<< Continued from Part 1
Lesson 4: You cannot govern through fear
The trend towards vilifying external adversaries as a means of consolidating political power and credibility is very dangerous, and only signifies failure. It is a common trend throughout history that wars and adversarial relations are declared during times of domestic crisis, but they are only effective to the extent that some form of cultural homogeneity exists in a state. As a result of the transnationalism of the English language, being spoken so widely throughout the world, it is increasingly harder for educated Westerners to live in ignorance of the rest of the world and all the information out there.
If the US regime thinks that it is going to regain its status as the world’s only superpower by vilifying other countries like Russia, China or even foreign terrorists like al-Qaeda, it is wrong. Educated people are just not that gullible anymore, and nothing makes this clearer than the tremendous popular uproar over America’s global unilateral spying on our lives. Americans have nothing to fear from Vladimir Putin. They need to be afraid of the National Security Agency (NSA), and the incomprehensibly ugly regime in Washington that has directed it to constantly violate our civil rights. We are afraid of the corporate stranglehold on our government and press.
Tactic 1 for dismantling the “nation”: disbelief
We live in an info-centric world. Media and information are where everything starts. Therefore, the attack on the idols of the false nation begins in the form of media. Anti-statists must each seek powerful platforms to mount their assault on the nation. Whether it is through social media or major news outlets, we need people to challenge the myth of the nation, debunk claims by jingoistic commentators, and shoot down this crazy idea that the US could be entitled to anything that other states are not entitled to.
Media sources that believe in the existence of a nation, and assert that a nation might be on the right side of history, should be debunked. Nations cannot be on the right side of history, because nations do not exist and and cannot stand for anything modern, transparent or democratic at a time when the people are awakening to develop their own means of democracy with the fruits of technology.
Tactic 2 for dismantling the “nation”: desecration
How do you destroy a nation in the physical sense, without harming anyone? You attack its idols and insult its name. American flags should be taken down and crushed in public protest, just to provoke a response. Historic documents, statues and monuments to the nation should be physically destroyed. If they cannot be destroyed, they should sprayed, damaged and defaced. Every icon and every sacrosanct image of the regime that can be found should be desecrated and burned. Every conceivable insult and injury to this “nation”, every conceivable blow against its deadly pride and idolization, should be promoted. Let us pray that every refugee of every American war will flock to this regime, if only to ransack and destroy its idols.
What resolution would the “patriots” find for such insults, if indeed they take their myths and idols to be real? Will they lay the blame on their own government, and so destabilize it and delegitimize it in their rage? That outcome would be progressive, for it would result in mass hostility to the regime. Will they see the folly of their patriotism, and so choose to aid in the dismantlement of the fake “nation”, so they might embrace humanity instead? That too is progressive, because their movements will bring down the regime and the myths upon which it stands. Will the regime lash out, imprisoning, torturing and murdering the opponents who have insulted its fabricated authority? Then they have made their own pyre by closing their doors to the rest of humanity, and the mission against the world's most deplorable nation is accomplished.
Each of the aforementioned torments is not wasted, but necessary to bring out the worst of the “patriots”, and force the world to judge them appropriately. Consider how humanity would surely benefit from such desecration of their idols. It would be immensely beneficial for progress.
Tactic 3 for dismantling the “nation”: disintegration
Centrifugal anti-statist political movements are proliferating at a rate that has alarmed many states. These are politically liberating, by definition. Even taking place under ostensibly “micro-nationalist” narratives themselves, they are not inimical to the dismantlement of the larger lie of the nation that has been addressed here. The lie that must be discredited and smashed is the view that government authority figures and oppressive regimes can proclaim the existence of nations, rather than nations serving as transitory "avatars" for liberation causes (as in the case of the ANC or the PLO).
Members of extant communities and regions expressing their solidarity and rejecting the central regime of the nation-state should be exempt from the shame of the patriots who have loyalty to government authority figures. These extant communities within the so-called nations are not false, as they are voluntary associations based on real social relations. For this reason, they cannot be deconstructed in the way that nation-states which apply force to forge themselves into existence from larger bodies of humanity can be deconstructed.
Examples of an extant marginalized community within a larger nation-state entity are Catalonia in Spain, and Scotland in the United Kingdom. There are compelling reasons for them to govern themselves, at least temporarily, if they so wish, and this should be legitimized through referenda and other expressions of the liberation struggle. In the United States, similar centrifugal movements for the dismantlement of the “nation” take the form of campaigns for state secession and groups seeking self-determination for Native Americans and African Americans who refuse to identify with the regime.
While the tactic of national disintegration is less progressive than the other two tactics, and has the unfortunate potential to stabilize new national myths rather than lead to a true voluntary society, in many states it represents an opportunity. Separatism should not be idealized, but should be a target of opportunity for anti-statists or other anti-systemic people, and they should not shy away from it on grounds that they feel a lack of belief in whatever micro-national myth is being promoted.
By Harry J. Bentham - More articles by Harry J. Bentham
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