Note: this was originally posted on Not Two’s Facebook page, scheduled to run the morning of 1/5/20 amidst the drumbeat of war with Iran. I wanted to make sure it would go down on my permanent record as well.
Not Two’s home office is located in a part of Earth occupied by a right-wing terror organization called the United States of America, and unfortunately it has to stay here. JP is the father of two young children in two different households in a small upstate New York town, and they aren’t going anywhere, so neither can he. Nowadays, wherever he goes, I go. Such is life.
But this page has a multinational audience, so I want to make clear my relationship with you, the reader, in the context of the geopolitical state in whose territory I’ve no choice but to dwell.
In the opening statement of “Anarchy,” the spoken word song he made with Ani DiFranco, the late folk singer and labor agitator Utah Phillips said something that has deeply influenced my thinking ever since I heard it:
“I learned in Korea that I would never again, in my life, abdicate to somebody else my right and my ability to determine who the enemy is.”
Dear reader, whoever you are, you are not my enemy. All I desire with you is peace and mutual benefit.
Wherever you live, the people who share that place on Earth with you, occupied perhaps by another terror organization whose interests are at odds with the United States —they are not my enemy. I choose coexistence.
No person is my enemy. Each one of you is my neighbor, whom God compels me in the name of Truth to love as myself, as the Self.
I have no natural enemies. But we, all of us, have many unnatural ones. Our enemy is any ideology that compels us to destroy ourselves and our creative efforts in its own name.
Any government —an unnatural corporate personhood formed around an ideology called nationalism and/or statism— that uses real people to wage war on other governments is the enemy of all people.
If acknowledging this makes me an enemy of my own government, so be it. It has been incrementally erasing every valid reason to align myself with it: the social safety net it organized and administers, the shared responsibility toward the education of our children and maintenance of infrastructure it manages, the market regulation and fair and proportionate distribution of material wealth that money is supposed to represent, and so on. All of this is under constant attack here, all while we are told that our enemy is someone else, some group of brown people who want to destroy our precious prosperity, which no one could do more effectively than we ourselves already are.
So yes, the earth is my home; the land of North America (which has no clear natural boundary) is my familiar place to which I feel most ecologically connected; but the United States is not my government. No war-mongering government or organization anywhere represents my interests. The idea of war itself is my enemy.
If your government is compelling you to live by the sword as well, I encourage you to consider the same choice.
If you are a fellow citizen of Earth who fully supports a statist or nationalist organization seeking to control, dominate, or destroy others, you are not my enemy, but I might become yours. I am going to spend my life dismantling your war machine, one piece at a time.