The Cult of Sanctified Violence
William Norman Grigg
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Force to the utmost; Force without stint or limit, the righteous
and triumphant Force which shall make Right the law of the world
and cast every selfish dominion down in the dust.
murderer Woodrow Wilson explains his philosophy of government, April
concept of dictatorship means nothing else but this: Power without
limit, resting directly on force, restrained by no laws, absolutely
unrestricted by rules. –
mass murderer Vladimir Lenin, agreeing in principle with Wilson.
"What is government
if words have no meaning?"
posed that question to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at a forum two
years ago. Perhaps unwittingly, Loughner answered that question
murdering six people and attempting to murder fourteen others,
including Giffords. In doing so, the young nihilist effectively
privatized government's central function.
Shorn of the
sophistries that provide it with a moral disguise, pared down to
its essentials, political government is the systematic use of exactly
the same kind of criminal violence employed by Loughner, only on
a much grander scale. This was illustrated the day before Loughner's
murderous rampage, when agents of the government ruling us used
a remote-controlled drone operated from the safety of an office
building in Nevada to murder
six people in Pakistan's North Waziristan region.
not admonished to observe a moment of chastened silence in memory
of the victims of that exercise in criminal violence. This is, in
part, because observances of that kind would quickly become tedious:
Since 2008, Pakistan – a country with which the government ruling
us is not formally at war – has endured at least 250 drone attacks,
in which roughly 1,400 people have been killed.
conservative estimate of "collateral damage," only
a tithe of those slaughtered through drone strikes are "militants."
civilians have likewise been massacred in the ongoing "surge" in
Afghanistan, many of them in nighttime raids by "Special Operations
Forces" – that is, death squads – whose behavior is not easily distinguishable
from that of Jared Loughner. At least a hundred thousand civilians
have been annihilated in the continuing war in Iraq, which was inaugurated
for reasons just as delusional as anything that percolated in Loughner's
For those who
worship at the altar of the omnipotent State, mass murder of this
kind is an exercise in sanctified violence. In a 2009
interview with Foreign Policy magazine, Bill Clinton
– who has repeatedly denounced "anti-government" speech as
a form of criminal sedition – defined terrorism as "killing
and robbery and coercion by people who do not have state authority."
(Emphasis added.) What this means, of course, is that "killing and
robbery and coercion" by duly authorized agents of the State isn't
terrorism, it's policy.
You see, bombs
and drones may demolish homes, but only "anti-government" words
can harm us. This is why one of the political elite's most urgent
priorities is the control and criminalization of anti-government
Robert Brady, a Pennsylvania Democrat, announced that he would
propose legislation criminalizing verbal or symbolic expression
that could be perceived as conveying a threat against a federal
official, or an incitement to violence against such exalted personages.
is a federal official," observed
Brady. "You can't do it to him; you should not be able to do
it to a congressman, senator, or federal judge.... The rhetoric
is just ramped up so negatively, so high, that we have got to shut
That last statement,
of course, is an oblique but unmistakable threat: How else would
federal officials "shut this down" without the involvement of armed
functionaries who would resist?
doing is trying to protect ourselves," simpered Brady, announcing
that this new assault on what remains of the First Amendment would
begin as soon as Congress re-convenes. He also reported that his
proposal found support on both sides of the aisle. This isn't surprising.
For House Speaker John Boehner, the
most important thing in the aftermath of the Safeway Massacre was
to assert the primacy of the coercive class: "An attack on one
who serves is an attack on all who serve. Such acts of violence
have no place in our society."
In a similar
vein, Rep. Peter King, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee
former bagman for the IRA, announced plans
to introduce legislation making it a federal crime for Mundanes
to carry firearms within 1000 feet of a federal official. This proscription
wouldn't apply to those employed to protect those sanctified personages,
Boehner's intent was to denounce criminal violence against the innocent,
why did Boehner italicize the sanctified status of Judge Roll and
Congresswoman Giffords? Doesn’t Rep. King know that it’s already
against the law to gun down innocent people, irrespective of their
occupation? Underlying both Boehner’s statement and King’s proposed
legislation is the unmistakable intent to reinforce the special
status of federal employees and enhance the measures intended to
protect them from the common rabble.
The same priorities
were on display in the
charges filed against Loughner in his arraignment: One count
of attempting to assassinate a member of Congress, two counts of
unlawfully killing a federal employee, and two counts of attempting
to kill a federal employee. The crime committed in Tucson is covered
by Arizona's state laws, of course, and the victims – including
all four who were murdered, not merely the federal judge and congressional
aide – were all residents of the state.
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Norman Grigg [send him mail]
publishes the Pro
Libertate blog and hosts the Pro
Libertate radio program.
© 2011 William Norman Grigg
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