By David Glenn Cox
There is a level of anxiety that is palpable in our society. It is neither new nor mysterious. Rather, it is expected and predictable. The same events net the same results. John Steinbeck said it, “repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.” Hungry peasants plagued the Pharaohs and burned Rome. Riots are the check engine lights on society something is bad wrong and making noise. Something akin to a Soviet style malaise, lines, and limitations a stressful existence trying to obtain the basic needs of life.
Add in an orange painted imbecile who shouldn’t be allowed on a public microphone publicly supporting groups that would like to see you harmed. Real fine people toting guns around in G.I. Joe Action man fatigues playing dress up and getting away with it and then you witness the murder of George Floyd. The contempt and lack of human empathy. I’m strangling the life out of a fellow human being and I couldn’t care less. This isn’t, I thought he had a gun or a high-speed chase. He just murdered him because he felt like doing it. Murdered him in front of cameras and spectators with an attitude of “this is what we do.”
Real wages haven’t grown in decades. The minimum wage is disgraceful, and this is what you get. When the amount of money and property falls into too few hands expect riots. Not one time or sometimes but every time. When societies offer only negative opportunities, they become unessential. They become prisons where you can neither fit nor escape their consequences. So why should you care about a society that won’t let you in and won’t let you out? A world where every traffic stop could be your last moments on Earth. A world where you could be the next George Floyd.
I raised my son to be right thinking American. I started him on The Three Stooges at an early age. The episodes from the 1930s where the cop gets hit in the head with a watermelon or knocked over repeatedly by beer barrels. It’s funny cause they’re sticking it to the man. The police weren’t very popular during the Great Depression. To 1930s American audiences a cop catching a watermelon with his head was funny as hell. So was destroying a high society dinner party giving that big shot a pie in the face or throwing food at the opera singer. Quite a subversive little trio, generally on the wrong side of the law.
During the 1930s riots occurred in every major city in the country. Make your plans now as more are coming to a neighborhood near you. Twelve hundred dollars checks over ten weeks and it is the end of the month. States overwhelmed by unemployment claims some about to go broke in two months. Forty million unemployed without a safety net. Maybe that’s what the Trump Fascist Party wants? To burn down society and rebuild it in a Fascist likeness. But uprisings and revolutions never go as expected you never know when a weakness will be exposed. Minneapolis Fire Department worked round the clock nearly to exhaustion and finally had to triage which fires to put out.
They’ve got plenty of rubber bullets and tear gas grenades, drones and horse mounted soldiers but they don’t have enough fire trucks. They can defend themselves and buildings and intersections, but they can’t defend society from the weaponized match. The power elite stand exposed as impotent. Bus drivers in New York refused to carry the arrested for the police. If the protests were to continue for ten or twenty-five days? Police and Fire Departments exhausted, roads closed areas closed with a curfews in effect killing the economy we are spending trillions trying to save.
I heard one rioter say, “This is what you get!” Yep this is what you get. Treat people like shit make every day harder than the last to survive. Destroy their job security, take away their healthcare make them insecure make them choose between food and rent and then watch how they act. All of the training and equipment and the Secret Service struggled to hold a fence line in place at the White House. Mayors and Governors holding press conferences pleading for protestors to go home. It is the only tool they have left after the police have failed. After that, the shooting starts, and we move to the next level. Any country that must shoot its citizens to retain control is already out of control.
Mitch McConnell is saying this is the last stimulus bill telegraphing to millions, “Starve you bastards! Die! Go live in the street! Go Away!” A subliminal message of let them eat cake. The Republican Senate which once seemed so unassailable is now a ripe plum about to drop in Democratic hands and the Republicans don’t get it yet. The orange one’s bloviating about shooting people only illustrates his disconnection from reality. It’s easy to start shooting, it’s a difficult thing to stop and once that first bullet is fired they have lost. Lost credibility, lost legitimacy and lost the right to govern.
“If you who own the things people must have could understand
this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate
causes from results, if you could know Paine, Marx,
Jefferson, Lenin, were results, not causes, you might survive.
But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes
you forever into “I,” and cuts you off forever from the “we.”
― John Steinbeck