This Is Why Your Uncle Is Still Racist

The opinions of our fellow creatures, no matter how stupid or impossible, overshadow all other considerations.”
— Carl Sagan

“Revolutionaries must come to hard questions.
What are these creatures we wish to save?”

— Ernesto “Che” Guevara

“In the words of Schwarzwald, who is closest to the truth,
imagination and memory are but one thing,
which for diverse considerations have diverse names.”
— Sabrina Islam, Social & Behavioral Science doctoral student at the
University of Florida

 

It isn’t hard to miss the town of Sun Ray, Florida if you travel south on U.S. 27. The question is why anybody would find it appealing. As the water tower bearing the town’s name in big capital letters rises from the horizon so does everything else: the sheet metal shack offering “small engine repair,” the gas station sign completely shattered and fluttering in the breeze, the broken roads bearing potholes eight feet deep. This is a town time forgot, or perhaps the former site of some intense urban combat that never had the chance to rebuild.

This was supposed to be a routine investigation: drive out to the sticks and figure out why so many of our relatives were immune to political education. Why every time we ran into our Aunts and Uncles they seemed impervious to facts, evidence, and every inconsistency we pointed out in their beliefs.

It was supposed to be routine. It ended up revealing terrible things and wicked problems humanity was probably incapable of overcoming.

“She said he’d always lived here?” My wife was passing me a fresh beer as we pulled into a restaurant parking lot. The building was squat, practically featureless. Then again maybe it wasn’t. I’m not sure how I remember it. “This place looks like it barely has anybody living in it.”

“Always. That’s why they only see him for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Whenever they do have him visit he’s always spouting some crazy bullshit about the Civil War or the moon landing being fake. Doesn’t believe cops can do anything wrong. The whole nine yards of every loathsome opinion you can imagine. Now she’s printed out facts, she’s forced him to watch documentaries. No dice. Fox News says something, he spits it out. Doesn’t just spit it out, but holds onto it like a real motherfucker.”

“So? There’s a lot of people like that. What makes Sun Ray any different?”

“That’s what we’re going to find out. There’s a lot snowbirds out here, liberal folks who come down to avoid the polar temperatures and for whatever reason they get to Sun Ray as normal human beings and come out like robots. Weird, right? I hadn’t even heard of this place. But the woman who wrote me the email said her Aunt who lives in Canada stayed here one week, married this guy who lives here, and ever since then she’s become a Flat Earther. She thinks there’s got to be a cult in the area, or maybe something in the water. I received another email about a week later informing me of almost the same thing.”

“Almost?”

“Well…”

“Well what?”

“Well the second one involved a fair amount of meth-”

“Jesus Christ.”

“BUT! But…the details were very similar. And again someone who is nominally normal from up North coming down here and flying back up permanently changed. There’s something going on here.”

What that something was would be elusive, no doubt hidden from view. On our way in we hadn’t seen any industrial manufacturing or strange artefacts, nothing to differentiate Sun Ray from any other section of the Floridian interior called Polk County. The restaurant we had parked at seemed like a great place to stop and put out tentacles of inquiry. Diners in southern backwaters such as Sun Ray are an important spoke on the trinity of social interaction, along with churches and bars. Here every detail of everything would be freely discussed or at least overheard, and at a diner if it was overheard it was picked up by ears and eyes who’d been around long enough to piece together disparate strings. A preacher could tell you whose marriage was in trouble, you might learn who-was-fucking-who at a bar, but it was at a diner that the server could provide every detail of the sordid affair while explaining how each family member felt about the impending divorce.

Solid gold for a gonzo journalist. We went inside and grabbed a booth.

The Four Seasons Restaurant, as it was called, boasted a brown and tan color scheme almost immediately causing a feeling of drowsiness. We looked at the menu consisting primarily of southern staples and such exotic fare as “spaghetti.” For the meat averse they offered a salad bar at $7.95 a plate where health-conscious patrons could choose between iceberg lettuce, carrots, macaroni salad, and stewed greens.

“Do you…do you put all that on a plate together?” my wife asked. I pointed to a table nearby, where a man with the body of a plague victim had done just that. He chewed slowly, mayo-lathered pasta and carrots falling out of his mouth like twin-tower skydivers on 9/11. She turned slowly back around and spoke in a hushed tone. “Okay…something weird is going on here.”

Before I could say something our server reached the table, placing two waters in front of us.

“You folks know whatcha’ wanna’ eat?”

My wife pointed at the menu. “I’ll have the…’South Will Rise Again Spaghetti.'”

“As for me,” I said, “I’ll do the country fried steak with white gravy. Gravy on the mashed potatoes as well.”

The server smiled. “Not a problem, I’ll bring that right out for y’all. Lemme’ bring out an extra dish of gravy and you can pour it on there.”

She disappeared behind a rotating door covered in arcane symbols, came back and placed the gravy on the table, then scuttled back into the kitchen. Five minutes had passed when suddenly two plates were tossed in front of us. She stood there smiling.

One had a single boiled chicken breast on it covered in pepper. On the other was simply two carrots.

“Uh, m’am?” My wife grabbed the server’s attention. “This is…well, this is not what we ordered.”

“Sure it is. You said the boiled chicken breast and he wanted two carrots.”

“No,” I said. “I wanted the country fried steak. You even brought me the gravy.”

The server looked at the gravy. She looked at the plates. She checked her notes and it appeared for a moment she realized the mistake.

It was at about that time I realized our server was actually walking around on eight legs, a double hinged-jaw dangling from her face slowly dripping venom onto the carpet. Six sets of wings on her back buzzed in unearthly harmony and a series of larvae-like creatures were rotating around her skull, chirping incessantly.

“No. These notes are wrong. You ordered the two carrots.” She turned her multifaceted lenses at me, twirling them nearly 180 degrees. “You must have stolen that gravy.”

“Stolen? How? It says chicken-fried steak on the ticket-”

“You stole my notebook and wrote it on there! I wouldn’t have gotten it wrong!”

“M’am, he-”

“Get Out! Get out right now before I lay eggs in both your stomachs!” We rushed outside as she began to howl, the larvae around her head now spraying liquid feces in concentric circles. A huge splash of it hit the man chewing his salad bar medley, but he didn’t even blink. We jumped in the car and parked in a ruined gas station down the road.

“What the fuck was that about?” I asked, ripping open a beer with my teeth and hyperventilating.

“I don’t know!” my wife said. “What about the fucking spider legs and the fangs?!”

“How did we not notice that? And what was with the shit she gave us?”

The answer was a basic one: simple human psychology.

Change blindness is a term used by psychologists to describe the tendency people have to miss changes in their immediate visual environment. We don’t actually walk around “seeing” the world, we gather a loose amount of details and let our minds fill in the rest. This isn’t merely small things, like a new flower popping up on your way to work or someone sporting a new haircut. In 1998 researchers carried out experiments in which participants started to have a conversation with a stranger. This stranger was then replaced by a different stranger during a brief interruption, and many participants had no idea that their conversational partner had changed.

Or, for instance that the server at the local diner was actually a gigantic spider hellbeast.

So for one humanity, as we know it, is quite literally blind to the world. Mole rats fumbling about. But there is more at play than even that.

The server knew she was wrong about our order. Clearly so. Our order was written there on her notepad in her own arachnid handwriting. So why couldn’t she admit her mistake?

“Psychologists call this cognitive dissonance — the stress we experience when we hold two contradictory thoughts, beliefs, opinions or attitudes. For example, you might believe you are a kind and fair person, so when you rudely cut someone off, you experience dissonance. To cope with it, you deny your mistake and insist the other driver should have seen you, or you had the right of way even if you didn’t.”

We see this behavior in politics all the time. When a politician or a country, hell even an entire ideology, does something we don’t like we’ll make an excuse for them. Trump claims Mexico will build the wall. When it becomes apparent and obvious they will not, and even as he lambasts Democrats for not using taxpayer funds to build the wall, his base doesn’t lose faith. To accept that he was wrong, and by extension that they were too, is painful. So they simply rationalize it.

Is it any wonder why every video of a cop murdering another black man has no effect on the Republican viewer? To accept a world where those things are real means fundamentally changing your conceptions about who you are and the way the world works, that you have been incredibly wrong for years. That is something very painful. The more pain, the more likely excuses will be created instead of changing opinion.

It also explains why young college students screaming at poor working whites is a strategy doomed to fail, why the discourse around privilege seemed only to embolden racism. Too many “revolutionaires” went to working people and explained privilege in the worst possible ways to humans whose sweat, tears, and calloused hands were so crucial to their self image.

Those affects overpower the individual mind. Conscious thought ceases to exist. Simply look at all the die-hard conservatives obsessed with gun rights, the fanatical hordes who swore armed revolt if Obama so much as sneezed at guns. When Emperor Trump bans bump stocks with an executive order, circumventing every elected official and acting like a king?

Suddenly bump stocks suck when only a few weeks ago they were absolutely crucial to the continuation of the second amendment. This behavior is so common because it doesn’t just help us deal with pain, it actually makes us feel good.

“One study, published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, found that people who refused to apologize after a mistake had more self-esteem and felt more in control and powerful than those who did not refuse.”

Sports and Politics act like drugs in our heads, and allow us to feel powerful and in control even when our own lives are spent as economic appendages of a cruel and uncaring society. Being right or being on the winning team is all about making you feel good, and everybody knows how addicts act when the source of feeling good gets threatened.

Pure Hell in a 24oz Can

I drank about nine beers in the parking lot, eager to re-align my humors. In need of more libations, I wandered into the crumbling gas station we had parked at. My wife stayed in the car, pointing a loaded SKS out the window to ward off any potential encroachment by spider people. There were odd brands of booze sold inside the gas station, and almost nothing I recognized save for one: Crazy Stallion Malt Liquor.

Crazy Stallion is pure hell in a 24fl oz can, and it will fuck you up for the low price of 98 cents. Yes, you read that right. One of the smoothest malt liquors and one with 5.90% alcohol for the price of a goddamn dollar! You could make a “Scottsmoor Slam” by drinking half of it then pouring a bottle of five-hour energy inside before killing the rest, a home brew version of Four Loko reportedly responsible for fifteen homicides and two cases of cannibalism in the State of Florida. I grabbed six of the bastards and wandered up to the counter to pay.

There was a man running the register with a beard that ran down to his toes. Hovering beside him was a dragonfly approximately four feet in length.

“That all for you sir?”

“Yep.”

“That’ll be…”

“…”

“…$300?”

“Excuse me?”

“Six cans right? Of Crazy Stallion? $300.”

Remembering the previous encounter I silently walked back to the fridge, ripped off the price tag on the shelf, and passed it to the man.

“It says one dollar. For each one.”

“No,” said the dragonfly in a metallic tone. “My handsome and very intelligent friend here is right. It’s $300.” The dragonfly reached into a bag of Jolly Ranchers and handed one to the man.

“It says 98 cents on the goddamn can. How does that equal-”

“YOU AIN’T GOTTA LISTEN TO HIM!” A large, rotund figure suddenly smashed through the window, causing me to duck for cover. He had the head of a scorpion and eyes of fire, and after wiping off the broken glass stuck to his clothes he waddled towards the counter.

“Jethro,” he croaked, “you know these people from out-of-town are all liars, on account of the chemtrails putting the devil right into their tongues.” The dragonfly nodded in agreement, tossing the scorpion man a Jolly Rancher which he caught with his tongue.

The bearded man nodded, now resolute in his decision. “That’ll be $300 dollars, feller. You think I’m stupid ‘er summin’?”

I backed away then broke into a run, leaving a small trail of urine as I went.

“Start the car!” I screamed, frantically galloping through the parking lot. My wife flipped on the engine and in the process accidentally fired off about eight rounds with the SKS, kicking off a chain reaction in every person with a concealed carry permit for five miles. Gunfire filled the air from all angles, some people even walking outside of hovels and shacks and firing blindly into the air at nothing in particular.

They had no idea why they were shooting but damned if they didn’t think it was the right thing to do.

The reason? Social proof.

The Social Proof Theory, popularized by psychologist Robert Cialdini, maintains that an individual’s perception of the ideas and actions of peers will be construed by the individual as being the right choice.

Cialdini lists a host of examples. In one study by social psychologists Milgram, Bickman, and Berkowitz, researchers from New York City university planted a man on a busy sidewalk. Amongst crowds of people, he stopped and looked upwards for a minute. When just one man gazed at the sky, just 4% of passersby also looked up. When the experiment was repeated with five men looking upwards, 18% of passersby followed suit, and for 15 the figure was 40%. Another study cited by Cialdini involved people being asked to give donations to a charity. When people were shown a list of their neighbors who had donated to a charity it led to a substantial increase in funds raised. The more names on the list, the more people donated. Nobody had actually donated, but the mere appearance of others doing so was enough to convince people to open their wallet.

Any server who has “salted” the tip jar by throwing in a couple bucks before opening has utilized this technique.

This mental programming runs at a subconscious level and those in its grasp may not even be aware of it. A classic negative example took place in the Arizona Petrified Forest. The theft of petrified wood by visitors was becoming a serious issue, depleting the ancient woodland. Staff responded by putting up a sign stating: “Many past visitors have removed the petrified wood from the park, destroying the natural state of the Petrified Forest.” This was intended to convince people not to steal the wood, but it had the opposite effect. The depletion of the petrified wood tripled. Experts who looked at the case determined that the signs had made people feel the act of stealing the wood was justified, and eagerly hopped on the bandwagon.

The opinions of our fellow creatures, no matter how stupid or impossible, overshadow all other considerations. New findings from researchers at UC Berkeley confirm “people’s beliefs are more likely to be reinforced by the positive or negative reactions they receive in response to an opinion, task or interaction, than by logic, reasoning and scientific data.”

The more positive of a response from one’s social group, the more one believes something to be true, regardless of any evidence and often in spite of it. And this is just one chain in the link of absolute bullshit that makes humanity completely incapable of tackling reality as it actually is. People are more likely to believe something the more often they’ve heard it said. Then of course you have the phenomenon known by psychologists as the “halo and horns effect,” which ensures we will see an ideology, product, or behavior as more desirable if it is associated with someone we like, and we will ignore factual evidence if it comes from someone we happen to dislike.

Again, this is happening at a subconscious level. You aren’t aware of it. Your mind will simply create facts and reasons as to why you like something now, while all the while you own opinions are hardly your own.

Sidenote: the odd desire of the Church of Scientology to recruit as many well liked celebrities as possible makes a lot more sense now, eh?

As the gun fire died down we hit the gas and headed north, running over a ten foot long caterpillar trying to sell us gator jerky in our attempt to escape. The gunfire started to rise again, but pandamonium spread among the locals as a pack of wild metaphors and similes descended from the sky and began literally biting people’s heads off.

We used the wanton bloodshed to our advantage and escaped with our lives.

The Individual Is An Endangered Species

By the time we felt safe we were thirty miles north in a place called Winter Haven, and feeling thirsty I stopped at a dive called Old Man Frank’s for a drink. I was wondering what the fuck I was going to write about when the bartender came by for some idle conversation.

“Somethin’ buggin you? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” I explained to him what had happened, everything from the emails asking for journalistic inquiry to the caterpillar selling jerky. He seemed incredulous.

“Impossible. My son lives in Sun Ray. Says it’s absolutely wonderful, and he’s a journalist too! Works for The Ledger.” I motioned for my wife to come over. She showed him pictures of egg sacs in the street and a large centipede with a moustache washing a car.

“That’s clearly photoshopped.”

We played him a video, taken during our escape, of gigantic blocks of text descending from the skies and killing bug people in droves.

“You can edit video easily. A buddy of mine in Sun Ray named Jethro says that’s how they did the whole damned moon landing.”

My wife paused, went to the car, and came back with a gigantic leg still dripping green blood. It had flown into our window when we ran over the caterpillar. It was nearly three feet long and even glowed some strange, unknown color beyond all description. The man shook his head.

“Look, clearly you ain’t playing with a full deck. You have the time and the money for all this fake news, plus you’re going around with Hollywood-grade special effects to sell your lies. You know who has that kinda’ money? George Soros! I bet he put you up to this.”

“We’re Egoists,” my wife tried to explain, “we don’t even like George Soros!”

“Typical Democrat, trying to hide your true colors. What’s next, Obama didn’t start the KKK? I’d be willing to bet you came down here to plant all this…to get Trump impeached. Yeah! All of this is fake and you work for CNN!”

We attempted to explain, to prove, but everything we said only made him believe harder. We finally ended up spitting in his eye and making a mad dash for the exit, a stolen bottle of gin riding between my legs as we did eighty on state road 441.

This final detail was the most puzzling. We were well out of Sun Ray. There were no insect people. Why had the bartender responded in such a manner?

Devoid of any arthropod qualities it was clear: The insect part of the monsters in Sun Ray wasn’t the problem. It was the people part. We had just experienced the backfire effect.

The backfire effect was the most devilish of all the mental slavery kicking around in the human head because it actively ensured group coherency at all costs: showing people evidence which proves that they are wrong is often ineffective, sure, but it can actually end up backfiring and cause people to support their original stance more strongly than they previously did.

The evidence of this effect is as numerous as it is troubling.

The backfire effect has been observed in a number of scientific studies, which looked at various scenarios:

A study which examined voting preference showed that introducing people to negative information about a political candidate that they favor often causes them to increase their support for that candidate.

A study which examined misconceptions about politically-charged topics (such as tax cuts and stem-cell research), found that giving people accurate information about these topics often causes them to believe in their original misconception more strongly, in cases where the new information contradicts their preexisting beliefs.

A study which examined parents’ intent to vaccinate their children, found that giving parents who are against vaccination information showing why vaccinating their child is the best course of action, sometimes become more likely to believe in a link between vaccination and autism.

A study which examined people’s intention to vaccinate against the flu, found that giving people who think that the vaccine is unsafe information disproving myths on the topic, often ended up with a reduced intent to vaccinate.”

Truth had no meaning anywhere, and even direct evidence could make someone disbelieve even harder. The bug people of Sun Ray were no more blind or insect-like than any of us, any of our own aunts and uncles. With this depressing reality now clearly beyond the borders of Polk County we decided to spend the night camping along the roadside of some abandoned town, if anything just to come to terms with everything we’d seen and learned.

Planet of the Insects

(Image from Salsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops. You can order the book here.)

I wrote that nearly four days ago. We haven’t moved. Our food is running low and the ammunition is almost out. I know we have to head towards town at some point but I become violently ill when I think of the spider legs and multi-faceted eyes that will greet us there.

Not everyone looks like the insects of Sun Ray, but they sure as hell act just like them. Those same behaviors akin to robots and ants are present everywhere a crowd of “humans” gathers, and what’s more it has been deciding our destiny since we crawled up from the mud.

Comrades have done everything they can to ignore these truths. We have faith in “the goodness” of people or whatever else passes for secular christianity nowadays. I have even heard a Leftist say “fascism is not a mass movement,” even as it swallows the globe. Why wouldn’t it be? Because it’s “wrong?” Because “the masses” wouldn’t choose wanton violence in the name of lies? The workers have time and time again willingly followed falsehoods and stood by as any number of them are mowed down. What uncomfortable reality are we ignoring when Trump, Bolsonaro, and Hitler packed auditoriums, inspiring religious ecstasy in the same “revolutionary” proletariat the Left seeks to court?

Could it be we ourselves are victims of cognitive dissonance? That it’s easier to believe the workers are simply “mislead” rather than enjoying fascism in the most graphic and sexual ways? That the ignorance of our relatives lurks deep inside even the most “woke” of us?

Whether it’s laws that we know will disproportionately harm people of color(gun control) or policies undertaken by “socialist” governments that have nothing to do with liberation and everything to do with serfdom, cognitive dissonance will hold if we have some degree of our self-worth wrapped up in the concept. For so many Leftists their sense of self-worth is often entirely consumed by the concept, and as such you’ll see former individuals become nothing more than walking advertisements for their pet political project. We will deny reality, deny our lying eyes, and put forth whatever we need to. Considering the Left is made up of people who have been ruthlessly abused by the present system and have little to no power over their own lives, our rabid dogmatism and sectarianism is simply par for the course. Why not spend your time defending revolutions you took no part in, historical moments you weren’t alive for, or even nations you don’t live in and simply don’t have the guts to move to?

We need to feel good, and performative politics does just that. We buzz and scuttle, obeying the invisible edicts of the Hive just like the people of Sun Ray.

When I presented my findings to the folks that emailed me they denied them. Said they couldn’t be true. “CIA psyop,” said one. “I refuse to believe” said another. When presented with all the data, all the study, hell even the pictures of a town full of humanoid insects they refused. To finally convince them I simply wrote the same email, but made sure to include faces of people I’d never met with fake quotes about how great I was, a technique proven in the lab to work.

And it did. How does that make you feel, to know we are that easily manipulated? Do you feel some inner core of you squirming, coming up with answers to deny it? Are you ready to throw every piece of evidence I’ve handed you in the trash because you don’t like what it means—or better yet, because you don’t like me?

Are we afraid? Are we afraid to admit that ideology or even hard data doesn’t mean anything in a species that above all strives to maintain the unity and supremacy of the Hive? That “reality” is nothing more than the passing feeling of an extended hand or a pat on the back? That our own revolutionary inclinations and party loyalty are more likely the byproduct of personal whims, periods of intense emotions, and above all our desire to be liked by those we consider better than ourselves more than any objective truth?

The shocking ignorance of our racist uncles and misinformed aunts makes us laugh. We chuckle at the obvious lies spread by right-wing pundits, yet grow troubled when those lies have more power than the “facts” we attempt to convince them with. We assume something is wrong when everything is working just as intended.

The Right couldn’t care less because their goal is to exploit the mass, to motivate it and throw it like a fleshy battering ram against concrete goals. Lies and misdirection are fine as long as it serves “a higher truth.” The myth of rationality is a handicap our foes long ago dispensed with.

Revolutionaries must come to hard questions. What are these creatures we wish to save? To liberate? Surely not rational beings. Taken all together humanity reveals itself to be bio-mechanical engines of belief rolling over anything remotely connected to “reality.” Hardwired to put the group above everything else, even our own eyes. Whatever the chosen tribe/nation/party/leader/race repeats most often is real, and anything coming from anyone we don’t like is simply false.

The human mind, which we believe to be capable of making informed decisions based on fact, actually functions more like a coked out gambling addict; feverishly analyzing ratios and numerical scores while taking the opinions of well-liked “experts” as absolute truth worthy of large bets and high stakes. And when they’re wrong? They double down.

No new revolution, no “worker’s state” is going to destroy the very real programming kicking around in the heads of a racist family members. Neither will facts or figures. What we can do is start crafting arguments, slogans, and persuasive campaigns that utilize the human subconscious towards goals that benefit all: equality, justice, kindness, fierce and unfailing independence. We can’t make better people but we can build a better, freer world. If the Right’s propaganda game is this good with nothing but falsehood, how much better will our own be when backed up by data?

As for the future for a literally blind, often unthinking mass of human-shaped roaches armed to the teeth and hurtling through space? The best we can hope for, at least in the opinion of this Egoist, is to severely limit hierarchy whenever we can. To understand that every authority we prop up is a dangerous point of failure for a species whose opinions on mass genocide go as deep as a popularity contest. We can’t get rid of our subconscious motivations but we can sure as hell limit their capabilities. But first we have to accept they are there.

Therein lies the paradox and the danger: the ability to accept difficult or challenging truths depends on many, many things, and absolutely none of those depend upon how true they really are.

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Voting Didn’t Save Jemel Roberson

 

The midterms are over and the news is filled with Washington’s squabbles. Who will be Speaker of the House? Will Hillary run again? With all the wonderful seats flipped what new paradise awaits us?

Allow me to tell you a story.

It’s another long night working security at Manny’s Blue Room. Cold outside. Might snow soon. The music is loud and you really would prefer to be home, but a smile seems to fill your mind. Your 9-month-old son Tristan is there, giggling and cooing like he usually does. You breathe a long sigh. Christmas is right around the corner. This is for him and your wife Avontae. Hell, there’s another bun in the oven so you’ll need a new crib, new clothes.

Who knew having a family was so expensive?

At least the job is easy. Most drunks or loudmouths only need to see you and they get the picture. Check ID’s, walk a few girls to their car. Tonight you’d asked several drunk men to leave the bar. Easy enough. Besides, you were scheduled to play the organ at church this Sunday morning. You’d have your fun then. Money was okay. Life may not have been perfect but you at least had a hold on things.

That is until you heard the gunshots.

Screams now, people moving and running away. Absolute panic. You notice it’s one of the men you asked to leave. He’s drunk and shooting wildly in the crowd. You see a bartender get hit. Your heart feels like it’s about to jump out of your chest. You think about your kids, your wife. Tables are being knocked over. You could run. You could run home right now. Nobody would blame you. The money wasn’t worth risking your life.

Something else lurks between your panicked heart and rushing blood. Something deep inside that says you can stop this guy. That if you run people are going to die. The gun shots keep coming. You think about that smile. What would you want your son to do? How would he feel if you left these people to be slaughtered?

You are the only body in the crowd rushing towards the danger. Pistol in hand. A struggle ensues. Every muscle in your body feels like it’s at the height of its strength, terror now turned into total determination. You overpower him easily, have him on his back. Your pistol is right up against him.

You could fire. You think about that. Nobody would blame you. You don’t know if he killed anybody. This guy could have killed you, this drunk piece of shit. Taken you away from your family.

Your finger is on the trigger. But you don’t pull it.

You want to do the right thing. Let the police handle it, everybody is saying they can see the lights. People are thanking you. You’re surprised at how well you’ve gotten ahold of everything. You stopped him without killing him, even though he had a gun. You wonder for a moment how the police so often can’t do the same. Aren’t they better trained and paid then you are? You had always wanted to be a cop, and after tonight you think you really might go for it.

You liked to protect people. Keep them safe. And you were damn good at it too.

The police arrive. You wait for them to tell you what to do. You’re wearing a sweatshirt and hat that says “security.”

You hear the crowd around you, unsure why panic seems to have seized their throats.

“He’s a security! He’s a security!”

Suddenly you hear several loud bangs and white heat shoots through your side. At first you can’t understand what’s happening. Until you fall over. Until it becomes harder to breathe. Until your realize that tingling feeling you get when your foot falls asleep is actually lack of blood, because now you’re feeling it all over. Your breathing becomes more shallow. You think about Avontae and Tristan. You know you’re going to die.  Twenty six years old and now you were going to die. A tear rolls down your eye as you think about the baby you’ll never know. You were just trying to do the right thing. Please forgive me Avontae. I was just trying to do the right thing.

You look up to see who else had rushed in. You must have missed a shooter. Your eyes fall on the uniform.

It’s a cop. His gun, still smoking, is pointed at you.

And your last thoughts are fear for Tristan, born into a world where a black man saving lives is still seen as worthy of lynching.

The officer in question won’t have his name revealed. He is a white male who has worked with the department for about four years. The officer is assigned to the patrol division and also leads a regional swat team.

He should know better. And he does. His training didn’t fail him. He did exactly what he wanted to do.

He took one look at Jemel Roberson on top of that shooter and didn’t need to think.

Here was a criminal. Another no-good “thug” ruining Chicago. Another black man causing a mess he’d have to clean up. A nobody. A non-person.

And so he killed the security guard Jemel Roberson.

Jemel Roberson was the shining example of a “good guy with a gun.” The NRA, an organization that claims to voraciously defend gun owners and who came up with the term, won’t spare two words for our hero nor will they condemn his killer. Jemel Roberson should inspire all of us. He saved lives under fire, with nothing but a little bit of training and a heart filled with compassion. He is an example of all that is good and righteous.

And because he is black his life, and his sacrifice, means nothing.

The Chicago Tribune covers the story, making sure to inform us “Manny’s Blue Room Lounge was not authorized to serve alcohol, since its state liquor license expired on Sept. 30 and had not been renewed, according to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.” This has no bearing on Jemel Roberson’s murder, other than simply being a cheap attempt to note the “dangerous” and “illegal” nature of the lives Jemel Roberson died defending. The Capitalist press has decided he deserved it. There is no amount of voting that can change that editorial board.

The same society that eagerly pestered our hero Jemel Roberson to vote can’t seem to figure out how to stop him from being lynched. The same idealistic talking heads on MSNBC who shrilly cried how much his voice mattered grow quiet when his is permanently silenced. The Democrats will say a few words, but the news cycle will rush towards more important stories. They have elections to win. Jemel Roberson is dead. Dead folks can’t vote and lord knows we need to “reach across the aisle” to racists.

There are no new policies. There are no changes. There are no emergency laws. There is no nationwide election. There is no vote that could have stopped this. No political party gives two shits about his death and a crumbling social safety net will barely protect the family he leaves behind. No conference will stop the bloodshed, no gun control can curb the murders. A white school gets shot up? Pandemonium. Screams at capitol hill. Something must be done! Think of the children!

The white children. Not Jemel Robinson’s. His children must learn instead to accept the inevitable, and of course the new gun laws that will put them in a cage for the audacity to defend themselves against a society that wants them dead.

The limp-wristed and syphilitic attempt by this racial caste system to quiet the cries of the broken-hearted is laughable: strap cameras on cops. It hasn’t slowed the slaughter. When there is no recording, black victims are thought to have done something wrong. When there is a recording, black victims are thought to have done something wrong off camera. The only thing these cameras have done is given America a new television show where an entire section of the country cheers from the comfort of their homes as cops body slam people with a little bit of weed in their pocket.

No matter what Jemel Roberson did he was up for execution because his life means nothing in the United States. And nobody really has a plan to change that. It’s not something you can vote away.

Much more pressing matters are always on hand it seems. Black lives are always told to take a backseat. We will get around to them, sometime, after Hillary finally gets elected or the worldwide revolution just around the corner finally kicks off. There is always some new crisis. Some new reason to put the dreams away and go vote.

And in the meantime? More slowing heartbeats. More tears. More dying breaths struggling to murmur the name of a loved one, in vain hope that somehow she’d know just how much you loved her.

Two gasps. Then silence. Then the Democrats cry in joy that they’ll finally get Trump’s tax returns.

There will be a bit of outrage of course. It will pass. We will be told next election is too important to worry about such trivial things as lynchings and police brutality. It is your duty to vote, even if many black lives never extend to the point where they can witness anybody they vote for take office. If anybody asks they’ll be told we need the House and the Senate before we can change things. If that happens then we’ll need the Presidency. If that happens we’ll need the Supreme Court.

And if that happens? Well, these things take time you understand. The Democrats will promise to reach across the aisle and come up with “business-friendly alternatives.” Jemel Roberson is but one individual. How can his life be measured against the astounding success of gay drone operators blowing villages to bits on the command of female generals, or the most diverse and sexually liberated collection of CEO’s writing laws and making record profits? People have waited a long time for that kind of progress. What gives you the right to derail it?

And so it goes, another black body fallen on pavement like the snowflakes so common for Chicago this time of year. They pile up into great mountains and nobody gives them much of a thought. Part of the landscape, something normal. Permitted only to exist until they become an inconvenience. Then they get plowed out of the way.

(New Age of Slavery by Patrick Campbell. You can support the artist here.)

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How Do You Remember A Comrade?

(Originally published on Gods & Radicals)

Syd is a legendary figure in Tampa radical politics, a tireless organizer who refused to be pinned down to one project and fought for liberation in nearly every aspect of her life. She was a founding member of the Tampa Sex Worker Solidarity Network, took part and was even arrested in the ICE occupations in Tampa, and was a permanent fixture in many a rally. She also a key player in the local Redneck Revolt chapter, and had no illusions that power would simply wither away and die. Determined, fierce, I met Syd at one of Tampa’s most radical May Day Rallies.

“That’s a nice flag you got there.” A young woman dressed in black smiled at me.

“Yeah. The symbol has something to do with sex worker solidarity.”

“I know,” she laughed. “I made it.”

Even then, knowing nothing about her, I sensed something weird and powerful within. This was not your average leftist.

Her record in the community alone could testify to that, as well as her fully integrated grasp of capitalism and its malicious ways. On top of all of that I would later find out she was no stranger to the occult. Curious, though very skeptical.

Before the Tampa Bay Ice occupation she had sent me an encrypted message, asking what kind of spellwork might aid in direct action. I pointed towards Jesus Malverde, and said I’d gladly buy a statue for her to cultivate a relationship with The Generous Bandit. We had plans to eventually make our way down to Yeehaw Junction and engage in some crossroads work alongside other sex workers. At the recent Redneck Revolt conference in New Orleans Syd made sure to stop at a local candle shop, and had plans to sneak into a few cemeteries. A comrade she was with even asked if I wanted them to grab me some graveyard dirt when they got inside.

Not too long ago Syd told me she never got the statue. Pissed it had gotten lost in the mail, I decided I’d buy another one and deliver it myself. It’d been a minute since I’d seen her anyway, and I thought it would be great to hear about all the unrelenting work she had put in to make Tampa Bay the most radical, militant city in Florida.

Sydney Eastwin is dead.

She was 28.

“Someday you’ll call my name and I won’t answer, Someday you’ll reach for me, I won’t be there…”

Death is a constant companion to the struggle for a better life. 1.5 million perished in Algeria to defeat the supposedly democratic French state, the same country usually brought up for its “socialist” healthcare rather than open use of torture in the aforementioned conflict. 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters lost their lives fighting the United States. The amount of Palestinians killed by the Israelis in a war over basic human decency has filled the ground with more corpses than we can count.

The United States has its own killing fields: the streets of immigrant and black communities. There white men are state sanctioned to enforce “the law” as they see fit and to kill anybody that gets in their way. While tears stream down our face, the names of those taken by these monsters become words of power. We remember their last moments, resolve ourselves to never forget just who the enemy is.

Death doesn’t just lurk inside guns. The deaths of those who could have been saved if they had healthcare, who perish from diseases that could have been prevented, lie rotting at Capitalism’s altar. The miner’s cough in West Virginia, the skin cancer of a landscaper, all the fruits of lives spent making money for somebody else.

But there are still others. Others so often spoken in hushed tones. Sex Workers who disappear in the night, entire families never seen again after crossing an imaginary line in the desert.

Still too wait the victims of a mental war, who can’t take the never-ending violence propagated upon them by society. Hanging in closets. Slipping into red colored water in bathtubs. Found with needles in their arms. Gaping holes in the sides of heads, hands still clutching letters that start with the words “I’m sorry…”

All around us we are surrounded by the Dead, souls eaten alive by a system intent on turning beautiful, powerful human beings into numbers on a screen. Into dollar signs. The Left, traditionally an atheistic endeavour, offers a few phrases and moves on. The Dead are fallen, but we are reminded that eventually it’ll all pay off. Sighs of “Rest In Power” are followed by moving feet. The human once again becomes reduced from an individual to a mere transaction.

These people are more than fighters, more than all the battles or the struggles combined. They are part of something far more uncanny than materialist minds care to confront.

It’s time to change that.

Read more here…

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Spiritual Ecology, Psychogeography, and Poltergasmic Politics

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)

MOSHED-2018-8-28-20-24-32

“My idea is that every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its force (–its will to power:) and to thrust back all that resists its extension. But it continually encounters similar efforts on the part of other bodies and ends by coming to an arrangement (‘union’) with those of them that are sufficiently related to it: thus they then conspire together for power. And the process goes on–”
Freidrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

“Si quieren que se los diga
Yo soy un alma sin dueño
A mí no me importa nada
Pa’ mí la vida es un sueño”
–Ramon Ayala, “Un Puño De Tierra”

Breathe. Take it in. Breathe.

Just like pulling a trigger.

We are deep in the swamps, heading off of the Florida Trail into spongy ground that, just a few moments from now, will become a lake. There’s a storm brewing about three miles west, big fucker, but we can’t see it. A sea of green and brown blocks out the sky and calls from unseen animals hide the approach of rolling thunder. My comrades had asked earlier why the hell I was bringing a backpack for, what we assumed, was just a dayhike.

“Well,” I said, “you never know what might happen.” I drained another beer, carefully putting the empty in my pocket. “Besides I figure it’s good training. Get used to moving with my sleeping hammock, tarps, the whole deal.”

This was only a half-truth. I couldn’t explain that this preparedness was actually a sacred covenant I’d undertaken after an acid-soaked ritual out at Lithia Springs. That not carrying a spare battery for my flashlight was a sin on par with shitting in a church pew. I couldn’t explain the weird metaphysical bonds I’d forged between the land, how I’d understood its reptilian directives, and even put the very symbols it showed me on my skin permanently. 

Florida, the remorseless lover. The fanged kiss. Womb and gnashing jaw all wrapped into one. Our Lady of Leche. ¡Soy el hombre más dichosa del mundo por tenerte como madre!

I was having trouble focusing. Political anxieties combined with visions of angry white men armed to the teeth. My mind swirled with these images even as the cypress brushed against me. On the podcast I co-host I made clear my belief that certain events meant we were on the threshold of great violence. A militia was being formed to stop any chance of impeachment with the express desire to train people to “put down” Leftists.

Things were finally coming to a head. For once I was actually, truly terrified.

We were out here to engage in a ritual to aid prisoners in Connecticut, to fill them with the watery, chaotic nature that flowed in this land as easily as you or I breathe. Spirits were thick. I could feel the bugs and trees in my blood.

To help ease my mind(and to ensure my attention could be focused on the ritual) I touched a tree and asked a simple question: how can I prepare for what’s coming? I asked for wisdom, guidance.

I didn’t realize then what I do now. That the area we were in wasn’t just some swamp. That the storm, the graves we’d uncover, all would drip with potent meaning.

Meaning beyond mere politics. Meaning which, even as I type these words, moves me to tears and fills me with awe.

None of this may make sense. I feel compelled to write it all the same.

I have been gifted with a vision. Come sit with me in the humid air and let me tell you what I saw.

Read more….

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HELL YES I think We Should Dox Nazis! Is That A Serious Question?

“Maybe one day all the old guys will die off and things will change, ‘cuz it’s officially getting scary over here in America.”
—Hank Williams III

From the moment I started writing I decided that, as long as I had a voice, I would say exactly what I wanted to.

I’ve written about magic, which has pissed off secular radicals. I’ve written about Egoism, which pissed off the Leftists. The largest publisher of Egoist material in turn hates my guts because I don’t think Egoists should waste their time hanging out by themselves and, weirdly enough, should be involved with others in the struggle for liberation.

I’ve also written about violence, my most recent piece going into tactical detail about some of the methods the Taliban has used to confront and defeat the United States military. I‘ve made the case that violent, or at least armed upheaval, is the only thing that puts enough fear into the Powers That Be to effectively get them to back down. I’ve advocated forming bases, getting involved with the community, and above all destroying those that would seek to harm us.

Doxxing Nazis, and other fascists, is absolutely one of the methods available to harm those that harm us. I support this tactic not only because I support whatever avenues for self-defense the people can muster, but also from a purely tactical standpoint it works.

Just How Many Tears Are Shed
By Some Little Word of Anger?

Doxxing has been in vogue on the Right for a long time, and nobody was quite as good as 4chan. 4chan, filled with lonely masturbating men calling each other cucks, had nothing but time on its hands.

Well, that and their dicks.

Channers would often spend all day online, and in doing so we’re able to pull of some astounding feats of intelligence gathering.

Consider Shia Lebouf’s “He Will Not Divide Us” Campaign, where 4channers wanted to remove a flag at an unknown location:

“…viewers used triangulation techniques based on planes seen in the stream to determine the general area. A local then began honking their horn repeatedly while driving in the area, which were picked up by the webcam’s microphone to further narrow the location. Finally, using star maps, 4chan users were able to identify the exact location of the flag on Google Maps…

On August 13th, 2017, the HeWillNotDivide.us stream was relaunched, featuring the flag placed against a white wall at an unknown location. That day, several threads about the livestream were created on 4chan’s /pol/ board, where many users began speculating that the flag was at the Serpentine Gallery in London, England based on an unverified direct message screenshot with Luke Turner.

That day, YouTuber H Drone uploaded a video titled ‘HWNDU Flag: London,’ chronicling how the flag was purportedly discovered at a different location in England by shining a blue light through a window and tracking reflections based on the movement of the sun throughout the day. The video has since been removed. Meanwhile, an image began circulating claiming that a blue light directed through the window of the house was visible on the wall during the livestream…”

This network is just one among many. One nazi in particular, going by the alias Jack “Pale Horse” Corbin, has been especially prolific in doxxing Anti-Racists and Anti-Fascists.

The leaking of this information is usually twofold in purpose: on one hand the hope is that some lone wolf will attack the person, or at least vandalize their property; to force the person’s political alignment into the public spotlight and, in result, create economic and safety issues for said person.

It’s not enough to be painted as Antifa. Most Far Right doxxers will aid false details, claiming the antifascists abuse children or are addicted to drugs. They may print out posters and put it around the person’s workplace in the hopes they get fired. They may call the police and hope the person gets investigated, or possibly even shot.

I know people, personally, who have had the last two happen. And there are plenty of others who have felt the anxiety and fear of having every digital footprint put out in the hopes it results in violence

For now I’ve been lucky, though that’s not to say folks haven’t tried.

The admin of the meme page Everything Is Pretty Bad has gone as far as to try to come up with a fake name to pressure me into revealing my own. He’s also attempted to hound and blackmail people sharing my articles to give up my personal facebook profile.

Hell they’ve even made attempts to derail any bit of organizing or reporting I got into, simply because they don’t like me, regardless of how it might affect people. Here’s his former co-admin from “Misanthropic Egoism:”

So I want to be clear: I know people who have been doxxed, there have been attempts to doxx me. This is a tactic that has harmed people I know and care for.

And I still think it’s an important tool for us to use.

Your Evil Heart Will Be Your Ruin

“‘I’m unplugged from politics,’ Parrott said. ‘I’m done. I’m out. I don’t want to be in The Washington Post anymore. I don’t care to have this humiliating and terrifying ordeal be more public than it already is. . . . There is no more Trad Worker.”
Former member of the Traditionalist Worker’s Party

There is absolutely no question that doxxing nazis, racists, and other foul human slime gets results that other organizing simply doesn’t. There is a reason the Klan wears hoods: vile deeds need darkness to be done. To be well-known is to destroy the ability to work in secret.

The Traditionalist Worker’s Party was one such far-right group absolutely devastated by the release of personal information and addresses. Since the first Unite The Right the entire Alt-Right has been hounded wherever they’re faces could be identified, effectively destroying their ability to organize.

A writer at the alt-right website Right Realist admitted as much in a piece called Why I was Wrong about the Alt-Right:

“Our enemies have seen the opportunity they needed to crush us without looking like the authoritarian monsters they are to the public at large. Nobody in the public is going to step up to defend ‘KKK, Nazi, white supremacists.'”

The Alt-Right depends on a public face and a private face. When those true feelings were exposed they lost all credibility and quickly found themselves the local pariah. Jack “Pale Horse” Corbin has been identified, down to his physical address. Prominent Neo-Nazis on twitter have dropped out of the movement when they merely been threatened with exposure.

Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin agrees things aren’t looking good. The same asshole who gleefully directed Daily Stormer readers to hang nooses and intimidate a female black student is running scared. He has gone into hiding, and just recently made it clear doxxing by antifascists will “ruin the lives” of anyone treading in the same loathsome, piss-filled ideological pool he himself inhabits:

That’s called results. That’s called victory. A year ago the Charlottesville rally drew hundreds of open neo-nazis, one who felt so emboldened he fucking killed someone. This year it drew twenty. They admit it’s because they don’t feel safe.

They aren’t afraid of being assaulted or thrown in jail. They are afraid of being exposed. By doxxing.

And isn’t that what we want?

Take These Chains From My Heart
and
Set Me Free

Gods and Radicals is a collective, and writers are free to write whatever they wish. We have many diverse opinions and lord knows I’ve given plenty of headaches to the more…pacifistic of my fellow authors. Some have called for me to be fired. Just recently I had a fellow writer call me on the phone, telling me my most recent piece published there made them so uncomfortable they were worried about me.

So it goes.

Folks have written plenty I don’t agree with on Gods and Radicals. We are far, far from some monolithic force.

So let me be crystal clear: anyone who thinks doxxing isn’t working, who thinks this is a tactic the Left should surrender, is living in some alternate world I don’t understand.

The Far-Right isn’t going to stop doxxing us because we put on the kid gloves. You don’t win battles by backing away when your enemy beings to falter and weaken. The cops don’t care who these people are. They hire them!

“In the 2006 bulletin, the FBI detailed the threat of white nationalists and skinheads infiltrating police in order to disrupt investigations against fellow members and recruit other supremacists. The bulletin was released during a period of scandal for many law enforcement agencies throughout the country, including a neo-Nazi gang formed by members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who harassed black and Latino communities. Similar investigations revealed officers and entire agencies with hate group ties in IllinoisOhio and Texas.”

So who exactly is going to bring fascists and their ilk to task if the police, and the courts that are ALWAYS friendly to them, refuse to act?

The goddamn Democrats?

“In a surprise appearance on SNL’s ‘Weekend Update: Summer Edition’ Thursday night, Fey urged Americans not to get into screaming matches with neo-Nazis. Instead, she said, ‘order a cake with the American flag on it … and just eat it.’”

It is often ONLY the tireless work of unnamed antifascists who expose and bring consequences to the monsters among us that brings tangible results.

Remember: the leaked conversations, the interviews, fascists are admitting that doxxing is destroying them. And it isn’t because we’re lying about them. The minute their actual beliefs are exposed, who they really are, the people usually find them repulsive.

Seriously, it’d be one thing if we’re having a conversation about Leftists attacking one another, or even people being misidentified. Fash-jacketing is a real thing, and the mob-mentality so often prevalent in the digital world can ruin people’s lives. We can even talk about the very problematic cheering of tech giants as they remove alt-righters—and then move on to leftist platforms like Telesur. Or how Facebook now requires leftists to register with extremely personal information to run ads in an effort to combat “fake news.”

Hell, I’ll even say we could talk about how some of the working people who voted for Trump are simply ignorant, and need to be reached out to.

Some.

But as for the out-and-out people talking about wiping out every face darker than a jar of mayonnaise?

Who gives a fuck?

Andrew Anglin could have his head removed with a chainsaw, moving from his groin towards his neck, finally culminating in total separation…and I wouldn’t care.

David Duke could be attacked by a pack of rabid dogs and spend the next four hours being slowly torn to pieces…and I wouldn’t shed a tear.

Jason Kessler could be on fire and I wouldn’t PISS on him to put him out. My laughter would mix with his shrill cries for water as his once solid frame melted into a pool of charred bone and liquid fat.

I’d sleep like a goddamn baby.

Let them suffer. Let them be afraid. These people want to kill us. If they had the chance, they would. They admit this and harass us at every opportunity with networks far outstripping our own. Why should we feel bad or even consider their feelings? Why is a tactic so clearly effective something we can’t use?

This isn’t some grand web of karma where the most advanced, peaceful people win by default. This is a rough, ruthless planet where baby animals get ripped open everyday, where innocent children get blown up and turned into smoldering goo.

Doxxing stops actual, real world violence before it starts because the enemy is afraid. Keep him afraid and he becomes paralyzed. Unable to act. Isn’t that what we want?

Are we combating fascism or are we in a conversation with it? If you find a moral issue with doxxing I’d love to hear what forms of combat you’d prefer instead.

And if you say voting I swear to god I will take off my pants and shit in your shoes.

Nobody else is going to stop these people. It is up to us. Doxxing works, doxxing will continue to work, and in an open war regarding personal information…we’d only be hurting ourselves by giving up our strongest weapon.

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The United States is Being Radicalized—And It Isn’t By Us

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)

Screenshot 2018-07-24 at 11.03.34 PM

As I write these words I am currently parked outside of an abandoned orange grove, the Kia serving as mobile press office and exploratory vehicle. Behind me are the rotting remains of generations of dreams. The packing house, a cross between factory and roadside orange grove stand, now lies in ruins, a shadow of its former self. The heavy machinery, the box labels marking grapefruit bound for Tokyo, even the sign that once hung above the building patiently wait inside, sure that one day that front door is going to open and business go back to normal.

IMG_20180720_173547

The place is haunted in a sense, though not by any dead folks as far as I could tell. I tip toe softly and hear buzzes, shouts, but they aren’t bouncing off the walls. I can see both the building as it was and as it is now: smiling customers mix with the caved in ceiling, two men argue over pay by the graffiti that says “Shit Chamber,” covered in dust; scattered everywhere are tags for holiday fruit once carefully attached to wooden crates..

In Japan a sword is believed to gain a soul after one hundred years. How about a building? Am I feeling its memories locked in the wood, the metal? Where else might this feeling of longing be coming from?

I crawl back outside, storm winds rolling in from the west. My mobile encampment lies hidden in the bushes, and with scarcely time to open a beer a monsoon washes over the area. In the back seat I stare watching, wondering of lives and futures that could have been.

Something has changed in the American power structure. There’s a revolutionary future out there in some quantum space that will never be ours again, as doomed as the building I’m parked beside. This isn’t the same country we were organizing in four years ago.

And I think we’ve taken a turn for the worst.

Read the rest here….

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Black Flags, Green Mountains, and Small Unit Tactics

I received an interesting email, one I’d like to share with all of you.

“Dr. Bones,

I’ve attached to this email a zine that is a work of fiction. the story involves a small crew of folks that ambush an INS transfer bus and free the detainees. I have no idea of where to send it, but it covers some basic fundamentals of small unit tactics carrying out armed praxis. It takes place in the near future, in which ICE has been supposedly abolished, but instead just morphed into an even more powerful state structure in the midst of extreme economic depression. 

….the zine has a study guide to assist folks in identifying key aspects, and is meant as a short group study. 

If magic can make reality, please enjoy.”

I’m not a military person but I’d be interested in getting one’s opinion on the text. The read is surprisingly good and the study guide at the end I find very interesting. The long and the short of it is this is a small text that any self-defense group would benefit from reading.

If anything it gets us thinking in new, tactical ways. One of the biggest dangers the Left currently faces is still playing by protest rules while our enemies are devising new ways to militarily overpower us.

Why don’t we deploy reserves at protests? Flanking movements? Why not ambush fighters after the big event? I’ve written about this before but it bears repeating.

Big thanks to those folks who sent me this, and hopefully they churn out more. Lord knows we need this kind of stuff.

Check it out here: Black Flags Green Mountains

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Rationality & Its Discontents: The Heart Zone, Narrative, & Folk Magic w/ Dr. Bones

“In this episode, I speak with Dr. Bones – conjurer, political theorist, and gonzo journalist. We discuss the irrational nature of human behavior, the narratives that direct human activity, folk magic, and the practicality of conjuring as a form of direct action.

I’ve come to know Dr. Bones primarily through his writings as a gonzo-journalist, whose work cuts to the core of America’s predatory capitalist economic system and the institutions and ideological frameworks that protect and perpetuate its logic. We discuss the ideologies that govern and direct human behavior, and dissect the myth that rationality and evidence guide human decision-making – in particular the delusional thinking many on the Left have regarding political theory and its practical application on the ground level. Many people, on both ends of the political spectrum, treat theoretical frameworks as ‘holy scripture’ – as inherently and self-evidently true, dogmatically so. We discuss why this form of thinking limits our understanding of political and social change – hindering our ability to effectively organize against the ideologies and institutions that seek to exploit human beings and the natural world we are invariably connected to.

In the latter half of this episode, I ask Bones to expound on a subject I know little about: magic, or to be more precise – the Hoodoo folk magic tradition Bones is steeped in. Bones defines himself as a conjurer, and I ask him to elaborate on what that means to him – to practice magic as he understands it to be. I personally am not well-versed in the subject (and I remain skeptical of it), but Bones delves into the topic with astounding clarity, upending many of my unexamined assumptions regarding the scope and limitations of human consciousness, as well as the practical and observable impact conjuring can have on the unfolding of events in day-to-day life. We also discuss how magic and it application fits into our understanding of political direct action, and how ‘the map is not the territory’ when it comes to understanding magic’s use as a tool to empower oneself in opposition to the forces that subjugate humanity for its own purposes. This is conversation covers territory I’m unaccustomed to exploring, and I appreciate and admire Dr. Bones’ take on the subjects discussed in this episode.”

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Toxic Prison Housing: How Trump’s Playground Treats Its Poor

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)

“‘You’re a storyteller. Dream up something wild and improbable,’ she pleaded. ‘Something beautiful and full of monsters.’

‘Beautiful and full of monsters?’

‘All the best stories are.”

― Laini Taylor, Strange the Dreamer

They say that slavery is over, that the days of big plantations are long gone. This is the New South, so the saying goes, and the past ain’t nothing but a bunch of statues in a park.

The same people will tell you a rising tide lifts all boats.

I seen somewhere where the tide doesn’t do anything but drag people out to sea.

Down here in Florida times may have changed but they sound much the same: rich folks living in luxury while people sweat in the cane fields, armed white men patrolling and killing whoever they wish. In fact I’d go so far as to say Florida still has one big plantation in operation, one gigantic blight upon on earthly paradise that ought to be cleansed with fire and high-grade ammunition.

That place is Palm Beach County. And in Palm Beach County a rebellion is beginning that could topple the whole damn plantation.

The following cannot do justice to what I saw, felt, heard, or smelled. This, if nothing else, will stand as a testament to future generations. Let us never forget as we move forward how the workers lived. Let us never let our indignation grow sour and meek. Let us never forget how people first started groping towards real world solutions, instead of mindlessly arguing over historical fantasies.

Stonybrook….

The word will one day mean two things.

Hope.

And revenge.

A Little History

I never planned on coming back to South Florida.

A ceremonial magician and devotee of Horus had contacted me about an investigation. He said there was big things brewing in Palm Beach County, real class war shit, and that I had to come cover them. Shadowy figures he’d dreamed of had called me by name and demanded my presence. He offered to hook me up with all the folks involved, house us overnight, and even to sacrifice a chicken for my protection.

Palm Beach County, you have to understand, is a vicious den of unending exploitation and lies. It’s merest mention often brings groans and cries of disgust from elsewhere around the state.

I know. I’m from there.

Born in Boynton Beach, I’d long ago forsaken my birthplace. Truthfully spoken justice might as well be a figment of imagination till the day comes when machine guns mounted on trucks roam Palm Beach County like wild boars, obliterating every mention of that wretched corner of the world.

The area that would become Palm Beach first appears on American radar back during the Seminole Wars. There, in the Battle of Jupiter Inlet, American colonial forces were resoundingly defeated by the freed slaves and indigenous peoples that made up the Seminole bands. Undeterred the Americans decided to convince the Seminoles they intended to give up the war, asking them to meet them under a flag of truce in exchange for the freedom to live as they wished. 600 Seminoles did just that.

They were immediately thrown in shackles, carted off to prison, and sent to the dusty wasteland of Oklahoma.

Skullduggery is built into the very fibre of Palm Beach County; even its name comes from a scam. The coconut palm, the specific palm in “Palm Beach”, is not native to Florida. Its presence in Palm Beach County is due to the shipwreck of the Spanish ship Providencia in 1878 near today’s Mar-a-Lago, a deliberate grounding to receive an insurance payout. Smallscale smuggling was the name of the game until a man named Henry Flagler came to town. He look one look at the people living in tropical paradise and just knew there was money to be made. He built the county into a playground for the Gilded Class.

The playground itself was a scam in a way: palaces like The Breakers or The Royal Poinciana Hotel became fashionable destinations for America’s uber-rich. Flagler’s railroad was the only way to get there. They paid him for the ride, paid him for the stay, and when they wanted a house it was Flagler that helped them out.

(The Royal Poinciana Hotel in 1900. Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Since then Palm Beach County’s golden rule has been a simple one: maintain the pipeline and do so quietly. Flagler ensured maximum comfort for his patrons by having his lieutenants kill and maim any workers that raised a fuss. Journalists that spoke unkindly disappeared. Labor disputes of any type were strictly forbidden and bodies were often buried beneath the rails.

Think about that: a giant cemetery guided the rich into Florida, and while they spilled wine and laughed they rode over the corpses of the poor.

Is it any wonder shit is so weird down here?

The Palm Beach Social Index-Directory, a yearly published, privately circulated little black book designed to separate the socially acceptable wealthy from the uncouth rich, keeps the circle of the ruling class small. Thirty of Palm Beach County’s residents are on the Forbe’s list of billionaires and they have no interest in being bothered. To this end they employ the police who have always understood themselves as servants of the rich.

Hunter S. Thompson, when he did a story in the region, perfectly captured the social contract between the The Well-to-Do and the Well-Armed:

“The police are no problem in Palm Beach. We own them and they know it. They work for us, like any other servant, and most of them seem to like it. When we run out of gas in this town, we call the police and they bring it, because it is boring to run out of gas. The rich have special problems, and running out of gas on Ocean Boulevard on the way to an orgy at six o’clock on Sunday morning is one of them. Nobody needs that. Not with naked women and huge bags of cocaine in the car. The rich love music, and we don’t want it interrupted…

We don’t pay these people much, but we pay them every week, and if they occasionally forget who really pays their salaries, we have ways of reminding them…”

The Police are eager to avoid such reminders, and when not running errands for their masters they have one mission: keep the poor in line. Cases like Jewett v. City of West Palm Beach Police Department (in custody police beating death), Lamore v. City of Riviera Beach Police Department (jury verdict determination of municipal liability), and Mueller v. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (police beating injuries, conspiracy retaliation claims involving PBSO Internal Affairs Division) are stark reminders that the Flagler model is still in effect.

But that might be changing. In one of the worst neighborhoods, amid extreme segregation and implied violence, people were starting to fight back.

Out in Stonybrook the class war went from theory to tangible reality. My wife and I rushed down at ninety-five miles per hour, eager to bear witness.

Read more here…

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Egoism Vs. The Nazi Aztecs of Eco-Extremism

(This was originally a facebook post that was mass reported by meme pages like “Everything is Bad” and “Post-Left Rage,” as well as the fans of the “Anarchist” publisher Little Black Cart(who makes a living publishing eco-extremist as well as egoist texts). They wanted it off facebook and, essentially, for it to go unread.

True to my asshole nature, I not only published here but expanded it.

I invite you to read it and become aware of Eco-extremism, the journal Atassa, and what their “ideology” is. When you see people sharing their memes or talking about them, you’ll know what they really want to do)

Many of you have asked me “what is ITS” over the past few days. Today I’d like to talk about it because I think its important you know.

ITS stands for “Individualists Tending Towards the Wild.” It is a (supposed) group of people living in Mexico who started out, or at least claimed to, in the egoist/nihilist tradition of Anarchism. This made them heroic figures for many on the Post-Left side of thinking, reeling from the failures of the 1990’s and very much looking beyond Green Anarchism. ITS puts out communiques that are discussed and fawned over by a journal called Atassa. Atassa also shares copies of their communiques online. Atassa is published by Little Black Cart, the largest publisher of Egoist and Nihilist literature.

ITS operates strictly within the “anti-civilization” line of thought. One of the very odd things is they seem to worship “wildness” and despise “civilization.” Both of these are abstract concepts, symbols really, the very thing Stirner wrote an entire book denouncing. For ITS however they are the two gods at war for their very souls, the prime motivators of all history and all human endeavours. To fight back against “civilization” and preserve their wildness they engaged in bomb attacks against scientists in Mexico.

These attacks and their communiques became the bedrock of a new ideology: eco-extremism.

Eco-extremism combines the worst aspects of Nihilism and Green Anarchy. They very much believe in human nature, and consider all humans as unnatural creatures that must be destroyed to return to “wildness.” Again, if that sounds like a laughable religious position that’s because IT IS, yet ITS and Atassa(the only journal that publishes their screeds) believe they are nihilists who believe in nothing.

Except of course all humanity is bad, all technology is bad, and “wildness” is sacred. People must die, for reasons never really explained, and who dies doesn’t really matter. The pursuit of a return to “savage” nature is the sole goal.

This elevation of “savageness”(itself a very weird, fetishistic view of native cultures) has overridden any other desires. So eager to return to Holy “Wildness” the following piece was published by Atassa advocating a “savage kingdom” rather than anarcho-primitivism.

Let me read you a quote. Please recall the editors of Atassa considered this a turning point for eco-extremist theory” and a definite view to take forward. They are speaking of the very war-like, and almost Aztec-level hierarchical civilization known as The Calusa:

“It is a shame that they fell so shockingly short of the fully nomadic, immediate returns hunter-gatherer paradigm that is the apex of anarcho-primitivist sanctity, but we would hope that the priests of that ideology find it in their hearts to forgive them of their mortal sins of hierarchy and authority. . .

Eco-extremists may continue to draw their inspiration mostly from warlike
nomadic hunter-gatherers, but I would speculate that, given the choice between a Calusa ‘king’ obedient to his gods and nature, and a humanist green anarchist playing social engineer, they would choose the former as an ally…”

It may seem a shock that any Post-Leftist would speak joyously of royal hierarchy, that any Egoist would look upon unquestioned obedience to gods and “nature” as some glorious goal, yet Egoists and other Insurrectionists are told(by meme pages such as Everything is Bad and Post Left Rage) that these people are the most amazing thing to happen since Stirner himself. Eco-extremism, which places an undefined and abstract “nature” above the Unique, is in stark contrast to Egoism.

“Stirner himself, however, has no truck with ‘higher beings.’ Indeed, with the aim of concerning himself purely with his own interests, he attacks all ‘higher beings,’ regarding them as a variety of what he calls ‘spooks,’ or ideas to which individuals sacrifice themselves and by which they are dominated. First amongst these is the abstraction ‘Man’, into which all unique individuals are submerged and lost.”

In contrast to Stirner’s absolute rejection of any kind of authority, eco-extremists see nothing wrong with “natural” hierarchy or political institutions. In a text titled “Our response is like an earthquake: It comes sooner or later,” ITS writes:

“It’s true that ‘authority’ has existed in ancient ethnic groups before civilization, but it’s worth asking: Is the authority exercised by a leader of a Bushman tribe (for example), one that helps to feed them, something that is harmful? Is the authority of the Taromenane shaman, one which cures and alleviates illnesses in his band of wild humans, something harmful? Was the authority of the great Teochichimeca warriors, who were able to take revenge against the Spanish in their day, something harmful? If you say ‘yes’, you’re hopeless…” 

That communique was shared on Anarchist News, a website run by the nihilist who calls himself “Aragorn!” He also runs Little Black Cart, a nihilist/egoist publisher.

Again, even from a nihilist position, why should any one respect “natural” hierarchy any more than “presidential” or “military” hierarchy?

Interestingly enough most of these people live online. Beyond meme pages and this small, niche journal eco-extremism doesn’t exist. It’s the “egoist”(and I use that term in jest) version of 4chan. The only people who carry out any “eco-extremist” actions are ITS, whom Atassa and other Eco-extremists laud as heroes carrying out a war against technology and “civilization.”

What does this war look like? Let’s look to an actual ITS communique to find out.

In extreme misanthropic skepticism and experimentation, beyond any human notion, I claim nichilistically the following attacks:

-The arson of 2 mini buses transporting elder people.

Why? Why don’t you ask the guys from the books you read to tell you why? Oh shit! They’re dead? I’ll tell you why then! Because I hate old people! Hahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahahaha!!!

-A package bomb left totally indiscriminately at a central location selectively.

Why do I not think of the ”innocent” people one might think… I answer with a question… Did my birth giver’s pussy think when it was fucked to be fertilized with microscopic semen that creates the vessels that I hate? Did anybody ask me to be born? Did anyone know what I would become? Do you know that some see consciousness as a curse? Fuck you, pathetic pricks, you don’t know shit then!”

Of course this is probably just bullshit. Let’s assume these attacks, which again may not even exist, are actually real.

This isn’t a “war against civilization,” it’s just a bunch of assholes “killing” people. Atassa and meme pages like Everything is Bad or Post Left Rage eat them up.

Atassa and the meme pages that celebrate them are basically just cheering on the death of random working people. Not rich people, not even the technology-researching scientists they claim to hate. Just random people. Eco-extremists claim this is due to their “misanthropy” which is somehow very different from Fascist hatred. After all, like the old Hot Topic t-shirt says “I don’t hate any one race, I hate them all!”

“All that surrounds me, every ‘normal’ humanoid, is performing a litany towards crushing determinism. One more time I seize the opportunity to act and unleash My Hatred. I get ready not to stray from the mechanistic ‘life-form’. I call upon Death and we enter in a maelstrom of the heartbeat of Chaos that transforms blood into a pumping engine in the libido of voidance that dissolves humanity attempting indiscriminate Destruction and Murder.”

Compare this to Stirner’s response when asked if Egoism should inspire people to misanthropy:

“…that would be a man who does not know and cannot appreciate any of the delights emanating from an interest taken in others, from the consideration shown to others. That would be a man bereft of innumerable pleasures, a wretched character . . . would he not be a wretched egoist, rather than a genuine Egoist? . . . The person who loves a human being is, by virtue of that love, a wealthier man that someone else who loves no one.”

If you criticize these practices Eco-extremists default to a Jordan Peterson-esque line of thinking: if you criticize them you are a “moralist” and misunderstand what they’re saying. If you criticize ITS, Atassa claims they are just one aspect of eco-extremism and that they don’t speak for everybody. They also claim that you haven’t “read enough.” And, if you get that far, they moan about how you’re “moralizing” or that somehow drinking a pepsi is the same thing as blowing up a bus of old people.

(Postscript: this is exactly what happened after publishing this material)

Go ahead and read that Calusa essay. I invite you to read anything else Atassa publishes. Recall, whether they support them or not, Atassa routinely publishes ITS communiques they believe to be real; recall also meme pages like Everything is Bad and Post Left Rage as well as Atassa freely admit ITS is the only one carrying out the eco-extremist mission.

Other insurrectionist cells across Mexico, ones who might rightly be claimed as Egoist in structure and methodology, want nothing to do with ITS or eco-extremism; they see in the sad behavior dressed up as ideology nothing more than the industrial society eco-extremists claim to be free from:

“That is the case of these disastrous ones. Axiomatic fruit of this pitiful civilization that they say they want to destroy. Only in the deepest entrails of this decay can such decaying behaviors manifest themselves. It is in the sewers of this society where these pathologies are nourished and the most delirious fascistoid rhetoric takes shape. That is where these deformations are formed and the irrepressible protagonistic anxieties throw them at the reflectors.

Its roots are none other than the nauseous dung of social dysfunction. After a sad childhood and a frustrated adolescence, harassed by bullying from the cradle and traumatised from their family, they begin to channel their frustrations and all the accumulated self-hatred and project it without ethical mediations. That is the Individualists Tending toward the Wild. His misogynist discourse and his authoritarian actions are the result.”

You can’t call them eco-fascists however! Oh no! Totally different! Why would they be featured by an anarchist publisher and by Anarchist News?

Says one apologist:

“In what sense do they resemble the fascism of Mussolini or Nazism? Fascism is a statist, nationalist, and (ultimately) pro-civ ideology – none of these labels apply to eco-extremists…their ideology is essentially all about continuity with pre/anti-colonial savagery of the indigenous warriors.”

The fans of Atassa, and by extension their publishers, prefer to ignore when Atassa compared themselves favorably to fascists, gleefully advocated genocide, and called people “degenerates.” I have trouble remembering the Aztecs complaining about degenerates. I seem to remember somebody in the 1930’s talking about it alot. Here’s the screenshots:

Of course they’ll tell you that post was a “mistake,” someone running the page yet having nothing to do with the journal. You still can’t call them eco-fascists. They’re totally different. They might advocate the same things but somehow they having nothing to do fascism.

Sure. Just look at the latest Atassa journal cover:

Atassa, meme pages like Everything is Bad and Post Left Rage, and increasingly the “Anarchist” website called Anarchist News are uplifting one of the most garbage ideologies I have ever had the misfortune of learning about. The idea that they are essentially trying to ship a green “nihilism” that worships “wildness” and advocates genocide into Egoism, an idea that posits human uniqueness as the most liberating concept, is a goddamn shame. There is nothing Egoist about Atassa, Eco-extremism, and by extension the meme pages that fawn over them.

But they sure do love to pull in as many Egoists as possible to buy their shit.

Egoism is changing. It isn’t 1995 anymore and Wolfi’s old ideas about making everything “play” and running off into the woods aren’t cutting it. Egoism is confronting a world where most Unique Ones can’t afford healthcare, don’t own any property, and have almost no time to develop their unique and individual selves. For some people the path to liberation involves seizing territory, enriching their lives, and destroying the forces that would seek to turn them into to a socially-obedient slave. Those people are Egoist-Communists.

For some people liberation involves leaving everything the way it is and cheering on a semi-fictitious band of assholes in Mexico who claim to kill random old people and women.

Those people aren’t Egoists. They’re eco-extremists and are fit only to be pissed on whenever possible.

Have a great night.

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