Fragments on Unfreedom

I
Beyond even the enslavement of the Other (the obvious injustices inflicted upon those we distinguish from our homogeneous societies’ stated rights and freedoms) there is a suppression of freedom that is actually encountered in freedom itself: freedom that subverts its own foundations. Of particular note is the right to bear arms. No government, regardless of what might be stated in a Constitution (that most holy document of modern Liberalism) can functionally condone its own overturning through force.

II
de Sade:

“The mechanism that directs government cannot be virtuous, because it is impossible to thwart every crime, to protect oneself from every criminal without being criminal too; that which directs corrupt mankind must be corrupt itself; and it will never be by means of virtue, virtue being inert and passive, that you will maintain control over vice, which is ever active: the governor must be more energetic than the governed.”

“An already old and corrupt nation that courageously casts off the yoke of its monarchical government in order to adopt a republican one will only be maintained by many crimes; for it is criminal already, and if it were to wish to pass from crime to virtue, that is to say, from a violent to a tranquil state, it would fall into an inertia whose result would soon be its certain ruin.”

III
If the natural, full, “reasonable” extension of the right to arms (as opposed to the “absolute” extension – the freedom to kill anybody indiscriminately) is the ownership of weapons to fight against oppression by the State, then one must concede a redundancy within the very groundwork of the State and the Constitution that allows for its existence. That is, the meaning of the Constitution and the freedoms inscribed there cannot be upheld by the government it outlines to protect those rights. Once a citizen uses force of arms they violate the law and produce a distinction between Constitution and Law, indeed an ambiguity of the source of Freedom and Law as one. The “freedom” to bear arms is allowed that one would not use their arms to the implied extent of such a freedom. As such, there is no true need to defend this Freedom on the terms of fighting tyranny: whether the ownership of arms is allowed before rebellion or not, they will be considered contraband once used. To use the freedom of arms requires that arms become disallowed and acquired illegally.

IV
Walter Benjamin:

“For the function of violence in lawmaking is twofold, in the sense that lawmaking pursues as its end, with violence as the means, what is to be established as law, but at the moment of in statement does not dismiss violence; rather, at this very moment of lawmaking, it specifically establishes as law not an end unalloyed by violence but one necessarily and intimately bound to it, under the title of power. Lawmaking is powermaking, assumption of power, and to that extent an immediate manifestation of violence. Justice is the principle of all divine endmaking, power the principle of all mythic lawmaking. An application of the latter that has immense consequences is found in constitutional law. For in this sphere the establishing of frontiers, the task of ‘peace’ after all the wars of the mythic age, is the primal phenomenon of all lawmaking violence. Here we see most clearly that power, more than the most extravagant gain in property, is what is guaranteed by all lawmaking violence. Where frontiers are decided, the adversary is not simply annihilated; indeed, he is accorded rights even when the victor’s superiority in power is complete. And these are, in a demonically ambiguous way, ‘equal’ rights: for both parties to the treaty, it is the same line that may not be crossed. […] For from the point of violence, which alone can guarantee law, there is no equality, but at the most equally great violence.”

“All law-preserving violence, in its duration, indirectly weakens the lawmaking violence it represents, by suppressing hostile counterviolence.”

V
Even with freedom of speech the speech that is “reasonably free” (again, as opposed to “absolutely free”) is carefully siphoned through bureaucracy: whether internal (the State/Corporate Media) or external (foreign propaganda, i.e. Russia) it produces a continued pressure on discourse – that is, a limitation on the true praxis of discourse even within what is considered “reasonably free.”

What Americans (indeed, most of the practitioners of Liberalism) fail to recognize is that they are not truly that much freer than states such as Russia or China in their internal expression, the roadblocks of expression are just placed differently. We are not truly free or enslaved within the bounds of our reasonable freedom: we are unfree.

VI
The problem with any current call to action is that the homogeneity of our lives – that is, the prevailing ideology for who is “in,” “worthy,” “acceptable” – is built around action. Our lives ares structured around an abstract “what you do” that encompasses both recreation and production in their entirety. How much time “off” from work is spent preparing for more work? School prepares us from a young age: your spare time is for home-work. Your recreation is part of school organization. Your time away from the institution should be spent in preparation for your return to the institution. The alternative to working? Consumption – the goal and the fuel of action. We fret constantly over how much time and money we can afford on consumption: do I watch another episode? Do I buy the sequel since I liked the first one? Can I get takeout again instead of make dinner? Fast food is just that: fast. It opens up the time for work. It creates an easily accessible source of a need (food) that can be consumed quickly to open up space for the consumption of manufactured desires. Life is haunted with the specter of action. We are constantly doing, but told we are underachieving.

VII
All that is done is done without creativity. Consumption and production are equated and therefore stripped of any true personal investment or innovation.

We act now without energy.

Questioning has become its own epidemic in response to blind adherence. One cannot expect wisdom by questioning in-ignorance. A question is not an argument, nor is the announcement of a problem a solution.

In the eyes of the State, we are all Other.

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