THE WHITE RULING CLASS in Ferguson, Missouri is obviously terrified by the anger of the town's African-American majority population – hence the rush toward reforms reported in useful detail by The New York Times two days ago.
The PollyAnna liberals, of course, will soon be hailing the reforms as a great triumph, the silver lining in the storm-dark clouds of Michael Brown's death and the still darker portends of the local police fulfilling the purpose for which they have been federalized and militarized – to serve as capitalism's army of occupation in the USian Empire's domestic colonies. But nothing will change save the gradual banishment of that conquered-territory image, which must be suppressed because it (correctly) tells us our overlords think Iraq, Afghanistan and the imperial homeland are tactically and strategically interchangeable. That's why, within weeks if not days, a team of obscenely salaried Josef Goebbels wanna-bees will be revising our recollections of what really happened so that eventually Ferguson fits the official Horatio Alger version of U.S. history. And do not doubt they will succeed. The USian Ruling Class manages the most diabolically sophisticated tyranny in all human time, and its propagandists are the most effective truth-benders ever: note how they have already revised the story of Martin Luther King Jr. to remove the “r” from his call to revolution.
No doubt the propagandists will do with Ferguson as they have done with the life and death of Rev. King – they'll afix a smiley face to it. Picture a smiley face replacing the Roman execution order atop a medically accurate representation of Jesus' crucifixion agonies, or (like the Arbeit Macht Frei above the main gate at Auschwitz), hung at the entrance to Guantanamo: in either instance, complete with its slogan – “have a happy day” – and you'll understand the ultimate grotesquerie of this approach. Its historical context is especially telling: the smiley face emerged at the height of the Vietnam War, as if it were an admonition to capitalism's victims: “have a happy day” (or else).
Yes that is the precisely sort of predator nation in which we now live, as the dismantling of the New Deal, the nullification of the Civil Rights Movement, the defeat of feminism and the terrifying triumphs of the lavishly funded theocratic counter-revolution prove beyond all argument. “Reform” in this context is fraud – its sole purpose is deception, an illusion of “change” that does nothing more than temporarily cloak the savagery of capitalism, which is so malevolent it can no more be “reformed” than cancer.
But this time the marks know the score. The Ferguson residents who dismiss the reform effort as a scam are undoubtedly correct. The black community, like all other USian minority communities, has learned from bitter experience that anything the Ruling Class gives, the Ruling Class can just as quickly take back – and no doubt will. Blacks know what too many of the rest of us still refuse to learn: the federalized, militarized police and their conversion into capitalism's army of occupation in the homeland colonies means Ferguson is Everywhere U.S.A. just as Michael Brown is all of us – every 99 Percenter regardless of race or gender or age.
Sometimes, rather than offer bogus reforms, the Ruling Class merely lies, a response at which the president is an obvious master. Hence Obama the Orator's 2008 campaign slogan, “change we can believe in” – possibly the most glaring Big Lie in U.S. political history – and his post-electoral transformation to Barack the Betrayer. Now in the latter persona he is again showing his true Republican selfhood by helping Pennsylvania privatize Medicaid, which – exactly as intended – will significantly worsen the plight of the state's poor, no doubt in some cases fatally, all the while enabling the One Percent to turn a handsome profit on the resultant misery.
Since Obama's absolute fealty to the Ayn Rand principles of capitalism is so obvious, I would also question the promises by the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Ferguson and an even more obvious atrocity in Louisiana, where a black man who'd been arrested, searched and shackled with his hands behind his back and locked into a police car then supposedly produced a concealed handgun and fatally shot himself.
The president has also called for a “review” of his own police federalization-and-militarization policies. (Yes, the process of turning the police into storm troopers was begun under Bush II, but like the nullification of the Bill of Rights, Obama has continued it with a vengeance.) Probably all the “review” means is the imposition of new measures to cover up the ongoing conversion of the police into a new Schutzstaffel. We the People are becoming more rebellious, and the One Percenters, who worry the imperial war machine might not reliably kill U.S. citizens, are becoming terrified. Hence here in the United States the aristocracy turns to the police, exactly as the aristocrats did in Tsarist Russia, which gives “serve and protect” a new and decidedly more Ayn Randish meaning.
Hence too what I would anticipate from these investigations is nothing more than dramatic pronouncements in the characteristic Obama style: compelling rhetorical flourishes that when carefully analyzed say exactly nothing and change even less. Bear in mind too it's an election year: that means Obama's required to (seemingly) pander to the Democratic base. Never mind all the sensible Democrats (of which, long ago, I was one) have already figured out the party labels are meaningless – that we're governed by one Ruling Class party of two names, and that the only meaningful difference between the Republicans and the Democrats is the former are fascists and brag about it while the latter are every bit as fascist but try to hide it behind a smokescreen of lies.
As many of you know I was an active supporter of the Civil Rights Movement and in 1963 was jailed on related charges in Knoxville, Tennessee. Reasoning from the eye-opening lessons I learned then and during the subsequent 18 months I remained in the South, I have selected a three more follow-up stories that seem to me to capture the essence of Ferguson's importance – and more importantly stress the fact Ferguson is (as I said above, and as cannot be said too many times) Everywhere U.S.A. One of these texts is a Popular Resistance.org piece that makes the point the killing of Michael Brown and other young black men is part of the nationwide class war, “massive disinvestment in urban neighborhoods and unconscionable levels of joblessness and economic underdevelopment.” Another is an Associated Press dispatch Reader Supported News rescued from the Orwell hole: it says the Ferguson resistance is inspiring a nationwide resistance movement – which is precisely what the Ruling Class doesn't want us to know. Lastly, also from the previous week – I now feel I should apologize for having been so caught up in the personal angst of viewing newsprint copies of my fire-destroyed photography – a Truthout exclusive examines the clash between “peacekeepers” and activists that is a vital part of the Ferguson backstory. It is actually a new twist to an old conflict: in my day, the “peacekeepers” were called Uncle Toms.
Finally here are three more stories that fall into the “as-if-there-were-any-remaining-doubts” category.
The first reveals the extent to which the so-called Main Stream Media (MSM) has become the government's propaganda apparatus, a perfectly logical evolution given the fact government at all USian levels is now a de facto subsidiary of Wall Street. In other words, government and business have merged, producing the ever-more-obvious reality of “capitalist governance” – absolute power and unlimited profit for the One Percent, total subjugation for all the rest of us – what earlier generations knew as fascism.
Next, in the second report, we have another revelation of the forceable imposition of Christian theocracy on the military. Undoubtedly (though the text doesn't say it), this is a desperate effort by the Ruling Class to use the Prosperity Gospel in an attempt to bolster the political reliability of the troops. Will the theocrats succeed? Will biblical law replace remnants of our constitution? Margaret Atwood surely thinks so – and having lived in the South, which is already a functional theocracy, I tend to agree.
Lastly, an anti-Michael Brown website provides a new yardstick by which to measure the magnitude of USian racism – one of the many reasons I believe we are not far from the emergence of an USian Nazism that will target racial, sexual, political and spiritual minorities here in the bourgeoning Fourth Reich much as they were targeted in the Third Reich. But here it will no doubt be under the aegis of a smiley face, perhaps even with clowns to comfort the children before they are gassed: “have a happy day.”
LB/14 September 2014