From This is Primal War.
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
The modern American psyche craves violence because it is an act that expresses our inner rage. History vindicates the criminal. Folk heroes are nearly all bandits, thieves, criminals and miscreants. The true villains of history, and the present, are the law abiding citizens, the lawmakers and those that seek to uphold the laws in the form of policing, judging, imprisoning and punishing the outlaws. If we want to win hearts and minds, we must break the law, the standards and the norms. Violence does not alienate people, laws do.
We live in a profoundly violent society, both in America and in the world at large. To live within the standard American lifestyle is to bare witness to this violence, most times unwittingly, in every aspect of our social lives. We can not take part in market exchange without extreme violence having been part of the means of acquisition, production or movement of goods. It should not go without saying, as it must be repeated until it is truly understood, that our very way of life, including the land we occupy, is founded on a form of violence that is so complete that it is called a genocide. The efficiency to which we are violent only leads us to believe that the violence does not really exist, not as violence so much as progress. If headlines read of a workplace homicide, we shudder in cerebral fear, but of mass extinctions, oil spills, toxic poisoning of water, food and air, genocides and slavery, we react with political anger at best, never really able to comprehend the massively violent action that just took place. We may not digest, because the steady diet of it has numbed our senses, or because we have been alienated enough from the violence, that we can comfortably move on. Many of us have workplaces, and coworkers, who at any moment could let loose the final thread that binds them to placid existence, but we do not always live beside the killing fields of natural gas drilling, or oil fields so large they can be seen from space. Distance makes pacifists of murderers.
The daily atrocities of civilized living have set the tone for complacency and dogmatic control. When things are at the tipping point, at the moment we begin to break, we can be reminded that we do not have it “as bad” as the other, without ever acknowledging that this way of life is holding the sword to “the others” throat. We are silenced, ignored, placated, marginalized and compartmentalized to the ends that we stroll along, allowing the abusers to work in “peace”, away from the rage they have worked so hard to dumb down within us. Make no mistake that this protects us from getting our hands dirty. This flow of violence will not stop, but build like puss under the scab and let loose upon any of us if we fail to recognize it’s source. The greatest trick of politics is to make you believe you are included, and your value then comes from the degree to which you participate. You will be used to meet the ends of the meme. The fervent nationalist does not just come with flags, but also with a dogma of superior non-violence. This could be called the outsourcing of violence, as the violent way of life has never been disrupted, only outsourced.
If we allow the norms set by society to funnel our violence, we will, without fail, attack the vulnerable, the weak, the oppressed, the downtrodden. We will continue to attack women, the indigenous, black people, brown people, animals, the land, and children. And we do, daily. If we take ownership of our violence, we can harness it to attack the oppressors, the abusers, the powerful, the controlling, the dominant, and those on top who have perpetrated the greatest violence against us in history. This explains the massive push by those in privileged positions to vilify the violent dissenter. If the attack on the oppressed were to be reversed, the oppressor is not the only one to feel it’s force, but also those that benefit from the violent stranglehold the oppressor has had on the world will be forced to come into account. Take a few moments to listen to the song “Suggestion” by a band called Fugazi.
“We are all guilty.”
So long as we continue to fall prey to the soothing hand of privilege, and do nothing to halt the death march of progress, we remain culpable for the violence it forces on the world. It is the norms of a society that maintain it. If you are willing to act within the confines of what is acceptable to that society, you will never bring it to it’s knees, but seek to further it’s existence, and strengthen it’s hold. Nothing is more indictable than the act of maintaining oppression under the guise of protesting it.