The following was distributed at the New York City
antiwar rally on February 15, 2003.
War is Hell! Peace is Better?
If We Want to Stop the War,
We'll Have to End the Peace!
As probably just about everyone here today knows, everyday life in
peacetime is deadly for people all over the world. Many people die
but many more survive for living deaths -- lives without hopes or
There’s a connection between the deaths of peace and the deaths of war.
The war deaths are intended, in part, to teach the survivors to put up
with the living deaths of peace. Missiles and bombs from high in
the sky that leave only blood and ashes are intended to teach us all
that resistance is futile and that there is no power able to challenge
those with the weapons.
Their power is indeed impressive. But, we would do well to
understand why they are willing to use it for such barbarous
purposes. We’d suggest that our rulers are desperate to find a way
to keep things the way they are -- simply enough, the maintenance of
capitalism round the world. Their desperation results from the
fact that the order they wish to preserve has outlived its usefulness
and that political and economic crisis has become all but permanent.
In spite of lots of evidence to the contrary, there is a power that can
challenge theirs. But, for almost thirty years, resistance to
their power in the United States has largely taken the form of small
acts of refusal and rebellion. In spite of the hopefulness that
such resistance can inspire, it has failed to reverse a devastating
series of setbacks. The challenge of the day demands that small
acts of refusal and rebellion become grand insurgencies. Who are
the potential grand rebels? Soldiers, sailors, prisoners, illegal
immigrants, sex workers, drug addicts, people with AIDS, fast food
workers, truck drivers and health care workers, students who are taught
nothing and students who are taught foolishness, and many more.
We need to move from insubordination to mutinies and desertions, from
sickouts and sabotage to sit-ins and takeovers, from protests to
insurrections. Those who oppose war can assist in the development
of those insurgencies by acting as one with all those who have pressing
reasons to refuse to go along with everyday exploitation and
degradation. Acting as one with them will demand that we abandon
all notions that they are victims in need of our help or claimants on
the government’s benevolence. They are fighters for the future and
we should be with them on the frontlines. The specifics of our
roles and responsibilities will become clear as fists are raised high
and chains are broken. The danger of war demands the danger of
action to end the peace that makes war inevitable.
RACE TRAITOR - February 2003