(Originally posted at The Conjure House)
Imagine for a moment you’re at a bar and there’s an immigrant in front of you.
He’s quiet, but not antisocial, casually dressed but not sloppy. He seems just like anybody else except he isn’t. What you don’t know is he’s been working as an aviation programs engineer and even helped design fly-by-wire planes, in which manual controls are entirely replaced by computers. Smart guy, very talented, “high energy” as Il Duce might say; a success story from India and right out of American mythology.
Now, behind him, a new sound; old, fearful, you hear a hellish cry: “GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY!”
Who the fuck was that? There appears to be a bit of a scuffle in the back, some guy hassling the immigrant you were just studying, but the bar manager seems to take care of it. The man, who appears to be just some old white dude, looks pissed. There’s something about him, but you can’t seem to place it. The man leaves, but in a few minutes comes back through the door. Perhaps he left something?
Maybe you’re at a protest this time, holding your sign and feeling the electric current of hundreds of other bodies joined in solidarity. A man emerges from the crowd, egging you on to hit him. He spits at you like a diseased raccoon and curses like a fucking sailor. Maybe he’s drunk you figure, or at least too high to really know what’s going on. Someone else pushes him away.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. We’re not even a full year into the reign of a new emperor and already the political climate has become practically poisonous, a vile and noxious cloud not only choking the most at risk in our communities but the people seeking to defend them. People have called for Antifa to be declared a terrorist organization; state governments are writing bills that allow protesters to be run over and have their property stolen from them.
It’s a situation not unlike the one faced by French Illegalists at the turn of the century:
“Against us, all arms are good; we are in an enemy camp, surrounded, harassed. The bosses, judges, soldiers, cops unite to bring us down.”
To be a thinking person in this country of barbarians is to be a criminal and with ever-increasing fervor the tribes loyal to the new Emperor aim to make war upon us. There are millions of people sitting in front of televisions as I type these words that would see nothing wrong with a few hundred lives sacrificed every year to “keep people in line” and you can be sure that folks like you and I will be among them. The cops don’t stop them, they exchange racist texts with them; they console men who kill unarmed black children and tell them what they did was just.
To be an Anarchist, a Communist, an Anti-Capitalist or Intersectional Insurgent is to be potentially marked for death. This is not a metaphor. This is real life.
If you roamed the streets of Syria with nothing but a baseball bat you’d be thought to be suicidal; if your “war against the State” consisted of nothing but flames and gasoline every fire station in the country would be well enough equipped to handle even your most daring of raids.
The people who overwhelmingly support the policies and politicians that want to see you stuffed into a coffin are getting rather shooty as of late. I ask a simple question: do you have the tools to protect not only yourself but the people you care about?
The Great Misfortune
Let’s not kid ourselves: “radicals” are about as far from “revolutionaries” as turkeys are from the T-rex. Somewhere along the line the Left stopped being dangerous and almost went extinct. After the IWW was broken in the 30’s and Labor’s power was smashed, after the ALF-CIO denounced communists and dropping acid was a stand in for revolution, the only place you could find the same current that scared the living piss out of emperors and presidents became smoke-filled college dorms or momentary marches down half-way empty streets. In essence the Left’s ideas about human liberation from the chains of capital were so heavily hunted in the physical world it ran back into our heads; like Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers the Left was thought to be extinct, the sight of a Hammer and Sickle more like the discovery of a dinosaur bone that any kind of political statement.
But times ain’t what they used to be.
Enraged by Trump’s actions and betrayed by the Democrats, the specter of radicalism has returned like an angry ghost hellbent on revenge. Millennials are tired of capitalism yet Bernie’s “political revolution” failed to deliver on anything worthwhile. Non-violence has shown itself as only a great way to get arrested.
Yes, the militant Left seems to be emerging from the ground like cicadas in the Florida summer, hisses and noises slowly building to an unshakable chorus. Signs from the previous generation still remain on the still wet wings of these new militants however. Black Bloc is back but we’re still battling over protests, people joined arm in arm around buildings are generally just a nuisance and not a blockade.
The Anarchists and Militants of all stripes have become neutered, putting us in a dangerous predicament not faced in other countries. Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to be members of a gun-owning household and about six-in-ten gun household members (64%) say they “often feel proud to be American”; roughly half of all the guns in this country are possessed by just 3 percent of American adults; many of the cheapest firearms to produce (ones with open bolt actions) are specifically banned under the NFA and the Hughes Amendment, effectively keeping self-protection out of the hands of the working class.
This is not Europe, this is the United States of fucking America, a morose fiefdom where people can walk into a goddamned Starbucks with 30 rounds of armor-piercing bullets.
What this amounts to is a tangled web of dark implications too dire to think about, a hidden threat of wealthy and well-to-do patriots fully armed and very capable of destroying any gains a revolutionary movement might make in a matter days. They can afford to laugh at riots because they know when the chips are down any effective means of self-defense are firmly in the hands of one class and one ideology.
There is no specter haunting any continent besides the FAI and even then only in small spontaneous camps. Cops and Nazis alike(but I repeat myself) have stormed protests and proceeded to beat the shit out of whoever they like because they pose no threat to the ones doing the beating. Police still want to go home at the end of the day; the minute they are faced with somebody more than capable of inflicting even worse harm they can commit they suddenly become negotiators and peacemakers. Recall the inbreds at the Malthur Wildlife Reserve were treated like honorable enemies because they had fully automatic weapons that could slice a pig up in a matter of seconds.
Recall also they were all aquitted by juries and served almost no jail time.
Compare that with….