This morning I wanted to go to the indoor Saturday Farmer’s Market. But it was raining out, really hard. So hard that puppy Shadow decided to hold his overnight pee rather than venture into the back yard! So hard that I didn’t want to wear my old North Face rain coat that no longer keeps out rain, despite washing it with that stuff that’s supposed to do the trick. But I really wanted to go! Needed to get a frozen bone for bone soup, and that’s the place that has ’em.
Well, what do you know! I ventured a look outside, and there was a package by my door. Must have arrived earlier this morning. What’s in it? The new raincoat I ordered from REI. Can you believe? Came at the exact time that I really needed it. One more synchronicity click — how, if we are truly following the path that is ours alone to serve, then the universe re-arranges harmonics of time and space to help us do so.
So here’s another post following the trail of synchronicities. And in fact, this trail is one that continues the two-faced Janus character that I focused on earlier. Yep, Gordon Duff’s new piece
includes a Janus-face graphic!
But wait! There’s more:
A little while later, I came across Matt Taibbi’s recent pieces on the police in America:
which, combined, just throw up the whole notion of “police” into the air as in wow, gee-whiz, what world do we live in?
During Occupy, back in 2011, I thought, fondly, idealistically, stupidly: “If only the police would cross over the boundary, join the 99%, given that they too are in that class, and that their job is to guard and protect the 1%.” Just that crossover alone, or as in permaculture, we might say, just “fuzzing that edge,” would itself bring down the 1%. Why couldn’t the police see the connection? Well, a few did, but that’s it. The exigencies of day-to-day life involving the need to make money by “keeping one’s job” seem to take precedence over any other consideration for most 99%’ers.
But what, really, is “the police”? I decided to research origins. Did you know that the institution we call “the police” has only been around since the 19th century, that it came into form between 1825 and 1855, not in response to crime, but in response to “large, defiant crowds?” WOW!
From the introduction:
The authorities created the police in response to large, defiant crowds. That’s
— strikes in England,
— riots in the Northern US,
— and the threat of slave insurrections in the South.
So the police are a response to crowds, not to crime.
I will be focusing a lot on who these crowds were, how they became such a challenge. We’ll see that one difficulty for the rulers, besides the growth of social polarization in the cities, was the breakdown of old methods of personal supervision of the working population. In these decades, the state stepped in to fill the social breach.
We’ll see that, in the North, the invention of the police was just one part of a state effort to manage and shape the workforce on a day-to-day basis. Governments also expanded their systems of poor relief in order to regulate the labor market, and they developed the system of public education to regulate workers’ minds. I will connect those points to police work later on, but mostly I’ll be focusing on how the police developed in London, New York, Charleston (South Carolina), and Philadelphia.
Yep, “police” serve “capitalism” — to help “shape the workforce,” “regulate the labor market,” and “regulate workers’ minds”. Haven’t yet read through the entire above background piece, and may not. I think I already know enough to keep going. And where this led me was to look at anarchy, the idea that we need to get rid of government itself, if the police are actually here to enforce the existing order.
From Larken Rose,
“. . . the entire concept of ‘government; is a self-contradictory myth. There’s no such thing, and can be no such thing. There can NEVER be a legitimate ruling class, so arguing about WHAT KIND of ruling class we should have, or what it should do . . . is silly.
“Of course, the gang of mercenaries is very real, as are the politicians, but it is the supposed LEGITIMACY of their rule that makes them “government,” and makes their commands “law,” and makes disobedience to such commands “crime,” and so on. Without the RIGHT to do what they do — without the moral right to rule — the gang ceases to be “government” and becomes organized crime.”
Hmmm. Dot-connection time? Duff’s two-faced business of so-called “terrorism,” set in place by sponsoring governments as the public face of organized crime — could we generalize this conclusion to include, not just some governments, but the very concept of government itself, as a large, centralizing force that tries to keep “order” through control via the use of force?
I realize that the word “anarchy” has had very bad press. That it’s been promoted as what happens when governments collapse, the Hobbesian war of all against all. Not necessarily. In fact, not true.
Here’s a very interesting book review that might place in perspective how we need to think and what we need to do when we conclude that expanding, centralized government itself is what keeps the human race enslaved.
The clarion-clear message of this narrowly focused history of the use of violence versus nonviolence is that when it comes to throwing off forcible oppression, nonviolent resistance beats violence hands down. Yet so little is understood regarding its effectiveness and accomplishments that there is no word in any language for the opposite of violence beyond the negative, nonviolence. Kurlansky shows that failure to understand that nonviolence is an efficacious means and a potent force in the hands of peacemakers or the oppressed is a serious mistake benefiting only warriors and tyrants. The author points out, “it has always been treated as something profoundly dangerous” by the rulers of states. His concise history traces the concept of nonviolence among ancient people of various religions up to the recent past. He deduces from his examination that “Though most religions shun warfare and hold nonviolence as the only moral route towards political change, religion and its language have been co-opted by the violent people who have been governing societies.”
Kurlansky distinguishes between pacifism and nonviolence: “Pacifism is passive; but nonviolence is active. Pacifism is harmless and therefore easier to accept than nonviolence, which is dangerous… . Nonviolence, exactly like violence, is a means of persuasion, a technique of political activism, a recipe for prevailing.” And, I might add, nonviolence has a potent spiritual component that the initiators of violence cannot comprehend and have no means to counter.
Once again, I come back to the idea that we must get, and stay, extremely local. And yes, non-violent and deeply connected. Pick your place. Call it home. Dig in. Work the soil. Get to know your neighbors. Help each other out. Self-organize groups for various purposes. On and on and on. Let’s go!
Happy New Year!