Operation Civilization: The War That is All Wars
A Strategic Assessment of the Domestic(ated) Frontline
To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating our enemy is provided by the enemy itself. If we know the enemy and know our self we need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If we know our self, but not the enemy, for every victory gained we will also suffer a defeat. If we know neither the enemy nor our self, we will succumb in every battle”
— Sun Tzu, The Art of War
We are warriors committed to defeating our enemy the totality of civilization — and reclaiming our lives as our own. The internalized systems of domestication: morals, rules, laws, orders encoded into our psyche by parents, schools, religions, social norms, and spectacular illusions are no longer (if they ever were) able to keep us in line. Force decisive, violent, and often deadly is the primary means used, by an ever-increasing array of military and paramilitary troops, to prevent us from attacking the ruling order we know is a mortal danger to all of life. Fearful of tables turned, the ruling class uses goon squads to attain, protect, and defend their tenuous positions of power and disappearing wealth.
For most of us in the West, the daily face of that enforcement is the police: sheriffs, deputies, officers, Bobbies, peelers, cops, narcs, informants, pigs. Pigs throughout the world have a clear and oft-repeated goal: to serve and protect one they accomplish quite well. They serve and protect their own interests particularly their interest in maintaining a position of authority and power, thus recreating the dominant order with every public contact. They serve and protect the machinery of civilization the institutions, infrastructure, designers, maintainers, button-pushers, and apologists from the likes of us. They serve and protect bourgeois and elite class order from the criminalized individual of lower standing who refuses to conform, cooperate, contribute to the greater good, follow orders, fall in line, get with the program, play by the rules, obey the law.
Understanding civilization’s frontline offense and defense is crucial to developing successful strategies for our engagement in this undeclared, 10,000-year über war Operation Civilization. This study is intended as a strategic assessment of the pig situation in present-day America. It looks at the origin, structure, focus, technology, and weaponry, as well as the social-political-economic apparatus inherent to the law and order system. Finally, it intends to highlight the always-present, ever-escalating, and often-violent resistance against the totality that required an institutionalized and increasingly pervasive mechanism of control.
1. The Imperial Origins of Swine Fever
The history of civilization is the history of conquest murder, rape, robbery, lies and wholesale destruction. It is the history of the domestication of all of Earth’s inhabitants starting with the human. As settled agricultural societies replaced nomadic hunter-gatherer and small-scale cultivating tribes, self-appointed patriarchs (and occasional matriarchs) battled in the name of greed, glory, or God — for control of Everything. Rigid hierarchical order was enforced creating two classes of people the rulers and the ruled, the master and slave, the haves and the have-nots, the rich and the poor, the civilized and the savage, and eventually the righteous and the criminal. As new empires expanded their reach across the globe, defending their booty grew increasingly difficult. With both offensive and defensive armies constantly overextended, there were simply not enough loyal men left to enforce compliance within the conquered, but resistant, lower class.
Imperial Rome introduced the world to geopolitical divisions in the form of the city-state; and with a few more imaginary lines, they divided these areas into wards and precincts. This was done, in no small part, for the convenience of policing. Vigiles of 7 squads, each containing 1000 freedmen, monitored the precincts for fire and other human disruptions to the social order. Three cohorts of police, under the control of the army, augmented the less-than-loyal freedmen guards. The emperors had their own squads, the Praetorian Guard, the personal bodyguards to the generals and the political henchmen of the emperors. The Guard carried out political assassinations, assisted in the ascension of new emperors, created their own strategic disorders, and eventually wielded the imperial power themselves. The Guard was of course, eliminated. New controls were imposed on the new controllers and innovation a harbinger of civilization had arrived in force.
Armed with weapons, money, and God, imperialists spread their spectacular vision of civilization obedience to the invisible (moral imperatives, religious dogma, imaginary lines drawn); discipline of the sword, truncheon, gallows, and especially of the marketplace; politics of identity and pocketbook; and cultural commodification along with the means of enforcing this nightmare, everywhere they conquered.
In 9th century Britain, King Albert, in the face of growing internal strife and frequent incursions of competing empire-driven armies, divided the vast lands into sections called shires, to better force the ‘king’s peace’. This omnipresent version of peace is based on his Book of Laws comprised of Christian morality including the Ten Commandments and a need to criminalize, for the ruled, those acts important to furthering the authority and power of the rulers. All peasant men of the shire were required to guard their tithing (area). They reported to a hundredman who was in turn commanded by the shire reeve, a local appointee of the King ‘paid’ through bribes, fines, and confiscations of his own determination. This sheriff had to swear “to keep the peace of our Lord the King well, and lawfully according to your powers, and shall arrest all those who shall make any contest, riot, debate or affray, in breaking of the said peace.” This first politipig exists today, still as an elected or appointed political position whose primary responsibility is to serve and protect his position, followed by the responsibility for establishing the prevailing socioeconomic order through various methods of coercion.
“...it is more enlightening to understand what can be called everyday forms of peasant resistance: foot dragging, dissimulation, feigned ignorance, false compliance, manipulation, flight, slander, theft, arson, sabotage, and isolated incidents of violence, including murder, passed off as crime. These forms of struggle stop well short of outright collective defiance, a strategy usually suicidal for the weak. While these kinds of resistance are often a form of individual protection or self-help, they are not trivial. They limit the imperial aspirations of lords, monarchs, colonialists, nationalistic parties, and dictatorships of the proletariat.”
— Forrest D. Colburn, Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance
Feudalism was the predominant socioeconomic system in medieval times. Through right of noble birth, and rewards granted for conquering new territory, the landed gentry created fiefdoms and built heavily guarded manors while the newly landless peasants were indentured to their lords. William the Conqueror demanded greater centralized control of his empire and its inhabitants. While the sheriff still enforced local order, he now reported to the comes stabuler (master of the horse). This constable was essentially the local military representative of the crown. He too was officially unpaid, but, like the sheriff, he found ways to keep himself well fed. For the next 200 years, depending on the social and political climate, the law and order machine shifted between greater and less-centralized control. But, it always remained ineffective against the rabble that had not yet learned that to act against the crown and manor was to act against God himself. Those who rebelled openly especially en masse were likely to have someone getting ‘medieval’ on them, with the newest technologies of torture. Less detectable acts of resistance were more widespread insurgents conducted a myriad of (mostly) individual acts to gain what was needed, or to just fuck with those who were destroying their life. Poaching the act of the peasant asserting his/her traditional claim to the land’s wood, water, food, and medicine was common. If authorities encountered the poacher, other peasants acted in solidarity, often outnumbering the lawmen, who might find their cottages torched when they returned home. They were also beaten and often murdered for enforcing the foreign and unwelcome order. General non-compliance was used to mitigate the increasing demands for their pittance and labor, and for their unquestioning obedience. The struggle of the peasants to regain self-sufficiency and their desire for more autonomy (implied in the direct and active resistance) formed the very basis of the pigs’ existence.
“Crime is the necessary condition of the very existence of the State, and it therefore constitutes its exclusive monopoly, from which it follows that the individual who dares commit a crime is guilty in a two-fold sense: first, he is guilty against human conscience, and, above all, he is guilty against the State in arrogating to himself one of its most precious privileges”.
— Mikhail Bakunin, Ethics: Morality of the State
The commons were being enclosed and traditionally held lands stolen, all converted to private property. The peasants were increasingly forced to work for others in order to pay rents on land they and their ancestors had occupied for centuries. An increasing number relocated to the new cities to slave for the new merchants. The ruling classes imposed rents, taxes, fines, fees, dues, and other economic bonds of wage-slavery, ensuring a steady income, and even steadier labor pool. By the early 13th century, over half the adult male population was working for wages in the urban factories of the growing merchant class or as laborers on the large farms of the lords of the manor. Together with the peasant and slave, the oppressed proletariat was ripening for revolt.
Other rebellions were fomenting as well. With the opportunity for greater wealth and power presenting itself in rising local and international trade and the newly recognized value of rents and land speculation, ranks of the nobility and merchants sought to limit the power and wealth of the crown. To temporarily thwart the inevitable, King John sealed the Magna Carta in 1215 a ‘charter of liberties’.
This document forms the basis of American law and includes such liberal deceptions as: no taxation without representation, trials by a jury of one’s peers, punishments that fit the crime, and the most absurd lie, that no one is above the law.
Liberated from the threat of poverty by exhibiting loyalty to the masters and granted (or taken by the always-successful violent force) sufficient means to create the illusion of a more independent life, the merchant class began to create petty-kingdoms of their own on and by the backs of the laboring class. While sharing the fear of the peasant class rebellion with the ruling class, they had their own special fear as well. The bourgeois were (and remain today) desperately afraid of losing the material wealth and prestige they gained through their own ‘hard work’ (and no small amount of deceit, theft, and aristocratic loyalty payments) and being forced to return to the ranks of the non-special, barbaric, proletarian class.
With the ruling center in constant flux and disarray, a return to locally controlled protection and order was called for. In 1285, the part-time parish constabulary was augmented by the watch and guard system that required all able-bodied townsmen to take a turn protecting the closed village/town gates from sundown to sunrise. Using the Saxon hue and cry system, the watchmen alerted the residents who were required, under the threat of punishment, to join in the apprehension of ‘criminals’ resistant, fellow members of the proletariat who liked to express their revolting joy under the cover of night.
By 1361, with the signing of the Justices of the Peace Act, centralized state control was re-established. Lords of the manor were given the authority to maintain order and law on behalf of the crown. With parish constables as their appointed agents, these justices of the peace (JPs), sought to stop the rabble from ‘stealing’ food, wood, water, and land. Incarceration in newly built prisons, brutal physical punishment, and public killing rituals were broadly applied to even small infractions. In 1381, when the Parliament meeting in secret out of fear of the exploited classes’ reaction — proposed a new poll tax, the first major peasant revolt erupted in the streets of London. For three days built-up tensions were released in riotous splendor until quelled by the killers in the crown’s army. Following the many wars and power struggles for control of Europe of the 15th century, the 16th century saw increased rebellions against the loss of land and ability to make a livelihood without oppression. In 1549 thousands of peasants tore down hedges and fences that had enclosed the common land in Norfolk. 13,000 troops were called to stop the rebellion. Thousands of peasants were killed and injured and the leaders executed for treason. Murder by the State for treason, theft, and witchcraft was instituted; with the single largest day of execution occurring in 1649 when 23 men and 1 woman were killed for burglary and robbery.
Crime continued to rise as the poor and oppressed fought for sustenance and relief from abject poverty. Some were confused about whom to target and brutalized fellow wage-slaves. The creative types took advantage of the middle class naiveté and property theft became an independent business of its own. The 18th century marked the rapid creation of institutions designed to ‘encourage’ civilized order. A reward program that offered forty pounds per thief captured was instituted and quickly became a new market for the innovative. Thieves set up other thieves and claimed the rewards. The ‘it takes a thief to catch a thief’ mentality was born out of the desperate attempt to hang on to every material manifestation that defined the elite’s social standing.
Frequent working class riots led to the 1715 Riot Act; if 12 or more people gathered unlawfully or for purposes of disturbing the peace, a lawman would ‘read them the Riot Act’. Those who had not dispersed an hour later would be guilty of a felony. Peasants began using disguises, including blackened faces, while poaching in the woods. This led to the 1723 Blacks Act which made disguises, while worn in the woods, a crime punishable by hanging to death [bet you’d like that, eh pigs?]. In 1729 Thomas de Veil, a former soldier, became the first police commissioner in London, taking up office at #4 Bow Street and meting out severe sentences. Oliver Cromwell introduced a mounted cavalry operating by merciless savagery to enforce order in the busy streets of London, increasingly torn by economic uncertainty, deepening oppression, and continuous religious and laboring class struggles.
Exploration and colonization of the ‘New World’ may have been inspiring the adventuring nobility and speculative industrialists and merchant-capitalists at the end of this era, but it inspired only dread in the proletariat, as deportation to the new ‘prison colonies’ became the favored punishment for this increasingly criminalized class.
In 1748 Henry Fielding became the next police commissioner, promptly putting 15 men with pistols on the crowded streets. Induced with the payment of ‘blood money’, these Bow Street Runners guaranteed their capitalist clients a fifteen-minute response to calls for help. These red-vested pigs served and protected the interests of the middle class for ninety years. The new bourgeoisie needed their own pigs to guard their new bourgeois neighborhoods and new bourgeois businesses. The West India Merchants funded the first large-scale private police force, the Thames River Police, to guard the busy port from looters. The fearful middle class also created private street patrols, paid with a percentage of recovered stolen property; establishing the bounty system and making theft doubly profitable. This community-supplied and unarmed force remained the norm in Britain until the end of the 18th century.
The situation was very different for the persistently resistant Irish colony where the communities preferred to supply constant, often violent resistance to English control instead of assisting in its own oppression. The first paid, highly organized, centralized, and militarized force was established with the Dublin Police Act of 1786. With the signing of the 1800 Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland the United Kingdom was official, but not welcomed gracefully by the original inhabitants of Ireland. In 1812, Robert Peel, a middle class Tory, was appointed Secretary for Ireland with a formal constabulary. This protestant force, whom the Irish rabble called peelers, was the paramilitary predecessor of the ever-mutating Swine Fever, serving and protecting the Reforming interests of the Empire.
Beginning in early 1811, textile workers began to meet in secret, at night, practicing tactics and maneuvers for an attack on the newly mechanized mills whose owners were cutting their already meager wages. By March, several attacks were occurring every night and were expanding to other factory-targets throughout Britain. Despite the offer of rewards and the deployment of four hundred new constables, the rebels known as Luddites maintained their pressure through early 1812. Frustrated by the continued, successful attacks, over 12,000 military troops were called into the target areas. The Frame Breaking Act of February 1812 made industrial sabotage (from the sabot a wooden shoe thrown into the mill machinery to halt its operation) a capital crime. The Luddite response — an attack on a textile factory guarded by armed militia. They followed this attack a week later by killing a factory owner. On April 20th thousands of workers attacked another mill being protected by armed guards. Several workers were killed three days later the factory owner’s house was burned to the ground. Three days later a factory was burned. Four men were executed for the act, including a 12-year-old. By summer of 1812, twenty-three men were sentenced to death and thirteen transported to the prison colony in Australia for attacks on cotton mills. While attacks on the textile industry (continuing into 1817) did not stop the machinery, they proved that the wage-slaves were not only going to fight the oppression, but had the intelligence, creativity, decentralized organization, and popular proletariat support to wage their own offensive and defensive campaigns. The capitalists whined and cried for more civil troops to serve and protect them.
Peel was promoted to Home Secretary and promptly established a public police system in London. The Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 established the first Office of Police, which was headed by two commissioners, Charles Rowan (son of an Irish landowner) and Richard Mayne (son of a JP). Within two weeks, a plan for a new force was presented (and swiftly enacted). The first official pigpen was organized like a military unit, including a strict hierarchical organization with 6 divisions (with headquarters); sections and beats (named thus for the cadence required for a street cop to complete his rounds in 15–20 minutes, about 2.5 miles per hour); 1000 candidates; a uniform design and manufacturer; a pay scale; a General Instruction Book written by a former Bow Street Runner; a weapon (truncheon); and communication system (a rattle). The recruits came from the working class; usually agricultural, but always from outside of London. These cops — so-named for their tactics and derived from the verb caper, meaning to abduct or nab — were traitors hated by other members of their class and were unceasingly threatened and attacked. When Secretary Peel developed a passion for the Sandy Back pigs found in Ireland, he began to breed them himself, creating the Tamworth pigs and a new name for his army. These paid and specialized forces were required to “maintain order, predictability, and continuity of gesellschaft” a society of the corporation/of the common good. In 1830, the Swing Riots by farm workers in southern England sought higher wages and the end to mechanization; 9 people were executed and hundreds imprisoned. This year also marked the first murder of an official pig when a Division G cop was stabbed to death.
With the 1835 Municipal Corporations Act authorizing other urban areas to establish their own police forces and the County Police Act in 1839 giving Justices of the Peace full control over public forces in the rural areas, no corner of the British Isles was free from Swine Fever.
By 1840, a middle class revolution, inspired by the bourgeois revolution in the North American colonies, threatened an end to monarchical power in England in favor of an elitist democracy. Industrial-capitalist economics with its inherent backbreaking, time-stealing, freedom-squashing, life-controlling mechanisms had nearly completed its replacement of the mercantile system. The peasant and wage-slave raged to break free, and attacked the bosses, lords, and cops with increasing fervor; and anarchists and socialists agitated for an end to the monarchy in favor of a classless society.
The forerunner of the modern police was fully established; organized and committed to serve and protect the domesticating order according to their masters’ plan. Increasingly complex connections between the military, international police, federal cops, secret police, paramilitary police forces, private pigs, and volunteer citizen traitors enforcing this horror of Civilization were developing, just out-of-view. The Political Era of Swine Fever was just beginning, and the simple, land-based, relatively autonomous lives of the original inhabitants of Britain gone forever. Or are they?
2. The Colonial Petri Dish
“For a warrior to succeed, she must practice dissimulation and move only when real advantage can be gained. She ponders and deliberates before moving. Whether he moves alone or with others can only be determined by the circumstances. When on the move he is as rapid as the wind, compact as the forest. When she attacks she is like fire, falling like a thunderbolt. When he needs to stand strong he is as immovable as a mountain. Always their plans are kept dark and impenetrable as night.”
— Sun Tzu, Art of War
The sight, or other sense of a cop, induces a visceral reaction in most everyone, regardless of their actual illegality. This is one measure of the efficiency with which most have internalized the Civilized authority. Cops re-present this order, ensuring that we remember: we are watched; ranked according to a vague and massified set of criteria; and that our ability to fulfill our needs and desires is limited by the many forces Civilization brings to bear. As both symbol and enforcer, the pig serves to remind us of the many ways we deviate from the expectations of those whom they protect. It is the degree to which we have been assimilated/ domesticated/ civilized into the dominant order that influences our reaction to the pigs as well as the pigs’ reaction to us.
The ruling classes of 19th century England saw themselves as lawful, moral, righteous, and specially endowed with a destiny to enlighten and transform the rest of the world. Consequently, they needed to envision and portray their new security forces as also having a measure of these qualities. Generally unconcerned with their own legal status, the elite required cops to enforce predictable behavior amongst the inferior. Then, as now, the non- or poorly assimilated often present their refusal in a manner that creates fear in those whom the cops serve and protect. If occasionally this servant and protector of the people had to issue a polite summons to one of their class, to address some minor infraction, it was, of course, annoying — but an annoyance one could deal with. Often their Bobbie was depicted as a rotund, somewhat ‘dumb’-looking, unarmed pig — more bluster than substance, more swagger than confidence.
This was not the Bobbie (or his cousin, Officer Friendly) the criminalized classes saw. The cops they encountered often expressed their own frustrations with the paradox they were presented with each time they took to the beat — the unresolvable reality that they enforce an order that also requires them to be subservient, monitored, and controlled. Those who are designated as born-criminals and those not accepting this unnatural lifeway know, with every sense, that the cop and their ilk are a particular danger to anyone who chooses to go where no authoritarian can ever be free to go. Our reaction to the sight, feel, smell, sound, or other sense of a pig’s too close presence, perhaps, indicates an instinct not yet suppressed — to fight or to flee, to survive and thrive.
As the number of dissidents and the intensity of their resistance exceed manageable levels, police adopt more clearly military tactics to maintain order (and its main deviation from the military imperative — law). With its ever-expanding net of interlocking chains of command — police, soldiers, teachers, bureaucrats, priests, scientists and so on — the Machine dictates strategies for commanding and controlling the unassimilated populations.
A strategic formula — employed by these compliant controllers who use flexible tactics prioritized and reordered as needed — was developed and improved over the centuries. The schema to expand Civilization remains — as yet — still viable, with technological improvements providing the main shift in corollary tactics. Applied by all the institutional automatons, the modus operandi is more or less as follows: Eliminate (massacre, starve, exterminate, sicken); Provoke fear (threaten, bully, make examples of, beat, brutalize); Identify (classify, count, massify, demonize, criminalize); Infiltrate (survey, comprehend, disrupt, divide); Assimilate (convert, pacify, civilize, domesticate); Recruit (induct, create traitors, provide replacements); Incarcerate (on reserves and reservations, in ghettos, tent cities, hotspots, prisons, jobs); Educate (indoctrinate, socialize, politicize, train); Enforce (monitor, intimidate, control, roundup); Expropriate (annex, seize, take over, confiscate, steal, possess).
The multi-faceted, multi-fronted, and multi-jurisdictional attacks we’re witnessing today are the hyperextension of the industrial-capitalist/imperial-colonial attacks of the 17-19th centuries. The successes of that era are being applied and failures corrected on the technological-capitalist/globalized-neocolonial stage. It is our challenge as anarchist/anti-civilization warriors to understand, target, eliminate, and stay safe from the mechanisms of this crippling Death Machine.
In the many European and American colonies of ‘occupation’, ‘pacification’, and ‘protection’, paramilitary police forces are a key element in this war of global domination and warrant our attention.
The British Empire — India: Identifying the Criminals
“What was common to all these schools of thought [Platonic, Evangelical, Utilitarian, Romantic, Enlightened Despotism] was the supposition that it was Britain’s mission to rule, and India’s duty to submit; and that just as Indians were incapable of governing themselves, much less anyone else, so the British had been gifted with eminently good sense, courage, manliness, a sense of action, and active habits of thought to preside over the destinies of a nation far removed from their shores.”
— Vinay Lal, Criminality and Colonial Anthropology
The British East India Company ruled India for over one hundred years, beginning in ???, expanding its control and markets in silk, tea, indigo, and opium, generating the capital necessary for expansion and for new estates, businesses, and political power back home. This was made easier by an earlier conqueror that had effectively divided the population into a religious-based, hierarchical (and completely internalized) system of order. This caste system (from casta, Portuguese for breed or race) fixed individuals to a specific position and expectation depending on their ancestral lineage, skin color, religious practice, and occupation.
However, the task of assimilating indigenous and conquered peoples is never completely successful and there are always those who will continue their attacks on the foreigners bent on confiscating their ancestral lands and who deny their way of life. In India, these were called the Criminal Tribes, the many and varied nomadic peoples who were/are collectivized and ordained as criminal because their “...ancestors were criminals from time immemorial who are themselves destined by the usage of caste to commit crime and whose dependents will be offenders against the law, until the whole tribe is exterminated or accounted for in the manner of the thugs.”
The aforementioned Thugs (Anglicized from Thugee) were a particular sub-caste of men and women, who used secretive means to identify, ‘befriend’, strangle, rob, and bury wealthy travelers. Colonial police estimated that up to 40,000 were killed each year. This was of great concern to the Company and Crown whose personages (along with their Hindu and Muslim merchant/political allies) were often on the roads exploring their new Jewel in the Crown. India’s first police department, the Thugee and Dacoity (armed robbery) Department, employed ethnic profiling, surveillance, and native informants (classified according to reliability as ‘innocent/artless’, ‘accomplice’, ‘false’, ‘spiteful’, and the most desirable ‘honorable’) and infiltrators to eliminate over 1400 Thugee and imprison thousands in work reserves.
When the criminals adopted impersonation tactics to avoid the increased punishment meted out to habitual offenders, new technological advances provided solutions. The People of India Project, under the control of the Political and Secret Department of the military, stated, “Each Local Government is expected to collect into one collection such photographic likenesses of the races and classes within its borders as it may obtain and furnish a very brief notice of each. The likenesses are to be sent to the Central Committee of the London Exhibition in Calcutta.” This project was used to identify characteristics that could be assigned to an entire tribe or caste and also helped those innovators experimenting with surveillance techniques in order to learn the secret codes and languages used by the ‘criminal gangs’.
In the late 1800’s, a British colonial judge in India invented the fingerprint identification system. This was further enhanced by a British cop who, with his traitorous Indian associates in the Bengal police, perfected the means of fingerprint classification along with a telegraphic code used to transmit the results to concerned agencies. In 1887, fingerprinting technology was adopted throughout India as a conclusive means of identifying the criminal castes and tribes. Fingerprinting was not introduced to the British homeland security forces until 1901, where it was first described as “hopelessly inaccurate, ludicrous, dangerous and completely un-British,” an attitude that prevailed until the technique was widely accepted, with credit for this innovation attributed to Scotland Yard.
When British educated Mahatma Gandhi (who at one point stopped a popular rebellion because of “overly aggressive” attacks on the traitorous pigs) led the upper castes towards ‘independence’, they further embraced the Enlightened order of policing.
Today, the Criminal Tribes, renamed the Denotified and Nomadic Tribes, are frequently targeted by the cops as prime suspects while simultaneously viewed as ‘primitives’ in need of being raised up by the social justice do-gooders. Inspiringly, the indigenous people of India continue to resist both.
The British Empire — Africa: Recruiting the Natives
“...the acceptance of native political authority always implied a British redefinition and limitation of the role of African political powers and radical mutations of traditional practices whenever they were considered repugnant in light of European conceptions. Further, the principle of indirect rule was considered secondary to the overall political and economic objectives of colonial rule. Political paternalism replaced indirect rule when local politics did not resemble appropriate government in the eyes of the British authorities and when it conflicted with Company Rule which sought to make colonial conquest a commercially viable enterprise.”
— Mathieu Deflem, Law Enforcement in British Colonial Africa
Before the Berlin Conference of 1884, a ‘mere’ ten percent of the African continent was in the hands of the competing empires of Europe. Indigenous humans, gold, diamonds, and ivory were amongst the commodities deemed useful for expanding wealth and capitalism. The conference resulted in a mandate for colonial powers to prove “effective occupation” in order to gain international recognition of territorial claims and to ‘permit’ direct rule by the occupiers. Consequently, the civilizing powers could not tolerate any acts of defiance that might imply ‘ineffective occupation’. The goals of both military and police — often interchangeable forces — were clear: pacify the natives, protect economic interests, symbolize and enforce the legitimacy of the colonial political authorities, and maintain sufficient order so as to permit access to and expansion of new territories.
Using ethnic security maps, British occupiers determined which tribes could be used, with proper supervision, to self-police tribal territories for the Crown. In the Nyasaland territory, the Yao ethnic community was deemed to be a martial tribe and recruited to protect and serve the masters needs. In the Gold Coast, the Hausa tribe formed the unofficial Hausa Constabulary, a paramilitary police force possessing the necessary qualities supportive of control, combat, and enforcement, recruited even before the official proclamation of the colony. The police, regardless of ethnicity, were considered an intrusive alien force and attacked as traitors to the native African communities.
By the end of the “Scramble for Africa”, ninety percent of the continent was in European hands with Britain the dominant owner. Through apartheid and other brutal strategies, Africa remained under official occupation well into the 20th century. As long as native peoples can be recruited and trained as enforcers of their master’s order, the possibility of ‘effective occupation’ remains.
The America Empire — Internal Colonies: Incarcerating the Savages
“Indians are the most peaceful people, traditionally, you would ever wish to encounter. But, if you tell any people — to their perpetual suffering, agony, disenfranchisement, dispossession, disallowal of hope — that they are irrelevant long enough, they may just prove to you, in desperation, their relevance by utilizing violence. If they blow your brains out, you see, there’s no question they’re relevant. This applies to Indians, Palestinians, people of the inner cities, anyone who is oppressed.”
— Ward Churchill, Listening to the Land
Prior to the Columbus invasion, over 15 million indigenous people are estimated to have lived in what is now America. By 1894, all but 250,000 were eliminated directly and ‘indirectly’ by the conquering powers. The remaining people, from many varied and distinct tribal cultures, were identified as a single homogenous unit, negatively denoted as savage and primitive, and forced into prison-reserves. Cultural genocide programs in boarding schools and ‘proper’ homes picked up where military genocide left off, as Indian children were abducted and inserted into civil and Christian institutions. Educators and religious evangelists attempted to whitewash the memory of diverse and ancient languages, lifeways, and spiritual connections. Some of the newly domesticated were returned to the prison-reserves to spread the gospel of Civilized behavior.
By the mid-twentieth century, when the Empire renewed its attacks, many believed there were no more ‘real’ Indians. But the strong and diverse response to the colonizer’s first attacks was re-ignited when the fuels necessary to stoke the engines of the Death Machine — uranium, oil, coal, and natural gas — were discovered on reservation land, prompting aggressive expropriation. Using many forms of active and direct resistance, members of the American Indian Movement as well as others focused on getting treaty rights and national sovereignty upheld. Their actions prompted a military assault by the traitorous ‘Guardians of the Oglala Nation’. These GOONs used U.S. military artillery in the 1973–1976 bloodbath on the Pine Ridge Reservation on behalf of the Empire. Using intelligence provided by the FBI’s COINTELPRO operatives, SWAT and other paramilitary pigs temporarily curtailed the struggle for Indian autonomy. But, as the opening words above and the ongoing native resistance to genocide and incarceration remind us, the spirit cannot be whitewashed and the fight is far from over.
“The only way to police a ghetto is to be oppressive... They represent the force of the white world, and that world’s criminal profit and ease, to keep the Black man corralled up here, in his place. The badge, the gun in the holster, and the swinging club make vivid what will happen should his rebellion become overt... He [the cop] moves through Harlem, therefore, like an occupying soldier in a bitterly hostile country, which is precisely what, and where he is, and is the reason he walks in twos and threes”.
— James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name
The first militarized forces in urban North America were mounted patrols used in southern cities to keep slave populations from uprising. Once ‘freed’, the neo-slaves were quickly segregated into ghettos, prisons, rural work farms, and urban factories. As on the reservations, inner city African communities are riddled with unemployment, poverty, and by a particular hopelessness, both induced and soothed by the drugs supplied by a myriad of overt and covert sources. Liberals, feeling the effects of the “white man’s burden” and bourgeois white guilt, launched hundreds of programs designed to socialize this ‘violent underclass’. No attempt was made, until after WWII, to induct Africans into local pigpens. As an L.A. pig admitted to an investigating commission, decades later, most cops simply did not view blacks as individuals, therefore could not discern the law-abiding from the lawless — a charge easily applied to the pigs themselves.
Riots, gangs, and even National liberation movements echo the anger and frustration of millions who can no longer bear a life of imprisonment and neo-slavery. Modern police forces in segregated areas were hyper-militarized before their counterparts in ruling class communities and commercial areas. Heavily armed, armored, and specially trained in urban warfare by U.S. military Special Forces, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) units conduct regular raids in ghettos, inner cities, and ‘hotspots’ of Black (and Latino) enclaves. Urban warfare, the new primary frontline in this war, requires practice and continual improvements. Military exercises, such as Garden Plot, aim towards a coordination of the full war apparatus — National Guard, military, federal intelligence, local, state, and federal cops to quell the ever-growing urban unrest. In 1992, the pigs that attacked Rodney King were exonerated and the upgraded urban war machine deployed. But the machine is not infallible and potential weaknesses are occasionally revealed for our exploration. A provocative example; on the night of these 1992 L.A. riots, a California State Guardsman was arrested by local cops with materials necessary for concocting Molotovs.
The American Empire — Iraq and the Homeland: Invoking Fear
“Insurgency can be extricated from the ‘placenta of common crime’ in which the state attempted to place it by establishing its identity as a violence which is public, collective, destructive and total in its modalities. These are, of course, the very attributes of the violence characteristically deployed by the modern nation-state. What name shall we give to that violence? Surely not insurgency? In what language shall we speak of the crimes of the state?”
— Vinay Lal, Peasant Insurgency in Colonial India
In 2004, as the UN’s Decade of the World’s Indigenous People closes, the American Empire and its British partner apply the age-old formula to neutralize native, indigenous, and improperly civilized peoples. In Iraq (as in Afghanistan), all imperial forces — military, police, social, religious, and economic — are being employed in the crusade to secure total control over the (nearly) decimated people. After more than a decade of genocidal sanctions and biochemical and conventional warfare reduced the population by millions, the ongoing military incursion seeks to complete the mass elimination phase of the formulaic strategy. Using superior technology — ‘smart bombs’, ‘precision artillery’, and a steady (if increasingly reluctant) supply of dehumanized soldiers — the predatory neocolonialists attempt to gain access to the region’s valuable resources and militarily strategic position. To this end, American and European civilizers are inserting the Western paramilitary police model into these potential new colonies. However, a significant change from the past must be noted — the insurgents in the new colonies understand that the police, like the military, are key to the political, economic, and social machine waging war on all their lives. As such, they are combatants and are consistently targeted, attacked, and eliminated — with significantly less technological resources than those used by the enemy. Soon, perhaps, it will be difficult to find traitors willing to serve and protect the Predators.
Here in the Homeland, pigs are removing their dress blues and donning the urban camouflage of the Battlefield Dress Uniform; supplementing service revolvers with automatic weapons; exchanging tear gas for ‘less-than-lethal’ biochemical weapons. Indigenous peoples of this continent and those abducted from distant lands, along with the disobedient, the unassimilated, and the perpetually resistant — need take heed. Operation Civilization has entered its most aggressive phase thus far and the enemy is preparing for the inevitable. The visceral reaction we have to all pigs, indeed all soldiers, imparts an important and positive message. Those who enforce this life of increasing subjugation to the will and whim of the Death Machine’s masters, prepare the way for our assimilation, incarceration, or elimination. Our preparations for fight or flight cannot lag behind.