Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.
Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.
CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.
The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.
Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683
Thank you for your support,
Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel
CounterPunch PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558
It is the watershed, not the nation-state, which provides the natural social formation of our species. Water “sheds” and branches all the way down to the molecular level and all the way up to half continents. Each thread from the shed is a line of life.
It is a truism to say that people fight wars of aggression over land but this is seldom the case, since land without water is of more value to poets and naturalists than to generals and nation-states.
Water in its aggregate form, as reservoir, is of some value, but the truly precious entity is dynamic water, water in its courses. Unreplenished, a reservoir is a fool’s token. To sustain, water must move. Cycle up through clean air, then return to land and to the forks: two, four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two to infinity.
The democratists ask us to submit to the suits along the Ottawa or in the Chesapeake, citing as an instance of our freedom our ability to name the villains for what they are and not be imprisoned. Whether it is true that we are not under daily threat of imprisonment, whether we have freedom of speech for the kinds of thoughts we have, whether we need to resort to poetry to intimate what we would do with these aggressors had we the power—all this we leave for other forms of media and to a kind of speech like that of Jesus, about whom it was said, “without a parable spake he not unto them.” Perhaps Plato wished the poets ill because they were monkeywrenchers, and would not abide nonsense.
Here we speak plainly. Nation-states are a distraction. The best are violent. The worst are this: democracies. Democracies are violence under a bushel. The mug of brutes behind the sibilant hiss of smug. The whiteness of death, about which Melville long ago warned us, behind the benign black face. The daily apocalypse of forty-thousand children freshcorpsed within gunshot of the empire.
The paradox of forking water is that its division creates unity upstream and down. What social formation is more intimate and binding than the social contract of the stream as it circulates through air and land? The body itself becomes a course in the watershed, drinking the flow the upstreamers pass on and down. In the watershed, everyone is always upstream and downstream. You have more in common with someone a thousand miles away in the stream than a thousand feet away on land. Start here.
To the manifold crimes of leaderlovin’ we add this: the propensity of nation-states to use rivers to divide rather than unite. A river with small boats might seem like an obstacle, or a line to hide behind, to some politician and his willing-executioner followers in some distant watershed. But to the people on the river it is life itself. Let the politicians and the leaderlovers draw their river lines between nation-states. They have their crayons, we have our barks. We will see in the long run whose bite is worse.
For thousands of years people in my watershed have moved along the rivers in small boats. Now for a century or two they haven’t so much, preferring instead to patch over the streams with the tar of desert oils, smashing and filthing whatever they can, as democracies always do.
But even the tar scabs are restless and liable to slough off. The tyrants must steal ever more money from their people to replenish the scabs, which cannot go a year without cracking into lines.
And the lines look like prophecies, like maps of watersheds yet to come.
DAVID Ker THOMSON is from the city of T’onto in the province of ’rio in the nation of ’nada. He can be reached at: email@example.com