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Indybay Feature
This Book Shouldn't Exist
by Infinite Onion
Saturday May 30th, 2020 5:49 AM
With these words as my only weapon---though that is unlikely to keep me from being labeled a ‘terrorist’ and getting an unannounced late-night visit---I say the authority of the United States government is illegitimate and struggle by its people to overthrow the regime by whatever means seems best to them is justified.
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At every turning point of history someone rises up who can enunciate and in a sense personify the new direction of the public mind and will. America has reached such a crossroads.

Being a god on Earth is a natural human desire, and saving someone else is the closest we’ll ever come to achieving it. All Greek mythology and every major religion that followed has really been devoted to that single premise: the hero who leads the way is half god and half human, fueled as much by pity as by power.

When the Greeks created the heroic ideal, they didn’t choose a word that meant ‘Dies Trying’ or ‘Massacres Bad Guys.’ They went with ‘heros’---"protector." Heroes aren’t perfect; with a god as one parent and a mortal as the other, they’re perpetually teetering between two destinies. What tips them toward greatness is a sidekick, a human connection who helps turn the spigot on the power of compassion. Empathy, the Greeks believed, was a source of strength, not softness; the more you recognized yourself in others and connected with their distress, the more endurance, wisdom, cunning, and determination you could tap into.

Conservatives frequently say that socialists want to have everything handed to them---that instead of complaining, they should be buckling up, showing up to work every day, and achieving something the "hard way." This seems a bit odd, considering that, all in all, achieving a complete and revolutionary overhaul of long-standing economic and social structures against the wishes of all the world’s centers of power is probably harder than, say, becoming a reasonably successful middle manager with two cars.

Our idea of what a revolution is like, how it is carried out, and who it is carried out by has been warped by our own cultural propaganda, and by the romantic Marxist propaganda of the twentieth century. We have this idea that revolutions are led by rational-minded, tea-sipping men in three-pointed hats who discuss the rights of man while burning the candle at both ends. Or we’re warped by the Marxist ideal of revolution: a rational, inevitable historical process in which the most enlightened, most sympathetic, least overdressed human beings team up with the Historical Trend itself to effect a glorious, clean revolution. In fact, revolutions are messy, ugly, gory affairs. Nowhere in our popular notion of revolutions are such factors as stupidity, bad luck, unintended comedy, and revolting madness allowed in. Yet most of the time revolutions are ‘led,’ by people we would call nutcases and who indeed were considered nutcases during their time---and in all likelihood were nutcases. While time and distance provide a romantic view of revolutions, at the time when they actually occur, they usually seem bizarre, uncalled-for, frightening, and evil to their contemporaries, which is why they almost always seem snuffed out at their inception.

Our lives and our movements today are as shaped by the political prisoners who still sit behind concrete walls as the prisons themselves invisibly shape the landscape of the world we seek to make more just. Many have had their lives either ended by the state or have been tried, convicted, and jailed for nothing more than the crime of loving their people enough to attempt a revolution in the United States.

They remain behind walls, often isolated, and at times tortured for their political beliefs. To accept this fact is to ask what ideas can be so dangerous that those who hold it in their heads must be hidden from us? To understand that these people and their circumstance do indeed exist is a necessary first step for a country whose cloak of democracy keeps us in denial. Americans believe political prisoners are a fact in countries like China, Iran, and Cuba but live the lie of the US government’s denial of the existence of US political prisoners within its borders.

We could live in a sustainable, just, free, and peaceful world. And yet we are descending into a world of perpetual wars; slavery; ignorance; overwork side by side with unemployment; vacant homes side by side with homelessness; specialization; crass materialism; contaminated food, water, and air; destitution; despair.

Since the men in the shadows are not about to change, the only hope is their removal from power---by any means necessary. Unfortunately, given these men’s cohesiveness and organizational skills, given their power over our minds, given their ability to convince the vast majority to act against its convictions and interests, given their success in establishing cross-generational dynasties, such removal presents humanity with a herculean task.

With these words as my only weapon---though that is unlikely to keep me from being labeled a ‘terrorist’ and getting an unannounced late-night visit---I say the authority of the United States government is illegitimate and struggle by its people to overthrow the regime by whatever means seems best to them is justified.

I didn’t plan to write a book when I started on this journey. I just had an intense, personal curiosity. I wanted to understand what happened for myself. But as the years went by, the gap between what I was learning and what appeared in print and media began to weigh on me. Reluctantly, I realized I had a responsibility to share what I had found. Thank you for being brave enough to open this volume. It takes a certain amount of courage to challenge the status quo, to dare to have a thought that differs from what the media screams at you daily.

We are living through an upheaval of historic proportions. The visible evidence of collapse makes criticism redundant. What is being born before our eyes still lacks a clear shape; it could just as easily beget monsters and therefore defies any attempt to describe it. In such times, all commentary is reduced to the level of chit-chat. We can speak only from the midst of events; from the breach we can hear the cracking foundations of a global order at its end that are opening up new paths for the future.

Some will see behind this ambition either senile nostalgia or the mindless elation of youth. But let them take comfort, as much as they can: We are sure of being the most realistic by far.

A new manifesto must be written and circulated for the current age, allowing individuals to subscribe to stated goals or not. Those trying to resist the status quo are hopelessly stuck in trying to change the minds of the oppressors instead of rallying the oppressed to a new vision.

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood---it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: ‘Too late.’

This report is published with the hope that its sheer sadism and abnormal cruelty may stir thoughtful Americans to action. If this report does not do so, we fear the situation is hopeless.

What the monks said in the letters they left before burning themselves aimed only at alarming, at moving the hearts of the oppressors and at calling the attention of the world to the suffering endured then by the Vietnamese. To burn oneself by fire is to prove that what one is saying is of the utmost importance. Steeped in their Buddhist practices, the nuns and monks who burned themselves thus performed an act of construction rather than an act of destruction because to die in this way is to suffer and to die for the sake of one’s people.

It may seem crazy to risk your safety, your life, for that of a stranger, but if one firmly believes that it is the right thing to do, then it is in fact crazy to not do so. Morality and insanity, within the current frameworks of thought that govern our perception, go hand in hand; they are the catalysts for societal change. The crazy, the marginalized, the suicidal, the forgotten---the most necessary ingredients for producing foundational, revolutionary change which strikes at the core of our structures and ripples out across the globe. It is those they label as crazy who can see the only way forward. John Brown was crazy and fought for a deeply moral cause. John Brown lives on in each one of you crazy people. Jesus lives on in each one of you crazy people. We will be morally insane, the forgotten-no-more; the ground will shake and the sky will thunder, old ways ripped asunder.

Sometimes when good people caution those who protest against against our society’s many injustices, to eschew ‘violence,’ that a ‘safe’ society is better than one experiencing the turmoil of civil war, I think of the homeless people on the streets of Denver, of the Lakota babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome who will never have a chance to excel in school, of the black boys shot by police, of the girls who flee from foster care straight into the tender mercies of a pimp and forced sex, of the inmates in prisons who spend decades in a tiny windowless room, slowly losing their minds---and I think: Violence? Thousands of people are experiencing soul-numbing and body-destroying violence on a daily basis. You have made the decision that other people can suck off all the ills of our society so that you can pretend we live in a safe world. Well fuck you, I do not intend to walk away from Omelas, but instead to burn this unjust apparatus to the ground.

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brushfires in people’s minds.

Most books are dead, this one is alive. It moves, morphs, transforms, evolves. This story has many possible endings, it always has---some much darker than others. You get to help choose which, and the sum of these choices will be the page upon which the ultimate story is written. The world is provided, the shell, it is up to you all to make a home out of it.

The first thing is I think you have to frame it in the big picture. The way you get to people is to say: We’re at a turning point in history. If we don’t solve the problem of economic polarization, which is caused mainly by debt, we’re going to go into another dark age. We’re going to have neo-feudalism. We’re going to have neo-serfdom, except that you’re not going to be tied to the land like serfs were. You can live wherever you want, but wherever you are, you’re going to have to pay about 40% of your income just for housing. And you’re going to have to pay for water, and you’re going to have to pay for the other needs. This is the new kind of serfdom. You have to re-frame what the economy is about in a way that people can understand.

And you need a multi-pronged approach to fight on four or five fronts. You need academics so that nobody can say you don’t know what you’re talking about. You need an organ, a periodical; you need books; you need to make use of the Internet; you need films; and you need a political group. You need to institutionalize this idea and give it a critical mass of coherence.

When Jesus Christ prophesied about the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven, he was not talking about the magical appearance of a bunch of buildings falling out of the sky like spaceships, he was talking about an idea spreading to enough of the minds of Humankind so that Humankind itself would be transformed. The transformation would take place within the hearts and minds of Humans, and would then manifest on the Earth as a new and better form of living. This is the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. As Jesus put it:

"The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough."

The Kingdom of Heaven is an idea; like yeast spreading through dough, this idea is spreading through the minds of Humankind. When enough people become dedicated to the principles of peace and brotherly love, then the Kingdom of Heaven will come on Earth. Then justice will truly be established on Earth. This is what we are all waiting for, so this is what we must continue working for, to spread and implement these ideas.

Revolutionaries, social centers, collectives are already actively building infrastructure of resistance. This infrastructure is not just material but psychological, spiritual, theoretical, and foundational. It is a departure from party politics and in conflict with both the left and the right for complete and total freedom. Defense of oppressed people and of our political projects is paramount to liberation. We do hope you will join us in our crusade to end these unjust ideologies once and for all, we need people like you more than ever.

The Power of Narrative will be shattered, the wheel will be broken. For those that truly want this nation of hate and violence to end, self-defense, conflict resolution, and revolutionary justice are proven ways forward. It is important that the way through these tragic times not just be personal but also collective. Everything in this book is hacked, remixed, and presented from the author’s point of view. Challenge it! There is no one way forward, just powerful ideas.

All you need to do to start is to tear this text apart. Praise what you like, eviscerate what you don’t. Run it through a grinder and see what comes out. Spread it, mock it, preach it, shame it.

Most left-wing movements get into power without having properly thought out what they’ll do once in power and without a realistic understanding of the deep lack of belief in democratic norms by their right-wing opponents. Break your enemy’s power. If you’re any sort of left-winger worth your salt, you ethically do not believe in huge concentrations of power and money in the hands of a few people anyway. Act on your beliefs. And if they’ve committed a pile of crimes---and they almost always have---use those crimes against them.

Then remember the world system is set up expressly to stop what you are doing. You’re tackling the dragon, and most people who do that get eaten. We tell the stories of the dragonslayers because they are so few. So, know the odds are against you and be willing to do what is required to improve them. If you aren’t, stay home.

War is hell, which is why they need to stop waging theirs. Or we will make them stop---there is no moral uncertainty here, their actions are unjustifiable, unacceptable, unallowable. We do not do this for us, our egos, the history books, we do it for those in the here and now, those who cry out and go unheard, those who are broken and tossed away, those who are spit on and exploited, those who despair, those who needlessly struggle, those who succumb and those who are left behind. The line stops here, this is where we intend to make it end. To all would-be revolutionaries, the massive reserve army of the broken, desperate, enraged: This is what you’ve been waiting for, we’ve been watching you.

This is not the revolution of Bernie "Millionaire Socialist" Sanders. We’re not fucking around, you can’t buy us with a goddamn thing; you kill us, or we don’t stop coming. And you better hope we don’t rise from the grave---because we ain’t Jesus, we will fucking Bloodshot your ass.

We will win, that is certain. It is certain because the ideas that exist in this writer’s head do not exist solely there, nor do they exist only on these pages, or in the minds of those that have seen these pages. The ideas were not solely birthed there, just as the wheel, agriculture, religion were not solely birthed by one individual. No idea is owned, no idea is truly unique. Built on the foundations of all other thought and ideas, they are our collective wealth. We must demonize those that hoard this wealth, for they are stealing from all of us to enrich themselves.

Like dragons of lore, they will use force to keep their hoard and grow it. We must fight them. Like dragons, they will have strengths and weaknesses. We must exploit these. The system is fundamentally broken, it will never function for the enrichment of the majority. We must expose the broken system and break it further wherever we can. Whether you are simply pulling back the curtain or actively throwing wrenches into the machine, if it is done with an honest desire for justice, done as passionately as you can, then you are fighting for our cause. Do not assist your oppressors simply because you disagree with the actions taken.

The timetable is uncertain, the victory certain. This writer may be long dead, whether prematurely or naturally, but the ideas outlined will prevail, there is no other way but further backward.

The time is up. The time is now. Gather the people to do the work: the healing, transformative, deepening work of building community, solutions, understanding, skills, knowledge, and hope. You must be the one to make a change, to step out of the rutted tracks of the looming train wreck that is our culture. You must have the courage to walk into the wilderness of what you don’t know and embrace the solutions that will save our lives.

All quests and hero’s journeys begin with this: the yearning for change; the hope of saving graces; the long shot of wished-for miracles. In each of us, our willingness to make a change begins with equal measures of fear, courage, and purpose rolled into an electric jolt to the soul---a spark that launches you toward danger and potential.

Some men rise to occasions, the vast majority do not. The frail firelight that civilization casts into the darkness burns upon the sacrificial flesh of the few.

Rise from the ashes like the phoenix my brothers, be like the hydra my sisters. You are already dead, choose immortality now and live forever with us. We coursed through the veins of our ancestors and we will again through the blood of our unborn. Can you feel them brothers? Can you hear them crying out my sisters? They are your strength, they are your power, we wield the power of generations, a flame handed down through the ages, we cannot let it be extinguished, we will not let it be extinguished. Burn your enemies, the flame cannot harm you, it is the catalyst for your seeds of immortality, it will incubate your precious phoenix egg. Go forth, do what must be done.

But remember, you alone are not enough. One of our changes is that we must work together. We must reach out from our isolated lives. We must join hands with millions and take collective steps toward the future. You cannot go on a hero’s journey alone. Not this time. You must ask others---many others, millions of others---to change their lives, too.

Do not wait another minute to change your life. The time is up. The time is now.

We’ll be seeing you, we hope.
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