Nationalism and the Drone War
by Lloyd Bourne
two weeks have seen two very important and deeply disturbing revelations:
first, the White House leak of the white papers on Obama's kill
list; and also the first (open) use of a drone to track a fugitive,
I don't know
about you guys, but about the only time I see any of the mainstream
media is when it is on one of those TVs in a public space that is
either too high or in one of those plastic cages so you can't change
the channel. That place for me is my gym. There I am, pedaling away,
and I have to, excuse me, get to watch the luminaries
of enlightened thought discuss the latest distraction, sorry I meant
‘development’. At first it might sound good that they are actually
discussing something that has very real consequences, but I already
noticed that the debate was over. It ended when the same loaded
question kept popping up on each network: "Should we worry
that the US is killing American citizens without trial?"
If you are
like me and visit LewRockwell.com
daily we already know what is wrong with this statement, but do
other people? Probably not. So let’s humor the media and the State
and look into what an "American citizen" is.
The first and
most obvious question is, if someone is born in the US are they
an American citizen? But first we must inquire as to what the US
is. Is it the land that makes up the 50 states? Is the soil magical?
Well no, there isn't some sort of American citizen pixie dust in
the soil, because one can become a citizen if they’re born in an
American military base or embassy. Well then the only logical conclusion
is that when the glorious American military conquers a piece of
land they sprinkle that same citizenship pixie dust around, and
then all those born on that land magically become a citizen.
the idea of citizenship pixie dust and magic runs into several barriers:
for one, if the military actually did this, then – to our great
chagrin as libertarians – every child in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya,
Syria, Japan, Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Bolivia, Cambodia etc., would
become an American citizen. But they aren't, which, for their sake,
is a good thing.
So if it’s
not some sort of random collection of imperially acquired land in
conjunction with the original Thirteen Colonies that grants American
citizenship, then what does? Well according to the official statement
from the US government: anyone may become an American citizen through
naturalization. What a lovely and humanitarian bargain that is!
I have never heard of anyone's papers getting lost or anyone having
a long and arduous process of getting citizenship through "legal"
means! (Consequently, this isn't a horrible way of controlling the
human capital market?)
In case you
missed my sarcasm, just wait a few months for the new immigration
reform legislation to make its way to the forefront. I'm sure the
luminaries of enlightened thought at the MSM will have plenty of
ways of informing you on what to think about naturalization.
maybe most disturbingly, someone can have American citizenship if
one of their parents is an American citizen. From this, the only
logical conclusion is that we all have some sort of American-Citizenship-Blood-Virus
that can be passed to our offspring and it infects them with our
American-ism! On a more serious note, this is quite disturbing because
it does treat citizenship like some sort of contagion, one that
especially now I would not like to pass on to my future offspring.
So what now
for the American citizen-to-be? If not through citizenship pixie
dusted land or naturalization or the American-blood-virus then what
makes someone an American citizen?
This is actually
easily answered: If the State views you as American citizen then
you are one. If the State deems you a host for the parasitism that
is the tax system, then you are one. On the flipside, if the State
does not view you as an American citizen, you are not one.
As the debate
on the kill list rolls on, it brings to the forefront a very important
and deeply disturbing part of democracies and republics: nationalism.
This is possibly the most dangerous idea that is cultivated into
the masses by the State. This idea creates an inconsistent view
of a person taking personal offense to the massacre of a child (who
happens to be an American citizen) at Sandy Hook, but they turn
a blind eye to the 178 (and counting) dead children in other countries.
But more importantly, it creates the idea of the "out-group".
is the best and easiest way to "justify" the killing or
disenfranchisement of entire groups of people (after all, those
in the "out-group" are not us!). It is used
by many to group people they haven't met and then rob them of their
rights because they are not part of their particular "in-group".
Some use the
myth of "western values" to create the idea of the "out-group".
Some use the dividing lines of religion to create the "out-group".
While others use the hazy lines of citizenship to create the "out-group".
What is most
important to understand here is that the State uses these all the
time to get away with literal murder. Be it the bombing of innocent
people in another country or the installation of a puppet government,
the State can use all of the above and many more concepts of the
"out-group" to reassure and assuage their citizens that
it isn’t doing harm them because the people affected don't have
rights (again, those in the "out-group" are not
us back to the fundamental question of "What is the State?"
Of course no one can take away the rights of others, they can only
infringe them. Maybe instead of using the idea of an "out-group"
to infringe on other's natural rights one should take away the extraneous
"rights" of the individuals involved with the State. The
State is simply a group of individuals who, for some unexplained
reason, are supposedly endowed with more rights than others because
they are part of the State apparatus. The State uses these mythical
rights to "justify" their attack on other's property rights.
Murder for you and me is simply foreign policy for the State. Kidnapping
for us becomes the draft for them, and so on. Instead, if one views
the State apparatus as the true "out-group" and strips
them down to only the rights of the individuals involved, one can
start to dismantle the idea of the State outright.
I think that
these recent developments with the white papers and the search for
Chris Dorner are the perfect stage to fully unmask the wizard of
nationalism for what it really is: a morally unjust and ethically
indefensible way of subversively getting "justification"
for the terror of the State.
If the idea
of nationalism can be broken, perhaps the terrifying idea of the
"out-group" can be dismantled too. Once people start to
see themselves as an individual with inalienable natural rights
and then carries that idea out to everyone who has ever or will
ever be born then maybe yet another crack in the myth of the State,
nationalism, citizenship, and most importantly the idea of the "out-group"
will be chiseled.
What can one
do? At the risk of sounding pedantic to others, one must challenge
themselves on what makes someone an American citizen and how troubling
this series of consequences becomes after, oh say, five seconds.
One of the reasons that I was so attracted to Anarcho-Capitalism
is the simple way of combating the State: withdraw your consent;
don't take part in the sacrament of voting; and inform yourself
and others. Oh and also have a good laugh at the State as often
as you can.
can first be killed by correcting your own speech. Always refer
to things as "I think the US government will" or "The
US government won't" (rather than using "We"). This
is not only a very important vocal protest but it also reaffirms
in yours and others’ minds the idea that the State is the only "out-group."
It is a group that has a monopoly of force. It is a gang, a gang
of thieves writ large.
Bourne [send him mail]
is a biologist working in New York City and a part-time musician
operating under "Huunter."
© 2013 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.