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Fireside Chat #16: On Raising the Black Banner

My Fellow Americans,

I have raised high the black banner. I rally now all dissidents and discontents, every rebel, revolutionary, and resister, the poets and the painters, all those voices howling like wolves in the American Wilderness.

All you black metal musicians and trap DJs, you drug dealers and strippers, I speak to you. All you freestylers dreaming big dreams, you tag artists and right-wing writers, street soldiers and wayward souls, may these words reach your ears.

For many long years we have wandered the wastes, cynical, resigned to allowing the System to grind on, driven by the moneygrubbers and the mundane-minded. For too many dark years we have found ourselves powerless, too proud to enter into this mindless fray, too far above politics and the dirty business of Government to waste our time and vitality on such pettiness. And so we came to find ourselves irrelevant, disregarded by the power structure we saw fit to ignore.

Listen: The great upheavals of human history are the great outpourings of the human spirit. One artist noted that “[i]n Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

So, my friends, pray not for calmer times ahead; pray rather for greater challenges. Pray for epic trials and the suffering of sagas. Pray for the struggles that give birth to a Homer or a Dante, and rejoice that we live in such interesting times.

But do not make the mistake of thinking that you can enter into this stream of history and remain what you are, sacrificing nothing. The Christ met not with saints but with sinners; he defended the adulteress, not the dogmatist; in preaching love he threatened the standing of those in power, and they crucified him for it.

These yellow journalists and activist bureaucrats, these humdrum drones invested in the comfort the System provides them, they may throw their stones at any one of us to bring us low. But if we are united beneath the same banner, we become unbreakable.

I am a revolutionary, and you are a pacifist. I am a Libertarian, and you are an anarchist. I am a Thelemite, and you are a Wiccan. I am a lawyer, and you are a cop. Now ask yourself: In the grand scheme of things, what does it matter?

Whether you are a former skinhead or a former Black Panther, you will suffer the same economic collapse as everyone else. Whether your favorite band is Converge or Radiohead, your children will all suffer beneath the weight of a totalitarian police state. If we refuse to work together because one of us is right and one of us is wrong; and if we fail to correct the excesses of the Government because we are too busy arguing, then ours will always be known as the generation that could have changed the world but spent all its energy fighting amongst themselves in internet chat rooms.

Ask yourself which you value more: Bickering about who is right, or being productive? We all have our differences; we all have our different backgrounds and our different perspectives and our different preferences; but we also have a common enemy, and that is the Federal Government, which harasses and imprisons our brothers and sisters, destroys broad regions of the globe, and feeds itself with the fruits of the mayhem it sows.

Let us focus on what we have in common, rather than on our differences. Let us use our art to challenge the unjust System reigning over us. Let us confront the political sphere as so many writers and musicians and painters did before us. Let us embrace the great conflict we see before us: then will we be the bearers of the Renaissance.