Sabotage: Part 13 - SURRENDER & DEFIANCE
The process of repair is being sabotaged.
The final sabotage is war—a supremacist sabotage that ensures destruction in order to avoid paying repair's natural costs.
The big question is: How do we counter it?
This is the penultimate part of the series, which means it is the ultimate one, but I wrote it with a pen.
A series recap might be in order. Here goes:
Most of us want to see what is broken get fixed, yet repair seems far from us.
I propose it’s because the sequential progressive process of repair has been sabotaged by a blameless supremacy that refuses to pay any of the natural costs of reparation, choosing instead to profit from making other people pay the much higher unnatural costs of brokenness.
I propose "supremacy" as the spiritual formation that involves human beings ascribing to the unsustainable foundational lie that life is something that must be earned, and that therefore some people, who have earned life, matter and others, who have not earned life, do not.
I propose supremacist "sabotage" as a regressive process, the dark mirror of the process of repair.
And, as I perceive it, each sabotage is accommodated by its own enablement; a tacit collusion with supremacy by people who claim to not ascribe to supremacy’s goals.
I think the final sabotage is war.
The enablement of the final sabotage is something I’d name surrender—specifically, a pre-defeated agreement with supremacy to not oppose any supremacist aggression, in exchange for the reward of not having to pay the cost of a fight.
It's surrender I want to contemplate now.
We can see surrender everywhere, if we look for it.
It’s worth thinking about how surrender works in a society founded in blameless supremacy, profiting from brokenness, willing to go to war against any attempt at reparation.
Two brief points about war and surrender.
First, war is what happens when an aggressor—country, party or faction—raises the cost of opposing their aggression to a point of physical destruction—of property, of life, of liberty, of life expectancy, and is nevertheless opposed.
And surrender occurs when one combatant—either the aggressor or its opposition—no longer possesses the resources and will to meaningfully prevent the other from enacting their intentions, at which point they must pay the price of being dominated.
Secondly, war can only occur when the aggressive group willing to wage war acquires the means of waging it—the power and resources, in other words. All wars, then, involve somebody accommodating an aggressive party to the point that it possesses the ability to create war.
We've seen many acts of supremacist war in this country. The January 6 insurrection is a recent one, but by no means the most recent. We have massacres pretty much every day, for example, and a party that insists that we live in a world where massacres will be plentiful.
Each act of supremacist war shares a common theme; all involve accommodations of supremacy; power-sharing agreements with supremacy by those who might otherwise have opposed it, who joined with it instead as a practical matter, in ways that validated supremacy’s core assumptions.
I’d call these accommodations surrender.
It's an accommodating surrender: a surrender offered, not because the resources and ability to oppose supremacy’s intentions had been exhausted, but simply to avoid the cost of opposition, and receive the benefits from having done so.
Maybe you know what I’m talking about. Maybe you see ways people in high positions who claim to know better often don’t do better and sometimes don’t even try.
Surrender avoids the strife of opposing supremacist aggression, making inevitable the violence of supremist domination.
Surrender happens when we agree that repair should only be attempted if it generates a profit rather than a cost—which incentivizes supremacists to make sure that any attempt at repair is as costly as possible, and that all brokenness becomes as profitable as possible.
Surrender is what happens when we agree that only those who meet certain qualifying metrics deserve support, which incentivizes those who oppose relief to create classes of the undeserving, and make the process of means testing as complex and impossible and costly as possible.
Surrender only supports the call for justice if that call remains free of strife—which incentivizes unjust supremacists to make every demonstration for justice as violent as possible.
Surrender looks at an oppressive police force larded with white supremacists acting as a brutal and oppressive occupying force, and gives it increasingly more money and resources, trusts it to improve itself, and calls that safety.
Surrender looks at the highest incarceration rates on the planet, and worries not about incarceration but crime, seeks to gain more profit from human bondage; looks at our alignment with structural punishment for its own sake and calls that justice.
Surrender looks at an aggressive army used by people of ill intent for wars of convenience, increases its budget every year for less and less security and less and less return, abandons the citizens who volunteer to defend us once they've been used up, and calls that patriotism.
Surrender looks at bigotry next to it on the pew and demands nothing of it, while expecting the target of that bigotry to bestow upon the bigot gifts of performative forgiveness and exoneration without confession of wrong, and calls that unity.
Surrender looks at a supremacist party that has spent decades actively dismantling democracy and justice, and tells us it is not the enemy of democracy and justice, but a necessary opposition, filled with friends of good will, whose ongoing strength and vitality we must ensure.
Surrender looks at people marching in common cause with Nazis and gives them credit for not being a Nazi. It acquits them because they found a non-Nazi reason to join with Nazis, and because they didn’t join all the chants, or maybe just mouthed the words.
Surrender teaches supremacist aggressors that people will abandon the effort for justice if the demand turns into a fight—incentivizing oppressors to turn any attempt for justice into a fight.
Surrender teaches oppressors that their threat of war will prevent a fight, encouraging them to threaten endless war.
It tells people struggling under oppression that they will be abandoned, encouraging them to give up their struggle and surrender to the violence of domination.
Surrender claims to seek justice, then sets itself against the demand for justice in endless search for "a more convenient season."
It frames witness as bias, hope as naïveté, moral clarity as sanctimony, and solidarity as divisiveness.
Surrender values not peace for all but comfort for itself.
Surrender doesn’t distinguish between aggression and opposition.
Surrender encourages non-violence from a position of safety.
Surrender wants not justice but respectability.
Surrender always negotiates against itself.
Surrender agrees with supremacy that the worst thing possible is cost.
Surrender agrees with supremacy that only some people matter.
Surrender refuses to fight supremacist sabotage, so that it can join it.
Surrender encourages war. No—it’s even worse than that. Surrender to aggression *incentivizes* war. It makes the cost of waging war low. It accepts the offer of surrender on behalf of other people, who have not agreed to surrender, or who will never be given that offer.
Supremacists sabotage our attempts to repair with suppression and oppression, and if that doesn’t work, they wage war—war on disabled and sick people, on racial and religious minorities, on women, on queer people, on impoverished people, and so on and so on.
Supremacy runs a machine designed to eat people that will never run out of people to eat.
But the accommodation is the supremacy, and our surrender to supremacist aggression is the accommodation that makes their sabotaging war successful.
Once we’ve agreed to occupy the frame of the blameless society, we remain inside their picture. We never take the journey our compasses have set, because we have seen that repair needs a fight, and we have decided not to fight it.
So now I want to answer the big question, which is what do we do about it?
I want to talk about a tool of reparation, available to everyone.
I want to talk about defiance.