Today is the 20th year anniversary of 9/11. I don’t intend on talking so much about the exact occurrence and what happened that day, which has been done, many, many times, and I have nothing novel to offer on that account. The ramifications and what it has revealed about people are far more significant to me than the event itself. Essentially, the event was a blip in what was to follow. While I was old enough to remember the occurrence itself and the immediate aftermath, I didn’t understand the significance or much about the event itself at the time. Hell, I would say most people still don’t understand it well, and likely never will, with the exception of the possible leaking of a multitude of classified documents. I speak from an extraneous perspective, which I should not as people who live in the US generally have much stronger feelings about that event.
I also don’t have a particular memory associated with that, even if I do recall seeing video of the event playing on TV over and over with me not understanding. “What were you doing on 9/11?” Many people have particular moments burned into their minds about the occasion. I was likely in school at the time. I don’t recall any sort of interruption in class, and it would be rather strange to disrupt a kindergartener’s class for that purpose, especially if they are not even in the country affected. I would have to ask my parents to be certain, as it is not something that stuck with me.
I have heard some people talk about life “pre-9/11” in passing, as of course, the implications of it stretched far beyond its borders. Since I was rather young, I don’t have an extensive history to compare to. I have been to Ground Zero, the museum there, and noticed that slightly eerie silence in that area. I would say that is the only place on earth there is an honest reminder of this event that lives on, that isn’t entirely based around a political agenda or manipulation.
Swiftly after 9/11, the United States had a moment where the country as a whole rallied and became very united in purpose, I am sure that is the most it will be ever again. What this showed is that people are easy to manipulate and persuade if you give them an emotional reason to tactically approve of what you will do next. Now, the United States is far less united on many accounts. However, the relatively simple manipulation and persuasion of others remains, and has become even more successful. E.g. If one does not trust a vaccine enough to take it, which can be rational by itself, it is not uncommon that some of those people assume another drug is much more trustworthy and better for their health out of hand, out of a desperate contrarianism that another group has attempted to convince them of.
You do not automatically become closer to the truth simply because those you oppose are wrong. The terms “Information” and “disinformation” are two sides of the coin: propaganda is not truth, even if its dressed up in a fashion that excites you. Indeed, “information” is the politically correct term for “propaganda”, which has fallen out of favour post-WWII.
You can see the ignorant way most people commonly talk about things on a day-to-day business, and there too many examples to list, though I will provide one. The people with the boots on their neck are all “fascists”, “Nazis” and “communists”, rather than a different breed entirely; one that is not so much convinced in the righteousness of their social or economic ideologies, so much as what enables them to shackle others. Even with upward mobility, and with the possibility for one to attain celebrity status, there is still a great pressure to conform or be muzzled.
The question of division and unity aside, it is in their best interest for others to have a collective sort of slavery of the spirit. There is no one individual controlling everything behind the scenes, and any sort of oligarchy remains accountable to itself, not caring for the preservation of their own soul, if it even has one left. Everyone is disposable, even individual higher-ups in the system can be sacrificed and thrown to the wolves should the need arise. This may sound very abstract to some. Because the soul is not something that is quantifiable, one may think that is irrelevant, or that it does not exist. There is great spiritual suffering going on en masse, and only the most hardline materialists would reject this as a concept, even as they themselves suffer.
I see how people have been suffering greatly in unprecedented ways after this event and what came after, although the event itself had a limited direct impact on their lives, if at all. I don’t believe there was a golden era right before 9/11, the fake corporate utopia, same as I don’t believe there to be a golden era right before COVID. Merely, it accelerated fractures, and instituted policies and laws that would have happened sooner or later. It can be hard to picture this without a catalyst, but the ideas behind it did not sprout overnight.
9/11 has become sort of a mythic occurrence moreso than a real event in the minds of many people. To me, the mythos surrounding it has become much grander. It can be used to justify anything and everything in any context, by anyone. It is something people throw out there, without applying context to it, rather than anything that has any meaning. It can be used to justify hostility towards particular groups, welcomeness to particular groups, why would should be less diverse, more diverse, and so on. In a similar fashion, people talk about certain events over 50, 80 years ago. Even then, I think those older events are realer to some than 9/11 is with its status as almost a fable. Understanding history is important, but it is often used as a pretext as being “in the past” and its ramifications having become irrelevant, to avoid discussing any contemporary consequences from it.
You certainly have heard politicians say, “We must remember the lives lost and this occasion, our freedom blablabla” while offering nothing of substance. They are offering NOTHING meaningful. All it is a pretext to look solemn and say empty words tangentially connected to the event, with no real insight or what can be taken away from this significance of an event. Many others, not just politicians, treat it like an Aesop’s Fable, without any sort of lesson learned or meaningful direction to move forward in. You would think they would be able to look back on this with real perspective after two decades, but that is not the case. It largely has been used to browbeat all kinds of people that have had nothing to do with it, within their own country and without. More specifically it has involved lashing out maliciously and ineffectually within and without, creating a domino effect of harm, contradictions, and callous disregard. To the people making these decisions, any fallout exists independent from the intended actions themselves.
Even the “War on Terror” itself became something surreal and abstract to anyone not immediately involved in it, and I know that more than a few people directly involved in it have felt their involvement in it differed far from any stated objective. There was a memoryholing of the purpose of the US’s involvement in Afghanistan. It was a flimsy one at best at the time, as the recently reinstated Taliban had offered to cooperate on the basis of evidence if they were to hand over Osama bin Laden in 2001, which the US rejected as non-negotiable. Any sort of pretext to invade Afghanistan had ended for good in 2011 with the death of Osama (who was then in Pakistan). Now, all the media seemed talk with the withdrawal of the war about is women’s rights and social progress in Afghanistan as an excuse to stay.
“Oh no, we left our guns behind and gave them to guys we were fighting.” “These guys don’t like us because we deposed them and caused the country a ton of problems, we should stay there and keep killing them once in a while until they cut it out.” It is time to bite the bullet and suck up your failures. In Iraq, also invaded based on a complete lie in a different context, but also based off the principles of the “War on Terror”, the initial purpose has also been buried and hardly discussed.
So, not only 9/11 itself, but the years following it slowly became a blur, where authorities, and people below them denied or forgot certain events really happened, both during and after it. Whatever the significance of 9/11 was initially, it is now spoken of as a legendary event. It is an ad libbed story, which anyone can fill in the blanks at their own convenience, running circles around the truth of it, but never taking a step closer.
The post-9/11 world is one of deceit, rejection of truth and coercion. There is almost no admission of wrongdoing – it is easier to apologize for and blame something on the long departed - or attempt at caution at any sort of institutional level or policymaking. Internationally, nationally, locally, demographically, medically, socially, economically, it has had effects on all levels of society. People become accepting of comfortable lies, and reject staring the ugly creature of honesty in its face. It is a world of progress, but not one that progresses to anything positive. It is a runaway train, and passengers who voice their discontent and complain about what has happened and what is happening are not given the mercy of being kicked off the train, and instead are dragged along the back of the train until they quit complaining, or remain there perpetually.