People who thought they had clarity this time last year are confused again this year.

It’s not peoples’ fault they are confused about politics, when politics is the expression of class, gender, and imperial power. The entire apparatus of civil society bends toward the singular purpose of rendering these sources of social power either invisible or natural.

In either case, invisibility or naturalization puts these sources of power beyond our intervention.

Either there is no such thing as class power, or gendered power, or imperial power (because it is invisible), or those forms of power exist, but they are the result of the immutable laws of nature.

In extremis, those who hold that power will even accuse the subjugated of abusing them.

Back in my special operations life, we had the standard response tactic for embarrassing revelations: Admit nothing. Deny Everything. Make counter-accusations.

So it is entirely possible that nothing I am about to propose will make sense to enough people to make a difference. I don’t pretend that I, or anyone else proposing a politics of real resistance, is yet standing before an audience sufficiently traumatized by the depredations of this system to embrace the spirit of actual resistance.

People didn’t know any better in 2004, and there is no reason – aside from the fact that things have gotten considerably worse – that people know any better now. After all, churches, and schools, and advertisers, and the press, and the think-tanks, and the NGOs… they have been plucking away at our heads since birth in one manner or another, and nowadays with the most sophisticated brainwashing technologies in history.

Nonetheless, I am going to run this up the proverbial flagpole, and see if anyone salutes.

Here is my grimmest prediction for the coming year.

The Bush administration will continue to occupy Iraq, and perhaps even attempt to switch sides – trying to team up with Sunni factions to cut the throats of their former allies, whose pro-Iranian politics has put the neocons into a terrible bind. In any case, they haven’t the slightest intention of giving up their Iraq bases, which were the purpose of this war from the outset.

Democrats will – with precious few exceptions – equivocate and evade on Iraq and try to wangle other Bush administration embarrassments into a 2006 election sweep.

But the Republicans have figured the Democrats out, and the Republicans have made up their minds to fight for a one-party state, and they will take everything the Democrats do and say and beat the living shit out of them with it – as the Democrats deserve. Chalk one for the Republicans for at least being decisive.

Kerry couldn’t attack Bush on the most important issue in the country, the war, because he supported the war. Now most of these mealy-mouthed dickheads are stuck with the REPUBLICAN INCOMPETENCE argument. Republicans are not fighting the war well enough… but these same dickheaded Dems are shitting screw worms right now because after they cheer-led the Arab-bashing, kill kill kill war hysteria at its apogee, they are left floundering in the Iraq war perigee three years later.

Let’s don’t talk about that bad war, they are thinking. Let’s make a lot of noise about Abramoff and Scooter Libby.

Democrats are also now silent in the face of Katrina’s aftermath – gosh, everything must be okay now – because they are as deeply in the pockets of the gentrifying developers as any white-nationalist Republican. The Democrats support free-trade agreements, the criminal injustice system, weapons contractors… you name it, they like it. Who do people think finance their political campaigns?

Oh, they will rail to the heavens about REPUBLICAN INCOMPETENCE around Katrina, and then they’ll support the rich white fucks who roll in to gentrify New Orleans into a Disneyfied Negro Theme Park that actual Black folk can no longer afford to live in.

Anti-war “progressives” will continue to identify this war with Bush and his cronies, and selectively ignore the fact of overwhelming Democratic complicity and cowardice on the war.

They will excoriate those of us who attack Democrats, and as the 2006 election draws nigh, they will excoriate us more and more. “Bloody splitters…” like a Monty Python skit.

These same faint-hearted clingers will mobilize among an increasingly apathetic and disheartened population that intuits the fixed game. They will go to the polls in November and vote lesser-evil Democrat. And they will lose.

The Republicans will use every dirty trick in the book, use the redistricting that is already a fait accompli, as well as out-organize the Democrats, and at the end of 2006, we will be closer to a one-party state… the war will continue… people will continue to die… and these progressives will go back home, nurse their sanctimony, and sputter helplessly while they go back to being good, obedient imperial citizens.

It’s funny to me that these palpitating progressives will scoff at the stupidity of the 40% of the population that still believes Saddam had something to do with 9-11, when the evidence that Democrats (1) supported and still support the war, (2) refuse to deal with the war, (3) are spineless cowards in the face of Republican criminality, and (4) will get their asses handed to them again in 2006, is just as overwhelming.

There is a way to avoid this, of course, but it is a bold way, and perhaps a way for which we as a society are not yet prepared. Maybe the pain is not great enough yet.

Nonetheless, I’m going to hook it to that lanyard and run it up the pole, upside down perhaps, not merely a flag, but the universal distress signal. Because my prediction, should it come to pass, will make what is inevitably going to get worse… much worse.

Now here is the big caveat. What I am about to propose is crossing some lines that we can’t step back across. It’s a two-step solution.

Step One: Bury the corpse of the Democratic Party.
Step Two: Make a corpse of the Republican Party.

This requires some chutzpah, and many won’t be up for it. It means undermining the Democrats in 2006 over the question of the war.

There are two parties, and they are both parties of the rich. The rest of us at this point have ZERO political independence from the parties of the rich. Anyone who thinks they can reform the Democratic Party from the inside, call me. I have a time-share to sell you in Pyongyang. It’s been tried forever, and it has NEVER worked. That could be because it can’t work. A party of the rich is by definition… of the rich. The rich are rich because other people are poor. The rich stay rich by making other people poor. Then they hire us to “clean their rooms, drive their cabs, and suck their cocks,” as it was put in Dirty Pretty Things.

But there is a trick to this. Many people say if we let the Republicans have it all, they are very dangerous. And whether or not this cramps up facile leftists, it is also very, very true. Republicans are very dangerous. Republicans are white supremacists. They are misogynists, more so than most Democrats even. There are quite a few of them that would resurrect Mussolini given half a chance and put his ass in the White House.

So we have to commit to step two in order to have step one make any sense.

That’s why I say we are crossing the line.

Step two is to massively and openly delegitimate, disobey, and disrupt the Republicans. I’m not talking metaphorically here. It means rebellion. It means taking on the exciting but very scary task of creating and sustaining a political crisis, like the Bolivians just did, that threatens to cause a government to fall.

This is where the Greens and the Labor Party and the New Party and all these other non-starters went awry. They put the cart before the horse.

They tried to create an alternative before there was an open space for it. They wanted to talk people into coming to their itty-bitty house when everyone was already inside two great big houses. What has to be done is tear the two big houses down, and start building something else out of the leftover material.

Quit being so goddamned afraid of a couple of nights outside.

Like I said, I don’t know if enough people are up for this now.

They will be eventually, because what we are watching right now is the rearrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic. But some people love denial above all other things, because we are so afraid. Living stupid, alienated, well-fed, and entertained for a couple of generations will make you afraid.

Anyone my age or older remembers when we had a culture of resistance, no matter how unfocused. We flipped off authority, and we tried new shit, and we questioned everything. Our kids now are – with some very hopeful exceptions – such hopeless conformists that it makes me sad for them. There was a period when people reveled in the idea of tearing the master’s house down, even if we lived in it.

So pretty soon now, some of us old non-conformists, along with some new ones, are going to try one little thing.

We think it is immoral… deeply creepily disgustingly immoral, for politicians to dither around while people are being slaughtered in the war, or talking about incompetence in the Gulf States while they secretly support the gentrifying, land-grabbing pieces of rich shit who are perched around New Orleans like turkey vultures.

So we are going to do something.

Not much, and we don’t know if it will empower others to go the next step, that is, tell the same politicians who are allergic to any issue except their careers that they can go straight to hell, and we’ll fight the proto-fascists in the street.

We outnumber them and their cops about 10,000 to one.

Ain’t math marvelous?

Democrats, don’t you tell us wait. Because your house is not being bulldozed in New Orleans, and you have not been sent to war, and you are not waiting to see if an “exit strategy” turns up before your loved one is shipped through Dover in a flag-draped box.

Any Democrat who says we have to wait to leave Iraq until… whatever. Fuck you!

Did you get that? Fuck you! You put your sorry, pus-gutted ass on an airplane to Baghdad and take my son’s or someone else’s place while you figure out your “exit strategies.” And don’t tell me you are fighting Republicans for me. You haven’t done jack shit! I don’t need you to fight Republicans. I can withhold my taxes, or block the streets, or spit on them in their offices. I can slap the dog shit out of one Republican elected official and accomplish more against them than you have in your whole sorry fucking career.

That’s what some of us think. We ain’t waitin’ for Godot, and we ain’t waitin’ for you.


Stan Goff is the author of “Hideous Dream: A Soldier’s Memoir of the US Invasion of Haiti” (Soft Skull Press, 2000), “Full Spectrum Disorder” (Soft Skull Press, 2003) and “Sex & War” which will be released approximately December 2005. He is retired from the United States Army. His blog is at www.stangoff.com.

 


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