Hunting conjures up war-like imagery: guns, knives, arrows, booby traps and of course camouflage. Hunting is necessarily an overtly violent affair. Farming on the other hand invokes a more pastoral and peaceful mindset. Sure, intellectually we know killing must occur on a farm, but it is clean and clinical, so that makes it civilized. But dead is dead. The means may be different, but the ends are the same.

No, this is not some vegan polemic. The point is that we too live on a farm otherwise known as the state. Our ancestors and we have inhabited the farm for so long we have contrived the comfortable illusion that orderly and civilized violence isn’t really violence at all. We have convinced ourselves that because we are a nation of laws, of rules and order, and that we engage in the very civilized process of democratic elections to collectively decide the rules of society, then that makes us better than barbaric invaders who hunt their surroundings and take what they want. But whether one is robbed at gunpoint or by way of a Form 1040 one is just as impoverished by the process (and resistance to the latter will end just as violently). This idea of democratic self-determination is nothing more than an illusion. It is a Potemkin village that we have unwittingly built that mollifies our passions and so permits our owners, the state bureaucracies, to extract from us the fruits of our labor in order to parasitically advance themselves.

 

violence is the fertilizer that ensures strong roots for the state

 

In recent weeks we have witnessed the birth of a new state: ISIS. ISIS is still in the “hunter” stage of state formation. They have not yet collected enough “citizens” to form a proper, modern, farming state like we have in the US (and other countries). Once the farm-state is established the overt violence fades from the foreground while intimidation and threats rise in the background. This hunter-state formation is a bloody, violent, disgusting affair no doubt. But it is one that all states pass through, as violence is the fertilizer that ensures strong roots for the state.

Although the hunting and farming state differ in form, their substance is identical. Consider the following: the US says to foreigners, “Do what we say or we will have no choice but to kill you.” Inevitably the US sends drones, missiles, planes, troops, mines, and bombs – all agents of death. Similarly, ISIS tells people “Do what we say or we will kill you.” Those that do not comply are beheaded or shot. But dead is dead. Does it matter if done by the sword or the drone? Or would it be uncontroversial if ISIS killed by lethal injection?

Now consider the people ISIS did not kill – those who capitulated to their demands. They chose to comply with “the law” rather than suffer the consequences. This preference for submission over death is the same glue that maintains order here as well. We have “laws” that are just as arbitrary as Sharia “law.” A law that pertains to anything other than murder, rape or theft is no law at all. It is a mere edict that masquerades as law because some believe the ends justify the means. And why are such pseudo-laws obeyed? Violence. Non-compliance with pseudo-laws here results in the same outcome resisters of ISIS encounter there: death. Consider what would happen if pseudo-law A were ignored (insert any law you find absurd). The individual doing so might be fined first. If they ignored the fine, they might then be prosecuted in a court of the state. If they ignored that illegitimate process the state would send its agents (police) to confiscate property or arrest the individual. If the individual passively resisted and did not comply with “lawful orders” to willingly submit to being jailed then the encounter would eventually escalate to drawn weapons. Further passive resistance ensures this would eventually escalate to an “officer involved” shooting of the non-compliant citizen.

If you ignore the “authority” of the state, if you refuse to believe it has no more authority over your life than does your neighbor, well, the state doesn’t take kindly to that. If we all were to engage in non-violent non-submission to authority, the true nature of the state would quickly become apparent and all would see it is the US pot that calls the ISIS kettle black.

P.S. And no, I don’t “hate America” – I hate bullies that initiate aggression or threats of aggression to get their way.