Saturday, August 27, 2016

Refuse to Cooperate - One Year Out


"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear." - Samuel Langhorne Clemens

"If you really believe in what you're doing, work hard, take nothing personally, and if something blocks one route, find another. Never give up." - Laurie Notaro

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable." - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"There comes a time in a person's life when they must decide to accept life as a slave, or to risk death in the struggle for freedom." - Kent Allen Halliburton

        One year ago, yesterday, August 26, 2015, I published the first article of the Refuse to Cooperate blog.  Since that first publication, Refuse to Cooperate has spread out to over ten social media sites, and registered with three pinger sites. Of those social media sites Facebook and Google+ have been the most effective. The Fan Page on Facebook has received, to date, nearly 1,300 likes. However, the center of activity on Facebook has been our Facebook Discussion Group. It has generated a lot of heated debates, changed minds, and worked to convince people that disagreeing with someone does not mean that you have to be their enemy. It has shown that there are people out there who realize that despite our many individual assumptions, there is still a broader struggle for freedom going on; in which, we must all participate. To date, the group has approximately 4,800 members, from all sectors of the United States, as well as, many different areas of the globe. The Refuse to Cooperate community on Google+ had not been as productive, however. At present, it only has 37 members. However, Google+, as a whole, has been immensely productive. The other multitude of communities where our work has been shared on Google+ have produced mountains of quality feedback and thousands of views. Refuse to Cooperate also has a collection of links to all our pieces in Google Collections
        Other than these two sites, Refuse to Cooperate has its own accounts on Ello, Tumblr, Reddit, Medium, and Pinterest. On Brigade and Twitter, any and all of Refuse to Cooperate's posts are shared on the Senior Editor's, Kent Allen Halliburton, accounts. Each of these venues, in combination with the others, have assisted in the distribution of Refuse Cooperate's materials, to the tune of over 62,500 views. Even more interesting is that this has been done without spending a single dime on distribution. Good writing, engaging topics, and extensive sharing have been the key that success. Even more importantly, during this period, Refuse to Cooperate has expanded from a one man horn, to a team of eight dedicated writers, Kent Allen Halliburton, Brother Apostate, Zach Davidson, Lexa Moon, Seven, William, John Griffin, and Chad P. Morrison. These eight writers combined, including this piece, have now published 141 articles in the past year. This is quality production. Even further, this quality production has been backed up by good writing. Refuse to Cooperate has become known for its ability to deliver a clear message in each piece that it puts out; even though, some have complained that they can be a bit long winded at times. The Refuse to Cooperate blog has also teamed up with three other blogs who share a similar message and who know the meaning of team work. They are Rebel Stronghold, Mission: Keep Your Smile, and Airborne Nation. The work done with these three other blogs has been immensely important to the success of the Refuse to Cooperate blog.
        The numerical success, without the use of money, is extremely important, but there is something much more important about Refuse to Cooperate's first year that should be discussed. This would be the blog's message. The key point is that the message has not remained static. It has evolved, expanded, and adapted with the addition of new ideas, concepts, opinions, arguments, and research. The depth of its message has also improved over time. It started off lite, but has now found its way into the heat of some the most important topics of the day. The first post was written while I was watching the movie, "Gandhi." I had not planned to write the piece, as I had another piece planned for the next day, but I felt inspired to respond to the movie, so I wrote, What Should We Do? This is where the road began for Refuse to Cooperate, and it sounded a little bit like this:

"Remaining non-violent is the only way for the American people to obtain the one thing that will force our oppressors to concede: Moral Authority. This is our key to victory, to a more egalitarian society that sees equality and opportunity available for everyone. We cannot be in the eye of the world giving our government the license to respond with beatings, killings, and arrests. We have to reveal to the world, in the plainest terms possible, the Mafia style criminal syndicate that is running unchecked in this country, and we have to do it with the weight of the largest mountain pressing down upon our shoulders. We cannot alter our course, and we cannot slow down. We must be persistent, unwavering, and as immovable as that mountain. We have to have the courage to stand in front of tank and hang a garland on the cannon....."

        In a great many ways, my position on the use of non-violent resistance has not changed. Holding one's temper, maintaining a cool head, and acting with clear and precise intent, all in the midst of the most heinous of degradations, gives the person that is able to experience that and still resist, an intense right to the retention of the Moral Authority in a resistance movement. This is so because they are able to contrast themselves, calm, collected, and coherent, from the actions of their oppressors, angry, violent, and chaotic. While the oppressor attempts to restore order, the protester is embodying the very essence of order. There is something to be said for a movement that can make their oppressor act against their own interests without lashing back at the hatred being spewed at them and enacted upon their bodies. However, some would argue that an unwillingness to get violent is a sign of weakness, suggesting that the non-violent person is not willing to bleed for the cause. Has one ever seen what has happened to multitudes of peaceful protesters in this country? Have we not seen their bruised faces, the lacerations across their bodies, and the pain in their eyes? In reality, you are more likely to bleed for the cause if you remain non violent because you are putting yourself directly in the path of oncoming traffic with nothing but your courage to protect you. The question, then, is how long can such tactics hold out before they are no longer effective? Eventually, the oppressor starts to stall or notches up the violence to unbearable levels, killing leaders, attacking people in their homes, and even killing children. They, of course, write all of this off as collateral damage and even try to blame the resistance movement for any negative outcomes. At some point, the back of the non-violent movement breaks, and things get aggressive. Even the educated have their final straw, as is described in my piece on the Black Liberation Army:

"So, let us rap our minds around this whole ordeal. Of course, the setting is the late 1960s to the late 1980s. The circumstances are post Civil Rights Movement government oppression and massive social resistance to that oppression. The two prime players are JoAnne Deborah Byron, better known as, Assata Olugbala Shakur, and Jeral Wayne Williams, better known as, Mutulu Shakur. Assata had a Bachelor's Degree from the City College of New York, and Mutulu was a licensed Acupuncturist through the state of California and the Assistant Director of the Lincoln Detox Community Program in Harlem. Yet, by 1986, Assata was in exile in Cuba, as a Political Refugee, and Mutulu was incarcerated in a federal prison in California, as a Political Prisoner. These are kind, intelligent, and well educated people. What on Gaia's Earth could possibly lead them down such violent and lonely paths, as have been laid out this article? If one ponders the issue for just a moment, the answer should come to their mind fairly quickly. It's not hard. In fact, it's easier to grasp than glimpsing the noon day sun in the middle of a Texas summer. It's the repressed emotion built up from four hundred years of direct exposure to a highly organized and brutally enforced system of oppression designed to place an entire people at the bottom of a society that is taught to loathe them for no other reason than that they have a darker skin tone. It's the theft of an identity, a culture, a language, a religion, and soul and the forced adoption of an alien identity that grinds at the very core of the human spirit. It's the loss of personal autonomy. It's bone-wrenching poverty. It's the loss of self-awareness, and its the destruction of the inner moral compass that should inform a person that what is happening to them is wrong."

        The nature of revolution, of course, is not the only thing that the Refuse to Cooperate blog has spoken on. Probably, my earliest controversial piece was, Abortion, is There a Middle Ground? An Honest Opinion from a Texas Liberal, in which I challenged the exclusion of willing fathers from abortion decisions. Early on, I also called out what I call the Hidden Dictatorship. The first piece I did this in was, The Hidden Dictatorship, Class Warfare at Ground Zero: An Account from Inside the Belly of the Beast. I also spoke on the War on Drugs and Decriminalization of Marijuana. I even responded to questions about my Credentials as an Activist. Some people are skeptical at first sight, when they see a Halliburton speaking the way I do. I also spoke out on the important of the Separation of Church and State and the needed Destruction of White Supremacy. Eventually, I started getting into some deeper, more highly researched topics. I explored the possibility of describing congressional behavior, in the United States, using the Marxist philosophy of Dialectical Materialism. I explored the Role of Race in State Politics and Elections, and even questioned the Supreme Court's unwillingness to Challenge Unconstitutional Actions Taken by Immigration Officials. Just after this is when I started picking up new authors. Lexa Moon started with a piece describing What Refuse to Cooperate Meant to Him. Brother Apostate began with a piece clearing up the definition of real Socialism. Seven stepped in with Change is Violent. William made his mark with his piece on How Texas is Destroying the Education System. Immediately following, came Zach Davidson, telling us all, quite convincingly, Why He Cannot Vote for Hillary Clinton. He was followed up by John Griffin. John, offered a very clear history and analysis of the Russian October Revolution and its Consequences. Finally, it is Chad P. Morrison that gave Refuse to Cooperate the honor of hearing his voice in the Airborne Nation series, a play on his actual military service with the 82nd Airborne Infantry Division of the United States Army. The piece that has drawn the most attention in the past week, is a piece that I wrote on the use of Death as Propaganda; in which, I argue that the state uses murder as a form of propaganda to ward of potential civil unrest. Essentially, do this and you will will live, do the other thing, and you will die. It paints a very clear image.
         If no one has noticed yet, one of the primary missions of Refuse to Cooperate is to change minds. We want people to begin to look at the world, how it operates, and how they fit into that process very differently. People regularly say, "Well, I am only one person, what can be done?" It is precisely that defeatism that keeps anything from getting accomplished because everyone is saying it. Imagine what would happen if everyone started saying, "Well, as one person, let me see what I can do." Then you would have multitudes out and about and ready to do some good for the people. This changing of minds, however, is not limited to the readership. It has been my expectation, all along, that I, myself, along with the rest of the writers, be open to similar changes. On July 4, 2016, my mind was changed in a dramatic way. Brother Apostate wrote a piece defining What it Really Means to be a Liberal. He showed how modern liberalism, whether pro worker or not, cannot be considered Socialist because it still relies on the preservation of Capitalism and the private ownership of the means of production. This further means that a Socialist cannot be Liberal because their ideology depends of the ownership of the means of production transferring to the working class. Since that day, I have dropped the moniker of Liberal when describing myself politically. I am a Socialist. If someone calls me a bleeding heart liberal, or some similar name; in a debate, I most always now respond with, "How can I be a liberal if I am not a capitalist?" I thank Brother Apostate for his insightful work. I was also recently influenced by Seven's piece on Why Churches Should not Be Taxed. Everyone knows that church is a billion dollar industry that has a hold on more than just people tithes, and everyone would love to see them put some of that private jet money towards helping the homeless and the like. However, Seven made a very interesting point. If you tax the churches, you have to give them representation, and if you give them representation, they will want their tax money to got to specific projects and places. Can one even imagine what all manners of evil they would get themselves into with access to such power?
         So, in one year, Refuse to Cooperate has come a long way. We have expanded our writing corps, we have expanded our social media presence, and we have expanded our readership. There is, however, much left undone. We want to expand our readership even further, of course. If you could just look at our Google Views Stats, Refuse to Cooperate has been viewed on all six inhabitable continents, as well as the sub-continent of India, and some island nations in the Pacific Ocean. This is incredible, but we want more. We hope, in time, to increase our average view rate to 2,000 views per post. We need you help on this. Spread the word that it is time to Refuse to Cooperate! We also encourage any writer that is willing to join us to make themselves known. We hope to eventually begin a pod cast on Sound Cloud, so that you can hear the voices of Refuse to Cooperate. We also want to kick up a YouTube channel, so that we put our faces to the names. The pod cast and YouTube channel will operate like a radio talk show, and we will take questions via Twitter and the like. Finally, we also want to encourage action on the principle of Refuse to Cooperate. Propaganda, a very deep personal enjoyment of mine, is thrown at us each and every single day, in the hopes that we will be distracted enough to not care about all the evil crap that is being done by our government. Do not listen to it. Do not let it overwhelm you or make your decisions for you. Think for yourself. Be your own person; for when you do, you will find that life has become much more illuminated. Every moment will be like that first moment after you have learned something new, you are overcome with a braingasm. Further, you will see how truly ridiculous all of the artificial classifications that are forced upon us truly are. Something else will also happen deep inside your soul. You will feel the urge to do something to help change the situation, and it will be a powerful urge. In time, it is our hope to be intimately involved in collective actions designed to free the American working class from Capitalist oppression. We strongly hope that you will join us. 

2 comments:

  1. i find you have the right heart, you hate injustice, love nonviolence while understanding that sometimes you have one straw too many to bear without doing something forceful. However, you have some flaws. YOU still think this can be changed by votes, you dont realize that it has been fixed, you are socialist, which, while being the closest known type of government to fairness, is still based on economics and about control and centralized government. YOu are liberal, not one of the radicals we really need. Read EXPOSING THE MONEY MACHINE, and if you like, i will send it to you free, along with soon-to-be-published THE UNTOLD NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY, and my progress with a book addressing the (in)justice system and mental health system. truthforce57@gmail.com www.proclaimingtruth.net I look forward to hearing from you, keep up voicing truth.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Where did I say anything about votes? No, it has not been fixed, or else, there would not be starving children in this country. I cannot be a liberal, as I am not a Capitalist. This is a very important detail. We agree on non-violence. Which would you prefer, a central government bought and paid for by corporations that leaves people hungry, or a central government run by the people's collective that provides for the basic necessities of life? Next, what exactly is a radical? At this point, in the United States, it's pretty much anyone with gusto enough to challenge the government. More so, what kind of radical are they? Are they leftist or rightist? Finally, I am a historian and political scientist, professionally trained, so if my writing comes off as academic that's why.

    ReplyDelete