Thursday, February 18, 2010

"take my pound of flesh and sleep well."

As you undoubtedly know by the time you are reading this, Joseph Stack apparently burnt his house down and then flew a jet into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees.

He left behind a manifesto/suicide note that can be read in full HERE.

People are already latching onto his anti-government tone and disgust with the tax system and calling his action a result of or linked to the Tea Party Movement. After reading his statment, I would have to disagree.
To generalize, Stack seems like a typical American waking up to the realizations of this system's intended inequalities and not having any clear direction for action.

"... there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind.
Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in."

There are some indications of perhaps a rightwing influence in Stack's writing. He mentions attending "tax code readings" which have been popular with libertarian capitalists. He also disses unions and sympathizes with the middle class. Both of those sentiments resonate with the right. However, it is very interesting (and perhaps unexpected) to note his very non-rightwing sentiments.

"...there are two “interpretations” for every law; one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us..."
"I didn’t trust big business to take care of me"

Towards the end of his writing, he spends a good deal of space writing about his struggle to make a difference. Those only resulted in failure. I think this is typical for Americans so divorced from direct political struggle. I am curious how (or if) his futile attempts at reform/change will be analyzed by the corporate media. To be honest, I doubt it is worth it to present a progressive/radical critique to counter whatever is spewed forth.

Eventually Stack comes to the realization that this system only responds to violent force. He also seems to allude to the idea that only when things get worse will people demand real change.

"But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. "

"I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer."

He then ends it in a most surprising way.

"The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed."

Will the right reject this "terrorist" and use the last passage to link him to socialism? Because I have a feeling that if he just espoused Tea Party rhetoric, Glenn Beck and the like would place blame at Obama's feet.


Blogger robin said...

i thought his wife and daughter survived? it was reported earlier that a neighbor went to check on them after seeing the house on fire and then found them outside distraught from what happened. It seemed like from the report too that they weren't home at the time of the incident because the neighbor said they were both saying "that's our house! that's our house on fire!"

9:31 PM  
Blogger robin said...

this is from SFgate:
"The blaze at Stack's home, a red-brick house on a tree-lined street in a middle-class neighborhood six miles from the crash site, caved in the roof and blew out the windows.

Elbert Hutchins, who lives one house away, said the house caught fire about 9:15 a.m. He said a woman and her daughter drove up to the house before firefighters arrived.

"They both were very, very distraught," said Hutchins, a retiree who said he didn't know the family well. "'That's our house!' they cried. `That's our house!'"

9:34 PM  
Blogger shane said...

Robin- thanks. I made the corrections.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:00 AM  
Blogger shane said...

That podblanc link is just to really odd videos made by fascists. There is nothing I found that provided any new info on Joe Stack.

Check it out if you wanna see squirrelly White guys call him a hero, hate Jews, talk about fighting for White power, and hating women.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Pranjal said...

Very interesting (the original blog post, not the white power videos)

8:13 AM  

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