Tag Archives: Totalitarianism

Drop symbols of White Supremacy, but don’t embolden government supremacy

SORRY, I DO HAVE A PROBLEM with government telling me how to think or telling me what I can’t say. Flags mean a lot to me and I CAN imagine MY flag being declared hateful or a public threat. How is anyone to rally like-minded dissenters when a government and its corporate media can declare their rallying symbol non grata? I don’t like the Confederate rebel flag either, it is modern code for unrepentant white racism, but I’m hugely skeptical when Big Brother is driving the bandwagon. How amusing that activists eager to burn Confederate flags find that the major retailers have already banned them. There’s a statement you’re being prevented making.

Scrap White Supremacy but we must cling tightly to the supremacy of individuals over their government.

Could the censors come for your flag too? I’m not big on national flags. However, the flags with which I associate ideologically, let’s be honest, scream regicide.

Imagine if the next mass shooter lunatic leaves selfies with an Anarchist flag or an Anon mask. “Rise up” is hate speech to oligarchs.

Guys, when Walmart, Target, Dixie politicians and the White House are on your side, you’re fantasizing and you’re on the wrong side.

If the vocabulary of racism, such as the word “nigger”, is effaced, how are we to talk about it? We had this argument about Mark Twain’s use of the word in Huckleberry Finn. Literature lost as I remember.

How blessed we would be to forget about slavery, except the same demographic is enslaved today in the prison system, while we white-out the words we need to recognize it.

Let’s be generous for a moment. The “Rebel” Flag, even as it draws racists like flies, is also about rebellion. Did you know the Civil War wears a revisionist title? Until America’s foreign excursions, the Civil War was called the War of Rebellion. Formal documents of the period are still bound as the Union’s record of the War of Rebellion.

Who effected the name change and why? Did it benefit the victor to write the history of the Civil War to cast slavery as its predominant issue? To justify the sacrifice of lives and trampling of state sovereignty?

The American national identity is that of revolutionaries rebelling against authoritarian rule. Was it confusing to let the bad guys usurp the rebel image?

I think it’s a lie to believe the common Southerner fought to preserve slavery. Just as it is to pretend the common German soldier defended the extermination camps. The average Johnny Rebel fought off the Yankee foreigner. Johnny Rebel was racist but no more so than his northern adversary. Lynchings of black men happened in both North and South.

If you want to hold a flag to account for racism, you’ll find a greater offender in the Union Flag, and today’s fifty star equivalent. The Stars and Stripes flew over the slave trade, the genocide of Native Americans, and the conquest and exploitation of indigenous peoples everywhere since.

If you want to fight racism, address its mechanisms. Address its leaders, not its disputable standard. The flag is a distraction. Who are racism’s enforcers? I read that Maryland police just killed another unarmed black man. Eye on that ball.

Judging history as we’ve distilled it, the cause of the Confederacy was unjust, but the Southern soldiers fought the Union as rebels.

I am damn partial to REBELS.

I’m reminded of the lyrics to I’m a Good Old Rebel. These reflect sentiments contemporary to the Reconstruction era, unreconstructed by the abolitionist narrative. Read ’em and weep.

Oh, I’m a good old rebel,?
Now that’s just what I am.?
For this Fair Land of Freedom,
?I do no give a damn.?
I’m glad I fought again’ her,
?I only wish we won.
?I ain’t asked any pardon for anything I’ve done.

I hates the Yankee Nation and everything they do.
?I hates the Declaration of Independence, too.?
I hates the glorious Union, ’tis dripping with our blood.?
I hates the striped banner, and fought it all I could.

I rode with Robert E. Lee,?
For three years, thereabout.?
Got wounded in four places,
?And I starved at Point Lookout.
?I catched the rheumatism
?A campin’ in the snow.?
But I killed a chance of Yankees
?And I’d like to kill some more.

Three hundred thousand Yankees
?Is stiff in southern dust.?
We got three hundred thousand?
Before they conquered us.?
They died of Southern Fever
?And Southern steel and shot.?
I wish there were three million
?Instead of what we got.

?I can’t pick up my musket?
And fight ’em down no more.?
But I ain’t agonna love ’em?
Now that is certain sure.
?And I don’t want no pardon?
For what I was and am.?
I won’t be reconstructed?
And I do not give a damn.

Oh, I’m a good old rebel,
?Now that’s just what I am.?
And for this Yankee Nation,
?I do no give a damn.?
I’m glad I fought again’ her,?
I only wish we won.?
I ain’t asked any pardon for anything I’ve done.?
I ain’t asked any pardon for anything I’ve done.

First they came for the Communists, but we don’t like Communists…

First they came for the Communists,?
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
?and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,?
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me?
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
 
These famous words float an admonition, but isn’t it more likely an adage? They describe the passivity which permitted Hitler’s abuses, but could apply to the ordinary manifestation of totalitarianism. Has human nature yet learned except in hindsight? First they came for the Communists, but we all spoke out, the end. That’s because the big lie is “they.” Try substituting “we” and you see the tsunamic inevitability of mob ethnocentrism. First we came for the Communists, Trade Unionists, and Jews, then him, then her, pure fun until it was me. Oops.

This quote, spoken by German priest Martin Niemoll, features prominently in the US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. When I saw it I made a note to look up what seemed a strange discrepancy. Curiously in their version, the first group to be targeted are Socialists, not Communists. I say curiously, because I wouldn’t bring it up if I didn’t think the distinction was very unfortunate.

There are several variations of this “poem” because Niemoll repeated it in many sermons and never wrote it down. Asked about it through the years, sometimes he included Jehovah’s Witnesses and gays, and omitted others. Never, however, did he fail to mention Communists, and never were they not the first.

Does it make a difference? If you consider that Communists are the beasts of burden for Socialism, yes. If there’s a boogieman of Capitalism, it’s not the straw man Socialist, it’s the grassroots, proletariat Communist. Socialists are the intellectuals. The far less palatable working class are the Communists. How unfortunate to scrub Niemoll’s warning of its authentic historical detail. The Nazis first came for the Communists.

Bed bugs have made a comeback in the lives of the American poor, lending an uncomfortable new relevance to a folk bedtime salutation. Imagine if we said “Goodnight, don’t let the butterflies bite.” That carries no folk wisdom whatever.

And so how perverse that a traditionally maligned group such as the Jews, firmly ensconcing themselves on Niemoll’s list, decide another unpopular group needn’t the same protection. Doesn’t it defeat the very threat the old priest wanted us to think about? Yes, each group is meant to represent people in general, universality. But it doesn’t work to say bunnies, or amiable characteristics, because then the prospect doesn’t make sense, our youngsters are made vigilant facing a direction from which an attack never comes.

If the exclusion of Communists was a concession to the perennial Red Scare climate of the US capitol, it sadly confirms why Martin Niemoll’s warning won’t find purchase. Even in a Holocaust Museum dedicated to “never again” coming after people based on their social group, some don’t care about looking out for the most vulnerable.

Imagine Niemoll’s dictum as paraphrased for the Hindu castes. Imagine the Brahmins reciting it, leaving off the untouchables.

Generals say “we’ll only resume combat operations in Iraq if..

..the Iraqi people reject our Puppet Dictatorship. Meanwhile we’ll keep our bases there to intimidate them into not developing a rebellious attitude, like thinking they’re good enough to rule themselves without our intereference. And of course make sure the Iraqi government lives up to the agreement we forced them to sign to give all their oil to Our Great And Noble Oil Corporation Masters. Alle Sieg Heil am das Oil Corporations! HEIL! HEIL! HEIL!”
So, if the Iraqi people use that Freedom To Obey and vote for people the Oil Company Pentagon Puppets have forbidden them to elect, the Army is going to go back in and “liberate” them again.
And the Corporate Death Squads like Blackwater will continue to patrol without any possibility of ever being prosecuted in U.S. Courts for the murders, tortures and other crimes they commit.
And them there Sand N——s better not try to prosecute any Blackwater “employees” either, because that “freedom” America The Corporate Puppet Army gave them doesn’t extend to actual, you know, Freedom. Alle Sieg Heil am Prince Erik von Blackwater!