one I came from where our high school is ranked 54th in the nation for overall best performance) and it’s set up this way for a reason but that’s a topic for another time. All it takes to become a better critical thinker is practice. And practice could be reading more scholarly written books/articles, doing more research in general, and after time it will become common sense when pointing out research that has a hidden agenda. This brings me to the second way and that is seeing if the research you’re observing is profit driven. Is the provider apart of a large corporation, and did he/she get donations to say the things he/she said? Some good starting questions and lastly keep an open mind. Fairly self-explanatory but try not to take a side just because it enhances your existing beliefs/biases. For example ignoring the evidence of how bad dairy is for humans because you enjoy dairy products. Hard to do but self-discipline will help along the struggles for seeking truth.
– Jaiden Deal