Wednesday, April 30, 2014

beatnik philosophers

this is a poem i wrote while away in Burma, commemorating the vagabond lifestyle, specifically reminiscent of manitou springs, colorado. after staying by the river in manitou again for a couple weeks amidst my travels, i chalked the poem on the sidewalk when i left town as a gift to those i love in the small, crazy town. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

hewn in veins of blood

the law is a social code put into place by those who have property and personal interests to protect. contrary to what those who hold the scepter proclaim, the law is written neither by god, nor by popular opinion. anyone with even a cursory knowledge of capitalist politics understands that the laws are made through a series of money transfers and corporate-friendly loopholes, and are then enforced through again another set of bribes and underhanded deals. it is of course in the interest of the state to promote the idea that the law is established by general consensus, mirroring the universal consciousness of the nation - even among an educated population, the law is seen with a sort of divinity, as though god is personally invested in the law of any given state. yet, when the will of two different states contradict, of course god always seems to jump to the side of whomever has the bigger weapons and deeper pockets. strange, it seems, that god would seek to exert his will through corporate corruption, bourgeois bribes, and devious drones. 
when the issue of borders and immigration arises, there is of course no question as to the justice of the laws which are in place, or the reason which the laws were originally set and still remain in place, because as we've already established, the law is supposedly put in place by god. you can't question god. the question of 'illegals', or undocumented immigrants, is most often settled without ever questioning the purpose of those laws.
"If they want to be in our country, they should do it legally. The law has been established by the Lord, and is in place for a reason."
but please do tell: what reason is there ever to draw lines through a grassy plane, dividing the elm from the oak, the orchard from the pasture? the two farmers standing in a field looking out at their land are suddenly divided by some arbitrary and imaginary line, and from that time on are each subject to the whims of a different set of corporations, politicians, and clubhappy police officers. if one of these farmers then seeks to travel to his neighbor's farm, he is breaking the law of the land, and henceforth the law of god. but what god would interest herself in policies which divide, fragment, and commercialize her earth? if she so desired, she should have drawn the lines herself in veins of black stone, to indicate from the very beginning that she didn't intend for us to dwell together in peace or friendship, but intended instead for us to focus our efforts and natural resources on competition and oppression. 

but the lines which designate borders, drawn arbitrarily down fields and through mountains are instead hewn in veins of blood. what truly separates the first farmer from the second? the first farmer's son, commanded by the state, now murders the nephew of the second farmer in the battlefield. to what gain? in what interest? both had fought for their respective nation because they were ordered to by their divinely-inspired government. never mind that god for some reason unknown sent only the poor and uneducated to fight. never mind that he pitted them against each other. "Nay," both sides assure themselves, "the Lord is on our side."
but if one of our farmers seeks to cross the invisible border, she is now in conflict with the interest of nationalism (read: racism), and has thus been stripped of her right to place her feet upon the earth. so if an agent of the state seeks to apprehend her, he is more than justified in doing so. what right has she to tread upon the land of a foreign tyrant? does she, in her illiterate ignorance, not understand that capitalists have a vested interest in the division of states? if they permit free tread, next it will be free trade. god forbid. if the state cannot account for each human within it's blood-drawn borders, how can it fully exercise it's right, it's duty to oppress and extort? 
if the mexican enters the land of the white, how can the white government ensure white supremacy? there must be documentation for immigrants, in order to maintain the present order of oppression. whites should be oppressed by their government on an appropriate scale meant for whites. but mexicans must not be oppressed on the scale of white oppression, unless they are willing to give up their own culture and crawl like a rat through the maze of submission to prove that they acknowledge white superiority. only then may the mexican be allowed to live in the white's land and be oppressed under the white code of oppression.
the white state doesn't ask much of them. the state merely asks that they acknowledge white cultural superiority, before they can live in our land. in fact, in our magnanimity, we allow a selection of people from any race. humans from around the world are allowed to live upon our land and submit themselves to the local exploitation of our government, as long as they agree to place the yoke of western superiority upon their brown shoulders. 
under the current order, the american state is hard-pressed to ward off foreign invasion of culture and capital. there was even a case within the last few years that, amongst the indiscriminate killings instigated by remote control toy killer airplanes, an american citizen was targeted and killed. of course, he was not white-skinned, and not in the country at the time. but he, as a citizen, was an honorary white. nevertheless, the state deemed it necessary to kill him because he allegedly had friends who didn't approve of america's attempts at global domination. we showed them. but what a shame, because he was a citizen.
there is no shame in the other thousands killed by these killer toy airplanes, or the millions killed in the massacres in vietnam, cambodia, afghanistan, indonesia, or even the brown-skinned people who originally inhabited american soil. not shame, but national pride is in order for such discriminate killings. such instances are unavoidable though, and not in any way contrary to the stated ideal. i don't in any way mean to imply that the white government is opposed to oppressing whites. i only mean to say that there is an essential order which must be adhered to. 
in our post-modern society, we have moved past the prejudices of our past. a black man or a hispanic woman can now have the same opportunities that in the past were only afforded to white males. sex and skin color can be somewhat overlooked now, for it is truly the heart that matters. anyone who has proven to have surrendered their own culture or gender in favor of white culture and a man's position, is warmly embraced into the western culture as an honorary white.
in the hierarchy of the state, there are several factors determining a human's position. first, of course, is their humanity. this qualification immediately sets them as intrinsically far higher than any of the feral lower life forms - animals, forests, river systems, death row inmates, etc. second, is that they have adopted the ideal of westernism and forsaken their own cultures and values. third, and of course closely related to the second, is that they have acquired significant capital. the fourth is the willingness to use that capital and position to oppress others. even if one meets all the former criteria, if they are not willing to accept the position offered them and partake in the systems of oppression, the former are all made void. the fifth, sixth, seventh, and all the way down, aren't as strictly arranged, but still play an important part in the hierarchy of oppression. 
it should be noted that the forces which promote such oppressive systems and ideologies are rarely evil overlords or people with dark makeup, black trenchcoats, and menacing smiles. It should further be noted that those with dark makeup, black trenchcoats, and menacing smiles, are typically those on the bottom of the hierarchy; indeed it is their bones capitalism is built upon. the thieves, drug-addicts, prostitutes, and terrorists may in fact be some of the less-corrupted souls left among the masses of asses. 
i leave you now with the following questions. and may your search for the answers involve much sweat and many tears. and potentially some handcuffs.

what place does the state have in regulating which farmer may cross which blood-hewn boundary? 

what place does the state have sacrificing the blood of the poor in order to secure it's own interests? 

how can a group of rich, corrupt, dishonest, and removed men create systems which promote equality?

why would they want to?

what interest do you have in recognizing oppressive laws (such as immigration laws)?

does god determine the political destiny of a nation?

why then, does he choose the wealthy, sociopathic, and violent to lead?

what is the role of an honest and just person living in a society of oppression and domination?

what are you going to do about it?

"In a society that imprisons unjustly, the only place for an honest person is in prison." 
- Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, April 10, 2014

david, goliath, and the state

ask any reasoning, well-meaning person, "do you do the right thing because the state instructs you to do so, or of your own accord? do you know the right thing because of something inside of yourself, or because some professional crooks who profit from violent coercion told you what is right? who could have a more relevant and understanding opinion on what is the most right thing for you, if not yourself?"

"yes," they may say, "but i cannot trust that all others will listen to that voice of truth. in fact the very world outside my door bears witness that the masses of humanity don't listen to that voice. for that reason, then, we have the state." the implication then would be that the most effective way to uphold the force of truth and morality is to use force. that is a foolish assertion though, as anyone who witnesses the modern world and has half a wit understands that the one whose will triumphs is simply the one with bigger muscles and better technique.

let's look at the story of david and goliath. the story gives a picture of someone who initially would appear to have only minute chance of winning; however, he is on the side of morality, the side of god. the story suggests that he won against the evil goliath because he was the moral party, and further suggests that although the immoral may seem to triumph for a time, the moral and right party will always come out on top.

looking at the story again however, we can see that david, although small in stature, had at least average intelligence. when he found himself face to face with a giant, he thus did not engage in hand-to-hand combat, but employed a tactic he knew he had the upper-hand in. that is, ranged weaponry. he won because of his skill and his sensibility, not because of his morality.

which raises the question: which party truly stood in the moral ground on that famous day? the israelites or the philistines? surely, the israelites were certain that they were in the right and that their enemy was in the wrong. but what did the philistines say? did they not also believe that they were in the right and that the israelites were evil? looking back, it is dec almost unanimously that david was the moral party, because he was the winner. and as an old burmese proverb says, the winners get to write history.

the question that arises is, what if goliath, in addition to his enormous size, had enough wit to counter david's methods? what if goliath ended up blocking the stone with his shield and charging david, and the story ended with david's head impaled on a stick in the midst of a bloody battleground? well, then the story would go that the philistines were chosen by god to bring goodness to the earth by destroying the evil israelites. the question of who was in the right then is not at all objective, but is determined by brains and mostly braun.

the state, by definition, is always the greatest aggressor and the most frequent victor. it is not determined by any god or moral code, but by the iron fist. if the people rebel, they are first considered to be the immoral disruptors. but in the case that they win their struggle against the current order, their ideals are compromised, incorporated into the entity of the state, and become the new standard for morality.

what then does morality mean? within the current order, it means nothing more than 'champion', 'most oppressive', 'most gifted in manipulation and coercion', 'wealthiest'.

so you say that the state is necessary because your opinion of what is right often differs from others'? the question of differing morality is indeed a very important question that should be asked, thoughtfully discussed, and it should be determined how to give freedom to every individual though they may differ in opinion. however, will the force of the state, the aggression of the aggressor, ever contribute to the discovery of the greater good? alas, there is no way it ever will.

we must do what we know is right from within ourselves. others must do what they know is right from within their selves. there will still be problems, many of them. there will still be conflicts, often. but, at least we will be working through these conflicts in constructive ways rather than merely pushing the moral opinions of the stronger upon the weaker by use of coercion and violence.

what is life but conflict? contrary forces are continually acting against each other in nature, comprising all we've ever known as life. conflict is nothing to shirk from. oppression, domination - these are the things we need avoid.

the state has nothing to offer us but blood. let us offer it our fire.