Thursday, January 7, 2016

Of Neoliberalism, Manifest Destiny Dreams, the Bundy Brigands Oregon Cowboy Cosplayers, and Stealing the Land of First Nations People

There are many dimensions to the Oregon "standoff" between the federal government and the Bundy Brigands. The mainstream media, for the most part is caught up in the guns and militia angle. But, what is the deeper game being played by the cowboy cosplayers? Are they dumb rubes being used as pawns by bigger players?

Here are some good essays that try to work through these issues.

The New York Times Editorial Board has a short and to the point piece explaining the stupidity behind the Bundy Brigands' and the broader anti-government militia's understanding of the Constitution, sovereignty, and guns.

Writing at XOJane, S.E. Smith has a great and thorough essay that explores the connections between the Bundy Brigands, the move to steal federal land and put it in the hands of "private citizens", i.e. white people who then sell the resources contained therein to corporations, white supremacist organizations, and Manifest Destiny dreamers.

The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights has been following the efforts by neoliberal actors, the White Right, and others to steal public lands and those held by First Nations peoples as part of a broader assault on the Commons and the public good. Neoliberals want to privatize all things, and by doing so reduce human life and existence to a Hobbesian state of nature where homo economicus and survival of the fittest (i.e. he or she with the most firepower and money) are the rule of the day. As the IREHR report details, there is a convergence of interests targeting First Nations people as roadblocks in this play.

The mainstream media is playing checkers...again, while the real experts are studying the mysteries of chess boxing.

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