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FUCK POLITICS. SKINHEAD is about loyalty. I stay true to my friends whether they are right or wrong. I stand by them over any abstract ideology. This does not mean I am apolitical. I fight for the room and the right to think for myself. I get wary when politics becomes just another badge of identity, sides to take for some kind of gang warfare with no greater consequence than soccer teams.

When the group you belong to expects you to share the same political view, then you can't be sure who is really convinced of it and who is just trying to fit in. Are the people who say they agree with you really your friends? And are those who disagree with you really your enemies?

You cannot shop for a social system the way you shop for food in a supermarket; you cannot just persuade (or even coerce) everyone to adopt some new ideal order. So it makes no difference what you or I believe, or whether you agree with me. Even Marx and Engels knew that:

The solution of the social problems, ... the Utopians attempted to evolve out of the human brain. Society presented nothing but wrongs; to remove these was the task of reason. It was necessary, then, to discover a new and more perfect system of social order and to impose this upon society from without by propaganda.. [and] model experiments.

- Friedrich Engels, making fun of idealists

In America the usual dividing line is between liberalism and conservativism. Those are two tried-and-true scams for duping large numbers of people into voting for candidates who will put a happy face and a display of distracting drama over the steady erosion of their freedom and the reality that someone else is living off the results of their hard work.

Conservatives routinely fall for a bait-and-switch tactic: their aspirations for freedom and dignity are directed against some demon called "socialism". Their votes are collected to back up politicians who aim to remove any breaks on the power of their employers to fuck them over and work them to death for wages they can barely survive on, with scant hope of the most minimal medical care.

Liberals' aspirations for freedom are channeled into supporting a nanny state to protect them from the dark, thinking that laws against guns will protect them from their scary neighbors but the result is that the state grabs a fuller monopoly of power, immune to any challenge. Liberals believe laws against hate speech will stop all those petty dictatorships of the abusive strong against the weak and oppressed. What they get instead is an erosion of community-level regulation while the State collects the legal precedents for extending its reach to regulate even your emotions.

Anyone who is determined to fight for freedom and justice is safely channeled into the Far Left or the Far Right. Whiners make sure the Left stays harmless, while nutcases do the same for the Right.

The Far Left has discredited itself. Frustrated at their inability to lead the working class, leftists have resorted to laughing at it. Like many Utopian cults they have become like the Amish. Thinking they have the only truth that will save the world they became an isolated self-contained tribe marked by its own diet (Vegan) and language (PC-speak). Though they chant slogans about human rights, they only take action on animal rights. Animal rights only make sense if you trivialize humanity. Let's stop treating humans like animals before we start treating animals like people. These leftists demand over and over again that whites renounce their whiteness, and be ashamed of their own histories, as if nonwhites would live happier lives if all whites were busy reciting apologies. This breed of leftist forgets that the ability to make so generous a gesture as to renounce one's entire culture requires an extraordinary degree of either masochism or that sense of security and strength called privilege. No wonder that it is almost always the most privileged of whites, those who are the most removed from the realities faced by the poor and the vulnerable, who fall for this line.

The Far Right is so obsessed with blaming one small group - the Jews - for all the worlds' problems that they don't notice that "the real enemy" is laughing at how effectively the blame got shifted away from them. The rightwingers mistake effect for cause, like a fool who blames a thermometer for the temperature. They blame gays for the collapse of their families, they blame blacks for the disintegration of their communities, and Jews for being screwed over at work - they were taught that hard work should have been enough to get them ahead but they are only trapped in dead end jobs. In the absence of a convincing explanation of how things work today, they revert to nineteenth-century populists' beliefs about bankers.

Left and right are irrelevant now. They are relics of the French Revolution. Those who thought that cutting off the king's head was a big mistake became the Right, while the Left evolved from those who thought that the Revolution was such a good thing that the revolt against the aristocrats should be followed up with one against businessmen. Vague memories of the street battles of Weimar Germany lie behind the sense of urgency of those who insist we refight them. Left and Right got a boost out of the cultural wars of the 1960s, but those were 30-40 years ago.

Politics ought to be about settling specific conflicts at particular historical moments. The problem is that politics has become a form of theatre that distracts you from knowing where the real decisions and debates are taking place and jumping in.

Consider the double meaning or even pun in the word "Act". "Act" as in take an action that rebuilds the world, but also "act" as in an actor, playing a role that a scriptwriter already set for you in a drama that merely entertains an audience using already-familiar themes. Politics is about acting, but it is too much the acting of actors and not enough the acting of taking action.

I want to provoke you to rethink everything, regardless of your own views now, and kick through the walls of stagnation. When you think for yourself and can't deliver the scripts expected of you, and you refuse to give up, you must work hard to remake your world.

I wish the cry of "FUCK POLITICS!" were really a rock to throw at the TV screen, but when I hear it I fear it is only a venting of a wish that conflicts would just go away, and that all differences were merely misunderstandings. That apolitical attitude is shirking from one's duties as a citizen. Some differences may well be settled rationally, but there are real contradictions, so either take a side or find a good referee and good rules for settling things, and make sure you are playing the best possible game. The problem is finding the right tactics and strategy, and knowing the right level - local community or the state - for resolving the conflicts or working around them.


The sleep of reason produces monsters - Goya