“The Contagious Exercise of State Violence“:

by Charles Pierce in Esquire

“… Somewhere in itself, and not very far from the surface, either, this country has gone mad with fear and rage. As a result, it is finding sustenance in the acts of official violence, and doing so in more different ways than the republic has seen since we had lynching, union busting, and Red Scares at the same time, back when the 19th century was turning into the 20th. Anyone who can’t see the political and sociological tissue connecting the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and the revelations of a decade’s worth of CIA brutality, and the execution of Robert Holsey isn’t looking hard enough. In the country’s untrammeled fear and rage, it is exercising the only function of self-government it can recall as its mad brain turns to red fire — to encourage the exercise of the state’s power to wound and kill all the right people. In this madness, race and class are mere diagnostic categories. In this madness, the politics of right and left, of Republicans and Democrats, of conservatives and liberals, of red and blue, are pathetically inadequate to assess the situation. In this madness, the choices are not made within the easy and obvious contexts. This is a choice between barbarism and not, between savagery and not. This is a choice between the national soul and the national Id. This is a choice of whether to take inchoate and weaponized vengeance against the living representations of the monsters in our paranoid dreams. That’s the last vestige of self-government that we have allowed ourselves. The right to demand that the institutions of government kill what we fear. By any means necessary, as someone once said…”