Elders teach about our limits, youngers teach potentials!
(This article was originally posted at http://www.anti-politics.net’s forum.)
I’d like to pass a powerful article analyzing the pit-falls of the American Indian Movement’s strategy of armed defense by you all. And while certainly there are compelling truths (such as the context in which much of AIM’s response came–increased repression in Indian Country), I wish to argue that there were things that I think they missed. And might have “exploited” (for lack of a better word), before things came to “a head” as they did in the 1970s. Yes, they were and are still in a place like most “Third World” peoples–bereft of any illusory privilege like “we” euro-peon tools (of the colonial project), and yes, it is obviously possible that they had truly no choice from the get-go.
But what about ourselves and our input (including direct actions) and solidarity with these fellow human beings?
I think there are still scads of openings for radically sane approaches. Approaches which professional provacateurs don’t want (for insightful reasons) us to even imagine we can seriously engage in.
First, let’s look at the miring tar pit that AIM got itself stuck in:
“America’s Addiction to Lynching Indians”
For instance, look at how crucial voices have been manipulated into internecine divisions? Such as the apparent pain between Dennis Banks and John Trudell. You read
Ojibwe Warrior: Dennis Banks and the Rise of the American Indian Movement
, (by Dennis Banks and Richard Erdoes; Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2005) and you see what Banks has gone through. You read or listen to, (especially on Youtube) http://www.dickshovel.com/JTT.html about Trudell, and you see that his path is even more intense.
Look at what happened. Of course, they got stuck in the trap of leaders and large organizations and, well, many of the frames of reference that their forced educations (at the hands of often State-sanctioned religious boarding schools) planted into them. Typical of the 1970s. They had (and were I think often led into) blindspots and traps. And traditional teaching maybe only helped spiritually (a crucial situation, yes).
(if you can’t see the image, see it here: http://bp3.blogger.com/_G_y8hpltGsQ/SHaQoyu0Z6I/AAAAAAAAABM/XzvsO7PdEFA/s1600-h/crucialpsycolor.jpg –And, yes, it’s my art on another blog)
So can such seeming impossibility be avoided? Well, we anti-authoritarians are trying. With our ‘Everyone Is A Leader’ (or General) approach. With our consciousness about the problem of open organization. With our security cultures. And so on. Old hat to the regulars here, “new hat” to many of the younger generations.
I can look back at my 15+ years of work in various milieus and say, wow, I’ve somehow avoided these kinds of traps. Maybe it’s because of my adopting of these anti-authoritarian strategies? Of bowing out of formal organization when faced with the pain of their own tendency to get side-tracked by internecine rivalries.
And even when I’ve been detained, or when my ID has been put through the computer, I’m not often kicked out of towns (knowing it’s highly illegal, not that that ever stops cops seeking to scapegoat folks they think they can scapegoat easy). And I haven’t experienced too much police abuse. Hell, I’ve even stuck to my “rights” and have had surprising successes. Across the u.s.a. Hell, cops have shown surprise when they learn that I haven’t even ever been arrested (as though being arrested is any “proof” what-so-ever of so-called “wrong” doing!).
It seems that I have been “lucky” for a long time (and secretly, in my “paranoia”, I intuit that I am being “saved up” for a big scandalous media sporting event…and if my blogging work ever gets “anywhere” “too threatening” you’re sure to find out what that means via the “reputable” media…).
The bottom line? I share my feelings, my intuitions, my heart with all of you. And sustain my work, and perhaps the interchange inspires. It certainly aides me. Even tho I have little else, I’ll admit. A few places like this and my spirituality.
Maybe I’m digressing, but I think sharing this is important. Maybe not. Maybe it’s a blunder. Typical feminine-ish imperfection.. But someone has to blunder in order to aide others! —Right??
Maybe whatever we do, whatever dissent does, will be stuck within the “contain-all” of this epoch’s severely alienated mindlock. After all, with psychiatric labels like “Oppositional Defiant Disorder” being put upon the as-yet-inarticulate intuitive rebels of authority –kids– the strategists of the Old Feudal Odor will “leave no stone un-turned” in their viance for “complete control”.
So the martial tribe has its domination. Whoopee-do. Are they really having much fun? I don’t think so! And then they come at us with their cynicism, too, telling us that their conception of humanity as “a machine” and as “stupid” is the ONLY way of “rationally” perceiving! Wow. That’s alienation. Misery does love its company.
What am I getting at, here? Well, I’m meandering around, for sure. Meandering around and getting at the reality that “we” need a heart-centered “paradigm shift” in seeing, ourselves. I think, for one, that this alienation thing just cannot be evolved with more alienation. And we’re going to have to get beyond reaction-only tactics. I think we’re going to have to go on the offensive as our main tactic –not on the terrain that the professionals pick (as even the anarchists have so often got bogged down in). With tactics that INSPIRE people, instead of pour more alienation into their system.
And we’re going to have to broaden out. We’re going to have to escape the ghettos and other spaces that we’re so used to. I’m already doing this. And I’m planning on increasing the intensity of what i’m doing (creative, confrontive, nonviolent strategies to inspire humanity’s bests, while also promoting “radical’s radical” understanding of humanity’s worsts). Understanding (and side-standing) is key.
We’re going to have to move out of the old ways we have gotten used to. And this includes our own mindsets. About authority and oppressors, and why they do as they do and when. Their method is not, I think, um, monolithic. They “share values” and have internalized these beliefs in life-long practice (of a very metaphorically hellish way), but by and large they are as others here have spoken: far from a monolith.
Only the ‘Necessary Illusions” of their Trusted “reputable” mediators keep them contained. Privately, they want to be free, too. But they are so stuck in their own version of mire; it’s basically a “misery loves company” thing, in my view.
I’ve read various posters here now for several years and overall I’m surprised how little you actually share. Security culture, maybe, but I’m thinking in terms of what arming YOUR particular desires means. Most of you seem to be way too caught up in the same old rote of puppeting the same old –tired– “anarchist” sentiment.
Well. I guess I’m succeeding in isolating myself off from even you all, now!
Perhaps I’m missing something crucial? I wish someone would share..(oops, getting a little mopey, now )
Well, of course, i’ll continue to persist. Sharing my intuitions. “Wanted” or not. It’s after all, a process. Arming my desires, y’know.
Heavens, what is life worth if we don’t try our bests? (note: i use religious terminology as a tool inthe context of a heavily religionized society; even where religious dissenters, like myself, can’t help but be stuck in religion up to our ears; i can give an example…)
Yes, what is life worth if we don’t bring our truly inspired humanity, our creative intelligence, to the fore (and, yes, I mean beyond current anarchic practices of “Us vs Them”). And into a methodology of inclusiveness rather than exclusiveness, of radical’s radical empathy, rather than some new hierarchy!).
Not allowing ourselves and our hearts to be trampled, of course, yet not trampling the largely, I think, hidden hearts of the aggressors (and those whom goose-step in their families around them).
Think it through and then let’s speak. Let’s get to the grist of this stuff. And remember, just because it’s been “the” tactic of anti-authoritarian thought since the 1800s doesn’t mean it’s truly valid today. Or that it doesn’t have gaping holes that cannot be questioned!
Phew! Well, hope you had fun. Radical’s radical fun (with serious response-ability mixed in!). (Fun ain’t a “bad” thing, it’s a crucial thing; and if we discover –or re-discover its magick, such spirit will spread like WILDPHIRE!)
Thinque about it