Crimes of the Empire

Chuck Grimes cgrimes at
Tue Mar 9 18:12:47 PST 1999

It's astonishing to see that some who say that they are leftists seem to be able to muster more outrage against individual murderers than crimes of the State and Capital against people, including an immense number of murders, to say nothing of how normal and legal workings of capitalism maim and kill the working class.



I am listening to Mozart's Requiem and thinking about the Committee of General Security. As if Jean-Paul Marat's September Massacres were insufficient, the National Convention voted the execution of Louis XVI in January. They were saying adieu. David's quick sketch of Marie Antoinette, toothless, with cropped hair and hands tied behind her hardly measured up to her own reputed arrogance.That was Ancien Regime on its way to la place de Revolution in all of its sordid pathos.

And the point?

The creation of the State is murder and it remains its singularly dominant expression. This is why revolution is always a blood bath. The State will prevail in every detail of existence and maintain itself as the looming boogie of darkness, just as Goya depicted it, etched against the starry night. So, every execution is tribute to that boogie, affirming its authority to exist and that is the sole purpose of these celebrations. Our approvals or disapprovals on high moral ground are completely superseded by the exercise of absolute power.

The State reserves unto itself the right and indeed the pleasure to butcher whomever, whenever, for whatever reason it deems sufficient. If mistakes are made, so what? Mistakes only affirm the State all the more, precisely because they illustrate the unqualified nature of its power.

Somehow, this fundamental political understanding has been missing in the whole discussion.

Chuck Grimes

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