People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one, and if you repeat it frequently enough, people will sooner or later believe it.
― Walter C. Langer, The Mind of Adolf Hitler: The Secret Wartime Report, 1972, Basic Books
I write a lot about the punishment society, which is the hallmark of American capitalism, both conceptually and in practice. It bears repeating and repeating – ironically the punishers of late are also Zio-Cons, and we get ad nauseam the Jewish holocaust, the Jewish Reparations, the Single Moment in Eradication, but god forbid that we have common sense history about the destruction of native peoples here, the subjugation of Africans, the entire blasted world of moneyed interests slashing and burning entire swaths of mother earth and children of the earth. You listen to the Goldman Sachs thugs in Armani, Jewish or Christian, and listen to the arbiters of slave wages and precarious work, who have set up a false dichotomy of “all the money for millionaires and billionaires, or else the collapse of society, so buyer beware and don’t complain about social services/safety nets being cut, or yammer on about the public commons being yanked away by the almighty corporations, or push this fair wages, equity, and education-housing-healthcare for all agenda, or else — YOU all will see the collapse of any hope YOU all have in making it to even first-base in this competitive world.” This is the warfare carried out daily, for sure, the heavy economic carpet bombing by the chosen ones, by the few, elite, the hedges and Kochs and all the other captains of thievery. The uneven reality of the chosen few holding court over the universe, divvying up the crumbs of their engorgement to the masses, as in 99.99 percent of the world.
This elitist mongering of the moneyed class, the all-powerful, those symbols of manhood in Capitalism – the barrel of a gun, the nuclear tip of the proverbial phallic, the supersonic waste of our militaries, or the blubbery sap of fawning over the mercenaries of the land, from SEAL to sweating Green Beret, it is hyper-unreal but hyper-deadly! In this large view, this wide angle take, we have microcosms tied to the belief systems of those underlings and swollen-lipped small-timers who push the punishment daily on the streets, in the stores, in the schools, at airports, on public transportation.
It was one of those Skippy days on the Portland light rail, MAX, listening to two great examples of minor league punishment on the small-small little Eichmann scale – a man and a woman, in their forties, heading home after a hard journey into night: parking ticket enforcers.
I understand the work and words of the working class, but these two just kept swapping stories of the stupid people (their words) trying to get out of tickets, that is, attempting to thwart the sting of the violations in this punishment society. This is the Eichmann of the Small-fry species, in a nutshell, but the way these two stalwarts of retrograde humanity were depicting violators is emblematic of this country’s “it will not take a village to raise a vibrant and safe village – so let the dog eat the dog world prevail be damned” ethos (sic).
Something about the American mindset, in general, that has been raised on high fructose corn syrup and the most perverted TV-Film-Video Game-Live Event shit out there. The very manifestation of sociopathy, but these people believe their very prominence in the community is somehow the glue for our culture. The kicker, though, way beyond the mean-spiritedness of their depictions of poor people freaking out about a $44 ticket or multiple $100 violations, was how they demeaned the tourists and locals who dare ask these uniformed ticket cops for simple directions. These two idiots believe they bear no responsibility in assisting the city (where their salaries originate) with the tourists and locals attempting to find place in a cluttered high rise city.
It’s the old adage of putting a badge and uniform on someone, and the little brown-shirt many times comes out, in all its glory of dehumanizing “the other” by believing their very existence in the gravity vortex is somehow very special. Making fun of people looking for directions to the museum or some cool well-known locality, well, that’s classlessness of the crass country we have morphed deeper into.
This attitude is carried through to its very high-level and broad-reaching culmination in the hard and wicked rules-regs-fines-taxes-garnishments-limitations-checks-and-balances this pro-pro Capitalist society has built into the unfair system of corporations calling all the shots. We can see it in the blaring light and dank shadows as a parody of this un-Supreme Court follies, with this un-gentleman Utah judge whose goal in life is to protect the collective kleptomania of the corporations and taskmasters of hedge funds and the banksters getting the same-same faux grilling of all the other judges for the highest court of the land. One decision says it all, in life, for sure, and his decision to side with the trucking company that fired the trucker for leaving the trailer to save his own life and not putting other travelers at risk is proof of lack of judgment. But then to believe his own little cold blooded pissed out empathy Gorsuch spewed under the lights of the media — with Saturday Night Live comic-senator grilling him? — justifies his existence as a non-impartial judge. But then again, this addiction to the rule of law, over rule of humanity, well, that’s what we have handed over to this legal system where a Gorsuch can ramrod his interpretation of bloodless and emotionless legal crap, putting every man/every woman at risk, and under the screws of the felonious corporations. Neil Gorsuch – hmmm.
America is all in for the optics, the crudeness of these rotten guys, like Trump, or even some military punk, like Schwarzkopf; collectively we are into the military, into the bombs bursting in air. We are lovers of the men and women in blue, and lustful for the hardware – guns and tanks and civilian control devices and SWAT and Sniper gear. It’s what kiddos gravitate toward, and teens, even girls and women, and then the older infantiles, the men in big pick-up trucks or those in tricked-out Honda Accords. This is the punishment hoard, hoping for some cruising for a bruising war or skirmish or anything to make noise and flatten people – people of color, especially, and those boats of fleeing refugees, ka-boom, ordnance dropped smack on schools and strafing of lifeboats.
This is not just the dominion of conservatives, or right-wing wackos. The average liberal hems and haws about just how big of a killer Obama was, and how deeply ingrained the Democratic Party is in the military industrial complex. Colleagues in the social services are actually legitimizing anything that demonizes Russia or Iran or North Korea. And this is a culture of armchair Eichmanns, for sure, just counting the fissures in their own countrymen/women, and waiting to swoop down and attack all social services, all things good and safe in the form of the human/humane welfare system.
A picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case, a picture-perfect immigration ban for leading minds from Africa paints a perfect portrait of how fascist and insipid this country is, from election cycle to election cycle, from one rotten president to the next, one new law after another new law:
The African Global Economic and Development Summit, a three-day conference at the University of Southern California (USC), typically brings delegations from across Africa to meet with business leaders in the US in an effort to foster partnerships. But this year, every single African citizen who requested a visa was rejected, according to organizer Mary Flowers.
This is probably the biggest news of late, never broadcast on major networks, never mouthed by the pundits, and, quickly vanishes into the sludge that is mainstream thinking and journalism, but what does this mean, that 80 leaders from African nations were blocked from coming to the freest (sic) nation (sic) in the world because of this country’s proclivity to not want to know, to witness, or tangle with the real important ideas!
The compelling part of all of this is the unknowing, the unholding, the lack of honor, the hold on the minds of the controllers – everyone is enemy, everyone is a set of biometrics to parse up and juggle inside the dungeons of digital prejudice. This is not the first example of bans, travel restrictions, of pushing truth and debate into a prison cell or isolation chamber. This country, UK, Canada, EU, Israel, and a thousand banana republics run by capitalism thugs spewing declarations of independence, they’ve all done bans, for decades, centuries, millennia. Applied not, 2017, in USA, well, no wonder there is confusion running amok in the liberal (sic) class (sic). This is the infatuation of America – how much can we throw up on Facebook, how much can the corporations capture, and how well can the government facilitate the collection services of the profilers?
There are great chasms in America, and they are etched through the implosions of capital eating at mother earth, all those rivers of toxins cutting away at the epidermis of the world, exposing the villainy and corruption of the elites and outing the tag-along middlings who are in it for the chance at lottery fame, anything to touch the sagging skin of the Trumps and the Botox glow of their trophy wives!
All of this observational tie-in is being unpacked through the wickedness of the world I work in – social worker, homeless advocate, recovery facilitator, and even though the systems I work under are non-profits, the devilish nature of my colleagues’ own version of punishment toward our clients is sometimes shocking. This is the systems of accounting for every fucking dollar spent on a struggling soul, while the interior designers and architects glower over their profits.
I run into people in the government bureaucracies, and they are so tied to the fatalism that is fate-determined by their Judaeo-Christian belief systems – professing the work they are doing, the work I do, is predetermined by their master(s) god(s)/Jesus(-es)/all knowing (s). It’s messy, this pre-ordained belief system, as I work with some major cases of people trapped in that trauma no-one on any Breaking Bad set could dream up in their Hollywood nightmarish brains. Fate and angels and afterlife –whew! Americans believe there is an afterlife, heaven, with the all-knowing god all buttoned up and tailgate party ready for believers to continue the hallelujah all-you-can-eat buffet (puns intended), says poll after poll, year after year — 90 percent! And then, more than half of Americans polled (52%) believe in fate — out of our hands, out of our agency!
We are talking about women in their forties, survivors of childhood horrors like being pimped out at 12 after six years of constant rape, violence, witnessing of more horrors, booze and pills and meth by the age of 11.
Fodder for the punishers, the levelers, the judges, the pundits, the inquisitionists, for sure. Yet, the systems fed by broken safety nets, broken by the people in it for the I Do Not Know paycheck. Horror upon horror, and yet my colleagues sees this all as a great plan for their demon god(s). Plan of the great planner to seed youth at age six with syphilis, seed brains with violence only dreamed up in the corridors of the most wicked people on earth. Yet, our systems of social work only give these damaged one so much time before we turn our back on them, exit them, finish all services.
Heroes, in the survivor sense, but outcasts by not only the elites, the Social Darwinist millionaire clubbers, but in many ways outcasts by the very people who should know, care, and advocate. I see the disempowerment of the “normal” barely standing straight a portion of the day facing all these disruptive industries-economies-education plans-ideologies-collective consumerism-on-steroids. I see it in their eyes, in the way they hold their hands; I hear it in their voices – defeated but gasping at the final attack on say, a Donald Trump, confused by the rapidity of the fall (sic).
I want to give them the benefit of many a doubt, to be sure. My brethren want no anger, no radicalism, no revolutionary, no mano y mano. Praying for salvation in the other life, the after-pre-life.
This is not the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., this passivity, this hoping for change in the leaders who control the armament of military-police-finance in their vigilantism of anything dealing with the public good-welfare-safety.
When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
This is death by a thousand bills, debts, fines, fees, deductions, de-fundings, delays, garnishments, and paying the ferryman for services unrendered. The insanity is not only the perversions of our capitalist world – graduates of the school of inflicting maximum pain. The insanity is in compliance, in our unwillingness to collectively rebel, stand up, walk off, strike, hack, reappropriate, and carry out a massive citizen’s arrest to lay claim to our futures and our great-great-great grandsons and granddaughters’ futures.
The insanity is how much we are taking and subjugating our wills to; how far we allow the perpetrators to go into our own heads until we believe suicidal walking is an option; and how willing we are to move closer and closer to the edge of the cliff that capitalism has carved out from which the world to jump off. The insanity is the lack of rebellion, the lack of mouthing off to the controllers and the Little Eichmanns; the insanity is the de-education, the re-education by/for/through the controllers. The real madness is our lack of anger and our collective lack of will to take on the ignorance that is at the heart of consumer-predatory-extractive Capitalism. For those of us who do, we are lone actors, men and women lost of tribe, hitting the horizon at terminal velocity speed.
It’s a dance with many devils, a tango with toxins, a self-encased dirge. We have lost tribal truths and human touch. We are wrapped in plastic and steel pushing air-water-land into a permanent fog of pollution, and the greatest of all pollutants — war.
That’s one megaton bomb of guilt and awareness to place on one’s shoulders, but is there some other choice?