Stop Being A Stupid Liberal: Against Peace

By David Boehnke

This is the finale of the negative part of this series. Yay! If you haven’t read until now, this is the one to read, so that you can understand what I mean in the next few articles, instead of warping them back into liberal stupidity.
A few weeks ago I participated in a march through the skyways of downtown Minneapolis initiated by the Local 26 Janitors Union (SEIU), who paraded through the skyways during lunchtime, reasserted their presence, importance, and power over the spaces they clean; spaces that were constructed to exclude them.
A largely Latino union, chants were in many languages and drew heavily on the still ongoing immigrant rights struggle. A bright day, a happy mob clogging up the lunch bags of the wealthy; smiles, cheers, chants, dedication, hope, struggle…and a recent victory with a new contract that includes, among other things, affordable family health insurance.
My favorite chant went like this. “No Justice? No Peace!” “No Justice?? No Peace!!” and on and on. Occasionally a shouter would change the first would from “Justice” to “Health Care,” emphasizing the partial nature of their current campaign, its demands, and its potential justice. “No Justice? No Peace!” This is my argument.

And I am writing to people invested in being stupid liberals and sedated by the false promises of the status quo. Those who exist anxiously between expressing support for resistance and demanding that it be crushed with incredible violence. Those who are too unsure to make real political decisions, who can more easily imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.
And just as nonprofits are the key obstruction to any attempt at a just alternative, so are liberals the key barrier to any sort of justice.
Why? Because they strategically immobilize themselves in defense of their privilege. Because in their humanitarian obsessions, their gut reaction driven I’m-like-mother-teresa-but-I-fuck righteous politics they invest themselves and the status quo with moral authority. Because they are all talk and no walk and spend their time learning to drive, not to organize. Seduced and blinded by privilege, made hypocritical by hope, made dangerous by their identification with authority and their corresponding moral or cynical righteousness, made pathetic, guilty, and impotent in their waffling courage.

Of course we who grew up as liberals, who were fed false promises with breasts, had no choice but to believe them. And in growing up we could not at first accept them as lies. And now, even after experience has demanded that we acknowledge their falsehood, most of us remain too desensitized to their destruction, too alienated from hope to see the depth of liberalism’s emptiness. Let us move beyond apathetic infancy; let us rediscover the paths or questions to hope.
Of course adults hardly help in this regard, deceiving either to keep Santa alive or saying that he never existed. Of course they live like he is dead or never existed anyway, but not the good Santa. It is the Bad Santa, the liberal Santa that they live out. Perhaps this is why that particular movie is so enjoyable to watch…is it not the incarnation of an obvious yet forever hidden truth? That Santa is an asshole?
What is important is not so called belief or unbelief but the belief by which we can live. It is only by creation, by acting out a system that embodies something qualitatively better that we can live out what could be called justice.

And let us point out here the centerpiece of Hollywood’s false turns, the ideology of love that conquers all, that individualizes our problems, and transforms a desire for something better into the reproduction of society as it stands. The fact that love is seen as a solution precisely when liberal values collapse results in love as an escape from the world, making unpolitical our own lives and bodies, when these things are the only part of politics worth keeping and the ground from which new worlds will be born.
Nor can the current system and its institutions birth a qualitatively improved world, invested as it is in systematically aborting the living. It will propagate horrific violence to prevent transformation, it will seduce and co-opt nonprofits and liberals into justifying itself, it will alienate those very same liberals from power, what is called politics…insofar as they participate in it, it remains structurally beyond them.
But it is not structurally beyond us. And it is here that we may discover new words to call for, new words and goals and desires to fight for what is now called “peace” and “justice”. And because liberals use their notions of “peace” and “violence” to obscure what is and should be done, our search will turn around the word in which they are empty, what is now called “justice”. That, however, is for the three articles to come. Bleached and Don’t You Mess With Language Like That! (A last note from the author)
As a bleached person I am seriously offended that Ian Boswell would say that it is “curious and mildly hypocritical” that a student calling white students bleached at the Spike Lee talk “has gone unnoticed and uncommitted on in a time when all kinds of people are sounding off about an ephemeral racist presence on campus.”
My ancestors worked their asses off to become bleached and I am damn pissed that anyone might not recognize this effort (with its ugly consequences), especially because for most of them this happened within the last 60-90 years. Damn the man who speaks rudely without an attempt to know anything about what he is saying.
It remains ironic that Sir Boswell would use rudeness and ignorance in an attempt to cover up albeit in a small way a history of oppression and ideology.
Next Week’s Topic: On Self-Education