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brassknuckles
Brass Knuckles and Steelcap Boots

Know who to protect and when to attack.

There is power that blocks, represses, and beats down. And there is power that builds and rebuilds, strengthens and upholds, and opens up room to move and grow.

Know what kind of power you wield and what kind of power you confront:

There is power that grows stronger when you wield it.

There is power that gets weaker, which you spend as you use it.

There is power that grows stronger when you resist it, that feeds on the force you throw at it, that mobilizes around a challenge, that becomes inoculated against similar attacks in the future.

There is power that gets weaker, that breaks down and crumbles when you resist it.

Then there are the fights you know are futile but you jump in them anyways, so future warriors can learn from your experience. So know when to sacrifice.


Violence may be personal: an outlet for tension, a testosterone boost, an act of rage, or it may be strategic: a consciously considered move in a bigger game.

Strategy is, among other things, about control of space: who has access to a particular spot. And it is about control of probability: what is going to be more likely or less likely to take place.

Violence is an ability we all have, whether we nurture it or not. I have no question that it is a Bad Thing to waste that ability and fuck up the lives of others. You are as much in charge of your community as anyone. If you don't like the State holding a monopoly over the use of force, then you are responsible for knowing how to handle it yourself.

Problems should end with you, not start with you. You must be strong enough to let stupid shit slide.

Words really are more effective than fists in resolving problems because so much of power and social life resides in language rather than in the body. But not all of it.

If you are feared without being respected, then a few people might yield to you, but the whole world will close around you and block your way. Skinheads who fight for the right to fuck with anyone without getting fucked with back should grow back their hair: they may be feared but they will not be respected.

The mistake of the skins back-in-the-day was to to tear it all down, like pissing in your own kitchen, and the scene collapsed not just because so many were incarcerated, but that they destroyed the places where they could hang. Venues would not be so crazy as to book a skinhead show.

So a scene that can grow and last for the long haul does not depend on skins being true enough to be skin for life, but rather on keeping enough turf to hold out on and keep the culture alive. Don't fuck up your own ground, your home, your work, and most of all your ability to stay strong.

Win fights before they even happen.

For how to conduct yourself as a warrior,
read the old Viking poem the Havamal, in the Poetic Eddas.

For how to understand strategy, nothing beats the ancient Chinese:
Sun Tzu's "The Art of War", the game of Go, and for the measure of an action, the I Ching.


Strategy is content-neutral, so learn from your enemies.
Let your enemies organize you, don't accidently organize your enemies.


LAST "Cruelty is simply the energy in a man civilization has not yet altogether corrupted: therefore it is a virtue, not a vice." -- Marquis de Sade NEXT