I was reading the latest newsletter from StoptheDrugWar.org, and a reader named “kickback” had commented on a story from L.A., about yet another unnecessary death in the futile, racist, and ludicrous drug war. I decided to turn my reply to his post into my July 4 blog here at Twilight Empire, as it got too long. I left just the introduction there, and invited the site’s visitors to read the rest via a link I inserted.
Suffice it to say I consider anyone posting there a natural ally, and poster kickback is not entirely off on this, because the upper elites in the drug biz do not get busted. The way he made his point was by saying that this outrage didn’t happen in a gated community, because it “never does.” Quite instinctively, I knew that to be false.
Memory serves (and protects!)
First of all, I am old enough to remember that the folks in gated communities in, say, the 70s and 80s could be counted on to be Leisure Worldish geezers with upper-management-level bucks, and… what? You thought all crooks and cons were young?
Be that as it may, a gated community is just not high enough up the ladder now. But kickback’s larger point, about the fact that the police introduce violence into situations unnecessarily and do not plan safer arrests, was right on. It’s a national tragedy.
Still, when I went to research the topic, it took me all of 11 seconds (and only a fraction of a second for Google itself) to find 6,210,000 results for “police raids in gated communities.” (If the link fails, it only means you’ll likely get a few more results the longer you wait…)
Of the top five result blurbs that I read before writing this post, they all described drug raids except (probably) for the last, which reported the French police raid on the home (oui, in a gated community) of former president Nicolas Sarkozy. So, in fact, the police do perform paramilitary raids wherever they damn well please, and you need way bigger money than most gated communities’ cost of entry to avoid them.
Quid pro quo, yo
Now, there are various ways to pay for that particular insurance policy—the “get out of jail free (but not too often)” card—but the most widespread means I know of personally is being useful to highly placed government, industry, media, and “general elite” members, and keeping their secrets and/or enabling them. Directorates so quickly become protectorates. Pretty soon the wagons circle themselves.
Anyway, a better point, somewhat more finely sharpened, may be that primarily career criminals—the kind of people authorities call career criminals, I should say—are getting busted in these raids. These lowlifes cannot be allowed to think they can buy their way in for a quick buck.
So what we don’t see are many of the city councilmembers and fire chiefs and union delegates and policemen and business owners and government employees and bankers and Beltway politicians and all the others enmeshed in the great graft machines created by the drug war, the political poverty and welfare wars, the actual shooting wars (even the ones outside our urban centers), and the rest of the milieu of malaise that has defined our authoritarian system for a century now. Some call it, quite accurately, the welfare-warfare state.
Bread and circuses
This is America in the 21st century, a vengeful old scold that has now armed and militarized all the formerly “local” police departments, and everything funneled through the major media is what the all-seeing eye of the state wants us to see. It lets us peek at the private lives of others, who serve as examples of why one should not be “anti-government.”
A little TSA theater to pretend we’re “safer in the skies than you would be otherwise” (sung to some corporate Christmas jingle or other, la la la), a few well-orchestrated terrorist plots “defeated” by the heroic orchestrators of the FBICIANSAETC, an example or two of what happens to those who step out of line: This isn’t exactly new stuff.
Query yourself, and others, thus:
After all the revelations—not just recently, but since the 1975-76 investigations and hearings by the U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities (the “Church Committee”) through the NSA revelations of today—why do so many people find it impossible to recognize authoritarianism for what it is? What makes any of it “governance”?
Think for a moment of the sheer scale of the corruption, betrayal, criminality, warmongering, and authoritarianism. Honestly now, what makes any of it legitimate? Or moral?
And don’t even start with “legal”—everything Stalin, Mao, and Hitler ever did was legal. And for the 10,000th time: Hitler was elected, and Jews were essentially “voted out” of personhood. Who’s wielding power now because of your vote? And do you really support America being a democracy rather than a republic? Do you know the difference?
And, finally, what’s your excuse for letting it get to this? What did you do about it? What are you doing about it now?
Or is everything fine in the land of the free and the home of the brave this July 4, 2013? The only kind of person I can fathom thinking that way, after what we’ve learned in the last months (and years), is one frozen in sneering ideological denial, carping from a perch on the hypocritical left or self-righteous right, or both.
Excuse? No, I have no excuse. Clearly I haven’t “done enough” yet. No one has. I just hope when it comes to the measure of the American people today, enough—whatever it is—isn’t too much.