The same refrain gets old after being repeated, like it has been, so many times. I am talking about every time Trump actually starts talking sense when it comes to America’s foreign policy; then, within days, some false flag attack (complete with pictures and videos of suffering children) brings tears to the Donald’s eyes, and all sense is thrown out the window in favor of a rash of violent rhetoric – and that generally leads to “the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air” and just in case you were wondering who is doing the aggressing, through the night, it is our flag that is there.
Yeah, I am not a fan of our national anthem, though it is a fitting anthem for a country which has been at war for 93% of its existence. As Randolph Bourne so aptly put it, “War is the health of the State.” And as every US president has stated in his “State of the Union” address, the State is alive and well. Too alive and well for my liking. Since, as I am typing this, war with Syria seems imminent.
Wait! Who am I kidding? War with Syria isn’t just imminent, it has been ongoing for a number of years now. All the president is trying to do with his tweets is justify further escalation of the war. If there is one thing we can always count on, Washington wants to escalate war somewhere and somehow.
And what are we going to do about it? Call Washington? Beg our president, our representatives, not to do it? Seems futile. They don’t represent us. They represent only those who profit from war.
So, am I saying we should do nothing? I always get accused of this. But, I would argue my doing nothing is actually doing something quite productive. Instead of pleading with the State to turn from its wicked ways (which it can’t possibly do, and still thrive), let’s all double our efforts to make the State more and more irrelevant to our lives.
This will involve some civil disobedience. And I don’t mean protests which devolve into riots, looting, arson, and other assorted violence. What I mean is living your life as if the State already didn’t exist. Because, quite honestly, I can’t think of a faster way to hasten its extinction.
What I am, of course, talking about is what individuals can do about States who want endless war. We can choose not to participate. Refuse to be a soldier. Avoid paying taxes which will inevitably go to fund it. Yes, I know that may mean drastically changing your lifestyle. But is anything less required of individuals, than our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor?
What Assad allegedly did is none of our business. It isn’t in my interest, much less my country’s interest to overthrow him, or drop some bombs on his country. We have quite the history of regime change operations, and they have all ended badly. This one won’t be any different.
State actors have proven they cannot be trusted to ever learn the lessons of history: That violence always begets more violence. But we can refuse to participate in their violence.