Archive for the ‘Munitions’ Category

Our Ruling class have always utilized munitions to enforce their slavery based economic models. (It’s too bad that the working class fails to understand that munitions come in bomb, pill, injection, spray, and chemical additive forms and are born on the ethylene tree rooted in fossil fuels and primarily petroleum feedstocks.)

Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and The Carolinas by Sally E. Hadden & The Militia and Militarism (1899) by Rosa Luxemburg. An important history lesson

“The colonists’ willingness to run the risks of owning slaves sprang both from their racism and from their greed. Not content to market products cultivated solely by their own efforts, English colonists rapidly began using indentured servants and bondsmen to increase their productive capacity. The first settlers of Virginia and the Carolinas either arrived with their own slaves or soon bought Africans from traders visiting the colonies….. Thus the laws that Southern colonists created to regulate their slaves did not come exclusively from England, but were derived from their legal imagination, from their long-standing participation in the militia, and from neighboring Caribbean slaveholding colonies… For all its flaws and later alterations, the Barbadian slave code of 1661 provided the model for several other English slave-holding colonies. The 1664 Jamaican code and the Antiguan slave code of 1702 were patterned after it. Both of these areas experienced a huge influx of Barbadian planters to their islands. Likewise, when Barbadians settled South Carolina after 1670, colonists borrowed heavily from their Barbadian experiences in designing the first slave laws and enforcement groups on land.”

“Controlling slave movement in cities created special problems for patrols… Many city slaves went without passes until the patrols became active. Rather than force owners to write passes routinely, larger cities like Charleston devised badge systems: a slave’s owner purchased a badge from the city, good for one year, that the slave had to wear at all times. Although slaves did not always wear their badges, and some owners flouted the law, badges gave patrollers a means to avoid inspecting passes in the largest Southern cities. Even seventy years after freedom came, one former bondsman declared that he still had his badge and pass to show the patrol, so that no one could molest him.” 114

“With us, every citizen is concerned in the maintenance of order, and in promoting honesty and industry among those of the lowest class who are our slaves; and our habitual vigilance renders standing armies, whether of soldiers or policemen, entirely unnecessary. Small guards in our cities, and occasional patrols in the country, insure us a repose and security known no where else.” 1845 letter from former South Carolina governor James Henry Hammond to Thomas Clarkson.

“Innocent slaves found themselves named as insurrectionary accomplices, particularly in areas where bondsmen outnumbered whites. After the Turner rebellion in 1831, slaves in Virginia and North Carolina were apprehended who clearly had no intention of rebelling, merely because someone wanted charges of insurrection brought against them. Joseph Skinner, a North Carolinian, believed that patrols abused harmless bondsmen excessively during insurrection scares. “Not the least outrage has been here committed except by a few patrol… much more [is] to be apprehended from the rash unparalleled conduct of whites than from an insurrection of the negroes.” Although Southern whites spent most of their time living in complacent vulnerability, when roused from their torpor, the mortal fear of slave rebellions frequently prompted overreactions.” – page 143

“The young slave Harriet Jacobs vividly described how patrols behaved at the height of the Turner insurrection scare: every home in the town was to be searched, and she knew it would be done by patrols augmented with country ruffians and poor whites. She thought the impoverished whites who joined the patrollers exulted in the task because it gave them opportunity to “exercise a little brief authority, and show their subserviency to the slaveholders.” During the day, they searched houses, and in the night “they formed themselves into patrol bands, and went wherever they chose among the colored people, acting out their brutal will.”… for two weeks, the patrols abused the bondsmen and free blacks by whipping them, throwing them in jail, and stealing their belongings.” – page 146

“One of James Monroe’s correspondents wrote that “[t]he disaffection of the blacks is daily gaining extent & boldness which may produce effects, at the approaching festival of Xmas… The same heedless Imbecility that destroys our Efforts against the external Enemy, paralyses every thing like vigilance & Police, in respect to the more dangerous internal population.” 154 pages 162 – 163

Virginia residents proved reluctant to use their militia against the British, not because they feared their old enemy, but because of the danger posed by slaves, who would be that much stronger when the militia left to fight the British. 156 Similarly, Vice President Elbridge Gerry’s son described increased wartime patrolling in Washington D.C., as an indispensable replacement for the militia’s presence. In his diary he recorded that “[a]s the militia are ordered off, I expect to patrole more frequently, and this is very necessary, for the blacks in some places refuse to work, and they say they shall soon be free, and then the white people must look out…. Should we be attacked, there will be great danger of the blacks rising, and to prevent this, patroles are very necessary, to keep them in awe.” 157

The Militia and Militarism (1899) by Rosa Luxemburg (There’s a reason she was assassinated)

“How can this phenomenon operate on behalf of the working class? Ostensibly in such a way as to rid it of a part of its reserve army, i.e. those who force down wages, by maintaining a standing army; in this way its working conditions improve. And what does this mean? Only this: in order to reduce the supply in the labour market, in order to restrict competition, the worker in the first place gives away a portion of his salary in the form of indirect taxes in order to maintain his competitors as soldiers. Secondly, he makes his competitor into an instrument with which the capitalist state can contain, and if necessary suppress bloodily, any move he makes to improve his situation (strikes, coalitions, etc.); and thus this instrument can thwart the very same improvement in the worker’s situation for which, according to Schippel, militarism was necessary. Thirdly, the worker makes this competitor into the most solid pillar of political reaction in the State and thus of his own enslavement.

In other words, by accepting militarism, the worker prevents his wages from being reduced by a certain amount, but in return is largely deprived of the possibility of fighting continuously for an increase in his wage and an improvement of his situation. He gains as a seller of his labour, but at the same time loses his political freedom of movement as a citizen, so that he must ultimately also lose as the seller of his labour. He removes a competitor from the labour market only to see a defender of his wage slavery arise in his place; he prevents his wages being lowered only to find that the prospects both of a permanent improvement in his situation and of his ultimate economic, political and social liberation are diminished. This is the actual meaning of the ‘release’ of economic pressure on the working class achieved by militarism. Here, as in all opportunistic political speculation, we see the great aims of socialist class emancipation sacrificed to petty practical interests of the moment, interests moreover which, when examined more closely, prove to be essentially illusory….

But what makes supplying the military in particular essentially more profitable than, for example, State expenditures on cultural ends (schools, roads, etc.), is the incessant technical innovations of the military and the incessant increase in its expenditures. Militarism thus represents an inexhaustible, and indeed increasingly lucrative, source of capitalist gain, and raises capital to a social power of the magnitude confronting the worker in, for example, the enterprises of Krupp and Stumm. Militarism – which to society as a whole represents a completely absurd economic waste of enormous productive forces – and which for the working class means a lowering of its standard of living with the objective of enslaving it socially – is for the capitalist class economically the most alluring, irreplaceable kind of investment and politically and socially the best support for their class rule. Therefore, when Schippel abruptly declares militarism to be a necessary ‘release’ of economic pressure, not only does he apparently confuse society’s interests with that of capitalism’s interests, thus – as we said at the outset – adopting the bourgeois point of view, but he also bases his argument on the principle of a harmony of interests between capital and labour by assuming that every economic advantage to the entrepreneur is necessarily an advantage to the worker as well.”

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