Good to see more evidence that America is now a third-world/developing nation (albeit with toys on credit). Social services continue on the brink of collapse, the government violates its own laws in the name of “security from terrorists,” wealthy corporations with tight connections to the government get bid-less contracts while the country accumulates ever larger foreign debts. The poor are told to save themselves in a natural disaster, prices of foodstuffs are on the rise, and a corporation owned by a foreign monarchy gets to purchase a large chunk of the country’s infrastructure outright. Oh yeah, and there’s a totally dumbassed war killing thousands in the background.
About the only thing missing is the Army manning checkpoints and throwing dissidents out of airplanes. They’re already patrolling the airports now, but I guess we’ll have to wait for the next terrorist attack for posse comitatus to go completely out the window.
4 thoughts on “A Developing Nation”
They have military patrols in some of the railway stations, too, and cops with machine guns in city parks.
In all my “not totally fucked yet” moments I keep forgetting about the paramilitarization of ever-larger segments of law enforcement.
It was also tempting to throw California’s brownouts in there too, but you can only put so many things in a comma-separated list before it gets unweildy.
I find the pretense more threatening than the reality. What people can convince themselves they’re not doing seems like a bigger deal to me. There’s a quality of sadistic longing to people who want to hurt others badly and find themselves unable to achieve the supportive justifications that would let them think they’re still good people.
For the “not totally fucked” file: that there is a pretense, however hackneyed and unconvincing, indicates those desirous of a lockdown security state aren’t sure how far they can push it. Destruction of moral sensbility takes a lot of effort, even in a couch potato country. The bullying and the chickenshit character of the high ranking dudes creates resentment. They have to watch their backs too against opportunists seeking to replace them.
To be sure, even Hitler and Stalin maintained their pretenses: the Nazis weren’t really gassing people in those Happy Fun Camps, and all Stalin’s victims were counter-revolutionaries seeking to reinstall the long-dead Czar or the arch-traitor-Fascist, Trotsky.
Plausible deniability writ large: it’s about giving people just enough of a fig-leaf to salve their consciences.
A few years ago I watched some TV show where they went through the Gestapo records for Munich. Apparently there were only 48 officers in that Chicago-sized city, and they were trying to figure out how less than fifty people could round up thousands of people and terrorize the remaining millions.
It turned out that they didn’t terrorize the remaining millions, because most of the people sent to the camps were sent there by their neighbors. They actually took the file of a “suspected lesbian” who lived in a shack at the edge of some neighborhood or othe, and tracked down the person who first dropped this “suspected lesbian’s” name to the Gestapo. When questioned about it, the informant only whined about how “it’s such a shame that people are dragging this up again, I heard about this on television.” Her eyes told a different story, one aparently screaming to get out, but her pride refused to let her just confess that she’d been responsible for having a woman killed in order to (my guess) raise her property values.
So the end result is a mass movement to find sociopaths who’re willing to do the dirty work for them. Which puts “Boondock Saints” and all the other reactionary comic books-turned-movies out there into a whole other perspective.
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