European Left-wing political scientists find difficult to understand that the colonial contradiction is at the heart of our present, they think it's a conceptual error, something anachronistic, that the joyful postmodernity - the one that delivers their Macs to them at home - has gone beyond all that, and that Trump or Bolsonaro are racist accidents of History, or of the « free world ». It's just the opposite. Under the advertising varnish of capitalist globalization, the deep History of our world has never disappeared, it has even come back to the surface, even stronger. The revolt that is happening in the United States is the same one that founds the resistance of the Venezuelan people."
Thierry Deronne, Algeria Resistance Mohsen Abdelmoumen's blog 2020
"Everyone is a philosopher, though in his own way and unconsciously, since even in the slightest manifestation of any intellectual activity whatever, in 'language', there is contained a specific conception of the world, one then moves on to the second level, which is that of awareness and criticism."
Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks
Three of the four police officers involved in the murder of George Floyd were previously employed as stock boys by TARGET and Home Depot, and two had worked at McDonalds. One stocked for a grocery store. One didn't graduate high school. In other words these were economically part of that large temp minimum wage workforce that is now increasingly unemployed.
The fourth, officer Kueng, whose file was redacted, was apparently more middle class, from a nice family and who graduated with some distinction from his high school. It's interesting, first off, why his file was redacted.
But one of them had served in the military, Derek Chauvin, the man now charged with the murder. Chauvin also had 17 complaints filed against him for excessive force before he kneeled on George Floyd's neck.
There are a couple things to consider here. One is why these men are not on the side of the people they abuse (and murder)? The answer is multifold. One is a culture of machismo and violence that saturates American society. Another is that the United States was a slave owning nation where twelve presidents owned slaves.
Racism and Calvinist and Puritan values have never left this society. And it was founded (and its in the constitution) as an unequal and anti democratic republic. Owners of property were established as privileged. And so it has continued. But it also the allure of the uniform. Now it's understandable that being a cop and being handed a gun and impunity to harass and abuse the public is preferable to flipping burgers. One job is utter humiliation while the other is validated as heroic by popular culture.
Domestic police departments tend to hire military veterans before those without military service.
Those with special forces training tend to go into Private Security. One in four soldiers in theatre in Afghanistan are private contractors. The wars of empire are increasingly being outsourced.
Couple this to the growing social inequality in the country, where 15% live below the poverty line (in 2015, and which no doubt is closing in on double that post Covid), and where on the heels of the pandemic hysteria and government fear mongering, which resulted in a nation wide (and global) house arrest, the problems with a militarily trained and equipped domestic police force, one drawing its officers from the low end of the educational spectrum, and one that provides at best rudimentary training, is obvious.
A Buddhist friend of mine, was mentioning that at her retreat one of the Tibetan teachers observed that Covid19 and the authoritarian policies it has engendered will unleash cataclysmic dark forces. Spiritual forces, so I take it. Or anti spiritual, actually. And this is how it feels. And this is beyond the clear fascist agenda in play, but extends into realms of psychic transformation for the bourgeoisie in particular.
The anxiety and fear that has grown silently for this privileged class, grown steadily over the last twenty years, is now cracking open and the toxic emotional slag of the atrophied inner lives is spilling out on the rest of society at large. It feels or is felt most deeply, from my anecdotal experience, in the white bourgeoisie's fear of the other.
And I have not felt this sort of collective confusion, anxiety, and fear since the days of Vietnam. Things surface for people. The psychological effects of this lockdown are being wildly underestimated (especially in the long term for children). The difference from the Vietnam war is five decades of screen damage and an accelerated transference of wealth to the top 1%.
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