Home > Security and Violence > Changing the culture by changing the focus

Changing the culture by changing the focus

I have been the head admin of the Facebook page Shit Troop Supporters Say since its founding a year ago today. I have a lot to reflect on. It has been an interesting year.

Occasionally I think it is mean picking on troop supporters. Calling out the average flag-waving support-muh-troops guy for not using logic or knowing history is like making fun of a five-year-old for not understanding quantum physics. (And of course some troop supporters do know those things, so it is best not to stereotype.) But then I remember five-year-olds aren’t the ones beating the drums of war, encouraging murder without trial and torture without evidence. They don’t support the police no matter what they do and then claim to believe in freedom. They don’t tell people they don’t deserve to live somewhere because those people were from the wrong part of the world and didn’t pay the fees, and then tell themselves they believe in freedom for all people. Neither do 5-year-olds refuse to learn the history of the regions and conflicts they are so sure someone needs to bomb. People who have taught millions of 5-year-olds to share and play nicely with each other are willing to lend their unconditional support for actions that cost them thousands of dollars and kill thousands of people who posed no harm to anyone.

Calling out the politicians, meanwhile, which is what troop supporters and liberals (not necessarily mutually exclusive categories, of course) tend to suggest, is a good catharsis but not much of a plan for change. I think focusing on politicians might merely reinforce the status quo. Voters often say they don’t trust any politicians, but when election day comes they nonetheless feel it necessary to cast their vote for someone they don’t trust. There are good reasons you can’t trust politicians and they are mostly related to the requirements for winning in politics.

People who say we just need to change politicians but not blame soldiers for signing up seem to have this fantasy of politicians who will not send the troops into harm’s way on principle. But politicians do not have principles. They have tools and they have enemies. Signing up to carry out their orders requires you to understand that.
One group that does not seem to receive enough focus might be those the politicians work for. It’s not you, by the way. They are much richer than you. The people at the top of the business world are the ones really benefiting. So why do people always talk about politicians? Because voting and complaining about politicians is a brilliant way to let the masses let off steam and keep their eyes on the wrong people, like yelling at a poster on your wall.

So Shit Troop Supporters Say looks at how the elite benefit, but we also look at what troop supporters say. Why? Because as a huge and assertive part of the population, troop supporters are the people unquestioningly believing, reproducing and thus legitimizing or making true the beliefs that keep the wars going. That means a big part of the culture is based on a nationalist-warrior mythos that leads to all kinds of unnecessary violence.

But some people are listening and thinking. And some people already know and trust you. To those people who are actually listening you can show the long history of nationalist myths and racism in the US (or wherever you are from) and their legacies. You can show them the history of propaganda in the US, starting from World War One. You can show them how many statements made to sell wars have been misleading or outright lies, or how little truth the newspapers told about what was going on. You can show them how large groups of people can protect themselves by mutual aid rather than hoping hierarchical militaries will do it. If you can discredit the troop-supporter and war-supporter message by reaching those who might listen, especially people you know, you can change the culture.

But we can’t get there with the wrong approach. You don’t impress people by being arrogant, you don’t pull people in by being pushy and you make others turn their ears off when you insult someone. And most people are either not listening or not easily convinced. The latter need to hear the message clearly and repeatedly and the former are not worth your time. The only reason I would argue with the people you can’t reach is because others are listening, and then would only stick to the facts. I fear we lose many opportunities to communicate by simply using the wrong tone.

At any rate, I consider exposing the ignorance of support for war an important endeavour, one that requires research and patience and a little humour. I hope you will continue to support me!

  1. April 14, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    The Folly of Soldier Worship
    State doctrine holds that soldiers are intrinsically honorable. It is a conviction held by most of the public that those who wear a military uniform are to receive automatic society-wide praise for their service, irrespective of who they are or what they’ve done. If one dissents from the blind nationalist approval for wars, it is fine to criticize the politicians, but not soldiers generally. I’m not free because men died, or because wars were won or lost. I’m not free because a piece of paper says so, or because I was fortunate enough to be born in a particular place. I am free because I choose to be free.

    If you shackle my wrists and throw me in prison, I am yet free, for I am free in my own mind no matter the condition of my body. Likewise, you may take a person who is a prisoner of their own mind and place them in opulent luxury and afford them the ability to wander wherever they may, and yet they will still be the prisoner of their own mind. In all things, you are only as free as you choose to be.

    I am responsible for my own freedom. I do not trust the government to safeguard it. I do not trust the soldiers to keep it safe. The government may use them one day to try to strip me of my freedom, but on that day I will take responsibility for myself, and I will fight for my own freedom whatever that fight may entail.

    Von Goethe said that no people are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. A people is not freed by being allowed to enjoy a bigger cage, and no cage is more difficult to escape than the bars we erect around our own minds or, for that matter, the psychological bars we allow others to erect around us.

    I am Free because I choose to be. And so can you be…..

    • Dick
      October 6, 2017 at 1:20 am

      Sooooo let’s ask how open borders works for a Facebook page. Seems somebody hijacked his page and now Mr. Professor has no outlet for his absurd beliefs. Funny how human nature slaps the naive and trusting. He raves about culture and then seeks to eradicate with no borders. How did open borders work for the native Americans? He’s a petulant child in a make believe world and of course his moral compass far surpasses our own. Check out his plans to form a “community” in Africa. Lmfao. Stick to teaching English in foreign lands while obeying their laws globalist.

      • October 26, 2017 at 8:05 pm

        What the fuck are you talking about?

      • Dick
        November 30, 2017 at 2:51 am

        I……Will……Type……Slower……For you……..Chris.

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