May 10, 2010

In Which I Am Extremely Rude. Motherfuckers.

Last week, I began writing several essays. The opening paragraph of one of them goes this way:
Our national political conversation is gut-wrenchingly sickening and simultaneously so determinedly moronic -- metaphysically stupid, as it were -- that it's as if irreversible catatonia has spanned an entire continent. I plan to discuss some of the following issues in greater detail, but that assumes I'm able to procure a vast supply of miraculously effective anti-nausea pills. For the time being, here are some notes, together with assorted links.
As I watch the grand pageant of crumbling America -- the last, best hope of astonishingly stupid people who continue to insist on blood-drenched lies that wouldn't fool an honest, healthy seven-year-old for a minute -- and as I consider the unrelenting denial that continues to smother the smallest glimmer of an original thought, even from so-called "dissenters," I feel impelled to speak in a somewhat plainer manner. So much for the fucking PSA.

As the ruling class crushes what little life remains in you, while it simultaneously -- and not coincidentally, you fucking moron -- obliterates life in all forms around the world, you should, at long last, consider giving up some of the nauseatingly obvious lies and myths that you still cling to with such pathetic desperation. Here's a foundational lie to start with, courtesy of Elena Kagan on being nominated to the Supreme Court (which nomination fills her with honor and humility and blahblahfuckingblah):
The court is an extraordinary institution in the work it does and in the work it can do for the American people by advancing the tenets of our Constitution, by upholding the rule of law and by enabling all Americans, regardless of their background or their beliefs, to get a fair hearing and an equal chance at justice.
You still believe this shit, doncha, buddy? C'mon, you do. That's because you're a motherfucking moron.

Oh, you think these people have crapped all over your precious ideal, but it remains an ideal -- and if only people like you ran things, there'd be rainbows and puppy dogs and kitty cats all over the goddamn world, in every teeny tiny little home, in every itsy bitsy backyard, and in every stinkin' rotten little heart. You continue to believe this shit because you are fantastically, remarkably stupid. You're also a gutless coward. Give up the lies, and you'd have to confront some deeply disturbing truths about the nature of humankind and the nature of the State -- any State, anywhere, anytime. The fables that have been drummed into you since you were such an adorable little toddler would fall away, and you would be naked before the howling winds of reality.

Get used to it, motherfucker. That gale's coming for you, ready or not. Better to be prepared: perhaps you'll be able to salvage some small bit of your humanity, and thus be able to help with the solemn task of building something far better on a much stronger foundation.

Almost everyone of all political persuasions writes and talks endlessly about the sanctity of "the law," and the imperishable necessity of "the rule of law." How might I informally express my reaction to perpetual whining of this kind? Perhaps this way: For Christ's sake, will you grow the fuck up? Begin with the marvelous passage here (titled, "A conversation during Civil War"), from which this is only an excerpt:
The truth [is] that there is no law, no Platonic Form out there to which we give paltry representation. There is only power: power in conflict with power, power seeking to drive out power, to establish its dominance, maintain its privilege. Power…acquiesces to law – sometimes – but it never, never bows to it. Power goes along with the law when it is convenient to do so, when it is not too restrictive, when it demands little more than the occasional sacrifice – for the powerful are certainly not above throwing one of their own to the mob when circumstances require. But when it comes to the crisis, power shreds the law like a filthy rag and has its own way. And then you see that the law is nothing but a rag, to be torn and patched and fitted to power's aims. The worst atrocities I have seen or heard of in this war have been committed wholly and completely under the law. This thing I held in such reverence was, is, nothing but a scrap soaked with blood and shit.
I had never read this until Chris Floyd posted it recently. I was grimly amused to see how closely it tracked certain observations I've made myself in recent years, even including the reference to "Platonic Forms." You'll find a remarkably similar passage in, "It's not the sex. It's never the sex." (See my passage beginning: "The law is not some Platonic Form plucked from the skies by the Pure in Heart. Laws are written by men, men who have particular interests, particular constituencies, particular donors, and particular friends.")

In that same essay, I went on to write:
With regard to these issues -- that is to say, with regard to every issue that matters in political terms -- the ruling class (or the elites) and the State are not different things: they are the same thing. As Christopher Layne observes: "Dominant elites do not hijack the state; they are the state." Rules, also known as "laws," are to control and direct the work and lives of those ruled by the elites. They are intentionally designed to protect the elites and to control everyone else. The elites may and will disregard them as they choose.

In exceptionally rare circumstances, a member of the ruling class may set aside the rules in a way that draws just a bit too much attention. As a result, all those "ordinary" people may become a trifle unruly; they might begin to wonder if the system is rigged against them in some basic way. Obviously, it is, but it would hardly do for the filthy masses to begin to grasp this central fact. In these situations, the ruling class will have to make some minor adjustments.


People who are unable or unwilling to grasp the nature of the corporatist-authoritarian-militarist system that is slowly killing us (as it kills millions of people around the globe much more quickly and brutally) continue to hope for prosecutions of some of the major war criminals in the Bush administration. At this late date, such illusions are no longer charming, as Burgess's illusions about the ruling class were. They are astoundingly, staggeringly stupid.

There will never, ever be prosecutions of any major figure for war crimes. Never. The system will not tolerate any serious challenge to its power and prerogatives; it will certainly not tolerate a challenge that would inevitably and necessarily implicate Democrats as well as Republicans.
That last link goes to a piece I wrote in November 2007. Jesus Fucking Christ, you people are exhausting.

The brief excerpts above contain some links. Don't follow them! Shit, I don't need to say that. I look at this site's visitor stats from time to time, and I see that, as always, almost no one ever follows even one link. So why do I continue to include them? Because I'm an extremely rude motherfucker, motherfucker. See, the arguments I'm making about the nature of the State and concerning "the rule of law" are complex ones. They necessarily stretch across a number of separate articles. So when I write about these issues, I include links to related posts -- so that you can see the evidence and arguments upon which I rely and thus decide if those arguments are persuasive. Fucking outrageous!

But I well understand -- oh, sisters and brothers, how well I understand and how sickening that understanding is -- that this is not what the vast majority of readers of political commentary (including blogs) are seeking. What they're after -- what you may likely be after -- is this:
Rarely will you find a carefully presented argument as to why one particular policy is better than another. For the most part, our political writers start with the assumption that their political affiliation and its associated views are unquestionably correct. Their writing consists of emotional signifiers to other members of their political tribe. Persuasion is not the goal; instead, the purpose is the reinforcement and reaffirmation of tribal identity, and reinforcement of the view that one's own tribe is "good," while all opposing tribes are "bad" in various ways and degrees.
Crap, another link. Ignore it. (Oh, you will! You're so fabulously dependable! Mofo.)

Because there's no danger you'll follow any of these links -- I mean, golly, we wouldn't want to wonder whether any of our cherished beliefs might be 100% bullshit and therefore maybe get a little upset -- here are a few more concerning the nature of the State itself. Albert Jay Nock has some wonderfully insightful comments on that topic:
The positive testimony of history is that the State invariably had its origin in conquest and confiscation. No primitive State known to history originated in any other manner. On the negative side, it has been proved beyond peradventure that no primitive State could possibly have had any other origins. Moreover, the sole invariable characteristic of the State is the economic exploitation of one class by another. In this sense, every State known to history is a class-State. Oppenheimer defines the State, in respect of its origin, as an institution "forced on a defeated group by a conquering group, with a view only to systematizing the domination of the conquered by the conquerors, and safeguarding itself against insurrection from within and attack from without. This domination had no other final purpose than the economic exploitation of the conquered group by the victorious group."
In "The State and Full Spectrum Dominance," I offered that excerpt from Nock, and I went on to observe:
Thus, it is not enough to say, as I myself did, that "the State has always formed and will always form alliances with certain individuals and segments of society," although that is also true. The more accurate statement, and a formulation that delves more deeply, is that the State would never have taken form at all, and it would not have been able to impose its rule, but for the existence of a class or group of individuals that crafted the State to their particular ends. Here, I am not concerned with evaluating whether those ends are good or bad (except for the fact that one may believe that domination and exploitation are always bad, as I do), but rather with identifying the basis on which the State is founded.
If you should consider throwing caution to the winds entirely and perhaps rising above submoronic status, you could read Nock's enormously valuable book, Our Enemy, the State. And definitely not so by the way, although almost everyone treats the State as an axiomatic organizing political principle, it was not always so, and there is no reason to think the State will continue to hold the same crucial position in the future. (I note, as I have before, that the State in roughly its current form will almost certainly continue for the rest of your lifetime and perhaps even for a few hundred years more, but in the great span of history, these are comparatively brief periods of time. The world and its possibilities are much vaster -- and much more promising -- than most people ever conceive.) For a detailed and illuminating discussion of this subject, you might read Martin van Creveld's, The Rise and Decline of the State. I'll probably be offering some excerpts from van Creveld in the near future. Oh, Christ, what am I saying? Two books? And these two books?! Fuck, that would be upsetting. Ignore my suggestions entirely. (You will? Jesus, I love you, man.)

Shit, I feel ... better. Ahhhh. And I hope you find me absolutely disgusting, not to mention unutterably condescending and insulting. I deeply hope you hate my guts. Gotta start somewhere, baby.

Next time, we'll talk about war crimes and war criminals, and why almost no one treats those concepts with any degree of seriousness or consistency. I haven't even begun to upset you. That, at least, is my fervent desire.

And just because I'm a rude motherfucker, and also because I'm a dedicated masochist, I'll list here the related essays mentioned above. Do Not Read Even One of These Articles!!!

"It's not the sex. It's never the sex."

Concerning the State, the Law and Show Trials

The State and Full Spectrum Dominance

Dominion Over the World: The Elites Who Rule Us

Psst: While You Were Gibbering, the Ruling Class Rigged the Game and Won Everything

There Is No "Lesser" Evil Now

The Ravages of Tribalism (I absolutely forbid you to follow the links to Part II and Part III of that series. And I hope to offer further installments in that series in the future. Anticipating their publication, I tell you now that you do not have my permission to read them. Ever.)