The random school shootings (another Tuesday in Maryland) protests turning violent across the country, and Austin Texas bomber Mark Anthony Conditt should send off alarm bells.
Conditt, Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, and Dylan Roof who slaughtered nine parishioners in Charleston S.C. are the faces of American terrorism at home: overwhelmingly white males, having untreated mental issues, or most recently as in Austin Texas “the outcry of a very challenged young man.”
The lack of the word terrorist in the media and from public officials though has shown that white privilege has made its way to mass murderers.
With corporate America bleeding the government and its population, a militarized police, the casino capitalism of Wall Street, our impotent corporate-controlled two-party political system, and a military scattered all over the globe that is reminiscent of the decaying empires of Greece and Rome. What we are witnessing is the decline of an empire: and many Americans recognize it.
A post this month on ChicagoNow (Politics Now) argued we have too much class hatred and messages of class division. It identified Robert Reich as a “reactionary populist.” Reich was the former Labor Secretary under the Clinton Administration. The article stated that Reich, in a three-minute video for his “Inequality Media” YouTube channel, tried to solve all the complex problems of society.
Reich didn’t. It is mostly a trailer for his YouTube channel that’s goal “where active participation by informed citizens restores the balance of power in our Democracy and creates an economy where gains are widely shared.” According to the Politics Now article, this is political extremism and division.
There has been division in America since its founding, and there always will be. The late historian and activist Howard Zinn wrote in Passionate Declarations “We have a class system, unmistakenly, in a country that promises ‘liberty and justice for all.’ Where is the Justice of a society that has such extremes of luxury for some, and misery for others?”
Our democracy, and more specifically the Constitution, is rooted in the fact that the wealthy control power. In the documentary Requiem for the American Dream Professor Noam Chomsky intellectual, and dissident points out “The Constitution was designed to keep those with power to have control of the government.”
Chomsky cites that in the 1787 Constitutional Debate James Madison argued that the primary concern of the society “ought to be constituted as to protect the opulent against the majority.”
Madison and the framers were well aware of the danger in losing control of the Democracy if the less affluent acquired any real power. This dynamic has been ratcheted up since the founding fathers. We see this in our current political and economic climate.
It should come as no surprise how many Americans have given up on politics. In a system with massive amounts of money dumped into political campaigns by corporate interest, citizens know that their vote is virtually meaningless. About 100 million did not vote .
While the “opulent” .1% bask in their riches, they take in 128 times more income than the bottom 99.9%. The income inequality between the rich and the poor has shot upwards for the last three decades in every statistical measure: by any metric, this is the very definition of division and extremism.
“In addition to buying trillions of dollars in bonds” also known as quantitative easing (QE), the Fed supplied four of the biggest Wall Street banks with an injection of $7.8 trillion in secret loans. The move was meant to stimulate the economy, but really, it coddled the banks.”
Prins made her bones working on Wall Street before becoming a journalist. She was a managing director at Goldman Sachs and senior managing director at Bear Stearns London, as a strategist for Lehman Brothers and an analyst for Chase Manhattan Bank.
With the lack of any regulation, and in fact deregulation, Prins warns “We know what comes next, just not when. Count on one thing: it won’t be pretty.”
Instead of providing harsh critique or adversarial journalism, cable news networks MSNBC and Fox are overwhelmingly public relations firms for the Democratic and Republican parties respectively. It seems MSNBC cannot critically analyze Democratic policies, and their hagiographic treatment of President Obama still exists.
Rouge analysts like John Brennan (MSNBC and NBC) who openly advocated torture under President George W. Bush and lied about civilian drone bombing casualties in Pakistan under President Obama. James Clapper (CNN) lied during the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence by denying the NSA collected data on millions of Americans under W. Bush. Brennan and Clapper are dealt punishment by receiving lucrative paying television gigs.
The press and cable news have little time for anything other than hyperventilating over super villain Vladamir Putin, Russia scandals that have basically gone nowhere, ongoing befuddlement of why Hilary Clinton lost, and the idiotic adventures of national embarrassment President Trump.
In “Age of Anger” author, Pankaj Mishra writes “In the regime of privatization, commodification, deregulation, and militarization it is barely possible to speak without sarcasm about those qualities that distinguish humans from other predatory animals- trust, co-operation, community, dialogue, and solidarity.”
Mishra’s Age of Anger brilliantly examines the anger, resentment, and barbarism felt by those pushed to the margins and left out of the social contract throughout history until our current condition. “In our state of worldwide emergency, extrajudicial murder, torture and secret detentions no longer provoke widespread condemnation, disgust, and shame. Popular culture, as well as state policy has made them seem normal.”
Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.
Dissent and anger have risen from people who have been betrayed by the political, corporate, and elite classes. Walkouts, strikes, independent adversarial journalism, along with acts of civil disobedience are the weapons of the betrayed. Any reliance on political resolutions from the corporate-dominated electorate is an act of foolishness.
One doesn’t have to look for a “boogeyman” to find the source of the suffering- the anger and pain are real. Ongoing unwinnable wars, jobs that don’t provide a livable wage, economic insecurity, unrestrained and unpunished criminality on Wall Street, criminal killer cops, and a healthcare system that is so costly it is the leading cause of bankruptcy in America.
The reality is that most are experiencing some suffering. Some are catching hell.