Discussion:
Arizona shooting
(too old to reply)
Dan
2011-01-10 22:25:20 UTC
Permalink
A. The shooting in Arizona could either be dismissed as the work of
a disturbed individual or seen as a reflection of the way US
society is going (and has been going for some time).
B. People are frustrated with a jobless recovery, emphasized by the
release of figures showing that the unemployment rate in the US
is going down NOT because more jobs are created but because 270
000 people ceased looking for a job (or rather ceased reporting
to employment agencies, which is not the same thing)
C. While ALL OTHER industrialized Capitalist countries see free
healthcare as a basic human right, the US begs to disagree.
D. On the matter of taxes, the richest 1% in the US gets off with
outrageous tax cuts (as it does in France). And yet, lower
middle-class Americans are still viscerally opposed to
increasing taxes for the well-to-do (contrary to France). An
extraordinary situation. Usually, when a country is hit by
economic recession, the population angrily demands higher
taxation of the wealthy. Wealth should be re-distributed after
all.
E. The US is truly unique in being able to encourage capital
accumulation (tepid as it might be) of the rich WITH THE ASSENT
of the lower-income rest of the population.
F. The stunning contradictions between forced poverty and
subservience on the one hand, and ideological acquiescence and
absence of anti-rich rhetoric on the part of the have-nots on
the other is a feat that is due, IMHO, to the power of the
American media in shaping the aspirations and worldview of
American society. This results in an insane loner, a
down-trodden victim of the "System" taking his anger out ... on
someone who voted for universal health care.
Dan
2011-01-10 22:57:46 UTC
Permalink
"Who comes trip-trapping over my bridge ?""It's only me, the smallest
billy-goat and I'm not a troll (despite being called one on this list),
sir. And you'll find loads of other goats beyond this meadow.""Very well
then, you may pass."
On the subject of religious minorities having the right to follow their
religion and shun secular society, I naturally think that they do have
such a right.
I nevertheless entertain doubts, on purely logical grounds, on their
right to impose their fundamentalist views on their children.
A distinction can be made between cultural traditions (religious
ceremonies, superstitions, ethics, outward traditions of devotion) and
imposing a worldview on a child centered on obedience to authority and
rejection of free thought.
The secular and humanist tradition that is still alive in France used to
be very influential in the US (Thomas Paine for exmple).
If an individual's frame of reference is fear of punishment from a
father in the sky and eagerness to placate such a divinity, then,
however "egalitarian" or "communitarian" his religion, he WILL end up
accepting charismatic figures and religious authorities as "knowing
best".
Dan
2011-01-10 23:34:30 UTC
Permalink
Well, the United States has the highest number of heads of State
assassinated of any Western country since the 18th century.

In 1864, US President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by a
"pro-Confederalist".
In 1881, US President James A. Garfield was assassinated by a Christian
millenarist turned unsuccessful businessman.
In 1901,US President William McKinley was assassinated by a
self-proclaimed Anarchist

US President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated by a
self-professed "pro-Castro" Marxist.

All this really points to a tradition of the lone, disgruntled assassin
making a point in order for "the rest of American society to take
notice". Examples of what Palin would call "American exceptionalism",
the belief that what affects the political leadership of the US has
universal, cosmic significance because America IS the nexus of the
universe, as portrayed in US media.
Dan
2011-01-10 23:53:10 UTC
Permalink
We in radical unions in France are paying close attention to the
developments in Algeria and Tunisia. We are trying to help, through
international workers' solidarity, the independent unions from these
countries.

Workers from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco are being persecuted, fired
(for exemple in the hydrocarbon industry) and forced to flee for staging
protests against low pay, inflation and corruption. They then end up in
"retention centres" in Europe with only limited time to claim refugee
status before being sent back to North Africa where many of them will be
imprisoned, or worse, "questioned" by the secret police.
Ismail Lagardien
2011-01-11 01:41:09 UTC
Permalink
A friend posted this passage on his facebook profile:

"If this were happening in Iran, it would be in the news incessantly, with much
finger-wagging against the repressive regime.
Because it's happening in two of the sclerotic despotisms the West supports
(not least as allies in the "war on terror"), it barely registers."

Just sharing.

Ismail Lagardien
Department of Politics and Public Administration

Elon University
Elon, NC
27244

Tel: +1(612) 227-5037 (Personal)
Dan
2011-01-11 00:30:50 UTC
Permalink
So what ?
Americans are going to hug each other and tone down partisan rhetoric ?
The shock at the massacre has shown that "words can kill", polarization
is evil ? And with this realization, citizens will all unite against
those who seek to "pervert" the American Way of Life ?
Yeah, yeah. Enough with the PR stuff. The rich and powerful must (they
are compelled to do so under Capitalism) continue to dominate the rest
of society. They have their own agenda, and it is significantly
different from ours. With the continued deterioration of the economy,
they are shifting towards a more "totalitarian" (that is more drastic,
more "total" solutions) rhetoric. Palin calling for Assange to be "taken
out" is to be expected. But the real (though hidden) direction of all
this talk is, I suspect, to get people ready for MORE not LESS
authoritarian policies, including economic interventionism. The IRS is
not a real threat to Big Business, absence of economic support from the
federal government is.
Dan
2011-01-11 02:08:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ismail Lagardien
"If this were happening in Iran, it would be in the news incessantly,
with much finger-wagging against the repressive regime.
Because it's happening in two of the sclerotic despotisms the West supports
(not least as allies in the "war on terror"), it barely registers."

Well, it don't matter mister whether it is the Iranian regime keeping
the unemployed in line in Teheran with bullets or the Tunisian regime
doing the same with CIA-backing, or the French, or the US regime for
that matter.
I happen to work with a lot of Iranians, and Tunisians, and French
people.
Media attention comes and goes, working class solidarity remains.
Playing the game of opposing Iranian bus drivers (whose strike will be
reported by CNN) against Tunisian bus drivers (whose strike will not be
reported by CNN) because one is supposedly an "anti-imperialist" country
and the other a US lapdog might serve a purpose of educating the US
public as to the ills of their corrupt establishment, but I thought the
goal was emancipation by the workers themselves.
Néstor Gorojovsky
2011-01-11 06:33:36 UTC
Permalink
However right Dan may be (or not), the hard fact is that Ismail?s
point is THE point at stake when it comes to imperialist media
coverage of both Iran and Morocco. If a fly is killed in a car running
along a lonely countryside road in Iran by a government official, be
sure a wave of outraged acrimony will swamp the media. If a couple
dozens Moroccan workers are slaughtered by a government official in
the main square of Marrakech, a couple of lines at most will mark
their global obituary.

This should be telling something, I think, Daniel.

Unless, of course, we believe imperialism ceased to exist.
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Post by Ismail Lagardien
"If this were happening in Iran, it would be in the news incessantly,
with much finger-wagging against the repressive regime.
?Because it's happening in two of the sclerotic despotisms the West supports
(not least as allies in the "war on terror"), it barely registers."
Well, it don't matter mister whether it is the Iranian regime keeping
the unemployed in line in Teheran with bullets or the Tunisian regime
doing the same with CIA-backing, or the French, or the US regime for
that matter.
--
N?stor Gorojovsky
El texto principal de este correo puede no ser de mi autor?a
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