“I Teach Them Correct Principles and They Govern Themselves” – joseph

smith

Mormon
Issue 5
a brief bio and an introduction to his or her article

THE

Worker
November 2008

►Hold your mouse cursor on the name of an author to see ►Click on the name of an article to go there
■ Between Christianity and the Libertarian Left: How Wide the Gap? by Marc B. Young ■ Obedience to Authority by Tariq Khan ■ Why Progressives Should Vote Nader ■ A Vietnam Vet’s Vision of Peace
by Matthew Thomas by Ashley Sanders by Terry Leichner

Between Christianity and the Libertarian Left: How Wide the Gap?
by Marc B. Young

■ “Un-terrified Jeffersonian Democrats”: Part I ■ Letter from South Baghdad, May 2008
by Sgt. Jay Dawkins

■ Observations from the 2008 Democratic National Convention by Spencer Kingman ■ The Beehive and the Steel Mill: Rethinking the Protestant Work Ethic by Jason Brown ■ The DNC Convention in the Street/Jail/Garden/Home
by Tristan Call

■ Jesus Asked Us to Love Our Enemies: Learning to be a Christian in Occupied Palestine by Cliff Burton ■ Contributors ■ Navigation

Although it might make a decent news story in some media outlets, an article about the ways in which Christians and secular radicals collaborate, on a variety of issues, probably doesn’t need to take up space in a publication read primarily by activists. After all, every leftist knows that anarchists, communists, greens, socialists and Christians (at least Catholics, Quakers and members of ‘main-stream’ Protestant denominations) regularly end up on the same side of rallies against, for example, war and in support of immigrants. At least some points of tactical agreement are simply taken for granted between these players and don’t make for that interesting a conversation. What is more interesting perhaps is the exploration of why these areas of tactical agreement are possible after all, which is really an enquiry into what the movement founded by Jesus and
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A Note to Our Readers
The Mormon Worker is an independent newspaper/journal devoted to Mormonism and radical politics. It is published by members of the LDS Church. The paper is modeled after the legendary Catholic Worker which has been in publication for over seventy years. The primary objective of The Mormon Worker is to meaningfully connect core ideas of Mormon theology with a host of political, economic, ecological, philosophical, and social topics. Although most contributors of The Mormon Worker are members of the LDS church, some are not, and we accept submissions from people of varying secular and religious backgrounds. The opinions in The Mormon Worker are not the official view of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In solidarity, The Mormon Worker

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his closest colleagues – and not St. Augustine or Henry VIII – has to say about human liberation. But secular radicals, generally happy to have churchtypes at their actions, tend not to want to explore this route. They are at best baffled by religiosity, in a condescending sort of way, and at worst nauseated by it, convinced it has no place in a rational program. They sense that the Christian facet of those believers who are on ‘their side’ of most current issues is precisely those persons’ most superfluous aspect, that is, unnecessary to their commitment to egalitarianism and liberation – and this idea is obviously reinforced by the fact that so many other individuals, some of whom run the country, go around linking their Christianity to right-wing politics. The Jesus movement, secular radicals often think, can, like all religions, be shaken out to justify any social posture. So let’s not go there, as North Americans say these days. And what’s to be gained, wonder these radicals, that’s worth the potential discomfort that occurs when religious beliefs are made explicit and then challenged? Some insights, possibly. Men and women on the radical left tend not to be absolute relativists (or nihilists) of the sort who hold that all opinions have equal merit; on the contrary, they insist that different interpretations of historical phenomena are either more or less correct – and that different points of view and different actions are either more or less ethical. Certainly there are left-wingers who claim to be Christians and right-wingers who do the same. Precisely because this is so, we will, in this article,
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proceed on the assumption that one of the Christian camps is wrong about their man. Either Jesus was primarily a prophet of domination and mass passivity, offering consolation to the destitute in some world beyond death, or he proclaimed solidarity and sustenance for all in this world. If the former is true (or truer), then radicals’ disdain for the Good News is sensible enough. But if the latter is the case, an open-minded review of what Jesus and the early Christians proclaimed could provide secular radicals with

ethical and other insights they have perhaps undervalued. Or it could, practically and strategically speaking, help promote an alliance between some Christians (genuine ones?) and certain secular activists that reaches further than many think possible. Which in turn could prove a minor boon for American radicals especially, citizens and residents of a country where polls show most people desire more equality and justice, are inheritors of a tradition of mistrust toward government and proclaim their belief in God.1 At the very least, secular activists could improve the way they address believers. For radical Christians, an enterprise of the sort proposed here, even if it tends to repeat things they already think, might help them tackle the frequently heard argument that faith is either not about society – it is a personal affair – or that it fits comfortably inside a liberal agenda of political progress that John Kerry or Barack Obama might support. (Naturally, we assume that radical Christians discount the possibility that Pat Robertson and George Bush – at least with their current programs and opinions – belong in their church.) A reiteration of atheists’ critique of faith, something that will also arise in this piece, might also help leftist Christians look more closely at what they believe – with an added dose of reason, as it were. Is their faith soft and flabby? What of it can be discarded, what saved? Can one’s religious commitment be thought through, or is there an irreducible element of belief that is inevitably ‘feeling,’ that revelation that precedes, skips over or, conversely, is a sort of condition for rationality? These are some of the
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hard, never-entirely-answered questions to keep in mind And see right done to the destitute and downtrodden, in the course of this discussion. You ought to rescue the weak and the poor, Gerald Brenan, that student of things Spanish and a And save them from the clutches of wicked men. sympathetic observer of Iberian anarchism, once wrote But you know nothing, you understand nothing, that “The Bible, and especially the New Testament, con- You walk in the dark tains enough dynamite to blow up all the existing social While Earth’s foundations are giving way. systems in Europe, [but] only by force of habit and through This is my sentence: Gods you may be, the power of beautiful and rhythmical words have we Sons all of you of a high God, ceased to notice it.”2 Although some readers may be will- Yet you shall die as men die; ing to take Brenan at his word, those who prefer to see the Princes fall, every one of them, and so shall you. gospel as a pillar of reaction probably won’t, so it is useful to reiterate the case for this claim with the help of some Arise, O God, and judge the Earth; For thou dost pass all nations through thy sieve.3 scriptural citation. Christianity is the subject at hand, so the bulk of this section won’t be devoted to the Old Testament. But it is es- The wealthy damned sential in reviewing the program of Jesus and his followers The many references in the New Testament to the worth of to acknowledge that the Torah was his gospel. For those the poor as well as the dubious ethical status of the rich are who embrace a theology of liberation, there is probably generally better known. Notable of course is the response nothing more powerful than Psalm 82. In these 17 lines, attributed in the Gospel of Mark to Jesus himself after a God appears to inaugurate monotheism by pronouncing well-meaning and prosperous young man addresses him on the record of those other gods who have had a crack at as “good master” and enquires into the route to eternal life. things. A full quotation is appropriate: As the author presents the scenario, the Nazarene is mildly annoyed with the question and its apparently sycophantic God takes his stand in the court of heaven tone, for he begins his response with a brusque, WhattaTo deliver judgment among the gods themselves. ya-calling-me-good-for. “No one is good but God alone.” (Incidentally, this verse, this declaration of humility by How long will you judge unjustly Jesus makes problematic any assertion that the historical And show favor to the wicked [He asks]? You ought to give judgment for the weak and the orphan, figure regarded himself as a divinity or God incarnate, but this isn’t our point right here.) He rhymes off some of the

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commandments after reminding the enquirer that, as a good Jew, nothing he’s going to hear should be news. Jesus’ mood is clearly one of impatience. But he softens when he understands that the young man is in earnest. “Affection” marks his tone as he identifies the one, very material barrier blocking the young man (not from “eternal life” but from initiation into that space or community Jesus refers to as God’s Kingdom). Wealth. He must sell all he has, give the proceeds to the poor and then join Jesus’ movement. What follows is not often reflected on by New Testament readers. According to Mark, Jesus is not satisfied with making his point once. After the young man goes away depressed, Jesus repeats his thesis twice more. How hard it is for the wealthy to enter the Kingdom of God, he tells the disciples and then, as if things aren’t clear enough, he comes up with that extraordinary if now overly familiar image of the camel more easily passing through the eye of a needle than the wealthy man accessing the kingdom. Assuming that this particular scenario, or something like it, actually occurred, we have to conclude that Jesus was interested in flagging a decisive point. Certainly the writer of the gospel was.4 Other materials are equally well known. What contemporary New Testament scholars refer to as the Sayings Gospel Q (an undiscovered source that, it is argued, nourished those sections of Matthew and Luke known as the Sermon on the Mount or the Beatitudes) reveals a Jesus devoted to the material and spiritual interests of the poor, a principled non-violence, a practice of mutual forgiveness

and a willingness to “lend” with no hope of return. “But woe to you who are rich, because you have had all your consolation. Woe to you who are filled now, because you shall be hungry.”5 Most radical and arguably most difficult to handle of all this content is the call to love one’s enemy. In a world of violence and oppression where, nevertheless, people naturally love their friends – and hate their foes – Jesus offers a revolutionary ethic: Reject the means and the ends of those on the other side. Fire, he seems to imply, is only truly vanquished by soft, pleasant water. Nor are all the radical words in the synoptic gospels placed in Jesus’ mouth. Think of Mary’s song, a favorite of feminist theologians. Having learned of her pregnancy, despite her unmarried state, Mary exalts a God who blesses the “low estate of his slave girl,” who “has pulled down the dynasts from their thrones and raised up the humble; he has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich empty away.”6 Of course her praise, despite the tense of the words, is more of hope than of praise for things already accomplished, but it is a revolutionary hope about things on Earth – and invocative of that God from Psalm 82. One could go on with radical citations from those gospels that purport to portray Jesus’ career, but that will only bog us down in repetition. The point that should be emphasized is that words fill only a small part of the package. The Nazarene’s life (apparently uninteresting to the likes of Mel Gibson, like many other Christians focused on death and blood sacrifice) is portrayed as one full of action. A life of including, touching and healing the sick, people with, for
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example, diseased skin considered unclean in the society of the day. Of engaging with women as full human partners rather than mere serving girls. Of leading a life based on looking out for oneself precisely by looking out for others. And of laying down one’s life (not tossing it away), if that is to be the price of fidelity to standards the powerful refuse to tolerate. Possibly Jesus riled the temple authorities in Jerusalem during Passover. Common sense suggests that the Roman occupiers would have been nervous about a holiday that celebrated Jewish liberation from Egyptian bondage; they would have been quick to neutralize a troublemaker who had an already demonstrated penchant for going off with gangs of men into the countryside to lecture on a sort of polity that was in its very description contemptuous of the prevailing order. Did Jesus decline to behave quietly in a socially sensitive situation, possibly provoking protest in a tension-charged city? Incidentally, and on the subject of his crucifixion, the Easter stories (with the exception of the later version in John) do not depict a Man-God serenely welcoming a false or temporary passing, a pseudo sacrifice in which the joke is actually on the killers; rather, they tell of a human in anguish, asking that, if it at all be possible, confrontation with the authorities and death be avoided, as the accounts in Mark, Matthew and Luke observe. But to the radically principled, the world, then and now, promises no such breaks. So that’s Jesus, the critic might say. But that isn’t Christianity. What about Paul of Tarsus, so often made to wear

the ‘Agent-of-Reaction’ button. Didn’t he really establish the Church? Shouldn’t he have to answer for its errors and crimes? These are of course fair questions, though it has to be pointed out right off the bat, with New Testament scholar John Dominic Crossan, that insofar as Paul initially persecuted the movement, before beginning his career as a Christian, he could not have set it up.7 Nonetheless it is inarguable that Paul’s contribution to the young faith was decisive – and his views cannot be passed over on the simple ground that he wasn’t a literal companion of the Nazarene. There is no question that Paul writes certain things in those epistles scholars attribute to him that are objectionable to contemporary radicals. But the case against him from the left, as it where, is by no means a clear-cut one. As Pauline analysts like Crossan and Tom Wright (an evangelical and no doubter of the historical, literal truth of scripture) have asserted, the apostle’s overall political message is neither tame nor in tune with imperial order. Their argument emphasizes the need to place Paul’s proclamation that Jesus is Lord in the context of the 1st century Roman world. At that time, the world had already received its official Lord, Redeemer and Savior, one who through conquest and force had allegedly ushered in an era of peace, multiethnic collaboration (if not fraternity) prosperity (for some) and justice (of a sort), and his name was Caesar Augustus, son of the divine Julius and himself promoted to official godliness. In other words, these scholars assert that when Paul says Jesus is Lord, he is emphatically stating
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that the Emperor and his successors are not. As Crossan observes, the Caesars say the sword brings peace; Paul, like Jesus, says non-violence and justice bring about that end.8 To cite Wright: The gospel claims “to be the reality of which Caesar’s empire is the parody; it claims to be modeling the genuine humanness, not least the justice and the peace and the unity across traditional racial and cultural barriers, of which Caesar’s empire boasted.”9 Luther preferred the propertied As there is both explicitly political and religious content to Caesar’s empire, so there is in Paul’s version. In what does the latter consist? Clearly, Paul believes that divine intervention of a dramatic sort will occur with the Christ’s return, bringing with it social revolution. As he writes in I Corinthians, “...then comes the end, when he [Christ] delivers up the kingdom to God the Father, after abolishing every kind of domination, authority and power.”10 That’s pretty clear, and while the new era, in the Pauline version, will apparently owe its realization to some sort of magic rather than, say, human insurrection or general strike, it is very much about life on planet Earth. In the meantime, while followers of Jesus wait for this transformation, they must neither be idle nor pursue false idols, but rather model the new life, one imitative of the hoped-for, rejuvenated and radically different world. “For through faith...You have all put on Christ as a garment. There is no such thing as Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female; for you are

all one person in Christ Jesus,” Paul writes in Galatians.11 Love is what must determine conduct, starting now, he counsels. That is the dominant theme of all Paul’s correspondence to the small, struggling Christian communities in the decades after Jesus’ death: Act as though the new world is upon you. But no defense of the man from Tarsus, who says a resurrected Christ spoke to him on the road to Damascus, can be so simple. Reactionaries throughout history have also found in the text of his letters the intellectual ammunition needed to justify oppression and the slaughter of those who dare defy authority. One of the most famous is Martin Luther who, seeing the Reformation he had led getting out of hand and feeding social revolution, turned to his copy of the New Testament. German peasants and oppressed city-dwellers had interpreted Luther’s call for scriptural authority over Church practice as an invitation to make real life conform to biblical recommendations. In other words, they were in tune with yet-to-be-born Gerald Brenan. Luther, a sometimes troubled friend of princes and landlords, but a friend nonetheless, had no such intentions. As they prepared for the battle of Frankenhausen in May 1525, the members of a large but not especially wellequipped peasant force unfurled a banner that bore the picture of a rainbow and possibly a reference to the community of goods – that is, socialized ownership. Luther had earlier that month launched a written attack on the militant rural folk destined to die by the thousands, peasants who had had the temerity to welcome religious radicals like
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Thomas Münzer into their ranks and believe in that verse from the Book of Acts that describes how amongst the earliest believers, “not a man claimed any of his possessions as his own, but everything was held in common,” where money was “....distributed to any who stood in need.” 12 “...Let everyone who can,” Luther wrote in response to the radical tide, “smite, slay and stab, secretly or openly, remembering that nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful or devilish than a rebel...Strange times these, when a prince can win heaven with bloodshed, better than other men with prayer.”13 What was the theological fuel Luther employed to launch his written assault? He pointedly rejected notions about the piety of common property with the suggestion that while the peasants might have been free to pool their resources, they had no right to oblige landlords to do the same. Perhaps he thought it was up to God to discipline those wealthy believers who didn’t radically share; in any case, this defender of nascent German nationalism saw no reason to read the Book of Acts as requiring at least some mandatory redistribution of wealth among believers. Luther did acknowledge that things might have been free and common in Genesis, but “under the New Testament Moses does not count.” So who did he think was running to his rescue from the NT? Why, Paul of course. The verse employed by Luther is the famous section of Romans 13 where the apostle offers advice on appropriate Christian behavior before the authorities. According to the New English Bible, it reads as follows:

Every person must submit to the supreme authorities. There is no authority but by act of God and the exiting authorities are instituted by him; consequently anyone who rebels against authority is resisting a divine institution and those who so resist have themselves to thank for the punishment they will receive. For government, a terror to crime, has no terrors for good behavior. You wish to have no fear of the authorities? Then continue to do right and you will have their approval, for they are God’s agents working for your good. But if you are doing wrong then you will have cause to fear them; it is not for nothing that they hold the power of the sword...That is also why you pay taxes...14 The reader gets the idea, if he or she is not already well-acquainted with the verse. Undoubtedly this is the most developed of Paul’s apparently reactionary remarks. But only a superficial, out-of-context reading allows one to employ it as a timeless, universal injunction to cower before political power of whatever sort. For as we know, Paul never regarded Roman imperial authority as even resembling God’s ‘political’ project for the world, except perhaps as a power heretofore tolerated (and hence entrusted with some role in preparing the ground for the dramatic changes ‘on the way’). The empire’s modus operandi, conquest and violent repression, is precisely the opposite of the program Paul outlines for followers of Jesus in Romans 12 – not to mention other places. In chapter 12 appear the usual calls to embrace peace, “practice hospitality,” to not seek revenge, and “use good to defeat evil.” And
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then, in Chapter 13, immediately following the above cited passage on appropriate conduct vis-à-vis the authorities, Paul returns to the theme of obligations between human beings, telling his readers that “all are summed up in the one rule, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself...’ The whole law is summed up in love.” But what is the political point? How does this Christian conduct relate to the empire? Is it just Goody Two Shoes stuff to model as a contrast to the way earthly powers behave? Paul’s answer is “...remember how critical the moment is.” He suggests that “it is far on in the night; day is near.” In other words, he believes, he hopes, that the divine revolution is just around the corner, even then emerging from its chrysalis. “Let us behave with decency as befits the day.”15 Paul was, secular radicals would argue, wrong on timing and flawed in praxis, although we might add that revolutionary movements, when still small and vulnerable, have also counseled members to submit to power, for their own safety as well as in the interests of future growth. Certainly Paul had a pre-Enlightenment view of how historical events occur. Along with this, his apocalyptic sense of the Kingdom of God possibly differed somewhat from Jesus’, who does not seem to have thought of the kingdom as coming in with that same sweep-all-before-it sort of force that Paul seems to imagine. But saying the apostle endorsed domination doesn’t hold water. “And yet I do speak words of wisdom to those who are ripe for it, not a wisdom belonging to this passing age, nor to any of its governing powers, which are declining to their end...[but]

There is a tendency to think that what we see in the present moment will continue. We often forget how often we have been astonished by the sudden crumbling of institutions, by extraordinary changes in people’s thoughts, by unexpected eruptions of rebellion against tyrannies, by the quick collapse of systems of power that seemed invincible. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. If we remember those times and places, and there are so many where people have behaved magnificently; this gives us the energy to act. Hope is the energy for change. The future is an infinite succession of presents...and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of the worst of everything around us, is a marvelous victory.
—h o ward zi n n

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God’s secret purpose.”16 At this point we should allow some other analyses of Romans 13 to be at least mentioned. Mark Nanos has made the suggestion, and he has convinced many of the merits of his case, that Romans 13 has little to do with conduct under the Roman imperial state but contains Paul’s advice to Gentile converts, in the capital, attending synagogue and still under the religious supervision of its ‘government.’ The scenario, in this case, involves followers of the Jew Jesus worshipping together with other, orthodox Jews (which is to say, ones who don’t regard the Nazarene as the Messiah) prior to the definitive institutional break between the two faiths. These new followers, runs the argument, didn’t understand the movement’s relationship to Judaism and couldn’t see why they should have to do what the religious authorities told them.17 If Nanos is right, then of course traditional readings of Romans 13 lose all their force. Other left-leaning Christian commentators, not inclined to this interpretation, have tended to regard Paul’s advice to the Roman believers as a display of tactical savvy meant to help shield the brethren in the imperial capital from official violence and hostility. Look Rome, this sect preaches obedience after all, and it’s in writing! There’s no good reason to hurt its members! But then there are the apostle’s words urging slaves to obey their masters in Ephesians 6. How can a prophet of liberation counsel this? It is probably the same story. The divine re-ordering of the world is on its way. Moreover, Paul goes to the heart of the matter of domination. Masters must “do the same by them

[their slaves] and give up using threats.” In other words, discipline and violence are to be renounced by slaveholders who accept Jesus, ripping the coercive heart out of the owner-servant relationship. And again, there is most likely a bit of the tactician at work here. The Roman authorities’ reply to servile rebellion and incitement to rebellion was not complicated; a sect that preached such a doctrine was inviting state violence down upon its head. End of part I. Part II continued in next issue.

1. For data suggesting that most Americans favor ‘radical’ socio-economic options, I rely here in part on Noam Chomsky. See, for example, Chomsky, Failed States (Metropolitan Books: New York, 2006) pp. 225-228. As for polls showing the religiosity of Americans — these virtually grow on trees. Both the February 2003 Harris Poll, for example, and a Fox News poll from June 2004 show 90 per cent or more of U.S. adults believing in God, while a Harris poll from the fall of 2003 shows a more modest but still considerable 78 per cent of U.S. citizens as believers. After studying 8,000 adults from 1988 till 2000, the National Opinion Research Center concluded that about 80 per cent believed in a “traditional, personal God,” according to journalist John Dart. 2. Gerald Brenan, The Spanish Labyrinth (Cambridge, 1969), pp. 190-191 3. The Bible, a new English translation with the Apocrypha (Oxford, 1970), Psalm: 82
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4. Richmond Lattimore (translator), The Four Gospels and the Revelation (Farrar, Straus, Giroux: New York, 1979), Mark:10 pp.27-28 5. Ibid., Luke:6 p.136 6. Ibid., Luke:1 p.122 7. John Dominic Crossan, The Birth of Christianity (Harper: San Francisco, 1998), Preface, x 8. J.D. Crossan, In Search of Paul. This note taken from an excerpt of Crossan’s book at www.beliefnet.com 9. John Dart, Jesus and Paul Versus the Empire. See author index at www.religion-online.org 10. I Corinthians:15, verse 24, The Bible, A new English translation 11. Galations:3, verses 26-29 12. Acts:4, verses 32-35 13. Martin Luther, Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants (1525). I found the tract at http://zimmer. csufresno.edu/~mariterel/against_the_robbing_and_murderin.htm 14. Romans:13, verses 1-6 15. Ibid., verses 11-13. Paul doesn’t mind using military imagery either, but his soldiers don’t shed blood. 16. I Corinthians:2, verse 6 17. For a summary of this position, see: www.yashanet. com/studies/romstudy/text13.htm

Obedience to Authority
by Tariq Khan

Most evil acts in the world are not committed by abnormally mean psychopaths. They are committed by quite ordinary people who are “just doing their jobs”. Most murder, torture, and destruction in and of the world is perfectly legal and is carried out by civilized, well-mannered, average individuals who are “just fulfilling their duties” to governments, businesses, and religions. They’re “just trying to make a living”. A while back I met some veterans of the U.S. military’s invasion of Iraq; young guys in their early twenties. I had a chance to talk with them and hear some of their stories. On first impression they seemed like good, decent people. Even though I know that torture and murder are part of the military system, I was surprised when one told me tales of torturing prisoners in Iraq and even of shooting children. Another vet said that he was a sniper and he knowingly killed innocent people. Neither of these men have a violent disposition. Neither of them have a desire to kill and torture. In fact, they hated doing it and they both said that they hate themselves for what they did over there. One of them said that some of the other Iraq War veterans he knew have since committed suicide because they couldn’t live with themselves knowing the horrors they inflicted on people in Iraq.
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So if these soldiers hated it so much, then why did they do it? They did it because it was their job. They were following orders. The fellow who was a sniper told one story of when he was ordered to shoot a man who was changing a tire. The Army was afraid that the man wasn’t changing a tire, but was actually setting a roadside bomb. So the sniper shot him. When they investigated the scene it turned out that there was nothing there having to do with any bombs and that the man was indeed changing a tire. So the sniper was very upset. He said that later that night he threw a fit, throwing around his things and such. The sergeant asked him what was wrong and he said something like, “Man! That guy I shot was innocent!” So the sergeant sent him to go talk to the chaplain. A chaplain is a religious leader in the military there to provide the troops with “spiritual support”. The sniper, telling the story, said that he was an atheist and had no faith in any chaplain but he obeyed the sergeant and talked to the chaplain anyway. The chaplain, like a true servant of the state, told the sniper, “Don’t worry about it. You’re doing this for God and your country.” The sniper thought that it was stupid advice, not helpful at all, but he went back to his job as a sniper and, against his own conscience, did what he was told to do, including killing more people. Half a century ago social scientist Stanley Milgram carried out a series of experiments having to do with the issue of obedience to authority. In these experiments a “teacher” was ordered by an authority to administer electric shocks to a “learner”. The learner was actually an actor and the

shocks were not real, but the teacher was unaware of this and believed the shocks he or she was administering were real. Even when the learner seemed to be experiencing a great deal of pain, the teacher, in most cases, continued with the shocks as ordered by the authority. In many cases the teacher did not want to administer the shocks, but pressured by the authority to do so, went ahead and obeyed. Milgram intentionally conducted these experiments with people of diverse class, education, race, occupation, and gender. He performed different variations and situations to test different factors. Regardless of race, class, education, or gender; most people obeyed authority even when obedience meant harming an innocent person and even when they clearly did not want to harm the person. Milgram concluded that it is the drive to obey authority rather than any kind of innate maliciousness that is the cause for most horror in the world. Milgram was writing shortly after the fall of the Third Reich and, no doubt, was troubled by how it was that so many ordinary, mildmannered people were led to commit the kinds of sick crimes against humanity that occurred in concentration camps and Nazi prisons. They were just trying to be “good Germans.” Milgram wrote, “Tyrannies are perpetuated by diffident men who do not possess the courage to act out their beliefs.” So here we are decades later with ordinary nineteen and twenty-year-olds torturing and killing people for god and their country. They’re being “good Americans”. We have Air Force pilots who are nice people, good parents, good
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neighbors; they mow their lawns, go to movies, and watch their children’s soccer games and dance recitals, but when in uniform and ordered by higher ranking men in uniform, will drop bombs that end hundreds and even thousands of lives. From an early age we are taught that obedience to authority is a virtue. The first thing we memorized in kindergarten was the pledge of allegiance. We learned that “be good” means “do what you’re told”. In the Boy Scouts we said, “On my honor I will do my duty to God and my country...” In church they taught us that we are here on earth to learn to obey. Parents and teachers demand it from an early age. In school we were given detention for defiance and rewarded for compliance. A core value of the Air Force is “service before self” which means, doing what the Air Force wants you to do is more important than doing what you want to do. The university professor who “gets with the program” is far more likely to get tenure than the one who thinks independently. The university student learns that making waves leads to a bumpy ride while following the leader leads to smooth sailing. Anyone who’s ever dealt with a police officer learns that saying, “yes sir” leads to much less trouble than asking questions does. In Milgram’s experiment some of the more obedient subjects took it as far as to try to justify torturing an innocent person. This is what I call the cop personality. Rather than admitting that there was something wrong with what they did, they came up with reasons why the learner deserved to be shocked. When being questioned after the experiment, one such man said, “Well, we have more or

less a stubborn person (the learner). If he understood what this here was, he would’a went along without getting the punishment... The only time I got a little – I wouldn’t say nervous – I got disgusted, is when he wouldn’t cooperate.” In other words, the learner brought punishment on himself by not cooperating with the torturer. How many times have you heard a police officer make a similar argument to justify his own ill treatment of another person? “If she just would have cooperated, then I wouldn’t have had to pepper spray (or handcuff, or beat, or arrest, or kill...) her.” Notice how the subject in the experiment did not take responsibility for his own actions of shocking the learner, but transferred responsibility to the victim; what we call victim blaming (it’s the same as when a rapist blames the woman he raped rather than admitting his own responsibility for his actions; “Did you see how she was dressed?”). When the experimenter pushed the question of who was responsible for the learner being shocked, the man replied, “I say your fault for the simple reason that I was paid for doing this. I had to follow orders. That’s how I figured it.” In other words, he was just doing his job, just as police who abuse others are just doing their jobs, just as soldiers who murder and torture Iraqis are just following orders, just as the businessmen and women who sell the military weapons of mass destruction are just doing their jobs, just as prison guards who abuse prisoners are just following orders, just as office workers, administrators, and bureaucrats who do the paper pushing of military and law enforcement are just doing their jobs, just as the Nazis who rounded up
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Jews for extermination were just following orders, just as the cop who pulls you over and harasses you is just doing his job, just as the men who clear-cut forests are just following orders, just as the people who torture animals in slaughter houses and factory farms are just doing their jobs, just as construction workers who destroy wilderness in order to build mcmansions and strip malls are just following orders, just as the military pilot who dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan was just doing his job, and on and on and on... I’ve had many experiences in which I complain to peers about police brutality or out-of-control soldiers stomping on human rights, only to be met with the disapproval of my peers who tell me, “It’s not the cops’ (or soldiers’) fault, they’re just doing their jobs.” I try to explain to my peers, “That’s the problem! They’re just doing their jobs!” If doing their jobs means abusing, torturing, and generally bullying people around, then they should get new jobs! The fact that it’s their job is no excuse. The cops sure don’t let other people get away with that excuse. What if a drug dealer were to tell a cop, “Hey man, I’m just doing my job.”? Do you think the cop would take the attitude, “Oh, ok. I suppose that I’ll just leave you alone then and stop messing with you because you’re just doing your job.”? But for some reason, mainstream society lets all kinds of official abusers such as cops, politicians, and soldiers get away with that. When a cop once told Emma Goldman that he didn’t enjoy putting her behind bars but that he was just doing his job, she told him to stop being such a coward and to find a more honorable way to make

a living. Obedience to authority, rather than being a virtue, may be the number one cause of blood and horror in the world. All of the war and occupation the world over would not be possible without obedient men and women in uniform who say, “yes, sir” to the orders from up the chain. It would not be possible without docile clerks, managers, and bureaucrats doing the administrative and logistical work that makes the death machine run smoothly. It wouldn’t matter if a Hitler popped up if no one would obey the Hitler. And it wouldn’t matter if the U.S. government wanted to wage war if soldiers refused to fight, or better yet, refused to be soldiers in the first place. Tyranny cannot function without yes men. It is obedience, not maliciousness, that makes the piles of dead bodies grow. It may seem hopeless, but in Milgram’s experiment, just as in real life, there were some dissenters. The problem is that both in the experiment and in real life, there are not nearly enough people who refuse to obey. However, Milgram did do one interesting variation of his experiment which resulted in the majority of subjects refusing to administer electric shocks to the learner. In this situation there was an experimenter, three teachers, and one learner. The experimenter ordered the teachers to administer shocks to the learner, just like in the other experiments, and the learner (an actor) showed a lot of pain upon being shocked, as usual. The difference this time was that two of the teachers were also actors, unbeknownst to the subject. When the learner showed signs of pain and disapproval,
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the two teachers refused to administer any more shocks, even when ordered to by the experimenter. When this happened, in almost every case (36 out of 40), the subject followed suit, defying the experimenter, and refused to administer any more shocks. Milgram wrote, “The effects of peer rebellion are very impressive in undercutting the experimenter’s authority. Indeed, of the score of experimental variations completed in this study, none was so effective in undercutting the experimenter’s authority as the manipulation reported here.” When being questioned later as to why they disobeyed, one subject replied, “The thought of stopping didn’t enter my mind until it was put there by the other two.” Another subject answered, “The reason I quit was that I did not wish to seem callous and cruel in the eyes of the other two men who had already refused to go on with the experiment”. Milgram pointed to some factors that lead to the group’s effectiveness: 1. The peers instill in the subject the idea of defying the experimenter. It may not have occurred to some subjects as a possibility. 2. The lone subject in previous experiments had no way of knowing whether, if he defies the experimenter, he is performing in a bizarre manner or whether his action is a common occurrence in the laboratory. The two examples of disobedience he sees suggest that defiance is a natural reaction to the situation. 3. The reactions of the defiant confederates define the act of shocking the victim as improper. They provide social

confirmation for the subject’s suspicion that it is wrong to punish a man against his will, even in the context of a psychological experiment. 4. The defiant remain in the laboratory even after withdrawing from the experiment (they have agreed to answer postexperimental questions). Each additional shock administered by the naïve subject then carries with it a measure of social disapproval from the two confederates. 5. As long as the two confederates participate in the experimental procedure, there is a dispersion of responsibility among the group members for shocking the victim. As the confederates withdraw, responsibility becomes focused on the naïve subject. 6. The naïve subject is a witness to two instances of disobedience and observes the consequences of defying the experimenter to be minimal. 7. The experimenter’s power may be diminished by the very fact of failing to keep the two confederates in line, in accordance with the general rule that every failure of authority to exact compliance to its commands weakens the perceived power of the authority. The two rebels in the experiment were only actors. For the real rebel it takes courage to be the first to say no, or to stand alone in defiance. But that is the role of the anarchist in society. Perhaps anarchists can take note of those seven points and apply them to ourselves. Maybe that would look something like this (this is by no means meant to be some list of “anarchist commandments”, it’s merely something worth considering):
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1. It is for the anarchist to instill in individuals the ideas 5. It is for the anarchist to let responsibility fall where of defiance, resistance, evasion, and refusal. It may not have it belongs. When the police go nuts and shoot up the place, occurred to some people as a possibility, or the individual killing some innocent victim, or when soldiers do the same, they usually get let off the hook with such silly excuses as, may not know how to go about it. 2. The lone individual in society has no way of knowing “It’s a very stressful job and accidents are bound to hapif her dissent is “normal”. It is for the anarchist to let such pen,” or “collateral damage”, but anarchists have to be the people know that they are not alone. How many people ones to point out that no, that excuse is unacceptable, you have breathed a sigh of relief and pleasure when reading are responsible for your own behavior, and you cops and that first radical book, or zine, or listened to that first punk soldiers are guilty and blood-stained as hell. record that validated the anti-authoritarian sentiments 6. In Milgram’s experiment the consequences for disthat everyone else they knew told them they were crazy obedience were minimal, which led the subject to see that for thinking? How good it feels when one lives in a sea of it was no big deal to say no, but in reality, the consequences servility, conformity, and mediocrity to meet that single are often much more severe. While anarchists cannot alindividual who thinks differently, or to find a group of ways, like Milgram’s rebels, demonstrate that the course people who defy the norm. of disobedience is easy, we can be there to support our 3. It is for the anarchist to provide the individual with rebellious peers when authority’s fist comes crashing down confirmation that her feelings against what she is being on them. We can see examples of this such as people who ordered to do are valid. For example, when a soldier is or- set up “underground railroad” type networks for AWOL dered to torture prisoners; inside he feels that it is wrong soldiers, and those who back up soldiers who refuse to go to torture, but the military tells him that it is the right thing to Iraq. Soldiers are far more likely to rebel when they know to do. The anarchist must be the one to give him social that there are dependable people who have their back. confirmation for his feelings against torture. 7. Every failure of authority to exact compliance to its 4. It is for the anarchist to remain in society, constantly commands weakens the perceived power of the authorregistering disapproval of the horrors that authority is ity. bringing down. This may seem like nothing, but it’s not alThe rebellious peer variation of Milgram’s experiment ways such an easy task, when multitudes of servile subjects led him to believe that “when an individual wishes to stand are waving flags around and cheering for the leader, to be in opposition to authority, he does best to find support for that one person or one small group of people pointing out his position from others in his group. The mutual support the madness of it all. provided by men for each other is the strongest bulwark

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we have against the excesses of authority. (Not that the group is always on the right side of the issue. Lynch mobs and groups of predatory hoodlums remind us that groups may be vicious in the influence they exert.)” Imagine a society that places more emphasis on being true to one’s own conscience and less emphasis on being true to an institution. More emphasis on inner integrity and personal reflection, and less emphasis on outward appearance and looking good on paper. A society in which people act on their own convictions rather than acting on orders handed down from above. Fewer soldiers with their “service before self”, and more Whitman’s with the dictum, “Resist much. Obey little.” Individuals who think for themselves and act for themselves. It would be terribly difficult for tyranny and oppression to take root in such a society because those who would tyrannize and oppress would have a hard time doing so with no one to carry out their orders. Bush could cry for war all day long, but with no obedient soldiers to fight his war for him, there would be no war. Sure, he could go to war by himself and even kill some people, but he wouldn’t get very far, and he would never, even if he wanted to, be able to kill the amount of people that an army kills. He wouldn’t have much luck setting up checkpoints, curfews, and torture chambers either. Those wicked endeavors also require obedient servants who will carry out orders. The same goes for any powerhungry maniac. Women-hating, queer bashing, reasonignoring ministers, popes, rabbis, and imams would be out of business in such a society. The same would go for gang

leaders, war lords, and corporate CEOs. If the individuals that make up the world’s human population would simply think and act for themselves rather than letting authority think for them and rather than acting for authority, there would be a lot less blood-shed, abuse, and coercion in the world. Evil is unspectacular and always human, And shares our bed and eats at our own table. –W.H. Auden To all of us who have been charged, we all agree that we don’t feel like we were doing things that we weren’t supposed to, because we were told to do them. We think everything was justified, because we were instructed to do this and to do that. –Lynndie England, one of many U.S. soldiers who physically, psychologically, and sexually abused Iraqi men at Abu Ghraib prison

Why Progressives Should Vote Nader
by Ashley Sanders

With two months to go before elections, both Republicans and Democrats are busy driving home their favorite point: We are witnessing the election of the century. This year, our votes are more valuable than ever; they are the instruments of unparalleled hope and change. And this, the argument goes, is why it is so crucial to vote for the right candidate and even more crucial not to throw away
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votes—and America’s future—on a third party candidate like Ralph Nader. The Republicans and Democrats are half right. This is a critical election year. This could be the year we gave 47 million Americans decent healthcare and a millions more a living wage. It could be the year that we respected the opinions of 68% of Americans and 79% of Iraqis and completely withdrew from Iraq. It could be the year that we cut the 3/4 trillion dollar defense budget, repealed the “pull down” North American Free Trade Agreement, revoked the Patriot Act, rescinded the revised FISA, restored union rights, weaned ourselves off oil, built a green energy infrastructure, disciplined runaway corporations and reigned in the manic speculation sponsoring the current food, housing, and energy crises. More importantly, it could be the year that we made the connection between these problems and the jingoistic militarism, corporatism and American exceptionalism that underwrite them. That, at least, is Ralph Nader’s plan. But no. Instead, we allow the Republicans to exploit our fear and the Democrats to extort hope from our weari-

ness. Happily hoodwinked, we don’t dare admit the truth: that Obama and McCain have failed to offer substantive solutions to our most pressing problems and refused to connect the dots between our failed policies and the realpolitik corporate regime that props them up. College students stand to lose the most from this election. We are the ones who will be around for the next sixty years, and this election will at least partially determine what those years look like. And yet, as an engaged, idealistic voting bloc that is deeply dissatisfied with politics as usual, we also have everything to gain—if we demand it. We could start by scrutinizing false change promises. While most college students could talk fluently about the betrayals of the Bush administration, most are much less familiar with the Democrat’s myriad treacheries. Charmed by Obama’s message of hope and ostensibly populist rhetoric, they are flocking in droves to a candidate they believe will exorcize the Bush demon and bring America back to a state of “original sinlessness.” There are three major problems with this fantasy. 1. In 1992, Clinton ran an uncannily ‘Obamaesque’ campaign, branding himself as a change candidate and peddling a vague but comforting populism. Convinced, progressives
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rallied behind him. Clinton won, but progressives lost. it”; Warren Christopher, who refused to use the word Wage disparities between CEOs and workers ballooned genocide during the Rwanda crisis because the US had 449 to 1. Clinton pushed NAFTA, costing 525,000 US jobs no “strategic interests” there; Lee Hamilton, who stopped and devastating Mexican farmers. And, as a flourish on the Iran Contra investigation before it could lead to the the way out, Clinton repealed the Glass Steagall Act, al- impeachment of Reagan; Robert Gates, Saddam Hussein’s lowing the mergers of banks and investment companies chief weapons supplier and author of violent intervention that are at the heart of our current financial crisis. In short, schemes in Libya and Nicaragua; and Jason Furman, who progressives got eight years of soft imperialism and a cor- favors decreasing corporate taxes, partial privatization porate dream economy that Clinton admitted “helped the of Social Security and the so-called Wal-Mart model of bond market and hurt the people who voted us in.” But 'prosperity.' (Unlike average Americans, corporations don’t that’s not all. Progressives fell for the same stuff in 2000 have to hope for change. They can buy it. They only hope and then again in 2004, when anti-war Democrats voted that the public will be duped enough by false promises that in droves for a candidate who had no intention to end the they won’t demand the real stuff.) 3. As much as we hate to hear it, Bush is not the problem. war—who believed Bush was doing “too little” in the war on terror—and lost both the election and the muscle of the America has never been sinless; it has followed a policy of peace movement. convenient militarism under Republicans and Democrats 2. As any cursory study of history will demonstrate, before Bush and, barring reform, will continue to do so after pretty words rarely make for a pretty president. What re- him. Bush is not just the most evil president; he is also the ally matters are the candidates’ advisers and funders. As most powerful, power abdicated to him by the so-called opNaomi Klein insists, advisers send a “signal” to Wall Street position party and sponsored by a bipartisan commitment donors that business will proceed as usual after election to courting corporate cash. Bush’s presidency—the war, the day. Advisers and financiers are the best indicators of the cronyism, and the inequality—is the logical conclusion of tone and direction of a future presidency, and Obama’s a political philosophy based on dominance, inequality, and are sending clear signals that things will be business as unquestioned exceptionalism. Unless Obama and McCain usual after election day. Bewilderingly, Obama plans to question the Bush’s economic and militaristic assumptions, solve the nation’s problems by recycling the architects of the demon will still possess us—because, to extend a phrase, its moral and economic decline: Madeleine Albright, advo- “it’s the military-industrial complex, stupid.” cate of unilateral aggression against Iraq, who said that US In short, both parties are busy burdening a broken sanctions which killed 500,000 Iraqi children were “worth machine. Meanwhile, Ralph Nader is offering Americans

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what the polls say they want. While McCain sings about bombing Iran to the tune of Beach Boys songs and Obama talks strategically about the difference between ‘smart’ and ‘dumb’ wars, Nader condemns war in general, arguing for a strongly negotiated peace in Palestine, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. While Obama dismisses his earlier commitments to fair trade as “overheated,” Nader argues for renegotiating a “pull-up” NAFTA and the WTO and replacing them with uniform environmental and labor standards that benefit all peoples. And while McCain chants “drill, baby, drill” and Obama prepares to replace Big Oil with Big Corn and Big Nukes, Nader urges efficient, renewable infrastructure that eliminates dependence on fossil fuels and a top-down energy cartel economy. Simply put, Nader acknowledges that the crises facing our country are manifestations of the same problem: runaway corporate control and unregulated financial speculation. He is able to offer substantial solutions to problems precisely because his forty years of public advocacy gets down to their roots. But the mainstream parties will tell us that we cannot vote for Nader because there is too much at stake this year. The Republicans have to win to save us from the enemy without, and the Democrats have to win to save us from the enemy within. If the Republicans are the Party of Ill Repute, the Democrats have become the Party of Perpetual Plan B, an evasion they protect by asking us to perpetually defer our disappointment. Progressive voters are consequently in a state of profound contradiction, with unions endorsing

Wal-Mart board members, peace activists voting for more Iraq and an escalated war in Afghanistan, environmentalists resigning themselves to capping and trading, and the sub-prime homeless cashing $500 emergency checks and hoping for the best. We could win the election. But instead, we refuse the easiest revolution—the ballot box—because we are afraid others won’t join us. Why resist today, we ask, what we could resist next time? Why fight least worsts politics if we aren’t sure we’ll win? Answer: Because most of the benefits and freedoms you now enjoy came from a minority struggling against an unjust majority. Because that’s what you’ll end up doing forever with that low set of expectations. Take a page from the minority playbook. Decide your breaking point. What will you refuse to give up? What year will you stop voting for the least worst? What year will you decide that the government is your representative and not your master? I suggest you pick 2008. I suggest you pick Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez. Because if not, let’s be serious: you’ll get nothing but chump change from cashing in the movement to buy the machine. Why Radicals Should Vote Nader The word radicalism, as we’ve heard before, means getting to the root of a problem. Why that would be considered undesirable in a culture—why it would be made to seem
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like the organon for some sinister rebellion—is a sign of fight itself. That said, I disagree with those who remove themselves the sickness of a society, not the sickness of those trying to heal it. Most of our political discourse occurs inside a from the State and believe that it is possible for personally philosophy that none of us would accept in our personal good actions to cover the host of wrongs perpetrated by life: one that depends on greed, competition, and inequal- the political structure. The immediate goal is not to remove ity. The purpose of a radical philosophy should be to unite ourselves from the State, but to perform two revolutions the personal and the political until there is no difference at once. The first revolution should be voting in the perbetween the two. If we as individuals do not base our lives son who will begin to dismantle the structures causing on principles of greed, competition, and inequality—if we widespread suffering, the whole time pushing the second are not merely self-interested—then why do we accept a revolution—resistance and insistence—alongside it. Cindy political philosophy based on the same? The purpose of Sheehan put it like this: When someone told her he wouldn’t big-P Politics is to create structures that limit expressions vote for her because revolutionaries don’t vote, she said, of selfishness that would, if left unchecked, impede others’ “Well vote for me and start the f—-ing revolution.” This is ability to be compassionate. The purpose of radical, small-p not an argument for perpetual deferment. I am not telling politics is to live our lives in a way that refuses to divide you, as so many Democrats tell me, to accept the failings of a current candidate or system and be good, sit tight. Don’t the process of living from the product of it. If this is true, we need two revolutions. We need a sit tight. Ralph Nader does not go nearly far enough. So Political revolution, where we vote for a candidate who start the revolution, and start it immediately. But don’t be will address the roots of big problems and the rotten as- so cajoled by anti-statism—a belief I share, by the way— sumptions that foster them—a person who will reinforce that you miss an opportunity to elect a person who would structures that prevent the powerful from making the con- make your fight so much easier. sequences of their personal greed a public reality. But we Whether you agree with my argument or not, I would also need a political revolution, where we recognize that argue that the fights for radicalism, anarchism and revoin a very real sense, “there is no such thing as the State,” lution have a lot in common with the third party fight and that the ultimate political act is to “love one another against the two-party system. All of these movements try or die,”—where we refuse to accept that there is a distinc- to manifest what people say that they want before they tion between the personal and the political, where do not are seduced by the claims of big-P Politics—before they strategize but demand, emphatically, that we get what we are told that their desire to apply their personal values to are fighting for not when we are done fighting but in the politics is naïve, that strategically dividing the personal

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and political is necessary, and that alternatives will never work because people aren’t ready for them. The fight for change depends almost entirely on faith: the willingness to talk outside the logic of an unredeemable system and the willingness to believe that other people will, too. It is not as if Ralph Nader or the anarchists don’t have the numbers, after all. How many people don’t want to be equal, to like their job, to be treated well and to live a life where happiness is not divided from survival? But millions of these same people have convinced themselves to stay miserable because they do not believe that enough people will join them if they fight for their happiness. The principle of anarchism, being anti-statist, depends on a swelling and ultimately unstoppable majority of people who have been transformed by the merits of good arguments rather than the external coercion of power. Until their numbers are unstoppable, they live inside an inequitable system where what they fight for is That is our doctrine— largely erased by the a doctrine of inclusion power of inequitable ...Of all people on this structures. But many earth, we should be the people do not join the fight because they most loving, the kindest, are afraid to lose the and the most tolerant perks of the system because of that doctrine. they are fighting be— M . Rus sell Ballard fore they are sure they will triumph. It is the

same with third parties. They have the numbers. People personally agree with them. But the very people who agree with them will not help them unless they are sure that they will win, which means of course that they will never win and that the power of the State will be reinforced by the people who most disagree with it but who are afraid to lose the perks of partial agreement. Any great reform depends on the altruism of initial reformers who refuse to force a gap between the process of being political and the product of being political, who will not perpetually defer the day of their success because they know that deferment, by its very nature, is failure. Any process-based philosophy depends entirely on the masses—more particularly, getting masses of people behind them—because every good process-based philosophy knows that the so-called protections we think ensure our safety and dignity only truly protect us if we make it impossible for them not to. And so I am asking you to vote for Ralph Nader who, like a good radical, has stopped tinkering with a broken machine to ask, “Why this machine?” True, he does not junk the machine entirely—he believes in regulated capitalism, representative government, and the rule of law. But he refuses to base his political philosophy on principles that defy our personal sense of ethics; his political vision is expansive and transformative—it is not an exclusive plan for American dominance, but a persistent question as to why politics is based on exclusivity and dominance. But just as importantly, I am asking you to vote for Ralph Nader because he does not make the mistake that
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so many politicians have made. Since he does not equate political freedom with economic freedom, he knows that it is possible to be politically ‘free’ and economically enslaved—that ultimately, economic enslavement translates into political enslavement. Knowing this, he can criticize war and torture and the economic crash not as accidents, but as the political manifestations of a system based on economic enslavement. The constant, sad story of world history is the confusion of political ‘freedom’—the right to elect a leader—with economic freedom—the right to basics and to dignity or, worse, the confusion of economic ‘freedom’—the freedom to shop and invest—with meaningful freedom—democracy. It is this confusion that many anarchists and radicals try to rectify with political philosophies firmly rooted in economic equality. If we can remember the relationship between the slow war of economic injustice and the hot wars of intervention, we can end not just ‘this war’ but all wars, not just ‘this violence’ but the violence of inequality, and not just excesses but the moral shortages that they compensate for.

A Vietnam Vet’s Vision of Peace
by Terry Leichner

I spent 50 years, following my time as an infantryman with the United States Marine Corp, denying the existence of God or Christ. I was in I Corps of Vietnam with the 5th Ma-

rines from December '67 to Feb '69. I was wounded during the Tet Offensive outside Danang. A concussion grenade knocked me unconscious and ruptured my eardrums. It happened in the middle of the night following a day of intense battle with an NVA (North Vietnamese Army) battalion that had infiltrated into the area to start the Tet Offensive. The NVA ran into my squad acting as a blocking force at the edge of a paddy. They over ran us, killing our radio man and wounding the majority of us with grenades and rifle fire. The day before, I had held my squad leader's body trying to revive him. An NVA sniper had hit him with a perfect head shot behind his ear. At first, I couldn't find where he'd been hurt. I had been on one side of a paddy dike in a large rice paddy and he was on the other when we were ambushed. I found him in a fetal like position. He was motionless. I shook him....tried to resuscitate him.....and only after a few minutes did I realize he was dead. Two other members of the squad were hit with rifle fire. After the night assault on us, we discovered a field of dead NVA and American troops. Many of us were wounded. A village had been hit with napalm across the paddy. We were made to drag the NVA bodies to a central area for a body count and photo-op. One of the members of that effort decided to use his K-bar (survival knife) to remove any gold teeth from the dead bodies he found. Another member of the company hit a captured NVA soldier in the mouth with his E-tool (small folding shovel). He'd just found out his best friend had been killed in action. I watched as captured NVA soldiers were kicked off the tops of amphibious
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tracks (a troop carrier with tracks like a tank but is also able to used in water) and tanks while they were hogtied. That was just the warm up for the next part of Jan 30, 1968. After lunch we swept through the burned village and saw up close what napalm can do to the human body. Even being numb from the events of the past 48 hours, the sight of the small bodies of children burned to "crispy critters" jolted me. That was the day I knew there could be no God or Christ. Nothing that happened in the following twelve

months made me change that belief. Once home I was asked to be a trainer at Camp Lejeune's Infantry Training Regiment. I'd made E-4 by age 20 and had outstanding performance evals from my time in Vietnam. I was salty and skilled as a Marine in the "art" of death and the Corps saw potential in turning me into a teacher of that art. The only thing wrong with that plan was the dark hole in my soul. Each day of trying to cope with just being in the Corps, trying to medicate my flashbacks and dreams and trying to stay awake to avoid the nightmares made the darkness worse. After a month, what little morality I had left motivated me to go AWOL (absent without leave). I went back and forth to Lejeune. I was encouraged to work it out. They sent me to Correctional Custody, which is akin to going through boot camp again but as a prisoner. They were intensely trying to get us back to being programmed as Marines. They would use solitary in a cell about the size of a middle sized closet for those that didn't get with the program...in North Carolina that cell out in the sun got very hot (it looked sort of like a portapotty with one small window positioned up high so the prisoner couldn't see out but at least go some air). While I was there one Marine cut his wrists and bled out inside one of the solitary cells. He had tried before and was given more time for attempting to harm "government property". The Marines aren't much for mental health issues. I then spent time in the Great Lakes Brig (military prison) and took part in a prison uprising against the MaINDEX FULL SCREEN

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rine guards who were abusing inmates. While I was there, the pods (a large open barracks with jail doors and windows) were overcrowded with many AWOL and deserted Marines. The abuse (other than the constant verbal abuse) occurred on consecutive days. The guards of our pod (two at all times...usually three) had morning, noon and evening formations to do head counts and generally let us know what scum we were. In the A.M. and noon formations each prisoner was assigned a detail (chore), like raking or cleaning outside areas. On two consecutive days a really immature Marine asked to go to the "head" (bathroom) and was refused while we stood in formation. The kid hadn't been to Vietnam like most of us in there and he really seemed like a slow kid who should never have been allowed to enlist or be drafted. In the Marines, guys like him were magnets for DI's or guards to target as the biggest screw up. When one guy screwed up the whole unit of men was punished with extra exercise, no break for cigs, or something else that would turn us against the screw up. In our pod, however, most of us were combat veterans who were very wise to that game of targeting the weak. We basically adopted the kid to prevent him from getting targeted by other inmates and to protect him as much as we could from the guards. We couldn't protect him from his anxiety and bladder, however. When the guards refused to allow the kid to go to the head, the kid wet himself. That set off a loud verbal abuse of the young man by guards as well as extra work for all of us. After the second time of the kid wetting himself, we

rebelled. We all started asking to go to the head and when refused went anyway. When the guards demanded we get back in formation (it was outside of the large barracks in a courtyard.) more of us went inside to the head. Finally we locked ourselves in the barracks and barricaded the door with bunks and chairs. Probably 20 of the 30 prisoners were inside, part of the rebellion. We made a list of demands that included going to the head as needed, cessation of the constant verbal abuse by guards and the mass punishment for the acts of one individual. The standoff lasted four hours. The commander of the brig and a riot team responded. The commander (warden) was a Lt. Colonel in the Corps. He went from demanding to finally listening but all the time he was planning an assault on us with the riot team. He attempted to get the perceived leaders to open the door to let him and one guard inside. We figured the door would be stormed once opened. We had discussions on strategy once the riot team was unleashed. We all knew it was a matter of time before we were gassed with CS (a higher potency tear gas). We discussed if we would resist or be non-violent. There were a good number that wanted to fight the riot team entering the door. But, finally the majority of us talked the group into the nonviolent method. So, when the gas did come, we had the plan to get wet towels to cover our airway by tying them in the fashion the anarchists of today use with bandannas. We also decided we'd sit on the floor with our fingers laced together and placed on top of our heads. The gas did come right at 4pm. We had decided once the gas got too strong
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we'd remove the barricade of beds and chairs and open the door. They opened the door quickly and threw in two gas grenades. The riot team came in screaming for us to get face down, armed with M-16's and batons. A couple of the prisoners didn't move quickly enough for the team. They were kicked down to the floor. All of us were made to stand in formation for hours as the unit was cleared of the gas and a thorough search for weapons and contraband took place. Three of the perceived leaders were taken to another more restrictive part of the brig. All three were

Cory Bushman · Washington D.C.

black. They were part of a leadership of close to ten of us. I was one in the group that planned the strategy and talked everyone into the non-violent response. After that there were no more refusals to allow us to go to the head and the verbal abuse did decrease. All of us received the additional charge of “inciting a riot” to go with either our AWOL or desertion charge that got us in the brig to begin with. That charge would go with us to our home unit once we were returned. I was returned to Camp Lejeune after more than two weeks at Great Lakes to rejoin my unit and face a possible court martial. A group of ten of us were shackled and cuffed and taken to Midway for transport by two Marine MP chasers. All of us were either AWOL or classified as deserters after 30 days of absent without leave. All of us were combat veterans. At that particular time almost 40% of the Marine Corps infantry was said to be in AWOL or desertion status. Once I reached Lejeune, still cuffed and shackled, we were taken to the base Provost Marshall's where the base brig was located. Each of us was processed from a holding cell and told to report to our assigned company. I was now alone, without a guard. I decided to go AWOL again. I went straight to a transition barracks and sneaked in to sleep one night. After showering, still in civilian clothing, I boarded a base bus to Jacksonville, NC then took a Greyhound to Denver. The next time I encountered the Marine Corps was a year later when the FBI sent six agents bearing handguns to my parents' home to arrest me (that's another story in itself). I then spent a month in Denver City Jail waiting for
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chasers to arrive to return me to the Corps. On one Sun- I was 50, I went to a grandson's baptism at the cathedral day a Catholic priest came to give communion and "talk here in Denver. It was Easter Sunday. My grandson was with us". I asked him if his God approved of sending young baptized just as the noon bells in the cathedral started ringmen like me to kill others, including kids. The priest gave ing. The priest was pouring water over his forehead as bells me the rote answer that God would forgive me because I rang. That baptism and the bells were a jump start to the dormant spirituality I had barely rewas in a war to protect my country. I tained since Vietnam. I was struggling yelled that his God wasn't any God I to keep from crying. I lost the struggle wanted to be part of. I don’t have to approve of any once the bells started. Tears rolled Eventually I ended up with a less particular behavior, but I also than honorable discharge rather than down my cheeks as my grandson had don’t have to judge people... go to a court martial. I went to the holy water poured on his forehead. I As with every time of conACLU for legal help. The Corps imcall it my epiphany. troversy, I think there is a mediately offered me a deal for a disI returned to the church and disgreat potential for division, charge. I continued angry, violent and covered a personal reawakening. I lisfor anger, and even for haself-medicating for years. The only tened to the words of Christ, read His tred. It would hurt me to good thing in my life was my wife words and came to understand their have Mormons thought of and two sons and VVAW (Vietnam meaning. I realized Christ had nothing as people who are “against,” Veterans Against the War). I terrorto do with the wars of men. people who hate, people who ized my family for years with rage I want to tell the Christian troops call names and ostracize. attacks, violent destruction of walls in the US military to resist the evil — ch i eko n. o ka zaki and furniture and verbal abuse. I also asked of them. I want to tell them continued to deny and ignore the exto search their consciences and find istence of God. I couldn't fathom God their moral center to understand the was present in a world of constant war, injustice and op- war they're being asked to kill or be killed for by a corrupted government. I have often said anytime a young man pression of the rich toward the poor. I had been baptized in the Baptist church when I was 11. or woman picks up a weapon for the purpose of hunting I hardly remember what led me to that decision. I suspect down another human to kill, they've lost any semblance of it was due to pressure and my training to follow the crowd being a peace keeper. It's trite to say, "what would Jesus since the time I could walk. About nine years ago, when do?" but if we're Christians I believe we must ask if Christ

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were actually "with us" would we be killing other humans for a government that lied to justify their wars? Would we be calling our "enemy" by the denigrating terms of "gook" or "haji" to depersonalize them? I believe in the Christ of the "sermon" on the mount. Not the vengeance seeking Christ of the "rapture" driven radicals. I don't think we can be pro-life with the unborn but fail to sanctify the lives of the innocent civilians sacrificed in our wars. Since WWII, the number of innocent war dead is 90% of the total killed in wars. Of that number 40% were children. That percentage is even larger in Iraq where over half the population is under the age of 20. Can we say our “shock and awe” destruction discriminates in killing only the "terrorists" or do we acknowledge more children and their innocent families were under those bombs we launched or dropped? Just as we held the Germans accountable at Nuremberg by saying "just doing our jobs" wasn't an excuse for taking part in atrocities, we must hold ourselves responsible by the same criteria. I want any Church leader to question why we send young people to foreign lands as agents of death and terror. Where are the Christian leaders speaking out against the madness of Iraq and Afghanistan? Fighting the Muslim nations shouldn't be the "new crusade". But then I remember it was the Samaritan, and not the Pharisees or others claiming to be righteous, that Christ used in the parable. There was a reason and purpose to the way Christ spoke that parable, I believe. It tells me my brothers and sisters aren't confined to my tribe, my state or my nation. We

are supposed to be the people of Christ who would have us love one another as we love ourselves, right? I wanted that priest to give me more than a pat answer. I wanted him to say..."yes, you're right. We humans have lost the message of God and Christ." And maybe he could have reminded me that Paul was one of the greatest sinners who killed and did horrible things to the followers of Christ. And Christ still chose him, forgave him and loved him. I think troops want more than "it's ok, you did it for your country". I think they want to know they can reclaim their humanity and the spiritual roots that wars take from us. It deeply saddens me parents are so protective of children while they are growing up but that they fail their children when the choice of taking up a rifle to kill another human comes up. They demand helmets and pads. They demand calls and check-ins. But going to war is like a rite of passage we somehow expect of our children. We accept it as an institution and wave flags and cheer in parades to encourage our "warriors". I became an activist and gave up my job to oppose the war. I marched, rallied and screamed out my protest. And the beat goes on. War and tragedy never stops, it seems. My faith is greatly tested every time I go to mass. I enter the church angry because I know the priests and deacons will call for prayers for our "troops who protect our freedom" but fail to acknowledge the innocent victims of our wars. But I still go, hoping to hear those bells again. The bells of the Church that Easter my grandson was baptized were a miracle of sorts. They reawakened me. Now I fear
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the rhetoric of the leaders of my church has drowned out the true "message". A combination of PTSD-caused despair and my ever failing faith seems to be pushing me back into that abyss I thought I'd left behind. Terry Leichner’s runs a blog called Visions of Peace: A Combat Veteran’s Dream at http://visopeace.blogspot. com

“Un-terrified Jeffersonian Democrats”: Part I
by Matthew Thomas

“The Anarchists are simply un-terrified Jeffersonian Democrats. They believe that ‘the best government is that which governs least,’ and that which governs least is no government at all.” —Benjamin Tucker The independence and establishment of the United States of America was a source of great inspiration for the European Left—liberals, republicans, and socialists— because it proved that republican government was not only possible, but that it functioned well. On September 9, 1867, at the opening Geneva congress of the League of Peace and Freedom, Mikhail Bakunin called the American republic “the finest political organization that ever existed in history.” The United States had recently concluded its long

and destructive Civil War, but it still inspired confidence abroad. The League of Peace and Freedom was an international organization committed to ending the seemingly endless wars between European states. “[T]here is but one way to bring about the triumph of liberty, of justice, and of peace in Europe's international relations, to make civil war impossible between the different peoples who make up the European family;” Bakunin continued, “and that is the formation of the United States of Europe.” Why should the United States be of such significance to European republicans; particularly with examples set by the revolutions in Europe, England and France? Simply put it was because the American revolutionary experience was unique. There was no titular nobility in America, no deeply ensconced English aristocracy upon these shores; therefore, European reaction to the American states declaration of independence, the Revolutionary War itself, was confined largely to military conflict between America and England, their allies and mercenary forces. Once the armies of that action had been defeated, the reaction to the American revolution ceased. Because of this—this limitation upon the “furies of reaction,” and the well-recognized legitimacy of the various state legislatures in the eyes of the American public—the American republic could develop in a more liberal fashion than might otherwise have been possible. The English Revolution was a series of civil wars beginning in 1642 between the Crown and Parliament. With the Crown’s defeat, and the enactment of the Commonwealth,
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the English saw the final and unfortunate emergence of Oliver Cromwell’s Protectorate. Under the Lord-Protector, puritanical laws, very much despised by the English, were passed (the closure of theaters and the banning of newspapers were two of the more onerous laws). The English republic lapsed into authoritarianism while the more liberal and egalitarian strains of thought, such as those of John Lilburn (1614 - 1657) and Gerrard Winstanley (1609 - 1676), were lost in the struggle between the relatively powerful gentry, and high-ranking military officers. The restoration of the monarchy, and the enactment of the Bill of Rights, was welcomed because it thoroughly ended the religious and civil austerity imposed by the Puritanical government. Unlike the English struggle between the Crown and Parliament, incompetence and malfeasance on the part of the French Ancien Régime was such that revolution was inevitable in France, beginning in 1789. The end of the absolute monarchy of Louis XVI brought about a constitutional monarchy first and then a republic. But the National Assembly fell into disorder as the French defended themselves against foreign threats on all sides and was thus unable to address the myriad problems French society faced. The reaction to the French Republic was fierce and direct. The Committee of Public Safety, headed by Maximilien Robespierre, crushed all opposition to the republic in what came to be known as the Reign of Terror. There was no time to develop a functioning, liberal republican

government committed to the ideals embodied in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Instead, there was only reaction and a polity boiling with numerous, contradictory interests. By the time Napoleon took his seat with the Consulate in 1799, the Republic was already on its way towards Empire. When Mikhail Bakunin spoke in Geneva in 1867, the French had gone through two republics, the Bourbon monarchy of the Restoration and that of the July Monarchy, and two empires. And so while the French republicans were tenacious, they had yet to see the foundation of a stable republic. Nevertheless, the French revolution had provided that necessary impetus towards liberty, equality, and fraternity not only in France, but throughout Europe, while the American republic proved the ideal realizable. The American republican tradition is far more radical than many realize. We are given, in our schools, a sanitized version of the events surrounding our revolution, one sadly lacking in understanding of, or sympathy for, the fervor which inspired a generation to grapple with that established authority, the British Empire, and to remake their own society. The American anarchist Voltairine de Cleyre observed, regarding the American revolution, as it has come to be understood, that: “[N]ame-worship, both in child and man, has acquired such mastery of them, that the name ‘American Revolution’ is held sacred, though it means to them nothing more than successful force, while the name ‘Revolution’
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applied to a further possibility, is a spectre detested and tion of our own union. abhorred. In neither case have they any idea of the content Libertarian socialists—from fellow anarchists to those of the word, save that of armed force.” free social democrats who believe the state may play a benAs such, cynicism has overshadowed hope, complacence eficial role in society should it be wholly answerable to the has obscured attentiveness, and deference has squelched people and uphold certain individual rights as inviolable— should keep in mind that America’s republican revolution participation. Too many Americans are disaffected by a two-party started as much with Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common system which skews popular representation and has led Sense as it did with the Continental Congress’ Declaration in no small part to the ossification of political institutions of Independence. “Some writers have so confounded society with govand the concentration of political and economic power. Too many Americans are dismayed that a nation “con- ernment,” wrote Thomas Paine, “as to leave little or no ceived in liberty” should imprison a disproportionately distinction between them; whereas they are not only diflarge number of its citizens. Too many Americans are ferent, but have different origins. Society is produced by disgusted by their government’s endless wars and the im- our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affecperial “projection of power” abroad. And too many Americans are discouraged that the tions; the latter negatively by restraining our vices.” world’s wealthiest nation should see too many of its citizens disinherited, homeless, and poverty stricken. The Public Matter: The Commonwealth and Classical But a re-examination of the republican principles es- Republicanism poused by that revolutionary generation might dispel the cynicism which leads to political apathy. And we have an “For the fate of Charles the First hath only made kings more advantage which that generation lacked: We can compare subtle – not more just.” —Thomas Paine, Common Sense the ideals, history, and practices of our own experience By the time Thomas Paine had written those words in with that of the Hellenic and Roman republics. Jefferson, 1776, the “republicanization of monarchy” in Great Britain Paine, Madison, Adams, and Hamilton could look back and her territories had long been under way. The subjects upon the failures of Athenian democracy and the Roman of the English crown were among the freest people in the Republic and attempt to compensate; we can look back not world. They enjoyed the benefits of a constitutional mononly to the polities of antiquity, to scrutinize their failures, archy, where governmental power was vested, by and large, but to our own history, and see the successes in the evolu- in the Parliament, and a social hierarchy much looser than

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those found in France, the German states or Russia. And of all the subjects of the British Empire, it might be said that the English colonists in North America were the freest of them all. Representative and even democratic institutions existed in its colonies, in its colonial legislatures and town assemblies. And in several colonies, adult male suffrage was rather extensive. Even so, between sovereign and subjects, there is always tension. Constitutional or limited monarchy is a peculiar construct, maintaining two antagonistic principles, that of the Crown’s sovereignty, and his prerogatives, and the notion that his legitimacy is maintained only by the consent of his subjects. On one hand, you had conservatives, who, following the earlier sentiments of Robert Fillmer, believed a monarch was necessarily above the law; social order demanded it. On the other, you had Whigs and “Commonwealth Men,” who believed if government’s legitimacy arose from the consent of the governed, then it was right also to insist that the people were sovereign, and that monarchies, no matter how they were constituted, were an affront to justice. Americans had lived under republican government once before, briefly, with the 1649 pronouncement of the Commonwealth of England, which included all of its territories. The legislative houses in the colonies were, for the most part, of a semi-democratic sort, and representative institutions were deemed wholly legitimate. Those few attempts to impose a titular nobility upon the Americans had never met with any success when proposed. There was, in short, from the very beginning a democratic character

to the American experience. Despite the failure of the English Commonwealth, and Cromwell’s dictatorship, a precedent had been set. Many Americans, not just those of the working-classes, as one might expect, but also many of the middle-class identified with the Levellers (also called the Agitators), and the democratic rights which John Lilburne expounded upon during the English Revolution more than a century before. Early on, Lilburne had called for reforms within Cromwell’s New Model Army, and, later, for a written constitution, religious freedoms, and universal adult male suffrage. This identification with the Levellers was particularly true in Philadelphia; a group known as the “Associators,” took to the cause of American independence and were deeply engaged in the revolutionary politics of 1775 and 1776. Among their proposals, three were quite radical: 1.) Militiamen had the right to elect their officers; 2.) all men serving with the militia, regardless of social status, were to be enfranchised; and 3.) those men who refused service in the militia were to be taxed to support the families of militiamen who had been called away from gainful work. When the revolution was accomplished, and the break with Great Britain complete, the Americans had to accomplish self-government for themselves There was a republican sentiment that could not be denied in these States. The Founding Fathers were well aware of the failures of the Commonwealth, and its promise, they were also familiar, through their schooling as gentlemen, of the history of the republics of antiquity. In their attempt to
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bring a new government to America, they had two sets of What is Property?: influences working upon them: The Commonwealth and A republican! Yes; but that word specifies nothing. Res classical republicanism. publica; that is, the public thing. Now, whoever is interested Republic is a much abused and apparently misunder- in public affairs—no matter under what form of government— stood term. Many on the Right try to distinguish between may call himself a republican. Even kings are republicans. The distinction that James Madison made, in fact, republic and democracy; the result, confusion. The root of this attempted distinction, apparently, can was not one between republics and democracies, but one be found in the Federalist Papers, No. 10, written by “Pub- between those systems of government which are representative and those which are participatory. So, while all lius,” better known as James Madison. “A republic,” he writes, “by which I mean a govern- democracies are necessarily republics, not all republics ment in which the scheme of representation takes place,” are democracies. But, when one carefully considers the would have to include, contrary to his intentions, not only meaning of the word republic, this phrase res publica— the very government from which the Americans just won the public matter, the public thing, the public concern—it their independence, but the Athenian democracy itself. In becomes clear that a democracy is the most appropriate both cases, that of the British constitutional monarchy and and consistent republic. The public matter is, after all, the the Athenian democracy, schemes of representation took public’s concern For many of the Founding Fathers, republicanism meant place, as both Parliament and the Boule were representaausterity, public virtue, and a concern for the public’s tive bodies. Therefore “republic” clarifies nothing. Historically, the term republic has been used synony- welfare. Most were admirers of Rome, of Cicero and Cato. mously with “the state.” Systems of “mixed-government” Others were admirers of Lycurgus, the law-giver, and the and even kingdoms have been called “republics.” Plato’s Spartan republic which he established. There could be no Republic, that early political treatise, posits that the ideal two greater examples of republican austerity than these. state would not be a republic as we understand the word, i.e. And even though they were admired, Alexander Hamilton a state in which the people, collectively, are sovereign, but readily admitted, in the Federalist No. 6, that Sparta was rather a monarchial state headed by a philosopher king. “little better than a well-regulated camp,” and Rome “was From this example, Republic is simply a Latin transla- never sated of carnage and conquest.” tion of the Greek word politeia, that is, polity, state, or, more Then there was Athens. Of all the democracies, Athprecisely, the governmental organization of the state. ens is the best known. The system of government there Further, Pierre Joseph Proudhon writes in his book included all freemen—polites, citizens—and possibly as

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many as sixty-thousand might in a given year participate in the affairs of state. The members of the courts, executive councils, and sitting legislative council of five-hundred citizens, the Boule, which set the legislative agenda, were all selected by lottery. The military’s generals, the Strategoi, were subject to popular election. And the legislative assembly itself, the Ekklesia, was open to all citizens. All could vote. And all were free to initiate matters to be considered. Most of the Founding Fathers regarded democracy with contempt. Their denunciation of democracy, no doubt, relied on Plato, and the criticisms of the Athenian aristoi, “the best ones,” as well as their own class interests (as the Federalist No. 10 makes clear). Plato complained of the “evils” of democracy in Republic, comparing it ultimately to anarchy, saying: “By degrees the anarchy finds a way into the private houses, and ends getting among the animals and infecting them. “How do you mean? I mean that the father grows accustomed to descend to the level of his sons and to fear them, and the son is on a level with his father, he having no respect or reverence for either of his parents; and this is his freedom, and the metic [an outlander] is equal with the citizen and the citizen with the metic, and the stranger is quite as good as either.” It was this equality and liberty that Plato, this lover of authority and hierarchy, saw as evil. But this was not the worst of it. He continues: “The last extreme of popular liberty is when the slave

bought with money, whether male or female, is just as free as his or her purchaser; nor must I forget to tell of the liberty and equality of the two sexes in relation to each other.” And indeed, among the freemen there were a few who argued that slavery was wrong. In the 4th Century B.C., a Greek sophist named Alcidams wrote, “God has set everyone free. No one is made a slave by nature.” How the aristoi abhorred this; how democracy upended the “natural order” of things! Athenian democracy was interrupted by its “best citizens” on two different occasions, and they instituted oligarchy, reordering the franchise according to evaluations of property. If there was any reason at all that Athenian democracy might be considered a failure, it was for its lack of equality, for its lack of liberty. Athens was a city-state founded upon slavery, after all. Women lacked the franchise. And the divisions of property were so great that even Plato argued property should be held in common. But the truth is, despite the numerous criticisms, the democratic Athenian republic represented a high point in the history of western civilization. Athens gave us improvements in the arts, literature, medicine, philosophy, architecture, and science; Sparta gave us an early model for a police state, social regimentation, totalitarianism, in a word, fascism. The question, ultimately, is this: What sort of republic do we desire for ourselves and to leave for future generations—one austere or one free; one Spartan or one Arcadian; one aristocratic or one democratic? To be continued with Part II
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Letter from South Baghdad, May 2008
by Sgt. Jay Dawkins

“I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” —Alan Greenspan Yesterday I was in a small village south of Baghdad talking to a sheik about Iraqi oil. The sheik was telling me that in November 2000, while we were figuring out whether Bush or Gore won the election, Saddam Hussein did something quite extraordinary. He switched the currency for Iraq’s oil sales from dollars to euros. From that point on, any nation buying Iraqi oil would have to pay in euros instead of dollars. The move was seen as a political slap in the face to America, but went largely unnoticed at the time. Economically it turned out to be an astute move by Saddam. The euro eventually increased in value well above that of the US dollar; and there were other farreaching implications. The value of the US dollar is essentially pegged to OPEC oil. In the post-WWII era the dollar was pegged to gold, but Nixon ended the gold standard in 1971 and set our US currency free to romp and roam unfettered. After a series of negotiations with Saudi Arabia, the value of the dollar was tied to oil in 1974 when the Saudis promised that OPEC would only accept US dollars for all its oil sales. Thus, the US dollar was held afloat because

any nation needing to buy oil had to keep large amounts of US dollars on reserve in their central banks to pay for that oil. This created a constant and worldwide demand for US currency to the extent that it has been said our largest export is hundred dollar bills. Our economy benefits from global oil sales even when those sales don't involve us because the transaction takes place with US currency. Should OPEC ever decide to change its currency to, say, euros, then everyone importing oil would have to dump their dollars for euros and suddenly you have a lot of devalued Ben Franklins floating around the world looking for a home. Saddam's decision to drop the dollar had great economic consequence, not only because Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world, but also because of increasing competition with the dollar from rising Chinese, Russian and European Union currencies. The precedent Saddam set had the potential to embolden other oil producers to switch their petrocurrency, causing the dollar to dangerously devalue. A sheik who knows first-hand was telling me all this, but I had heard it before from numerous Iraqis over the course of my year here, and I always say, yes, yes, but then the US invaded Iraq in March 2003 and the first thing we did was secure all the oil fields (and then we secured the potential WMD sites) then we won the war on May 1st and Bush did his flight-suit thing and Mission Accomplished etc. etc. etc. Fast forward one month to June 2003 when the US
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switched Iraq from the euro banking system back to the the same thing the British said from 1917 to 1947 when they dollar for all future oil sales. Problem solved, I said, crisis occupied Iraq.” I said, “Well in any case we have to protect averted. Then the sheik and I laughed and he congratulated you from Iran.” He then talked about Iran being a partner us on our American ingenuity; after a pause he mentioned to the Arab world, fellow Shiite brothers, etc. etc. I cut him that countries like Venezuela, Russia, and Iran are now off by saying, "Look bro, we're building 14 permanent bases also moving their oil sales from dollars to euros in an ef- here as we speak. Reasons come and reasons go, but you fort to thwart our aggressive policies in the region, so.... best believe we've no intention of leaving a strategic gem yeah, there's that. like Iraq anytime soon." This has been a paradigm shift for me. I used to be "Indeed," I said gravely, "this means we may have to invade them too." He nodded his head in agreement. But under the impression we were bogged down in Iraq, trythen I said, "I’m totally kidding! That would be insane.” We ing desperately to leave if only we hadn't bitten off so laughed together again. much more than we could chew. I remember learning in The sheik's bodyguard chimed in for the first time linguistics class long ago that Eskimo soldiers have over and said something I’ve heard voiced by many Iraqis. He 100 words for quagmire. I thought that's what this was, that stated, “We Iraqis hate oil.” He said they hate it because we were in over our head. the whole world has converged on their land to vie for The fact is we never had an exit strategy. We never the singular resource Iraq is so cursed to be blessed with. had any intention of leaving. I’ve been to several of the 14 The average Iraqi wants nothing more than for the oil to permanent bases the US is building here. They are cities be gone so everyone will just stop, go home, and leave —complete with neighborhoods, bus routes and a 'mayor's them alone. The sheik asked me if the US would promise office,' with roads paved, foundations laid, housing built, to leave Iraq if they were given all the oil. I replied that it shopping malls and Harley-Davidson dealerships next to Burger Kings and Pizza Huts. All staffed by workers doesn’t work like that. "The thing is," I said, "we came here to save you from shipped in from the Philippines and India. Many soldiers serve their entire 15 months in Iraq without ever speaking Saddam." "Saddam is dead." he said. "But," I told him, "We have to to an Iraqi. protect you from Al Qaeda." He said, “Al Qaeda was never We are digging in. Whatever politicians are telling here till you came.” I said, “Yes fine, but we have to stay in people back home, the facts are we have entrenched ourIraq or you will descend inevitably into civil war and col- selves so deeply that no future administration will be able lapse in upon yourself like a dying star.” He said, “That's to justify pulling us out as long as the loss of US lives re-

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mains at an acceptable level for the American public (no more than a couple hundred casualties a year). Our role may shift, the numbers may be fewer, but rest assured we will remain no matter November's outcome. My first six months in Iraq were spent moving between four permanent bases. One was a hydroelectric power station before the US took it over. Two of the bases were water treatment plants. The fourth was an agricultural factory. We gutted all four and made them into US compounds. After 5 years of occupation - much of Iraq doesn't have electricity for more than a few hours a day. Why is there no safe drinking water in our area? When I look at our base where the former water treatment plant was, and then see villagers drinking canal water containing raw sewage, I am forced to ponder the question that Bush asked in a speech just a few days after 9/11. "Why do they hate us?" He answered his own question by saying, "Because we love liberty and progress." This is true; I wake up everyday and marvel at the new and profound development I see in Iraq, the great and sweeping improvements in infrastructure, and standard of living. . . but then I leave our base. I'm not sure what my responsibility is in sharing any of this with you. I am not doing it for shock value. People who are against the war will hem and haw and point at the raw sewage in the canal water to say, “See I told you so.” They feel smug in their abhorrence, and justified in their disdain, while those who love war point out that raw sewage is better than Saddam. Nothing changes in this eternal dance between the hawks who get to have their wars and

the doves who get to let them. My hope, however, is that what I have related will encourage people to learn more. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, our responsibility is to change the things we have power over. Americans must understand the relationship between our daily insistence on abundantly cheap oil and that which is happening in Iraq. We need to educate ourselves about the true cost of the things we consume. Someone somewhere somehow has to pay, and for the last year I have seen how ugly a reckoning it can be. Our determination to be full and filled and fulfilled as a people has forced our government to enact policies in far-off places that will appease our domestic demands. Few Americans ever witness the distant reality of what is taking place in our name. It is only when we feel the occasional blowback of those policies such as on September 11th that we have to ever deal with the repercussions of our actions. President Bush asked, "Why do they hate us?" Bin Laden had his own question for America: "Is it worth it?" So long as we are okay with what we are doing to the world, and willing to accept the occasional September 11th that inevitably will occur, and accept our government killing people on the other side of the world who look, and speak, and believe differently from us, it is worth it. There is no need to change. But if we are uncomfortable with any of this, then we need to pay the price of virtue and take away the rationale for these wars. The rationale is our demand for excess, made possible and fueled by the resources that nations like Iraq are so cursed to be blessed with. Our use
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of oil has become a moral issue. That means every day, every one of us is part of this war. That also means every day, every one of us can be part of ending it.

Observations from the 2008 Democratic National Convention
by Spencer Kingman

From August 25-29, I was in Denver to protest against the war while the Democratic National Convention nominated Barack Obama. This is not a political analysis of the elections, or of summit protesting. It is merely a collection of personal anecdotes from my trip. Walking downtown, my friend and I were wondering how we were going to get to a free Rage Against the Machine concert, forty blocks north. A gray-haired, middleaged woman, pulled up in a rental car. She asked us, “Do you know where the Coliseum is?” Me and my friend smiled at each other. “It’s a few blocks north. We’re going there. Can we get a ride?” She gave us an awkward smile and said quietly, “Don’t do anything crazy.” We got in and pointed her in the right direction. “I heard there were riots going on up there,” she said in a Florida accent. She told us she was a press photographer, and listed some websites I didn’t recognize. We told her riots were doubtful. The concert was organized by Iraq

Veterans Against the War (IVAW). When she asked why we were against the war, my friend said, “I really just believe in following Christ and what he said about turning the other cheek and loving your enemy.” Perhaps a little surprised by this, she replied, “You also have to remember what he said right after that about being ready and defending yourself.” As the band played through their old hits, I danced and romped and rapped along with probably 10,000 other people in the dark steambath of the old coliseum. I went down to the floor where everybody was moshing, mostly sweaty teenage boys with their shirts off. Bulls on Parade indeed. In a crowd like this, there’s a tension between asserting yourself and going with the flow of bodies, pushing and being pushed. It’s been a few years since I’ve danced like this, and I really felt my age in my back (even though I’m only 28). It was a lot of fun. After the concert, the Iraq Veterans were brought back on stage. Their leader led the crowd in a militaristic recitation, some sort of pledge of support. It was too much for me, so I left. I didn’t like it, but perhaps these rituals were important to the Veterans, all of them active-duty, who were about to step out of line and challenge the powers amassed downtown. I didn’t quite understand what was at stake for them, emotionally, or career-wise. The march was long, hot, and slow. There was no permit, so the IVAW was in constant negotiation with the police; it was very stop-and-start. I was roped into carrying a banner on the edge of the march. It was actually part of a long line
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of banners all made by the same group of Denver anarchists. destination, I found a picket sign on the ground. It said They were backed with sheets of foam insulation. Maybe “END THE WAR” in big black letters. “Now that’s more for some kind of shield? Whatever their intended purpose, like it!” I said to myself. they made it extremely easy to keep the crowd together. It The march lasted five hours. It wasn’t until the very was much more efficient and less authoritarian than using end that I saw the Iraq Veterans Against the War who “marshalls,” (people in neon vests that have to constantly were leading the march. There were 50 or 60 of them. They were standing in formation, surrounded by riot police on yell “stay inside the yellow lines!”). Most of the people in the march were carrying simple, all sides, while inside the Pepsi Center, Tom Daschle was sensible signs: “U.S. Out of Iraq,” “No War on Iran,” etc. I lecturing the world on “responsible redeployment.” The looked over the top of my banner. It read “MAGICAL RE- IVAW were negotiating with police and representatives ALISM IS A WEAPON.” I looked past the bike cops with of the Democratic Party to be allowed to deliver a letter their poker faces, onto the streets of workers and normal to Obama and schedule a future meeting. people, and felt foolish. When we finally arrived at our After a tense half-hour, the spokesperson was finally allowed in to meet with someone in Obama’s campaign. I don’t know if they got their meeting scheduled, but all of the Veterans were hugging and smiling, teary-eyed with relief. Soon after, the cops closed in. I wasn’t eager to get arrested, so I walked home parched and tired. When I arrived in Denver, I had no idea where I was staying. My contact said he was camping out in the parking lot of the Pepsi Center, which sounded pretty miserable to me. Fortunately, we ended up on the floor of an apartment that belonged to a friend of a friend of a friend. He had a masters degree in critical theory, but he worked at a cafe. He said that for a lot of kids at the protests, being an “anarchist” just meant dressing crazy, making one’s self a target, “going out in the street and yelling things.” On Tuesday night, I was watching some poets and Cory Bushman · Washington D.C. bands at the Recreate ‘68 party in Civic Center Park, down-

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town Denver. We were sitting in a Roman-style amphithe- the amphitheater, looking at everyone and saying, “Its all ater with huge white pillars. It was 8:00pm, and night had about the police.” When the prayer call stopped, the police just fallen. In a different part of the park there was a silk turned off their harsh light and flew elsewhere. While I was carrying my “End The War” sign through tent structure in the shape of a mosque. Huge portraits of ordinary Iranian people were printed on all of its panels, a the streets, a young guy walked up to me and said, “Can visual plea for peace. Five times a day, a recording of the I ask you some questions about the war? I see how some Muslim prayer call issued loudly from the tent, filling the of it is good, and some of it is bad.” We talked a little bit surrounding blocks. In respect of this ritual, the woman about war and politics, then he said “I’m asking because on the Recreate ‘68 stage announced a ten-minute moment I’m thinking about joining the Marines.” I gave him the of silence. As soon as it started, a police helicopter began names of some websites, beforeyouenlist.org, afsc.org... I circling above us, shining down a bright spotlight on the asked, “Why do you want to join the marines?” He replied, amphitheater. Everyone sat silent as the Arabic singing “Well, mostly just to get a roof over my head.” It turns out floated through the park. One black man walked around he was homeless. While we were talking, a tall, muscular man with a tight face, stopped and tapped me on the shoulder. His two front teeth were chipped. He talked fast, without pauses, pointing to my sign, “With all due respect, I did three tours in Iraq, and we’re not quite done yet. Almost, but not quite.” We talked for a few minutes. He believed in “the mission” and was proud of what he had done in the Army. I asked him, “Are you out?” “Yes.” “Well, I’m happy for you. Are you happy about that?” “My kids sure are,” he said as he lit a cigarette. He looked well dressed. I asked him, “Are you doing alright? Did you find work?” He told me he was a student at the Community College. I asked if he was getting his G.I. Bill. Cory Bushman · Washington D.C. “My tuition is 100% paid by Veterans Affairs.”

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“How’s that?” gear. They wore gas masks and carried 3 foot batons. They “I’m classified as 80% disabled. Do you know how big prowled the streets on vans with big metal running-boards, a bullet for an AK-47 is?” He’d been shot in Iraq. A camera riding on the sides like firemen. There were also militarized flash came from somewhere. “Where did that flash come black vehicles that looked like airport stair-cars. Sometimes from!?” he said, worried. I looked around; there were tour- police stood on these mobile towers, lording over crowds with their weapons. From normal people you would hear “I ists with cameras everywhere. feel so much safer with all these police around,” but others “It could have been anyone,” I said. expressed feelings of disgust, resentment, and fear. Walking He said, “I’m really sensitive to them.” Wherever I walked in Denver, people saw my “End the through a crowded pedestrian mall, I came upon a detachWar” sign and wanted to take pictures ment of Riot police in full battle dress. with me, or of me. Perhaps they liked “Tear gas. Pepper spray. Not necessary,” I having protesters around to make their said, pointing at their shiny, new orangeIntolerance seeds convacation a little more edgy and exotic, and-black guns. A rich woman in heels tention; tolerance subut at times, they also communicated rewalking ahead of me turned around and persedes contention. spect and solidarity. I was struck by how yelled, “I agree!” Tolerance is the key that many well-dressed convention delegates A Hispanic construction worker opens the door to mutual supported us, even as protesters at their waiting for the bus, pointed to several understanding and love. of the skyscrapers that rose all around us, unity-themed convention. On the night —russell m . nels o n that Joe Biden spoke, I came across a naming them and telling us that he had crowd of people on the sidewalk, frozen “built them.” My friend asked him what in front of a loudspeaker, listening. the police were like in Denver. “Well, One night on the street, we ran into young, fresh-faced they shot me,” he replied. He told us that two years ago as girl who was lost, like us. She was an intern for Fox News. he was walking through an alley, an unmarked police car We were obviously protesters. Trying to be polite, I steered brushed him as it passed. He didn’t know it was a police the discussion away from politics. When we parted, she car, and he kicked it. They shot him in the leg. The ACLU looked us in the eye and said, “I really support what you’re took up his case, and now he has a $1.5 million lawsuit doing.” against the city. The streets were filled with menacing police presence. Carlos, a young kid with long black hair, stood next to Often, they were dressed from head to toe in black riot an old man, waiting for a bus. The old man was leaning

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on a garbage can for support. They seemed to be related. Carlos explained to us that the city was giving out “hotel vouchers” to people who showed up at the rescue mission. The city didn’t want conventioneers to see any homeless people. Maybe there were some spare rooms in non-union hotels (the DNC only uses union ones). As we talked more, Carlos told us that he was Lakota Sioux. He said he had been homeless himself in 2006, but he didn’t like to go back to the Reservation in South Dakota. Everything there was “conforming” or “depressing,” and everyone was “poor.” He seemed frustrated that blacks and latinos were getting so much attention, when his people had it worst of all. “I would really like to talk to you again about this, because I never really get to talk about this stuff.” I gave him my phone number and told him we would be downtown everyday, but he never called. I was struck by the amount of black pride on display in Denver, and how this was connected to the Obama phenomenon. Everywhere you looked, one saw black people wearing Obama shirts and pins with slogans like “hope” “change” and “progress.” Some of the shirts were homemade. Some featured MLK or even Malcolm X. When I went to a party in a storefront one night, the crowd was split between white punks and older black people. A young black woman from New York performed some passionate poems and songs about Obama, and somebody taped up an Obama “HOPE” poster on the wall. After this, a white activist played some culture-jamming videos, that seemed like they were coming from a totally different world. The

room split, and the party kind of died. It wasn’t just black people who were excited about Obama. One morning, as my friend and I stepped out of the apartments where we were staying, we ran into a young woman, perhaps 20 years old, struggling with a large canvas that was bigger than her whole body. It was a colorful, musical painting of a smiling Obama. She said, “I just want to show it. Obama is the first person that ever made me excited about politics.” I saw her later at the amphitheater, with her painting.

The Beehive and the Steel Mill: Rethinking the Protestant Work Ethic
by Jason Brown

In Mormon culture the beehive is a symbol of industriousness that embodies the work ethic as not only a temporal duty, but as proof of divine sanction. In Mormon cosmology, the final dispensation ushered in by Joseph Smith unleashed a spirit upon the earth which has inspired all of the advances of the past two centuries including the industrial revolution. Interestingly, this narrative purports that advances in technology are a sign of blessedness that has facilitated the betterment of human kind and the extraordinary growth of the Mormon Church. Technology is therefore at worst neutral and any negative consequences
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can be easily ascribed to human selfishness and misused In this short article, I would like to lay out in basic terms my interpretation of Mormon assumptions about agency. The danger of this narrative is that in its praise of tech- the work ethic as it relates to our cosmological ideas about nology and economic progress as an organic-unraveling of technology. The thesis is fairly simple: Mormon theology God’s divine will for this last dispensation, it ignores the will never be able to fully challenge structures of social ingross inequalities of the economic system which undergirds equality and ecological destruction unless traditional narrait (capitalism), and more importantly for this article, the tives which equate material progress with eternal progress ecological consequences that have followed. This set of are reevaluated and rearticulated in ways that clarify the assumptions tends to overshadow the elements of Mormon role of technology and work in our lives, and more importheology which could form the basis of a transformative tantly the role of nature in our cosmology. This is then, an social and ecological movement within the Church. Indeed, initial exploration, which will require additional thought capitalism’s axiom of infinite material growth seems to fit and depth in the future, it is a first attempt to articulate nicely within the cosmological concept of infinite (indi- a new work ethic that values hard work in a way that not vidual) progression. When the advance of capitalist insti- only re-embeds humans in the natural world, but strives tutions and technology guided by its needs are assumed for technological achievement along the lines of harmony part of a divine plan, there is little room for constructive and mimicry of nature as opposed to domination, exploitacriticism of the negative consequences which may follow tion, and destruction. from technological and economic progress. What strikes me as ironic is that the sphere from which our inspiration The De-secration of Nature for hard work is drawn, the natural world, is imperiled and the Spirit of Capitalism by the economic system which has become the dominant The origins of contemporary capitalism and the so-called expression of the so-called protestant work ethic. Because “Protestant Work Ethic” are too complex and lengthy to capitalism and industrialism continue to wreak havoc on relate in such a small article, but I would like to highlight the earth and her inhabitants (including of course people) two relevant ideas that were seminal to the flourishing of a new industrial paradigm and work ethic must be cona capitalist society. The first has to do with the radical shift structed that will not simply equate righteousness with in humanity’s attitudes toward the natural world and perproductivity and technological progress, but with how well ceived alienation from it. As Christianity took center stage these fit into the boundaries set by ecological systems and in the struggle for spiritual dominance of the old world, it meet human needs.

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embarked on a war with all things “Pagan.” Paganism and indigenous traditions represent diverse cosmologies that place humans within the web of spiritual nature, rather than outside of it. Many Pagan practices were viewed by the orthodoxy of the age as idolatrous and diabolical, and countless lives were lost in witch hunts and the burning of sacred groves. The foundation for industrial capitalism’s view of nature as a “resource” instead of sacred community, began with this desecration (literally to make unsacred), of the natural world. God was a transcendent being, apart from the earth which was his creation, made for the benefit of his children. The earth was a fallen and corrupt place that many early Christians hoped to transcend and leave behind after this life. An earth divested of spirit becomes nothing more than a building block for a chosen people to realize its God given dominion over the earth. Another important idea that contributed to the development of capitalism was the restructuring of society around the production of goods. This required a new work ethic based on the schedule of the factory, and a shift toward the accumulation of wealth. While there are many theories and complex histories about the origin and consequences of Western capitalism, one that emerged from early sociology and anthropology was proposed by Max Weber. In his controversial and important work The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Max Weber fleshes out a theory for the economic and political development of the industrial age. With the emergence of industrial capitalism in Europe, the accumulation of wealth for wealth’s

sake became not only a possibility, but a virtue. The shift from mercantilism to full blown capitalism made use of existing technologies, but rearranged the social structure of the old world in favor of a system that stratified society in order to unleash massive amounts of productivity in the form of manufactured goods. This spirit of capitalism is paralleled by reformation Puritanism whose emphasis on the calling abandons Catholic monastic transcendence for a moral obligation to fulfill ones worldly duties (Weber, 1976). Predestination as preached by Calvin made the doing of one’s religious duties an imperative ‘sign’ of God’s favor. The emergence of Protestantism saw a dramatic shift in spiritual attitudes toward merit, works, and sacred duty, as wealth became a sign of God’s favor as well. The Desert Blossoms as a Rose: Colonial Utah and the Value of Work After Mormon converts had been driven from several frontier settlements, they left the United States for the relative isolation of the Great Basin, then a part of Mexico. To the prophet Brigham Young, the rugged and desiccated land was a blank canvass upon which a righteous people could begin to weave the tapestry of a Zion society, one of perfect equity and cooperation, preparing the earth for the coming of Christ. The original name given to the territory was Deseret, a word taken from the Book of Mormon which means beehive, which is today the state emblem of Utah. To Brigham Young, the honey bee represented
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industry, and in his vision for the fledgling colony, he saw of his chosen people and their way of life. To a subsistence self-sufficient farm communities that would produce goods agricultural colony, the crickets took on a demonic charin great abundance. acter in their challenge to God’s people. Interestingly, if We are all familiar with the adage in the Old Testa- you had asked the Native Americans at the time what they ment that a righteous people will make the desert “blossom thought of the little black insects, they may have seen them as a rose,” (Isaiah 35:1) and we have all heard the stories, as a boon, a reliable source of protein which required little visited the monuments, and seen the plaques dedicated to or no work to harvest and equal proof of God’s blessings. the pioneers who, upon arrival in the valley immediately set about rearranging the landscape to fit their European Industriousness and Technology agricultural way of life, despite the stark difference in in Mormon Doctrine climate and topography. Settlers began digging irrigation ditches and planting grain within hours of arrival in Utah With regard to the building of Zion, Brigham Young stated Valley. The saints were to prepare the earth for the com- “if we are to build the kingdom of God, or establish Zion ing of Christ, and in early colonial Utah, there was no upon the earth, we have to labor with our hands, plan with meaningless labor. Within a few years, after many hard- our minds, and devise ways and means to accomplish that ships, Mormon settlements were bustling with commerce, object” (JD 3:51). Another interesting statement made by Brigham Young was that “...The angels that now walk in industry and agriculture. Early on in Utah history, there were many difficul- their golden streets, and they have the tree of life within ties, Indian raids, late frosts, and pestilences. The story of their paradise, had to obtain that gold and put it there. the miracle of the sea gulls is one of many that hold great When we have streets paved with gold, we will have placed meaning for the Mormon people. On June 9th 1848, as the them there ourselves. When we enjoy a Zion in its beauty saints clung to life, a swarm of crickets (Anabrus simplex) and glory, it will be when we have built it” (JD 8:354-355). began devouring their crops. The farmers fought back with Brigham Young here expresses a unique Mormon mileverything they could, brooms, fire, shovels. They prayed lennial tradition, one that posits that we are not passive for relief from the threat of starvation should they lose receptacles of Gods grace, but active participants in our the years harvest. Soon they saw a flock of sea gulls in the own salvation, and even in the second coming of Christ distance, which began to gorge themselves on the ravenous and the millennium. In contemporary Mormon discourse, hard work contincrickets, vomiting and then coming back for more. To settlers, the sea gulls were proof of divine protection by God ues to be praised as a virtue (missionary program, the suc-

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cess of the BYU business school), and technology a boon. Mormon theologian Robert Millet has written, “In short, the Spirit of God—meaning the Light of Christ—has been behind the rapid intellectual, scientific, and technological developments from the time of the Industrial Revolution to our own Information Age. Joseph Smith presides over our age of enlightenment and expansion” (Millet, 1994). What this idea ignores is that the economic system which brings about these technologies is based on hierarchy and exploitation and it has had massively negative consequences on the earth. In contrast I am suggesting that we judge our society and economic system by a broader and more holistic moral standard that includes social and ecological values. The Beehive and the Steel Mill For over 30 years, the Geneva Steel plant was a prominent site in the Utah Valley sky line. Built during the Second World War to supply steel for the American military, Utah was chosen to avoid possible coastal attacks by the Japanese. It officially opened its doors in 1944 as a US government owned plant, and began producing products for the war, namely structural parts for ships and plate steel. The steel mill was a defining symbol of an industrial economy in the 20th century, and it was hailed as a welcome and glorious achievement by the local working class. To be a steel worker in those days was a wonderful opportunity which would provide a good living for a family. But the relative prosperity it brought came at a price. The greatest flaw of the industrial project is that it is one

big externalizing machine, meaning, it is very good at creating products and profits, but not so good at accounting for the costs associated with such productivity such as air and water pollution, community, spiritual values, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. As one economist put it: “the polluter is able to internalize most of the benefits of the pollution while only bearing a portion of the costs” (Hatch, 1989). Within a few generations, the environmental effects of Geneva Steel were being felt by local residents of Utah Valley. Wetlands that used to border the entire lake were cleared and filled to make way for the developments that the industrial boom had brought with it and Utah Lake, which borders the plant, tested for unhealthy levels of PCBs and other pollutants. Fish and birds were routinely found dead near the plant, and air quality and visibility was significantly impaired. In the 1980s small particulates called PM 10 (smaller that 10 micro meters) were beginning to receive more and more attention for their negative health effects. Small particulates come from sulfur, nitrogen produced by refineries, steel mills, and power plants. Unlike larger particulates, the body has a hard time ejecting small particulates as they move past the body’s natural defenses and lodge in the lungs alveoli. In 1978 Utah County was identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a noncompliance zone, and was required to create a plan for particulate reduction. But, because of thermal inversion and the Wasatch mountain range, during winter months, air pollution was essentially being trapped in the valley,
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causing serious respiratory problems to local residents and an increase in health costs (Hatch, 1989). The main producer of particulates in the area was Geneva Steel which in 1988 accounted for more that 53% of particulates in the county (Hatch, 1989). The steel mill stands as but one example of what I would call bad stewardship: namely any technology designed to manipulate the natural world that creates enormous amounts of waste while consuming vast quantities of energy. The steel mill stands at the center of a modern industrial economy, and is therefore included as part of the blessedness of which my previous examples have spoken. What is not incorporated into the theological discussion is the very real ecological and health consequences of steel mills and a myriad other industrial technologies. I would hope that an enlightened view of technology would not simply value the productivity and sophistication of a given technology, but its affect on society, human health, and creation. That stewardship, not industriousness would be the superior value. In stark contrast to the steel mill, stands the honey bee (Apis mellifera), which like many insects and birds has co-evolved with a number of plants and trees to form a mutualistic relationship—meaning both organisms benefit from each other. Many plants have have bright colors, ultraviolet patterns and rewards of nectar to attract pollinating insects. The honey bee converts this pollen and nectar into honey which sustains the young bee broods and the colony through winter. These types of mutualistic

relationships are abundantly found in the natural world, which is a perfect metaphor for what a truly stewardshiporiented work ethic might strive to emulate. One which forms mutualistic or symbiotic and regenerative relationships with the industrial activities around it, as opposed to the parasitic ones that seem to be all too common in the current industrial sector. It is a work ethic that I hope humanity will take seriously and emulate in designing future technology and industry. Toward a New Work Ethic and Standard for Technology The Christian concept of Stewardship holds if we are humble about our interaction with the planet we inhabit. A steward is not someone who takes the care of the earth into his or her own hands, but one who is constantly learning the language of nature, and attempting to make human activity as benign and symbiotic in her processes as possible. A truly sacred economy would be restrained and imagined within the limits of nature and value not simply the parts but the whole. Indeed the Permaculture ethics of care for the earth, care for people, and reinvesting all surplus (profit) back into these ethics seems an ideal way to think about progress and productivity. Not measuring it solely in dollars, but in quality of life, biodiversity, health of entire systems, and dare I say it, happiness. An exciting and emerging field that is taking these ideas seriously is that of Industrial Ecology, which attempts to
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account for industrial processes and flows of energy and materials by creating symbiotic relationships within several types of production. Thus, the industrial process does not have to be abandoned, but the wastes created must either be eliminated or uses must be found for them by other industrial activities. The Kalundborg industrial park, located in Denmark, is the most famous example of industrial ecology in action; here an oil refinery, a power plant and a pharmaceutical manufacturer, harvest and conserve waste heat and use the byproducts of production to make plasterboard. Along similar lines, Biomimicry looks at natural technologies such as spiders’ webbing, which is even stronger than steel yet is produced at room temperature with no toxic inputs or byproducts. Urban ecologists are

also beginning to look at cities as ecosystems, and managing them as such. Recently, the city of Los Angeles under the leadership of Tree People (www.treepeople.org) began planting thousands of trees on city streets and schools and working with city officials to saturate rain water into the ground instead of letting it drain into storm drains and from there the ocean, saving the city millions of dollars. As Latter-day Saints, we cannot continue to attach industrial production to our work ethic and our cosmology. It is in stark contrast to our obligation as Earth Stewards. Instead, we must look to natural systems not simply as symbolic metaphors of a harmonious industrial society, but as models for production, parameters for our economic activity and the bedrock of our values.

References Arrington, Leonard J.; Feramorz Y. Fox; Dean L May Building the City of God: Community and Cooperation among the Mormons Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1976. Hatch, Nile W. Hospital inpatient Respiratory Health Costs Due to Air Pollution in Utah County, Department of Economics BYU, 1989. Millet, Robert L. ‘Joseph Among Prophets’ Ensign, Jun 1994, 19. Pope, C. Arden ‘Respiratory Disease Associated with Community Air Pollution and a Steel Mill, Utah Valley’ American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 79, No. 5 May 1989.

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Uchtdorf, Dieter F. ‘A Matter of a Few Degrees’ Ensign, May 2008 57-60. Weber, Max The Protestant work ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism George Allen & Unwin, London 1976. Widstoe, John A. (ed.) Discourses of Brigham Young: Second President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, Utah 1998.

The DNC Convention in the Street/Jail/Garden/Home
by Tristan Call

Four years ago, I watched the Democratic and Republican conventions from a Brigham Young University sofa with the liberal daughter of a pharmaceutical executive. I was Mormon, Marxist, pacifist, freshman; we watched our nation's political spectacle with the optimism of 18-year-olds hoping for a religion of conscience, an economy where people share, and a nation built by and for peacemakers. We considered ourselves sophisticated and examined the platforms with narrowed eyes (a habit which would eventually steer my vote to Nader), but we still enjoyed the excitement of the partisan moment. This year, my eyes were on the streets of Denver and Minneapolis, not on their televised convention epicenters. On the opening night of this year's DNC, I stood on the

billy-club side of a police line for hours, boxed in against a concrete wall in downtown Denver with armored riot cops on three sides. I spent that evening dodging pepper spray and trying to make small talk with blank-faced officers in gas masks. My friend Katie missed Hillary Clinton's stirring call for unity on Tuesday: it was inconveniently doublebooked with her two days in a Denver jail for protesting imperialism on Monday. On the third day of the DNC, I sat with five thousand people at the entrance to the Pepsi Center as Iraq Veterans Against the War delivered their letter calling for an immediate US withdrawal, full veterans benefits, and reparations for the Iraqi people, to Senator Obama whose wife was headlining the night. After the convention I came home to Salt Lake City to tend my garden, my small family, and my health (a freak summer cold blockaded my throat unexpectedly on the Friday before Labor Day. Karma.) As I watch the footage from the conventions and share my experience with friends here in Utah, I face incredulity, hostility, mockery, and, most often, confusion. What and why are they protesting? How are we supposed to understand images of masked kids running from mounted police in the Midwest, mass arrests, and terrorism indictments? Lips obscured by black bandannas are not conducive to dialogue; let this letter be my attempt to lift the cloth of anonymity from my own face, to restart the talking where it should not have left off. As the RNC Welcoming Committee, one of the umbrella protest groups at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, asserts, the Republicans came to “celebrate
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their latest conquests in global domination and exploita- from home). And our criticisms of Iran only serve to furtion.” DNC? Bigger party, same story. Those of us who ther incriminate United States policy when we compare risked ourselves in Minneapolis and Denver are fighting them to our own national record: Iran is meddling in Iraq, a wide spectrum of political sins; we are appalled by both a country that we invaded and occupied; Iran defies the parties championing a form of capitalism that prioritizes United Nations, an organization that we helped found but profits over people. We can hardly believe their callous- whose charter we refuse to abide by; Iran might be develness toward undocumented immigrants and their children oping nuclear weapons, a technology whose development or their threats of yet another Persian Gulf War, this time and use we pioneered killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians. These are of course weapons that we in Iran. Allow me to briefly explain our opposition to what still stockpile, so that when Barack Obama says he will do would be the United States' third large-scale Middle Eastern “everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining war this decade. I believe that a war in Iraq could have been a nuclear weapon....everything in my power...everything,” waged for just and compassionate reasons; ours was not. every anti-American regime will know that there is a sufWe invaded that country for revenge and for geopolitical ficiently hard-fisted phallus in the American arsenal to and economic “national interest,” and we later disingenu- make the threat stick. ously recast the attack as a defense of Iraqi freedom. A On the convention floor during John McCain's closing US attack on Iran would take place for similar reasons. speech, American militarism took a central role. RepresenProponents of preemptive strikes on Iran don't even pre- tative Mary Fallin's polemic blasted the “haters and killers tend such humanitarian goals yet (but they will later). Our whose only creed is evil,” declaring McCain's willingness politicians -the American ruling class- talk about military to use a “big stick” so that “goodness can defeat evil,” even action as if they were debating the designation of a national though our “goodness” seems to always kill more than their holiday or the patriotic renaming of an overpass. They risk evil. The RNC video on 9/11: The Day the Earth Stood Still little beyond reputation, and plot the fate of the inevitable begins with the manipulative first line, “the first attack occasualties, balancing them against votes and commodities. curred in Iran,” a cheap attempt to tie 9/11 with Iran just They talk about war in the language of positive values (na- as Bush did with Iraq. There was no discussion of civilian tional standing, family, security, stability) while dismissing collateral damage, but the excited audience chanted “USA” the negative effects (devastation of civilian infrastructure, and McCain repeated his invitations to “fight with me!” non-combatant casualties, disease, occupations that spur McCain cautions us, of course: “I hate war. It is terrible.” resistance movements, high costs that divert resources Surely we can trust his experience on this, but the only

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'enduring peace' the GOP (or the Democrats) want is one that privileges the United States, leaving the vast majority of the world's population outside of their carefully-drawn “culture of life.” At every clapping break in the speech, McCain's followers flashed their “Country First” placards to the camera as televised America looked on. I do not dislike McCain. I wanted him to be the president in 2000. I am impressed by his achievements in government ethics reform and his opposition to corporate welfare. I trust his sincerity. I do not dislike Obama, and I think we are right to enjoy his promise of sanity after eight years of global and domestic imperialism. But that is not enough to win my silence. In Salt Lake City, in Denver, in Minneapolis, we will resist. We will resist at the munitions factories in my aerospace-industry hometown, at senatorial offices, at military bases and test sites. We will offer our bodies as out-of-place cogs to gum up the gears of war. Again, and again. I don’t enjoy the antagonism that activism can breed. I hate to find myself at odds with the compassionate conservatives who raised me and the Obama-inspired liberals who weaned me, but my loyalty is no kind of quiet. I may one day find my skull fractured by the same billy-club and my body held in the same county jail that I avoided this week, but I am willing to risk that harm to help prevent a slaughter. My brother tells me that the best way to effect change is to raise a family and beautify the place where I live. He says it is the natural inclination of humans. I hope that it is our natural inclination. It certainly is mine. By going to

Denver, I missed my apiary class and left tomatoes unstaked, I missed my family and my land. I was certainly not happier there. But if we agree that family is our focus, what then do we do when our father announces his intention to kill the neighbor's children? Is our only option to birth more babies and build them the best cribs, or is there something else? My father killing another's children: this is not impossible. This is not even contested. A UN investigation of an American air strike in Afghanistan last week concluded that 90 civilians, including 60 children, had been killed in one day. This is war. Some observers were shocked when radio-journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! was arrested in Minneapolis. My time in Denver taught me that safety from police is a constant uncertainty in militarized convention zones. The police seldom know what their own rules are or what orders will arrive about which crowd of 200 to charge with mace and which group to allow to disperse. I've learned that our supposed right to see warrants is a myth, and that organizers of protests that include misdemeanor civil disobedience -things like street marches and sit-ins- can be indicted as terrorists. One year ago, hundreds of BYU students demonstrated in solidarity with the Burmese monks who were beaten and imprisoned by soldiers during illegal pro-democracy protests. We championed those monks and cried over their stories; I now find myself in the monks' place, and I learned that after a few hours of being held behind police lines, billy-club at my chest, rifle pointed at my face, that conINDEX FULL SCREEN

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fidence falters. Everything in my world—my instinct for self-preservation, the authorities, the media—proclaimed me a fool for taking to the streets. But after reflection, I feel comfortable (though not safe) in my actions. I think that within our political system I am well within my rights to assemble peaceably to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and therefore I fully support my brothers and sisters in Denver and St. Paul, in the streets, the blockades, the occupations, the marches, the barred cells. We will be there next time.

Jesus Asked Us to Love Our Enemies: Learning to be a Christian in Occupied Palestine by Cliff Burton
Waiting to pass an Israeli military checkpoint is at the same time nerve-wracking and mundane. Trying to enter the West Bank city of Nablus, we stood in line with a large group of Palestinians. Israeli soldiers cradling M-16’s stared stone-faced at the crowd. A soldier standing behind a cement block checked ID’s, asked questions, and searched each person. Those making it past the checkpoint would hurry to get a place in a taxi waiting on the other side.

As we neared the front of the line, an Israeli soldier began shouting wildly at a young Palestinian boy. The soldier overturned the boy’s wagon, loaded with containers of olives, and began pushing the boy around. The other soldiers stood around and watched, some laughing, some just looking bored. I was shocked at the soldier’s treatment of a young boy who only wanted to get to town and sell his olives for a meager profit. My blood began to rush, I was struck with the urge to grab the soldier and make him leave the boy alone. My adrenalin was quickly replaced by fear, as I thought of what he and his heavily-armed fellow soldiers might do if I tried to intervene. My friend John stepped forward, putting himself between the soldier and the boy, diverting the soldier’s attention. The soldier began yelling some things in Hebrew to John, but then finally backed down. John helped the boy put the olives back in the wagon, and stayed near him until the soldiers finally let him bring his wagon through the checkpoint. The West Bank and Gaza strip, which make up what is left of Palestine, have been under Israeli military occupation for some 40 years. Located in the West Bank are numerous sites of religious significance to Latter-day Saints, including Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, East Jerusalem, where Jesus taught and ministered, and Hebron, where the prophet Abraham is buried. Over the past 40 years the Israeli government has, in
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methodic fashion, forcibly confiscated more and more Palestinian land, in order to build settlements for its Jewish citizens. Persistent Israeli colonization, and Palestinian resistance to it, is what drives the long standing conflict in the Holy Land between Israeli Jews on the one hand, and Palestinian Christians and Muslims on the other. Life under Israeli occupation for Palestinians has been characterized by expulsions, land confiscations, imprisonments, torture, home demolitions, rocket attacks from helicopter gun ships, embargos, which strangle the Palestinian economy, and closures, which restrict Palestinian movement between towns and villages. To carry out the Israeli program of colonizing Palestinian land, the Israeli Army denies Palestinians the basic political freedoms and protection of human rights that Israeli citizens enjoy, including those Israeli Jews who live in settlements just miles or even yards from Palestinian towns.

In the winter of 2003, I was studying Arabic at a Palestinian university in the Israeli occupied West Bank. The second Intifada, or uprising of Palestinians against the Israeli occupation was in full swing. Israeli military incursions into Palestinian cities and towns were common, particularly in Nablus and Gaza. Palestinian suicide bombers carried out several attacks within Israel during the time I was there. While in Nablus I was tagging along with some friends who were involved with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which seeks to use non-violent tactics to protect Palestinian civilians from the Israeli army, as my friend John had done when helping the young boy with the wagon full of olives. The day after I arrived in Nablus I saw a large-scale Israeli incursion into the old city. Israeli soldiers began occupying Palestinian homes, using them as temporary bases, detained a number of Palestinians, and engaged in clashes with Palestinian youths. The youths were throwing rocks at the soldiers for several hours, and soldiers were firing rubber-coated bullets back at them. An Israeli soldier shot my friend John, who was watching the clashes and taking photos. He was only lightly wounded, since the bullet hit him in the shoulder, rather than in the neck or head. After a quick visit to the hospital, he was in pain but in good spirits, especially after he saw a report about his injury the next day in the local Nablus newspaper. Walking through the city had a dreamlike feel; we could
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hear gunfire very close to us, often on the next street over. This didn’t seem to bother the throngs of Palestinian kids playing soccer in the streets, who apparently were used to these foreign soldiers invading their town. The next day we were walking down a dirt road on the edge of town, and noticed an Israeli tank blocking the road ahead of us. To the left of the road was a hill, on which twenty or thirty Palestinians were sitting and waiting; some carried school books, others carried basic things they had bought at the market. There was a stand off taking place, between the Israeli soldiers who were blocking the way, and the Palestinians hoping to reach their villages beyond the road. A German girl who was with us, also a volunteer with ISM, began speaking to the soldiers, asking why they

(Banksy)

wouldn’t let these Palestinians simply go home at the end of a long day of studying or working. Not wanting to get involved, I walked up the hill and sat among a group of Palestinians. I couldn’t hear much of what was being said between my friend and the soldiers. After a few minutes the turret of the tank cannon began to move, conceivably to fire in our direction. The Israeli soldiers then abruptly raised their guns, pointing them at those of us on the hill and looking through their scopes, perhaps attempting to pick out individual targets. A sense of panic overtook me and everyone else in the crowd. We began running as fast as we could, trying to get over the top of the hill and out of range. A feeling of relief and thanks to God came over me as I finally fell to the ground in safety on the backside of the hill. I spent that night with an ISM volunteer from New Mexico named Brian Avery. We chatted a bit about politics and Brian’s interest in agriculture before turning in for bed, trying to fall asleep despite the intermittent gunfire now being exchanged between the Israeli Army and Palestinian guerillas on the street outside the house. The next day we attended a protest against the looming US invasion of Iraq, in which all the major Palestinian political factions were represented, as indicated by the sea of Fatah, Hamas, PFLP and DFLP flags being waved by the marchers. We walked through the narrow streets of Nablus as the crowd chanted “Wahid, Ithneen, Al-Jaish Al-Arabi Ween?” 1
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A group of young boys carrying sticks designated themselves my bodyguards and escorted me the entire way. The US invaded Iraq the next day. After a few more quiet days in Nablus, I returned to Birzeit to resume my Arabic studies. Several weeks later my friends from ISM got a call. Israeli Soldiers had shot Bryan Avery while he was volunteering in Jenin for the final month of his time in the West Bank. As Bryan and several other ISM volunteers were walking down a road on the outskirts of town, two Israeli Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) approached. An Israeli soldier manning the machine gun mounted on one of the APC’s opened fire. The group scattered as they heard the burst of gunfire. When it was over, they looked back to see Bryan lying in a pool of blood. The soldier had shot Bryan in the face, the bullet entering one cheek and exiting the other. Bryan’s injury was too severe to be treated in a Palestinian hospital. When the Israeli soldiers at the border realized he was an American, they called in a helicopter to lift him to an Israeli military hospital in Haifa, on Israel’s northern coast. My friends and I traveled the next day to Haifa, thinking Bryan could use the company until his parents arrived from the US. Bryan was completely unrecognizable. His long flowing hair had been cut off, and his face had swollen to twice its normal size. His face was covered with stitches from the first of many surgeries he would have to reconstruct the shattered bones in his jaw and cheek. He couldn’t speak,

and could communicate only by writing notes. Bryan felt the Israeli soldier had tried to murder him, since the shooting was unprovoked. The recent Israeli Army targeting of two ISM volunteers seemed to reinforce this notion. One was Rachel Corrie, whom an Israeli soldier killed by crushing her under a bulldozer as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian doctor’s home in Gaza. The other was Tom Hurndall, whom an Israeli soldier shot in the head while Tom was escorting Palestinian children away from a clash between the Israeli military and Palestinian guerillas. Tom died after laying in a coma for nine months. The irony of seeing Bryan in a hospital bed, in the very same room as an injured Israeli soldier made me think for the first time about what it meant to have to love one’s enemy. I wondered what feelings Bryan must have had for the soldier in the same hospital room; or for Israeli soldiers in general. They had almost killed him, perhaps intentionally, had maimed him for life, and were detaining, killing, and displacing his Palestinian friends. By any definition imaginable, Israeli soldiers were his enemies. Though I didn’t ask Bryan such a question, I felt a strong impression from the Spirit that if I were in his situation, Jesus would want me to love these Israeli soldiers. Having feelings of hate, or resorting to violence wasn’t the thing to do, even if such a response would be understandable. Even though armed resistance targeting the Israeli Occupation Forces (but not civilians) is in my view
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justified, I felt the Spirit was encouraging a different, nonviolent route. Amazingly, despite all the wrongs Palestinians have suffered, many, both Muslim and Christian, have embraced non-violent methods of resisting the occupation. Strangely, this was the first time in my life I was forced to seriously think about this most basic tenet of Mormonism, the command to love one’s enemies, though I had attended church pretty much every week since I was a kid. Because of this experience I consider myself a pacifist most of the time. Though I acknowledge there are times when using violence is justified in God’s eyes, when we choose to love our enemies instead of killing them, the Lord will reward us for our righteousness (D&C 98:30). When thinking of how to respond to violence, I think of the example from the Book of Mormon of the Anti-NephiLehies, who refused to take up arms against their attackers, preferring to be slaughtered rather than kill their “brethren” (Alma 24:6-19). When I hear people declare that we have no option but to invade or bomb another country, I think of the Lord’s admonition that we “renounce war and proclaim peace (D&C 98:16).” At the same time, being a pacifist doesn’t mean that we should, or can, simply abstain from making war; rather, we need to put as much effort into peacemaking as others do in war making. My friend John, who stepped in to prevent that Israeli soldier from abusing a helpless Palestinian boy is an example of this, as are Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall, and Bryan Avery.

For more information about volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement please visit http://www. palsolidarity.org/

Contributors
Marc B.Young is a freelance writer most recently focused on health-care policy and, prior to that, African issues. Poetry is his chief interest. A resident of Madrid, Spain between 1994 and 2004, he presently lives with his family in Toronto, where he is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World... and attends an Anglican church. Tariq Khan resides in Northern Virginia with his partner and newborn baby where he co-edits the anarchist journal Rebel Stew. He’s been involved in a wide spectrum of antiauthoritarian work ranging from animal/earth liberation to prisoner support to immigrants rights and fighting racism. He’s a military veteran and has been involved with various anti-militarism efforts such as supporting troop and veteran resistance and counter-recruitment work. He’s also played in some Washington DC area anarcho-punk bands. Ashley Sanders is the youth spokesperson for the Nader campaign. She blogs at www.projectdeseret.com and www.theworldaccordingtoash.com. She graduated from Brigham Young University in philosophy and english and is currently earning a Masters in English Literature and creative writing at Middlebury College.
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Terry Leichner is a Vietnam veteran, anti-war activist and member of the Catholic Church. He lives in Denver, CO. and blogs at Visions of Peace: A Combat Vet’s Dream. http://visopeace.blogspot.com Matthew Thomas lives and works in Salt Lake City. Sgt. Jay Dawkins is an active duty member of the US Army currently serving in Iraq. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University. Spencer Kingman is a member of the LDS church and an anti-war activist. He lives in Provo, Utah where he studies math education at Utah Valley State College and works with disabled people at a recreational program called RAH. Jason Brown served an LDS mission in the Dominican Republic and graduated from BYU in anthropology. He hopes to dedicate his life to the principles of solidary, sustainability, and cooperation. He can be contacted at jasonbrown644@hotmail.com Tristan Call recently graduated in Anthropology and Latin American studies from Brigham Young University. He is currently working full time for the Nader for President campaign and raising honey bees and tomatoes in urban Salt Lake City. Cliff Burton served an LDS mission to Stockholm, Sweden. He lives in San Francisco, CA

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