Monday, March 1, 2010

phantoms of liberty

(addendum to on tea partiers)

The legions of Earl Gray (aka Fox, aka Beck) marching on Rome drag with them a pitiless engine of partisan siege. The aim of it: to pummel the first Black president.

In the tea bag, a heady mix of rage, myth and toxins. Venoms spurt in all directions. Within the simmering legions, ugly elements circulate: militiamen and border vigilantes, Patriots and John Birchers.

They speak of Tyrants and Liberty, wave The Constitution.

Rightward scurrying Obama they paint as Black Socialist Tyrant, conjuring old racist fears of slave risings and plantations up in flames - the ghosts of Toussaint L’Ouverture and Haiti’s Black Jacobins.

But palpably, in the fearing and seething: the deeper identification with power, impotence longing for a Tyrant – the still-shared fantasy of an invincible super sovereign bristling with nukes, dungeons and robotic terminators.

Proof: of the sacred war machine, that absolute black hole of “big government” expenditure, to which all common goods must be sacrificed, not one word. About that of which naught need be said, tea baggers are glad to be silent.

Obama’s person is despised but in the King’s true body, the executive function as such, the imago, dear to the heartland, of Avenging Protector persists.

Fear of the wretched and inscrutable enemy at large in the Global South feeds the wish for a grimacing strong man in the White House basement. Let him be more terrible than terror itself: ungloved, water-boarding, rampaging.

Hitting-out still underwriting war machine’s taking-out.

Tea machine as the “new American revolution,” from below? Unlaughably not. Restorationist reaction to merest whiff of change, more like it. Faux-radical, extreme only in its middling hatreds.

Its politics, translated into votes, prepares the return of Republican power and strengthens the Party’s right wing.

For the world, it means more killing, in waste and wrack. More war, more obstruction, more avoidance – of history, of planet in meltdown, the automaton of systematic antagonism, blind and miserable rule of domination.


  1. Of historical interest -- You can see a clip of Toussaint's last moments in prison from the award-winning new short film "The Last Days of Toussaint L'Ouverture" at This film is the basis for a new feature (not with Danny Glover) that is in development.

  2. Oh my! Toussaint L'Ouverture with Danny Glover? Ugh.

    This was a beautifully written addendum.