Reading "Fearing for the Second Amendment, militia groups grow in number" on the Center for Public Integrity blog and my first reaction is to become anxious that I am moving a week from today to the frontiers of very dangerous territory. Land where the 2nd Amendment religious are out practicing their moves for the coming fight. One they are convinced is going to happen soon. I also think about the media I consume and the history I am constructing in my head about the nature of conflict, revolution, and class structure and struggle at least since the beginning of the Enlightenment. I’ve been watching and reading much about the Spanish Civil War and also the Spanish American War. The Spanish American conflict was one of Empire drift. The United States just took over control of the near sum total of the Spanish Empire when it gained control of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam and the Philippines. Even right there as I wrote that I positioned myself on a globe in my mind and went east from GMT -5, where I live. That is key; psychogeographic rooting. PR is the way in which one positions himself in the known world on every level, physical and metaphysical. It is a fore-factor of language development and political speech. It is a necessary precondition in how we see ourselves in relation to others. It is experimentation with this psychological phenomena that can rip us out of our culturally engrained language and education. In short, do whatever you have to to fuck up your thoughts, language and definitions.
The Spanish Civil War was faught between Carlists, Fascists and those loyal to the old order and supporters of the new democratically elected 2nd Republic. I am beginning to wonder about how I frame groups like “republicans” and “loyalists”. Certainly I am against regime control and totalitarianism, but I wonder why we can never learn that both sides of the spectrum are capable of them. I am curious how or histories are constructed and how the intergenerational telephone game that we play with the fabrics of our histories, language written, spoken and sung is devolving our culture as it seems to have done throughout history to empire after empire. Republics turn into Thousand Year Reichs and professional killers end up with the reigns of “functional democracies” over and over again. What is the glue holding all of us together throughout our history? Our cultures. Our cultures are beat to shit, appropriated, politicized, and absconded with by tyrants repeatedly and yet they live on precisely because we always provide ourselves with a way to escape the very bullshit we heave on ourselves by complicating our political, philosophical and public lives to say nothing of our private ones with problems created by our lack of desire to confront our symbolic logic and language-based problems.
As public education, one of the very cornerstones of our democracy vanishes before us, we are faced with some trouble. In fact, look at public education and the public library. My partner says at least once a week that public libraries are one of the pillars of our democracy. Add it to the list of crumbling organizations. We are faced with an increased need for cultural institutions that provide outlet for our bullshit. We need them to re imagine the forum and the council fire and we need them to provide detailed examples of why not to devolve into a land war with the federal government on one hand and a space of real possibility for the strength of free speech and free assembly which is the one just before the one that the militias are preparing to defend with their lives, and if the image attached to the article is any indication, the lives of their children.
More on this soon, I’m sure.