Contempt of State – An Indispensable Virtue
by Karen Kwiatkowski
Adrian Lamo, former hacker and inadvertent state stooge, says he is not sorry for reporting heroic Army Specialist Bradley Manning to the feds. He believes, “I put the interest of many against the interest of one.”
Beyond the unrecognizable “patriotism” and incorrect math of Lamo’s perspective, and FBI pressures on young Adrian notwithstanding, the Manning case illustrates how the state will come tumbling down, and how wars and how empire, must ultimately end.
When we watch the devouring state, day in and day out, raging and salivating over the weak and the silent in the name of high-sounding newspeak and doublespeak, we are shocked, saddened, often angered, and sometimes defensive. Over time, we become inured to the inhumanity conducted on our backs, in our names, on behalf of various elite factions who create and control American policy.
In times of war and other indefensible state obscenities, one often sees reference to the famous poem that begins, “First they came,” referring to group inaction against state excesses in German communities prior to World War II. This poem in particular is often invoked to scare people into action against an unjust situation, or rule, or king’s command. It fact, it doesn’t work, because it is an admonition based on inculcating a fear that, among other things, we will be the next set of victims. With fear, there really is no “we.” There is ultimately only “me” and maybe, in some cases, “mine.” Whether we begin to understand how fear is useful to and promoted by the state from the great political minds of George Carlin and Bill Hicks or from Dave Lindorff at Counterpunch, or from conservative politico Pat Buchanan – all of us will eventually understand, if we have our eyes open.
Of course, those who celebrated Independence Day by re-reading the Declaration of Independence were clearly reminded of how government-promoted fear feeds social, economic, and community division, and so serves the state.