david on war
About war, police and politeness. – david graeber jul 2020
notes quotes from 4 min video:
war on crime.. war on drugs.. war on terror.. in every case it’s a war on an enemy you’re not going to beat.. it’s a permanent war.. it’s a war on a state of being .. and in a way the state is that war.. the state is the battle of sovereign power against some enemy which is both completely dishonorable but also completely unbeatable.. because it’s a constituent element in our nature
look at the word police.. derived from polis.. greek for city/community.. polis is both the community and the means by which whereby we overcome our baser nature to be able to live w each other..
so police, polite and politics all come from the same root which in similar way.. to be civilized comes from cities.. to be civil.. civility.. politeness means repressing your bad impulses.. you’re not a person unless you have this freudian innate(?).. not a society unless we have crime.. crime will always be there .. we are sinful.. fallen creatures.. all goes back to a philosophy that says.. there is a deep evil in our nature.. which is what drives us to do things.. econ is based on marshaling that selfish and anti social force for good instead of evil.. but in order to do that you need to have cops to stop you from acting the same way you would in the econ in any other demented human activity
2 min – so there is a permanent war.. necessarily at the basis of society and the police are this embodiment of that force of civilization.. which means.. they can’t be civilized themselves.. they’re the people who make a sacrifice of the gains you have.. like hobbes.. when he says we all give up the savagery of the sate of nature by giving one guy the power.. but that guy who has the power actually is still a savage.. he still ives in the state of nature
3 min – it’s a war that can never be won because it’s a war that makes us.. now the question is.. how do we overcome that.. what would peace actually be like.. how could we have a society where the social peace isn’t a truce in a permanent war but is rather actual peace.. t.. what would it mean to actually live w each other w/o police.. and it seems inconceivable.. but in fact police are relatively recent..
ie: a nother way..
created over course of 19th.. originally nothing to do w crime.. where to control workers.. escaped slaves.. they were there for means of social control and protecting property, breaking up strikes when the army couldn’t be brought in because they might be biased in favor of the strikers.. things like that.. they were political originally.. political police.. same word
tribes .. rooted in bio facts of life held social communities together.. gave them a sense of internal solidarity so strong that the tribes largely excluded the strangers/outsider whose acceptability depended on canons of hospitality and the need for new members to replenish warriors when warfare became increasingly important
oi.. to nika quoting david here.. m of care – mar 17:
via nika dubrovsky fb share next day:
Simona at the 29th minute says: “war is a very special process related to the constructing of an enemy, with a “forbidden metamorphism” or, as David Greber would say, is an opportunity to rethink oneself. War is when you cannot stop being “Italian” or “Russian” when the natural process of internal pluralism stops. “
so barriers drop so we can keep fighting
On the usefulness of the anti-war movement. https://t.co/AUP6ZImt8s
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1508782690765611013
It’s as if American forces in Iraq were ultimately defeated by the ghost of Abbie Hoffman.
On the origins of the war. https://t.co/rJFVXIvvwz
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1508808433067245586
will continue with a quote from “Dawn of everything.”
The role of warfare warrants further discussion here, because violence is often the route by which forms of play take on more permanent features. .It’s an almost absurdly obvious point to make, but it matters. Play kings cease to be play kings precisely when they start killing people; .. there’s no actual reason to assume that war has always existed. Technically, war refers not just to organized violence but to a kind of contest between two clearly demarcated sides.
There is nothing particularly primordial about such arrangements; certainly, there is no reason to believe they are in any sense hardwired into the human psyche. On the contrary, it’s almost invariably necessary to employ some combination of ritual, drugs and psychological techniques to convince people, even adolescent males, to kill and injure each other in such systematic yet indiscriminate ways.
from nika fb share:
I am so sorry that David didn’t write his book about War.
I so want to read it!
Sometimes (for many hundreds of years) civilizations don’t practice mass murder, torture and human sacrifice.
But from a practical point of view, all means are good for only one action — to immediately stop everything by any means.
– human sacrifice
All other strategic, ideological and any other abstractions seem to me a criminal distraction from the main question: how to stop?
We’ll deal with the rest later.
I remember my friend, a German journalist who worked in Syria, saying at the very beginning of the war:
“well, that’s it. Now that’s for a very long time”
Around the same time I saw a video story where some rebel (I don’t remember which side) proudly stated that he cut off his enemy’s breast, took out his heart and ate him.
(it seems he did it in front of the camera, but it was not shown in the plot).
Something happens to people during war. The stuff that is actually incredible.
Any continuation leads to growing mass obstruction.
this is huge to khan filling the gaps law
possible because (we are all) missing pieces