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1. VIII 2020

There is a distinct feeling of déjà vu behind the government response to civil unrests across the country in the last month. Political demagoguery, heated emotions, faux patriotism, us & them, “law & order” BS, enemies of the people, antagonism of the press, gratuitous violence, racial supremacy, misogyny, secret police, and the entire spectacle of identitarian package, all of this comes from the same tired and worn out playbook — same type of theatre, same scriptwriter, and the same mindset seen so many times before.

The spurious similarity between the populism of segregated and fractured post-2016 America and single-voice Germany of the 1930s — the two countries a century apart with no socioeconomic overlap — can be traced to the fact that their respective leaders have been engaged in the same ritual practices. Their respective ideologies – unconditional subordination to either national or oligarchic interests — and representative parties, National Socialist German Workers’ Party and National Capitalist MAGA, run in parallel.

In both cases, social marginalization triggered and shaped the rituals that followed. The 1930s was an uprising against the marginalization of Germany as a cultural, industrial and military power of the time. The rise of Nazism was a result of discontent due to the loss of a privileged position in the global context and the rising precarity at home. As a consequence, the entire country spoke in a single voice.

In 21st century prosperous America, which has not had a war on its territory for more than 150 years, it was marginalization of an entire social class and a reaction to the loss of white male privilege of the old days. The consequence was an unprecedented polyvocality as an expression of the social divide along cultural, racial and ethnic lines — a class war in a displaced mode, with the entire marginalized class speaking in a single voice only they could understand.

Camouflaging ritual as an escape route from marginality in today’s America has the sole purpose of forcing the alignment of interests of billionaires with those of the marginalized sector of its population. It is an effort to compactify an otherwise fractured political landscape and, by ignoring facts, laws of physics, economic, logic and common sense, connect the two opposite, and logically opposing, ends of the social spectrum and forge political alliances along artificial cultural divides between victims and their executioners.

As systematic violence, which for decades enabled the smooth functioning of the system and its repressive apparatus, has been on the rise, so has subjective and random violence. Throughout those times, sales of weapons were breaking new highs. The number of mass shootings and the score of victims recorded an unprecedented rise that transcends any historical extrapolations.

For years we have been bombarded with excuses and narratives arguing that all the innocent victims of mass shootings — this uniquely American phenomenon, a product of country’s obsession with guns, and militant opposition to any semblance of their regulation — had to die in order to preserve the 2nd amendment in its most insane form. While 90% of the American population has been unequivocally in favor of more stringent gun control, the NRA has persisted in their cynical non-consensus stance against it, insisting, against all evidence, that such high concentration of unregulated gun ownership will keep us all safe and protected in case a rogue government turns on their citizens. According to them, even more guns are needed to make the society even safer. Leaving alone the sheer idiocy of that argument for a moment, the time to test the validity of that narrative and intentions of gun lobby has finally arrived.

This year, the rise of violence gained a new dimension. The increasingly desperate and lonely president, who has practically abdicated his position and duties, who is already functioning as a lame duck, cleaning up his shop and trying to deliver in the next three months what was originally planned for him to do in the subsequent four years of his presidency (which by now is practically certain not to happen), is bringing the vestiges of medieval spectacle of violence and power to the city center.

While unidentified paramilitary troops — the actual government secret police, the present-day incarnation of Gestapo — are terrorizing the citizens of Portland, including unarmed women, veterans, and elderly, and are preparing to spread their activity to other big cities, the NRA and their members and supporters are nowhere to be found; their silence has been deafening. In fact, if one were to wager where their sympathy would be, there is an unmistakable feeling that it is most likely to be on the side of the aggressor, rather than the people.

The uncovering of the falsity of the ideological warp behind the 2nd amendment is the terminal bankruptcy of the old and persistent narrative, a fairy-tale for angry citizens, which, against any reason, continues to permeate and contaminate the American culture. Disguised as a rationalization of the faux “cultural” alignment between executioners and their victims, it never really had any other meaning and value beyond laundering blood money from arms sales.


 

6 comments on “Portland

  1. Please read this article:
    https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2020/05/28/we-have-arm-ourselves-michigan-demonstrators-protest-brutality/5275209002/

    The mouse has turned. “There’s a reason we don’t exercise our rights the same way because we don’t get the same response when we do,” Alexander said. “For me, this is a moment where we are saying, ‘We know our rights. We believe we are equal. But we are going to put ourselves out front, knowing we won’t get approached the same way.”

    Keep up.

  2. The small business owner in downtown Portland could care less about the politics of the situation or the pundits pontificating about it. Trust me I’m related to two of them and have seen the situation in person.

  3. Such beautiful writing. A pleasure to read even when the topic is ugly.

  4. Right to bear arms. What is the meaning of arms?

    As defined when constitution was written: muzzle loaders,cutlasses, bows & arrows and occasional smoothbore cannon.

    Or a modern definition: Personal nuclear weapons, nerve gas, mini-guns, RPGs and rockets.

    I say we use the definition as it was understood in 1776.

    • I believe the definition of what was used in 1776 was because that’s what governments had in 1776. Hence why we are supposed to get the same thing today. I think we can get away with preventing people from buying their own NBC arms meant to destroy cities and regions, but other than that…

      Btw, what kind of drivel is this post? How are these protests (when they remain peaceful) related to anything in the Wiemar Republic? How is the rioting anything resembling a protest for justice? I really can’t understand the left here. The constitution guarantees the right to PEACEABLY assemble. Not to damage or burn down federal buildings because you’re convinced you’re in the vanguard of a social movement that will end all the social injustice your teachers taught you exists but you’d be hard pressed to name an example that happened to you. Or anyone you know.

      The second amendment is what people are going to rely on when the police are either defunded or replaced by social workers. How many of you that bemoan what the libertarians and right-winders understand the second amendment to mean have actually ever tried to stop a crime in progress? Have you ever fought an armed criminal? Do you have the slightest idea of what that takes? Are you a well-muscled male that can fight in an anaerobic state for two minutes? How about an aerobic state for ten minutes? Then in that world without police or jails you’re relying on guns or a well understood given that your relatives or close social contacts will seek vengeance greater than the wrong visited on you to prevent you being nothing but constant prey. Sam Harris was right when he said if you take firearms out of the equation you are turning the world over to young, strong males. I literally know thousands of criminals. I know how to get along with them if I had to. I’m betting I’m the only one reading these posts that has the slightest idea of what a world where your personal relationships define your level of justice. You do NOT want a world with the police defunded. You actually probably do want an impersonal institution that is at least trying to uphold some standard of justice and can be held publicly accountable for its’ actions as the primary method society uses to apprehend and detain criminals.

      But really. I’ve spent 14 years as a cop (mainly working in jails), 32 years working with special needs individuals, and 2 years working in a kids home (Prior to becoming a cop). I’d love to hear another suggestion that could actually work.

      Just to go ahead and remove the arguments before you reply, no I don’t need this job as much as most cops do. I have standing offers elsewhere and my salary would go up. I stay in this job because I have a sense of mission and don’t want to move. I could do it though at anytime and have offers here and abroad as well so I’m not worried. People need decent analysis everywhere. I don’t believe America’s racism problem is as bad as the press would have you believe. I do however think we have an incompetent cop problem. I think it’s much worse than the public or press believes. A lot of the problem stories you see on the news that were chalked up to racism are clearly competence problems. We have both undertrained people and hired people who are simply not up to the job doing it. You’ve got to have people doing police work who can handle making rational decisions when their pulse is over 100. That is surprisingly hard to do. You have got to hire people who are not afraid just because someone is in mania and violent because they are high (on whatever).

      My tendency is to believe that people who are diagnosing America’s social problems and point to the root cause as Donald Trump are the type pf people without any real contact with any of the injustices they’re railing about. Trump may be a symptom of our problems, but I doubt he’s much of the cause. (No I didn’t vote for him, and no I won’t be voting for him).

      If you want an example of two of deep issues haunting America today, I will give you an example. A 32 year old man my agency hired (who has since quit) was frustrated by his inability to get on to another police agency because he could not pass the math portion of the application test. When listen to his story I replied, “Yeah, math can get ya.” He responded in all sincerity, “Oh, but it just wasn’t addition and subtraction, it was multiplication and division too!” Fourteen years ago you needed a four year degree or at least to have attained some rank in the military to get hired on where I work at due to how many people wanted to be cops. Now the people we hire often don’t know what the revolutionary war or civil war was fought over or when they happened. Obviously some of them can’t do math.

      America has problems. It has cop problems. It has racism problems. I don’t think the solutions are lower taxes. I doubt anyone who wrote the original post here has any solutions either.

      • I agree with you… it’s good to hear someone who is reflecting on reality based on experience and data and not just suggesting meaningless solutions about things that they have no idea..

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