Ask Not on Whose Face the Boot Stamps
Op-ed by Dan Sanchez
Originally published January 11, 2016
(ANTIMEDIA) Imagine a serf is beaten by his master, who then says the beating was requested by a slave over some alleged transgression. Seeking vengeance, the beaten serf requests that the slave be beaten in return for his own misdeeds. The master obliges, telling the slave that his beating was requested by the serf. The slave then retaliates likewise. The slave and the serf then become locked in a proxy war with each other, through the medium of their master. They are so preoccupied with their enmity toward each other, they never even consider uniting against their true and common enemy. To the contrary, each becomes positively devoted to his master, as his chief champion against his perceived enemy. “If only I could finally get the master fully and finally on my side, then everything would be great!”
That is how the modern State divides and rules. Recent developments have shown how successful the American government has been in this regard.
A spokesman for the activists now occupying the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is also an anti-Muslim activist. He is willing to put his neck on the line for the sake of ranchers beset by government persecution. Yet he petitions his government masters to persecute Muslims. Some of his conservative fellow occupiers may obstinately defend brutal cops and their license to persecute and even kill civilians, especially blacks.
Meanwhile, progressives are petitioning their masters to rain down drone fire on the “domestic terrorists” for daring to occupy government “property” in protest over a Federal land grab (click here for the full story). Yet many of these same progressives oppose the drone bombing of Muslims abroad, support civil disobedience and the occupation of public space (so long as it’s for Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter), and oppose Israeli land grabs in occupied Palestine (often perpetrated under environmentalist pretexts).
Both sides seem entirely insensible to cognitive dissonance.
Conservatives are oblivious to the fact that the Federales threatening their gun rights, seizing their land, and regulating their livelihood into oblivion are doing all those things using the military gear originally produced for wars that conservatives supported and the “national security” legal and bureaucratic apparatus that conservatives helped build up.
And progressives look to Federal agencies to disarm and crush their politico-cultural enemies, as well as rein in the local cops who have declared open season on people of color. Yet it is those same Feds who have militarized police forces across the country. And if you think cops are unaccountable now, just wait until they are even further Federalized. Their current “qualified immunity” is as nothing compared to the impervious “sovereign immunity” of Federal agents. Moreover, gun restrictions, which progressives are so fond of, are among the most common pretexts cops use to torment, fine, and incarcerate blacks.
Ask not on whose face the boot stamps. The boot stamps on thine.
This is exactly how the State likes it. It wants its subjects at each other’s throats. The State’s worst nightmare is all of its varied victims recognizing it as their common enemy, and joining in solidarity against it.
Imagine how powerful it would have been for cowboys and Tea Party types to have marched in Ferguson, Missouri, or for OWS and BLM activists to have marched in Burns, Oregon.
Such an alliance would be powerful enough to truly secure our property from land-, money-, and gun-grabbers and our sons from the modern-day slave catchers for the prison industrial complex.
But such solidarity is only possible once we all recognize that the grabbers and the catchers are all part of the same State apparatus, which is our common enemy. Only then will we stop jostling for a spot at the controls of that machine in order to wield it against each other, and instead join together to dismantle the apparatus of mutual oppression itself.
This article (What the Left and Right Both Get Wrong About the Oregon Militia Standoff) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Dan Sanchez and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Sanchez began contributing to Anti-Media as an independent journalist in August of 2015. His topics of interest include anti-imperialism, economic education, libertarian philosophy, peaceful parenting, and police accountability. He currently resides in Auburn, Alabama.
Originally published at theantimedia.org on January 11, 2016.