“Must the citizen even for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward.”
Henry David Thoreau
When I went running at McCarren Park this morning the zone behind the goal on the west side was occupied by a company of cadets. These fresh bodies still have minds and remnants of independent critical thought, a vague sign of a free citizen. However, all wore the same uniform dress already, shiny marine training pants, some in red t-shirts with yellow text circled on their chests, others in gray army t-shirts with stout black ARMY capitals and an amputated Adidas logo on their backs, symbol for their enslavement to the commercial interests of the government. At least they were to look ready for compliance.
McCarren Park is a public park of course, so everyone is allowed, although to hold military exercises in the heart of Williamsburg, is obviously a provocation by the Imperial Army. For the group of cadets it is of course a day of low-pressure training, but to plant the company’s flag in the park’s black soil, militarizing the public space by uniforms, is just another step of this standing army to occupy the public mind. The credo to “Support our Troops” is to the shallow thinker a very sympathetic slogan, but it assumes the relief of the citizen who joins the standing army of his moral duty and the release from the obligation of consciousness that the free individual serves. But at no point, can an individual citizen be relieved of his own judgment at all times, and the contractual obligation of duty to a government at no time overrides the call of freedom. No man can be denied to refuse an order by an equal man at any time.
When Henry David Thoreau wrote his essay “Civil Disobedience” in 1849, shortly after the war of aggression against Mexico to occupy its territories of Texas, New Mexico and Old California. The interests of a few in power directed the aggression against Mexico at the cost of the lives of many civilians who had enlisted in the standing army. Thoreau rightly so marks any standing army an army of aggression in contrast to local militia that consist of free individuals defending their property and volunteer to defend their communal interest. In our time, the enlistment of young men and women and their appearance in McCarren Park is but a deliberate reminder of the aggressive policies of our current government to sacrifice the subjected slaves to their imperial cause and the power its propaganda holds over public opinion.
“I am too high-born to be propertied,
To be a secondary at control,
Or useful serving-man and instrument
To any sovereign state throughout the world.”
These young men and women have dissolved their obligation to freedom for the vague promise of adventure. How can I support the cowardice that leads these bodies to give up their minds, to resign from their power to resist? Not only do I not support their animalistic subjection to the alpha-male hierarchy, their resignation to resist orders, I detest their inferior subjugation, their willingness to be drilled into body counts sent to the slaughterhouse of the same socio-economic interests that excludes them from free and equal access to the privileges they are told to defend. How can one support this subjugation of fellow free citizens? So I want this vulgar display and insertion of obscenity out of McCarren Park, and pull a bag over their flag until these prisoners of war who are trained to comply to obedience, are liberated from the chains of our imperial standing government.