Note: I wish I had the time to depersonalize the following essay, but I don’t and I’ll let it stand. It is a universal truth of history’s potent unviolent warriors thru one person’s experience.
I have huge admiration for Navy SEALs, but I don't think I'd want to travel with them. I'd get crushed, I'd get killed. It's not what I am; it’s not what I’ve made of myself. Maybe I should've been. But it's not what I am, and it's the wrong crowd for me to hang with. It's the wrong individual for me to hang with.
So, is there something wrong with the Navy SEALs, that actually almost none of us would be wise to hang with them? I don't think so. I thank God for them. To provide a unique service, they're different. I don't want them to change so they'd be easier for me to be around. I don't want them to change, so I can feel safe, and similarly competent around them. I want them to be what they are and if I were at a different time in life and I wanted to be with them I wouldn't want them to come to my level of competence, I would want to come to theirs.
I have aspired to, because it's needed of me, the equivalent of a ‘Navy SEAL,’ or ‘Marine,’ of Unviolent warfare. It was clear to me I had the aptitude; it was clear to me that if I set my heart to it, I should be able to achieve it, and I have. It makes a lot of people uncomfortable. The DC activist club has been delighted to show that discomfort in totally ostracizing Loving, totally banning him, and now the environmental movement is doing the same. With few exceptions - hopeless cowards, protecting their club rather than protecting their clients. Hopeless cowards, my brothers and sisters all. Many would tolerate me if I would change, and be like them, like the others in their club.
I do not have the competence of a Marine or of a Navy seal. I don't want them to come to my level. I want to go to theirs. And if I wanted them to come to my level of competence they would ignore me, they would keep on, as a duty to me, as a duty to us, as a duty to humankind, as a duty to themselves, and so it is with me now, and unviolent warrior.
Now, I wonder if there's been a time, there probably has been an occasion where the SEALs thoughtlessly or cruelly asked people to associate with them that weren't up to it, and they got hurt, they got crushed. There've probably been times when they've been needlessly careless, and produced avoidable collateral damage, but with few exceptions they aspire to not create the collateral damage. For a variety of reasons they don't beckon in those who don't want to rise to their level of performance, and so it is with me. I've seen people that I thought might want to and be able to rise to the level of world-class activism. And I've been willing to attempt to act as a catalyst for that. But I've not imposed it, I've not chased anyone down. And some have been brave enough to try, and so far none have made the leap. And when I recognize that they've reached their limit in terms of the stress that they can bear, even though I've not imposed myself, I withdraw myself and I respect their decision.
But I'll not change, God damn me if I did. I have the aptitude for a role, I have an appetite for a role, the tip of the spear.
It's what Loving has done his entire life, saving hundreds or thousands of jobs and careers, and now piloting the only weapon that can save humanity, and any decent prospects within humanity, the death fast. He’ll not step away from it. He’ll not apologize for it. He’ll not water it down, package it for the masses that shouldn't be any part of it to begin with, any more than Alice Paul watered down her efforts. She was brutal. Navy SEALs are brutal. Marines are brutal, they're tough on each other. Tough Love. If it isn’t tough, it isn’t Love. And so it is with me.