The word rings uncomfortably.
A vice of inaction for those able to act. An abdication of a duty, a dereliction of all that is inherent in a position of ability.
It isn’t an action, but creates collateral actions and schema: rationalization, volitional amnesia, agnostic safety, and anonymity.
Complicity is easy and pervasive, in the workplace, in relationships, in unquestioning belief to the right, left, and center of our outward and inner worlds. We become compliant adherents to our own narratives, or we adopt others’.
Complicity closes doors to compromise in its creation of confederacy. Stubbornness, at least, chooses a side, right or wrong, and has a face – something to believe or refute.
Complicity creates strength out of a collective of weaknesses or disinterest, summing and multiplying the power of negative space – harnessing muted ability through its absense, growing in its vacuum. It delivers that power to the loud, the bold, the malevolent and magnanimous benefactors, the stewards of a status quo, in exchange for “just enough” to keep the herd behind the fence. Complicity is the opiate, caffeine, television, and a bottle of beer.
Complicity costs, but across the masses, the price of a few injustices is amortized; except for those at the margins, where the bill actually comes due. It is a tax for kept lawns and polite conversation. For safe streets, speed limits, and security.
It is a current and an undertow.