Officer Friendly (was Violence and Revolution)

Matt afn02065 at
Wed Jun 14 13:24:32 MDT 1995

Please for give me for taking so long to reply.  Major machine problems this
past week:

Joe writes:

>Alfred, your tone has gotten pretty vituperative, entirely without
>A couple responses, though:
>>Thank god the RED ARMY did delve into the human complexities of the German
>>Army and the SS bastards,  excuse me,  SS humans in WWII.
>Don't know how we slipped into this line, but I'm honored to be the son of
>a man who spent four years lighting into the Nazi bastards.  And when that
>grievous job was finished, many (including myself in the following
>generation) sat down to delve into what happened and why.  Certainly part
>of the sociopathology was the drive to simplify and demonize our neighbors.
> Simplicity is political fool's gold.  If you'd like to read
>complifications of those SS bastards, try Thiewalt's _Male Fantasies_, the
>works of George Mosse, and other studies of the psychological origins of
>nationalism, fascism and violence.  Or does this line arise because you
>really think LAPD is the contemporary equal of the German SS and Darryl
>Gates was Himmler's reincarnation?

You say this sarcastically, I guess?  I would agree, there is no narrow
identity between the SS and the LAPD.  More broadly, though, and you
mentioned this in your response to my Leo satire, I would disagree with the
sentiment I think you express when you say, "the police are not Class Enemy
Number One" (forgive me for not quoting the whole letter."  Because the
police (and the SS) are not as abstracted "individuals" equivalent to "the
C.E. #1" does not mean that they are not very concretely a class enemy.
They are soldiers in the army of the ruling class?  Do we agree that this is
true?  They are _not_ like the rest of us, they are armed defenders of
capitalism.  This is at their best!  At their worst, they're psychopaths
with a license to kill.  If cops want to be part of the revolution, they can
do that by _deserting_ from the ranks, and coming over to our side.  It is
not our responsibility to somehow ally ourselves with them, or a express
appreciation for their "humanity" -- whatever that is.

Alfred writes:

>>You have been talking with too many Iraeli border guards.  Wow!!  Find
>>gentleman all, not a racist bone in their collective body.

And Joe responds:

>Alfred, sweet fellow, this may come as a shock:  I *am* an Israeli border
>guard.  I've spent 32 days of army reserve duty this year on border patrol.
> And I'm hardly the only leftist and known Marxist in the unit.  I doubt
>this will shatter your stereotypes though, which are clearly made of strong
>Shalom, YOSEF

Well, I'll be damned!  I thought I was writing a (poor) satire with my story
of Leo vs. the striker, but maybe I was closer to the actual absolute truth
than I thought.  Tell me, Joe, is your unit one of the ones that gets to
shoot unarmed Palestinian children--I mean murderous, rock-throwing Arab
terrorists?  And do you also have opportunity to defend land-grabbing,
water-stealing theocratic Jewish fascists--I mean docile settlers hoping to
live in peace with their Palestinian neighbors in the land given to the Jews
by God, under the laws established by Him to assure man's (man's indeed!)

Ah, but these are simplifications.  Well, of course.  It is through these
simplifications that I am trying to point out a truth that is more important
and more significant than the trivial fact that we are members of the same
genus and species (share a common "humanity").  And that is that we live in
a society that is characterized by sometimes overt, sometimes covert,
sometimes conscious, sometimes unconscious, _struggle_.  That this struggle
is crucial in determining the kind of future all we chummy "humans" are
going to share.  That there are _sides_ in this conflict, and we can and
should identify where we stand and where others stand.

--Matt D.

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