Our Enemy, Law and Order

Law and order. Just the sound of those three words sets my teeth on edge. Together they form a verbal menage a trois that quite possibly amounts to the three ugliest words in the English lexicon. It brings to mind dreadful images of everything my wild anarchist heart reviles. It conjures up everything I despise, everything I’ve sworn to die fighting. Law and order is rules and hierarchies and boundaries. It’s borders and courts and prisons packed full of shackled renegades. It’s cops and judges and prosecutors and priests and ties and condoms and dental dams and neatly pressed uniforms and carefully gendered haircuts and Kamala fucking Harris. It’s schools full of well behaved children, television sets governed by the paternal censorship of weaponized banality, bedrooms free from the glories of sin. It’s clean streets, carcinogenic manicured lawns, and jackbooted PTA’s slut shaming bouffant haired single mothers. It’s that motherfucker who coughs real fucking loud at the IHOP when you try to light a cigarette at 3 in the goddamn mourning. It’s that shrill church lady that gives you the stanky eyeball at the bus stop when you’re trying to lez out with your girlfriend. In a sentence, law and order is fascism, American style, aAll Postsnd it’s where that human landmine, Donald Trump, finally found his fucking groove.

Took him long enough. For the past three years and change, The Donald has been the flatulent leader of an administration who couldn’t shoot straight, a disheveled coalition of bickering swamp critters struggling to stand on an oil slick of their own greasy shit, and I’m only slightly ashamed to admit that I’ve rather enjoyed the shitshow. After eight years of Barack Obama masterfully pimping out the rusty old Sherman tank of our satanic military industrial complex as a tool for totalitarian humanitarianism and waxing sociopathic about the imperial duty to protect like a milk chocolate Ted Bundy in dad jeans at an international auto show, it’s been a nice change of pace to see our dreaded Donald rip off that mask of sanity while he maniacally debases himself like Multiple Migs on a bender. But all bad things turn lethal to those who wait, and Orange-Man-Bad appears to have finally truly broken bad with his post-George Floyd Nixonian revivals, like that gunpowder and Vaseline bacchanalia at Mount Rushmore.

According to the Donald and his desperate fan club on every nursing home’s favorite news hole, Fox, we live in grave and dire times of epic chaos and proletarian lawlessness. Dangerously under policed minorities and their anarchist acolytes (Hi!) stalk the streets looking for old white ladies to molest and statues to desecrate. We’re just about three seconds and a forty ounce away from burning down your local church or worse, the Chick-Fil-A. These new Nixonians have made a particularly lively field day out of a recent rash of violent street crimes hitting black neighborhoods in cities like Chicago and Atlanta. “This is what happens!” they screech piously as they beat their Bibles like leather-bound cocks, “This is what happens when you even think about defunding the police! This is what happens in a world without law and order!!”

Well, on that note, please allow me a moment to clear my throat. No, you cane-shaking Archie Bunker bigots, this is not what happens when poor people refuse to kick up to your darling muscle-bound lover-boys in that vaunted shake-down society known as the police. This is what fucking happens when poor people can’t breath beneath the weight of a regime that is threatening the world with nuclear apocalypse and environmental devastation. This is what happens in a country that allows a plague to ravage just enough of the proletariat to scare the rest of us into gleefully complying with a quarantine police state that pushes us all to the brink of poverty and agoraphobic insanity. This is exactly what happens when law and order is let loose on the poor like a rabid dog at a Christmas feast. Of coarse people are going to get violent. They’re going to get reckless and hurt themselves and their communities because they’ve been rendered nihilistic and powerless to hurt anyone who really deserves it. We’ve seen this very special episode of Amerikkka before. This shit ain’t new, it’s just a re-run of the last days of rage.

We saw this shit under the original Nixon regime. Karl Marx once said that violence is the midwife of any society pregnant with a new one. I would argue that this kind of tragic poor-on-poor people violence is the miscarried afterbirth of any desperate society denied a new one. America came very close to a real revolution back in the late sixties and early seventies. Revolutionary consciousness, the kind that provides the raw critical mass for a spontaneous uprising to gestate into a popular revolution, became so loud that you could hear it roar from the acid orgies of the Haight to the police riots of post-DNC Chicago. Members of organizations like the Weather Underground could blow up the Capitol, bust out Timothy Leary, and live quite openly among the houseboat dwelling faggots of the San Francisco Bay, knowing full well that anyone who ever wanted to get invited to another happening again wouldn’t dare rat them out. America was woke, dangerously woke. So woke that fugitives and convicts became bigger than most rock stars. Every cop’s daughter had a Free Huey poster on her wall. And then it all came crashing down.

Nixon and Hoover and Cointelpro and CHAOS and Helter Skelter came crashing down. The kids had dared to defy their imperial curfew in the sixties, and in the seventies, the hounds were let loose. What followed was two decades of the kind of hopeless violence used by counter-revolutionary creatures like Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden, to build the current police state that the George Floyd Uprisings fearlessly challenged. Without the cataclysmic catharsis of revolution, there was nothing left but empty nihilism for people desperate to be heard to resort to, and this desperate crime wave was exploited by the powers who made this sordid end inevitable by doubling down on a failed society with law and order.

Contrary to popular fiction, poor people aren’t anymore violent than anybody else in this empire. The rich just export their lust for blood to the ghettos and the Third World. While pissed off black kids set their tenements on fire in 1968, the grey-flannel Eisenhower class enjoyed a stiff highball while they watched the rotten fruit of their campaign donations ripen on the napalm soaked streets of Da Nang from the comfort of their suburban living rooms. Upper-middle-class Trump and Biden supporters don’t have to spray their quiet street corners with bullets when they can afford to pay the police state to do it for them at home and abroad. This is how America’s market place of perpetual violence sustains itself.

I know this is politically incorrect, what else is new, but oppressed people have every right to their rage. It’s the only logical response to an age of imperial madness. But in order for this rage to reward us with anything but convenient excuses for more American style fascism, we need to stay focused. We need to unite beneath our common banner of post-colonial poverty and not allow the Donald Trumps, Joe Bidens and Dick Nixons of this world to divide us along any color lines, be they black and white, or red and blue. Poor people who seek absolute liberty must unite against our common enemy, that bastard lie called law and order, for this is the true source of all our violent turmoil. First justice, then peace.

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.