WAR OR WAR?
By Carolyn Chute
Carolyn Chute is head of the 2nd Maine Militia. Her latest novel is Snowman. -- Ed
The working people and the people who've been totally trashed by this system (the un-working people) want war. They are being squeezed, jammed, slammed, crushed, manipulated, made fools of, worked to death or denied work since the first day they stepped in a school and each day worse and worse. Generations of people, squeezed an increment more every hour. And yet told they should feel lucky because someone in another land or in the past is/was worse off.
They Want War.
Since the enemy is so big, it's invisible; since the true enemy poses as a loving parent or tough guardian it has channeled the warrior instinct of the people away from itself and onto others. You will never win over a squeezed and pissed off people with a campaign of "peace." Many of us have verbalized and seen bold evidence that the entire system is deadly. But to most people, that word "System" is an abstraction. "War on the System??" It isn't something which gives relief. Think about relief. Burps give relief. Orgasms give relief. Chewing up crunchy or meaty foods gives relief. Punching somebody gives relief. But nice little honor student style processes do not give relief to a people readied for war. An oppressed people demand something viscerally satisfying.
War is the only answer.
It is either WAR on the soldiers of the system of institutionalized-assembly-line-ized-robot-ized-desolate-commercialized-mega-mammon-controlled society which occupies our learning centers, our media, our capitols, or WAR on the World (as directed by the soldiers who occupy all these institutions of our lives.)
War or War.
In psychology we call that an avoidance-avoidance situation. And boy have we Avoided it. For good reason. War sucks. Contrary to rumor, I am not a warmonger. I'm not a lover of violence. I have guns and ammo, but I am a very nice lady who has no faith, no beliefs, no ideals. Only a continuous big question, and a deep love for the human critter, an unconditional love. "Radical Forgiveness" the Reverend Billy calls it. But with that kinda love comes some awful truths. God, The Spirit, Mother Nature, Earth, Mars, the Moon, the Universe are not about Love and Peace... Love and Peace are Mammal Desires, Mammal Moments. God and Mother Nature are, as I understand, something far beyond understanding, far more complex than we created-lings will ever imagine.
The real job of revolutionaries is to bring about radical change within the limits of Mother Nature and God and the Spirit and the laws of Gravity and the various other forces. We waste our time when we try to fix Mother Nature. We get stalled on ideals. Ideals are natural too. But when they are made by people who won't recognize Mother Nature's boundaries, she is going to laugh at them, and the thousands of working class people will laugh too. Rage won't go away but it can be re-channeled fairly easily by those with the resources. Rage won't go away with the words "Think Peace." When you are oppressed, Peace means jail or drugs or drunk. Or maybe suicide. You understand being restrained. Or zoned out. But you cannot understand an abstract peace.
There has to be war.
Our population has been many human bombs ready to go off, bombs with faces painted on them...each of us a bomb...ready ...set. Those who offered to light our fuses have won and we feel the great relief of exploded rage. The Peace talkers have lost. Please, even if it is against your personal nature to want war ... and I understand that ...but please, at least look the wicked truth in the eye, face it square on.
Although I see danger in pacifism (in Pacifying), I respect Pacifists and envy them. I envy all people who believe in an ism. I see the gleam in the eyes of all people who have hope. And I'm not trying to bash Pacifists. I am pleading with pacifists, with all active citizens to understand that certain things are in the System's ballpark right now.
Most flagwavers are not people who stare long hours at grey print. Their gifts are in other things, being wonderful and loving parents, making things grow or float or fly, building and repairing, and creating communities as perfectly tight and safe as a hornets nest is to the hornets. Them I also envy. Anyway, they are not reading about government corruption and imperialism. They are staring at TV.
Please consider this idea. Don't use the word "Peace" any more. What you really mean anyway, is justice and fairness and so forth, right? How about instead you say "WAR!!!" We all make flags which say "WAR ON CORPORATE POWER!!!" and underneath in small print "No more special rights to corporations." Or this: "WAR ON THE CORPORATE ALIENS FROM THE COUNTRY OF MEGA-MAMMON!!!" and under that in small print "Cut the Corporate Jugular!!!" These can be small flags and large flags. How about Hunter Orange (a favorite with most Mainers) in red trim with dark green letters and the silhouette of a guy holding a big knife (for cutting the corporate jugular). This way, we do not oppose the average Mainer, but we introduce the idea of the other enemy, the one which is the one which stands in the way of all justice and fairness, that entity which provokes and manipulates all the worst horrors in and to humans everywhere.
Big flags we can hang from our doors. We can even have 52 black stars somewhere on this flag. We run around yelling "WAR!" and pointing at our flags. Some people will ask questions. And then as allies we can chat about our fears in common. There won't be Them versus Us. There will be a certain kind of unity. Our Rage Bond. PLEASE CONSIDER.
Reprinted from Carolyn Chute's 2nd Maine Militia Newsletter, Fringe.
Originally published in New Democracy Newsletter, November 2001 - February 2002.