Sunday, March 28, 2010

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Rules to Live By.

JoeBageant | Money, violence and politics, the three jackals that hunt together, and feast on society's craving for prohibited commodities, alcohol in the thirties and cocaine today. The politicians run the perimeter of the human herd, guiding it this way and that through speeches and legislation, providing distraction, the killers enforce the code of the pack, assuring that the money always flows in the direction of the jackal pack. The jackals are a permanent fixture of global life now, whether the commodity is crude oil under indigenous people's soil, or soil itself upon which to grow palm oil trees in Indonesia.

Theater of Jackals
Narco-trade money/violence/politics depress and frighten everyone on both sides of the border. Mexicans are depressed that their country never seems to escape these things. Americans are frightened that the soft psychological violence of their corporate state could be overshadowed by hard border style violence, that it will somehow seep across like all those brown people seem to have done over the years.

Meanwhile, the corporations drive the politicians who manage America's political consciousness, steering it around a thousand truths toward extraction of maximum profit from the American herd. The herd, honestly speaking, regards politics mostly as spectacle -- some emotionally, others as entertainment, if they think about it at all. Let's not mistake the Tea Party noise or yammer about sham healthcare "reform," both of which are theater state productions, for political involvement by "the people."

Those Americans who seldom give politics (or anything else) serious thought, simply accept whatever is spoon-fed by media and The Complex, an entity so omniscient as to be beyond their comprehension. This is quite OK with most working class Americans. They have much in common with the average working Mexican, who simply ignores politics, out of disgust, and/or semi-illiteracy. Unlike Americas who have not awakened to the slow motion coup that successfully overthrew their government decades ago, working class Mexicans here understand such defeat. They've had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for over a hundred years. I have never met anyone here who did not grasp that drug money and elite business cartels own the government because they paid cash for it. Dope and business elites pay for candidates' campaigns and the politicians in office, the same as corporate cartel money buys our Congress.

The working class folks in my neighborhood here deal with the politics of drugs and government corruption through obliviousness, either purposeful or genuine. Generations of disillusionment with politics seem to have the same effect on poor and working people everywhere, whether it is the black ghetto, the shacks of Appalachia or the hardscrabble neighborhoods of Mexico -- Apathy. Voting is compulsory in Mexico, but there is no enforcement whatsoever, lest an angry turnout affect the status quo in times of crisis, of which there are many.

American politicians have traditionally been happy with the American underclass' allergy to the voting booth. Yet some pretense of democracy must be maintained, some false flag of popular consensus held aloft, if the engines of profit are to be kept fueled and running. Which means marketing some pretty unsavory stuff as being part of what is brave, good and right about America? In hyper capitalist American culture, everything, be it cars, cancer or war, every activity, legal or illegal, must turn a corporate profit. That includes even the nastiest activities, such as drug distribution and addiction. So the far-flung network of profitable state sanctioned industries, from prisons and police battalions, to rehabilitation, are marketed as necessary fixtures of the "drug war." The term Drug War is an empty term to anyone who has even for a moment rationally examined it, two words -- like Islamo-fascism -- married incongruously in a shotgun wedding of political theater. However, for most Americans, those two words work well enough. Our attention spans are briefer than a rabbit fuck. Anything in depth is anathema. Only slogans and brands survive. We do not understand much of anything in depth except the football rating system.

But we do understand war, or believe we do, so "War on Drugs" works as a brand. It has been that way ever since the post World War II military industrialization of the country's economy and consciousness -- which are pretty much the same to us. War, of one sort or another, is the solution to most of those things that we are told threaten America -- which is to say American capitalism -- either directly or indirectly. And according to the long running national storyline, they have always come from outside our borders -- Barbary pirates, white slavers, the "Cold War," against anti-capitalist communism, terrorism, Islam, drugs, job loss to Mexicans and to China, swine flu, bird flu. Never-never-never do they result from our own actions, misjudgments or, heaven help us, our own folly.

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