Increasingly alien

But in order that these antagonisms, classes with conflicting economic interests, might not consume themselves and society in sterile struggle, a power seemingly standing above society became necessary for the purpose of moderating the conflict, of keeping it within the bounds of “order”; and this power, arisen out of society, but placing itself above it, and increasingly alienating itself from it, is the state.
Engels, The Origin of Family, Private Property, and State

Motions and mettle

Clip from 'Salt of the Earth' (1954), directed by Herbert J. Biberman.

What about...re-prioritizing?


What about an undocumented immigrant who has been raped? What about communities and individuals, for great reasons, who don’t trust the police? We need much better justice structures. We need to take this as a priority as a culture. If we prioritized women’s safety as a culture, if we prioritized ending sexual violence, we would be pouring massive resources into this. We do into the drone program, right? So, where are the resources being poured into solving this problem?
Jaclyn Friedman, May 9 2013 - Behind the Cleveland Kidnappings, democracy.org interview

A suitable mirage

The constitutional state (Rechtsstaat) is a mirage, but one which suits the bourgeoisie very well, for it replaces withered religious ideology and conceals the fact of the bourgeoisie's hegemony from the eyes of the masses. The ideology of the constitutional state is even more convenient than religious ideology, because, while it does not entirely reflect objective reality, it is still based on this reality. Power as the 'collective will', as the 'rule of law', is realised in bourgeois society to the extent that this society represents a market.
Evgeny Pashukanis, The General Theory of Law and Marxism, p.146.

Ride the Fence


Stills from the video for 'Ride the Fence' by The Coup.

How the sausage is made...

Sergeant. No funny business! Where are your papers?

Mother Courage. Here, Sergeant! Here's a Bible—I picked it up someplace to wrap my cucumbers in. Here's a map of Moravia—God knows if I'll ever get there. And here's a document saying my horse hasn't got hoof and mouth disease—pity he died on us, he cost fifteen gilders, thank God I didn't pay it. Is that enough paper?

Sergeant. Are you pulling my leg? Well, you've got another guess coming. You need a license and you know it.

Mother Courage. Show a little respect for a lady and don't go telling these growing children of mine I'm pulling anything of yours. What would I want with you? My license in the Second Protestant Regiment is my honest face. If you can't read it, don't blame me.

Recruiting Officer. We have a case of insubordination on our hands, my dear Sergeant. Know what we need in the army? Discipline!

Mother Courage. I was going to say sausages.
From Bertold Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children: A Chronicle of the 30 Years War (adaptation for Broadway).