Trump’s Military Parade Isn’t Fascist. It’s Older and Much Worse.
From Dr. Bones: “We are witnessing the same population denied education, healthcare, and a decent living pointed towards an occupation that provides all three. They will be given land, property, and earn a degree of respect an auto-mechanic from Narcoossee might never know. They will be granted all these things and a chance to carry the ancestral name onto the fields of honor. To finally be something.
And all they gotta do is kill for it.”
(Image credit: ESoapbox)
“No one can declare a civil war, they can only point it out. The fear that Donald Trump will bring about a new civil war in America is misguided. Civil war is here. Any conflicts that appear in the coming years have been latent all along. Social peace is well organized force in a territory, and the result of someone else’s daily experience of civil war.”
– Sash Durakov, The Savage Peace (excerpted from “Civil War Revisited”)
“The New Hammerhead was a perfect cowboy. He was vicious & stupid & ignorant of everything except his own fears and appetites. He beat the mortal shit out of anything that made him uneasy, for any reason at all…the secret to his success was an ancient taste for blood…
The Hammerhead was the one you hired when you wanted to kill Indians. He was also available to whip N*****s. And then to hang Wobblies. He was given a badge and a club, and by 1960–or maybe even 1860–the Hammerhead Ethic was the American Dream.”
– Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in America
Florida has a unique and troubled history, the swamps and forests not yet touched by coastal living home to a peculiar type. Among the palmettos and grass, in places with names like Holopaw and Frostproof, they congregate. They know not why they live there, only that they do, and the world around them appears foreign and menacing.
They are the sons and daughters of settlers, the descendants of a loose and troubled people; skin like armadillo shells, tempers as short as a bobcat’s tail. They are the drinkers, the brawlers, the carpenters, and soldiers. For almost one hundred years they have fought in every American war, this nation’s flag transformed into a vital tribal totem. The blood of ancestors flows in that flag, shoved onto this peninsula by wealthy planters from Georgia and Carolina. Born herders, land was hard to come by; in a feudal society this damned both them and their children to poverty.
The Planters beckoned southward. There lived a people who they called heathens along with dark-skinned folk they called worse. For an ocean of blood the land under the foreign feet could belong to the Settlers, and with it an opportunity to join the great society the aristocrats had built.
Landless peasants who died in mud huts, who killed for honor in a society that told them it was important. Illiterate, uneducated, and with children hungry they went southward. And kill they did.
Miles and miles of blood soaked sand and forests. Screams filling the air. To be native was to be exterminated, to be black was to be thrown into slavery. Families who’d lived here for generations, who could remember the Union Jack and Spaniard’s cross were told they were property of people they’d never met. Over 40 years and multiple administrations the slaughter went on, every trace of the past blown apart and erased. Towns and mills became cages for the few survivors, open air prisons where they could be exploited at ease. Or maimed for fun. The Planters, ever thoughtful, gave the settlers small slivers of land as payment, some of the time anyway, though always much after the plantations got what they needed.
The settlers lived and died where their ancestors last killed, where somewhere somehow the blood became enough, from the shores of Georgia to the vast deserts of Texas. There they sat until the highways came to meet them, and Uncle Sam needed their services once again.
There are moments that define a generation, Rhyd; short bursts of symbolic meaning that may appear normal at the time but, when filtered through the bizarre comedy we call “the human experience,” reveal themselves to be potent omens: the election of Hitler, the passing of the Patriot Act, the launch of a little website named Amazon. When held just right in the mind, and with the third eye tilted at just the right angle, you can practically smell the momentous change such things herald. Reality warping, timeline moving, trust me when I say this is what Trump is planning.
He may not know it, Rhyd, but I can feel it, feel the limitless winds that beat beyond all we consider solid. The sounds they make crawl up my spine and keep me up at night, making me drink until my liver hurts.
In Mississippi, in Georgia, in Texas and Arkansas, the children of Settlers roam freely and kill freely, just as their ancestors did many moons ago. Here, on the peninsula however, the cities of Florida sit like lunar colonies; isolated pockets of an entirely different world close enough to smell cattle giving birth on former Seminole lands. The rest of the South may lie shrouded in darkness, but here one can stare directly into its soul.
I have been in the corners where few have tread, seen the trucks and flags the liberals assure me are old news. We wave to each other on hiking trails, nod solemnly at gun ranges. Two of them are playing predator for me as we speak, riding the coast in a tow-truck for easy marks. You have to know somebody to get a good deal, and if they don’t count you in their circle they frankly don’t give a shit about you.
So when I tell you a finger will beckon, that a glowing hand will rise out from the television as surely as orange season is October through June and call to these people, you will know I speak truly.
These are not cartoon characters, not the immaterial constructs so common to the usual leftist “theory.” The Settlers didn’t rape and pillage out of pure joy, but out of calculated self-interest; the same cold and unfeeling reasoning behind every stick-up, every war, and every corporate buy-out. These are real human beings, with hopes and dreams and families. At times they can be quite nice, friendly even.
“Hogs are a terrible nuisance in the Gulf coast area, and helicopter crews are the most effective way to eliminate the problem. One such company is HeliBacon, founded immediately after the practice was legalized a few years ago by a group of firearms enthusiasts who thought it would be an awesome thing to do and wanted to offer the best experience. It’s expensive ($850/hour), but they offer some of the most hog-infested fields and best toys out there to their clients. Unlimited ammo is included in the price of admission, and upgrades are available — such as machine guns (custom lowers with PWS piston-driven uppers). Coming soon: grenade launchers. Yes, grenade launchers.”
The rules of honor common among herding societies, marked by an aggressive stance towards the world and a wariness towards outsiders who might take what has been rightfully stolen — still remain as well. Southern white males commit murder at a rate of 2 to 1 when compared to the rest of the country; in small cities (pop. 10k-50k) the ratio is 3 to 1; in rural areas it is 4 to 1. Shiftless, fiddle-footed, they wander into the towns and outposts of the coast and become painfully aware they don’t belong, that somehow they’ve been left behind and they are angry about it. As our time progresses and the old trades close down they are once again becoming abandoned, shuttered from the social standing they hold so dear. The old compacts are gone, Rhyd. High school and a knowledge of engines won’t cut it. The land and the money are going fast and by god they know it.
I have watched it flicker in their eyes, the flames of rage and impotence. The waves break in strange patterns. The birds appear confused and frightened. I have seen the sign and terror darkens my soul.
But what is it you ask?
“President Trump wants his own military parade in Washington,” reads the Washington Post, “with soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards. Officials told The Washington Post on Tuesday that they have begun planning a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces.”
According to the Post Trump saw the Bastille Day parade in France and decided he wanted his own. The Post stresses the idea that an American parade would be eerily fascistic while France’s parade is somehow just a sign of “national unity” and identity.
Conveniently left out of the article is the bitter truth that France’s own military parades are not a mere “show of unity.” France was and still is an imperial power, one that has routinely tortured and executed any colonial subjects that get in its way. It was France, not the United States, that was explicitly pushing for the total annihilation of Libya. Bastille Day was originally about tearing down the forces of feudalism; the fact that today its celebrated with a show of force by the very state currently denying the “rights of man” to the entirety of North Africa is enough to make one laugh like a hyena.
Military parades of any kind are not to remind the people they are being protected. No no.
Perhaps you haven’t seen these things. For a long while at my house my wife and I had a tradition of watching the Victory Day parades in Russia. The psychic stench these things give off cannot be overstated: the sight of row after row of tanks, of innumerable infantry, and somehow thinking they were on your side is a high no drug can match. With the right amount of everclear flowing in your veins it’s damn near hallucinogenic. The T-14 Armata for instance is fitted with a gun whose shell can burn through a metre of steel. That’s roughly about three feet of the same material they build warships out of. You begin to imagine the damage they can do to places you know. You see those things roll by, envision they’re fighting for you, that one day those tanks and rifles are going to be pointed at your enemies… well, it’s why Leninists still exist.
Of course it’s all a lie. Always has been. Those guns don’t belong to “the people” any more than those soldiers respond to “the people’s” orders. Just ask the victims of Tienanmen square. Military parades are nothing more than the State reaching down and violently masturbating, staring at everyone and demanding they watch in the hopes it arouses others.
To continue this metaphor and to hammer home my point, we might think then of the United States as a teenager bottled up for about fourteen days, who has his parents out for the weekend and nearly thirty hours of the most brutal BDSM porn imaginable ready on his hard-drive. There will be cat-girls, Rhyd, cat-girls with body parts you can’t even begin to fathom doing the kind of things that only appear to Dominatrixes in the deepest corners of a bath-salt binge.
This psychical energy is leaking everywhere. The people desire a show of force, a sharpened stiletto on somebody’s balls. They are unsure, un-confident. They blew their load in Iraq easily before but now… well, we pump and pump money and troops but just can’t seem to finish. That flag their parents lived and killed for has started to sag. Make America Great Again, that is the line, and so they must be whispered to, played with, told just how bold and bad they are. It’s the only way they can get off.
Trump knows his audience. He framed the government shutdown as the Democrats choosing “illegal immigrants” over paying the troops. The polls seem to show the people ate it up, which should come as no suprise. Trump strongholds in the South and rural America send a much higher proportion than the national average of their children into the armed forces, so any patriotic gesture is a sure winner among them. Recall too that polls indicate American troops continue to be stronger supporters of Trump than the public at large, U.S. veterans more pro-Trump than almost any other group.
Stroking the military ego will do him well. But again, one must ask what we’re stroking.
(American soldiers pose with a Confederate flag in Iraq. Source: http://confederateflagsandthangs.blogspot.com)
The entire business of the military is to turn normal human beings into killing machines, robots who act on orders and murder for ideas like “god,” “country,” or “freedom.” I can understand death for something human, revenge perhaps, but this is totally different. A lot of work goes into re-wiring these people, to make the idea of flying off to some far off place to kill strangers and rape children sound normal.
You have to be sure the enemy is inhuman.
This is not simply the work of brash young soldiers, a psychological defense to death and dismemberment. Mike Prysner of Iraq Veterans Against the War testified at the the 2008 Winter Soldier hearings that he “began to hear new words like ‘towel head,’ ‘camel jockey” and – the most disturbing – ‘sand n*gger'” right after 9/11 and before any action had started. Like a switch had been flipped.
“These words did not initially come from my fellow soldiers,” he said, “but from my superiors – my platoon sergeant, my company first sergeant, my battalion commander. All the way up the chain of command, viciously racist terms were suddenly acceptable.
“I noticed that the most overt racism came from veterans of the first Gulf War. Those were the words they used when they were incinerating civilian convoys. Those were the words they used when this government deliberately targeted the civilian infrastructure, bombing water supplies knowing that it would kill hundreds of thousands of children.”
It is difficult to pull off atrocities when you’re doing them to human beings. But things? Objects? Phantasmic symbols planted in the mind and filled with loathing and hate? Easy.
“Racism… has long been used to justify the killing, subjugation, and torture of another people. Racism is a vital weapon employed by this government. It is a more important weapon than a rifle, or a tank, or a bomber, or a battleship. It is more destructive than an artillery shell, or a bunker buster, or a tomahawk missile… They need a public who is willing to send their soldiers into harm’s way, and they need soldiers who are willing to kill and be killed, without question.”
All that remains is to be sure any behavior that reflects these new ideas be rewarded.
“The ruling class – the billionaires who profit from human suffering, who care only about expanding their wealth and controlling the world economy – understand that their power lies only in their ability to convince us that war, oppression, and exploitation is in our interest.
And convincing us to die and kill is based on their ability to make us think that we are somehow superior.”
Jeffrey Smith, a member of Iraqi Veterans for Peace, also testified at the Winter Soldier hearings that “physical force was used on a daily basis,” against Iraqi civilians, and that this violence was encouraged. Once he clotheslined an Iraqi truck driver who was merely trying to explain something to another driver, “and I was congratulated by my unit and told this was exactly the way we should behave.”
That kind of behavior isn’t usually limited to the enemy of the week.
(Marine Scout Snipers pose with Nazi-inspired unit flag. Source: http://malcontends.blogspot.com)
Last year The Military Times conducted a confidential poll that revealed 42 percent of non-white troops polled had personally experienced examples of white nationalism in the military. When asked whether white nationalists pose a threat to national security, 30 percent of respondents labeled it a significant danger, more than many international hot spots, like Syria (27 percent), Pakistan (25 percent), Afghanistan (22 percent) and Iraq (17 percent).
Most disturbingly “a notable number of poll participants also bristled at the assertion that white power ideology is a real problem.”
“Nearly five percent of those polled left comments complaining that groups like Black Lives Matter — whose stated goal is to raise awareness of violence and discrimination towards black people — weren’t included among the options for threats to national security…
‘White nationalism is not a terrorist organization,’ wrote one Navy commander, who declined to give his name…
‘You do realize white nationalists and racists are two totally different types of people?’ wrote another anonymous Air Force staff sergeant.”
These ideas come home, not only in the soldiers but in the children they raise, spreading like the sound of laughter at a politician’s promise. Kathleen Belew, in her forthcoming book Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America, reveals a 2009 report by the Department of Homeland Security that states the single factor correlating most highly with surges in Ku Klux Klan membership (going all the way back to the 1860’s) is an influx of veterans returning from war.
Do you see what this means?
(An image taken from a right-leaning forum)
We are witnessing the same population denied education, healthcare, and a decent living pointed towards an occupation that provides all three. They will be given land, property, and earn a degree of respect an auto-mechanic from Narcoossee might never know. They will be granted all these things and a chance to carry the ancestral name onto the fields of honor. To finally be something.
And all they gotta do is kill for it.
Who doesn’t much matter. That’s the most dangerous thing about the parade happening now. Before we used to dress it up in talks of liberation, dragging out the rotten corpses of vets from World War 2 in an attempt to wear their skin. Now we don’t even bother. We’ve accepted our greed, our bloodlust, and deemed it a virtue. Fascist doesn’t quite fit because that would imply Americans believe in something, some ideal. This is not a nation of philosophers, Rhyd. The American people feel instead as if they’ve been cheated and, completely unaware of anything beyond one generation, they can’t seem to figure out who to hang from a tree.
These aren’t the cowboys of the West, Rhyd. These are those same rough people, true, but ours have been grafted onto a feudal order. Standards are everything, hierarchy sacred. Killings down here arise from pissing contests, bar-fights, or marital promises; they kill for honor, to save face, to hold onto whatever place they can in a doomed and rotten society, the same one that promises them legions of black and brown waitresses, cashiers, janitors, and punching bags…
They are primed and ready to go wherever the finger points. And if skin color is the uniform of the enemy?
So be it.
Where will it go, Rhyd? North Korea? Iran? Perhaps the apocalyptic war with China we’ve all dreamed of? Or will the finger point firmly at our own chests?
Maybe there is a degree of revenge in all this. In the 1960’s the South was a backwards wilderness, the laughing stock of the country. How things change. Our cities are growing, our churches dominate the continent, we ARE the Republican Party. We run this shit even when we aren’t in office. The South’s aversion to both minimum-wage standards and unions, born from the right of the wealthy to treat people like property, is official national policy. If your children go to public school it is we who write their textbooks. Southern ideas are so wedded to what is “American” now you can see confederate flags in Michigan, Nevada, and even Maine.
The United States is their property, the descendants of these settlers, don’t you see? It’s history repeating itself. They’ve colonized the United States, made it theirs, violently pushed out anything that wasn’t their own. This parade is one part NASCAR victory lap and another part consecration ritual for the bloodshed ahead: a mass-produced version of Alabama stretching from coast to coast, soldiers with affected or natural southern drawls fresh from Iraq running security checks on “commies” and “illegals,” itching for a chance to prove their honor by machine-gunning a protest or becoming “doorkickers” in black neighborhoods. No education, no future beyond the whims of a landed gentry living in clean mansions away from poisoned air and cancer-laden food, a trailer-park version of Israel wrapped in eagles and mountain dew. They’ll see themselves as heroes, saviors, champions in a war to put everything “right” as Jesus so joyfully intended… and this time the vile “darkness” in the way of their barbaric and cruel “values” are us.
4 in 10 Southerners still sympathize with the Confederacy. Those are the same people making up the majority of the military, which is to say a large amount of people with a lot of guns holding a certain fondness for the idea of a civil war. Imagine if they had the blessing of the president, the highest honor in the land…
We won’t know where the fists will land first until that parade, which is why I must go there, if nothing else for our readers’ own safety. Crowdsource a plane ticket, see if I can stay with a reader, hell we can bring a graphic artist to tag along and bear witness to the unholy horror of it all in the hopes we can make it into a book. Beyond a mere article this is something people should hold in their hands, a terror to furnish them nightmares for years to come. This moment must be captured, Gods & Radicals MUST have someone on the ground to bear testament to what will occur, an unholy and ghastly spiritual event that may very well be the horn of doom we’ve all been waiting for: the point of no return, everything beyond it hog-hunts and domination.
Yers in Illegality,
Dr. Bones is a Hoodoo-slingin’ Florida native and Egoist-Communist spitting pure vitriol and sorcerous wisdom at a world gone mad. He lives with his loving wife, a herd of cats, and a house full of spirits.
His poltergasmic politics and gonzo journalism can be found at Gods & Radicals and The Conjure House. He can be reached by email, twitter, or facebook. Want to do him a favor? Help keep him alive for as little as $4.99 a month.