Here We Are

by Alex Symington….

Alex Symington

After attending the annual ACLU meeting, Policing In Paradise, last week at the Harvey Government Center, Key West, I came away with a realization that today’s police misdeeds and brutality are part and parcel to and a direct bi-product of a much greater challenge that America faces; the intentional destruction of civil liberties and social contracts, the corporate co-option of our government and the privatization of nearly everything formerly in the public domain.

This phenomenon has not been an organic or random development, but a concerted effort, the result of long range goals by the power elite. These are the people that control the banks and centers of finance and commerce. They are so powerful that they can buy influence at the highest levels of government. They have no interest in any social contract, feel no responsibility for the workers that are providing them with ungodly sums of money and do not care that they are killing the planet in the process. Google the Trans-Pacific Partnership. These are the hyper-capitalist sociopaths that have forsaken all things moral in the endless pursuit of more.

This never-ending insatiable lust for more is at the root of their insanity and essentially the cause of all the planet’s woes. Like the nymphomaniac that can engage in sex hundreds of times and never be sated or the drug addict desperately trying to recreate that first perfect high, but never can, the hyper-capitalist is equally obsessed with the prospect of more, however more is never enough.

Up until the great depression of 1929 these same dangerous sociopaths operated freely with no restrictions or regulations for their risky financial behavior and the resultant suffering of the general population. Just like today they were the ruling class and felt no obligations or responsibility for the social and natural environment they operated within and profited from. With the crash of ’29 came the realization that precaution and prudent judgement were needed to prevent this calamity from being repeated. Enter the “New Deal” introduced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt; a set of reasonable laws restricting dangerous casino banking practices along with modest social contracts to prevent starvation of the American citizenry and assistance for the out-of-work.

Just as before 1929, this purist capitalist lunacy has come back from the dead like a bad horror movie in the guise of libertarian, free market and the-gospel-according-to Ayn Rand destruction of those New Deal safety measures. The Glass/Steagall Act implemented in 1933 in response to those casino banking practices of financial speculators that got us into the jackpot to begin with has been dismantled in a rare show of bi-partisan cooperation. Said dismantling started in the 1960s, coincidentally the same time the John Birch Society came into being with Fred Koch, father of Koch Industries as one of the founding members and culminating with the 1999 Gramm-Leech-Bliley Act (GLBA) which repealed the two provisions in Glass/Steagall restricting affiliations between banks (your money) and securities firms (Las Vegas).

Where else can high stakes gamblers play with someone else’s money, your money and profit wildly at no risk to themselves and if their wagers are unsuccessful, we the people, pay for their losses. The definition of investment is: “the act of investing; laying out money or capital in an enterprise with the expectation of profit.” “The expectation of profit”, not the guarantee of profit. These criminals have finally figured out how to eat that proverbial cake and have it too! John and Jane Doe are covering these criminal’s losses and thereby eliminating any risk the criminal might encounter. Voila, crime becomes legal! Thanks, Congress!

You might be wondering what this has to do with the pronounced uptick in police brutality. Quite a lot, actually. As more and more public money is syphoned off to the billionaire class in the form of tax breaks which often amount to no tax at all, money for social programs that might have gone to help with housing or mental hospitals or drug treatment facilities are no longer available. Those people that might otherwise have been helped and their lives improved are now “on the street” and frequently a police matter by default.

This situation is exacerbated by the same dead-beat billionaire’s desire to privatize the prison system. This country has five percent of the world’s population, but twenty-five percent of the world’s incarcerated are in US prisons! More than Russia and Red China combined! As municipalities are squeezed for dollars they are enticed by Corporate with the siren song of private prison for profit as the solution. Genius, really.

Then there is the fact that lobbyists that work for the prison/industrial complex write draconian laws that allow easier arrests and longer mandatory sentences to maximize income from prisoners, aka commoditized human beings, who are forced to pay for their own incarceration. Prisoners must purchase food, clothes, bedding, toiletries and phone calls while earning a whopping twenty five cents an hour, while Corporate rakes in huge profits from contracting out their prison labor. The ultimate insult is when the prisoners are finally released they are in debt to the corporate prison system and set up for failure to, once again, become a police problem and/or a commodity in the prison-for-profit racket.

It’s a win-win for Corporate as they contribute little to nothing to public coffers then “come to the aid” of strapped public entities with tall tales of cost effectiveness and “rescue” that ailing public institution. This cancer of privatization is being used in an attempt to co-opt the US postal service and has been successful with public schools, public water utilities and many other municipal public entities that Corporate has its reptilian eye on.

Add to this perfect storm the fact that the police are also on the public payroll and are feeling the economic pinch so an old source of income has been pursued with a new vigor, the seizure of money and property of the arrested. The booty is often kept regardless of guilt or innocence of the arrestee because the Police need the money! Police departments all over the country are ill equipped and lack the special training to handle the burgeoning numbers of homeless, drug/alcohol addicted and mentally ill that have been foisted on them directly and indirectly by the new paradigm of socially irresponsible neoliberal hyper-capitalism in all its shameless horror. As if all that that isn’t enough to pervert the traditional role of the police, the icing on the cake is the relentless militarization of civilian police forces and their Amero-centric congenital racism. Now we can see how we got where we are. Here.

“Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all.”- John Maynard Keynes –

Alex Symington





Facebook Comments

13 thoughts on “Here We Are

  1. it began in 1913 with the creation of a private central bank called the federal reserve. Jefferson one of the founders noted the peril over 100 years before.

    “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
    Thomas Jefferson”

    a must read for any inquiring mind is the creature from Jekyll island.

    “The Creature from Jekyll Island – one of the classic expose’s of the treachery and thievery we call “The Federal Reserve” – which is curiously neither federal, nor is it a reserve. No one cuts to the center of the issue quite like Griffin. This is an issue which impacts nearly every aspect of your material life, since you probably earn and buy almost everything you have with “Federal Reserve Notes”. The IRS, too, is but little more than a collection agency for the “Federal Reserve”. Find out the truth and the history of this evil which strangles our society.”

    1. Wanka, I’ve heard this Federal Reserve stuff, and the quotes from Jefferson many times, and do not poo-poo them away, but … to not take into account the sociological changes caused by the world as its evolved into what it is today, is ludicrous. Whatever the Federal Reserve means in this modern, industrial, neo-liberal panorama is miniscule compared to the sociological ramifications of consumerism and massification. Guys like you always try to make your libertarian point by using colonial America as a fine example of something. Dude, colonial America is gone. It’s a different world out there. You can’t apply the same principles in effect 2-3 hundred years ago. Dude, we can now dunk a basketball with ease. ciao, PCM

      1. Mr. Grapel…. one might argue, as I do, that it is economics that drives the world. the sociological evolutions you refer to are in fact driven by the economic conditions that you countenance at any given time. the families that own the banks thus create and control the money, and that in turn allows them to own and control all of the economies of the world, and ultimately all of us. when you are owned, your agenda is a derivative of those that own you, not self directed, nor organic. or maybe that’s too abstract?? just a thought.

        1. Keysbum, I agree wholeheartedly with this comment. We are slaves to this economic concept and yes, it is the catalyst for all the social ills humanity now owns. But that does not change the fact that it is the sociological ramifications of this economic system that is the on-the-ground reasons for such negativity. Consumerism, or whatever the hoo you want to call it, would now exist with or without a Federal Reserve. The “idea” is consumerism, and the economic system is its engine. Perhaps we have a bit of a chicken and egg problem here, but the sociology of it is more important than the system itself. Good stuff, PCM

      2. jerry I have also heard the refrain…”but but but things are different now”… my heartfelt response has been and is ‘no they are not’… the principle of economics does not change with the date and time we are in. consider the fall of the roman empire to see the parallels.
        please read the ‘creature’ and then think again of the Jefferson quote…dude!
        oh and btw I agree colonial America is gone some 200+ years ago however the principles of our founders constitution live on timelessly. we were given a republic if we could keep it…not a collective which we’re transitioning to.

        1. Wankajm, I disagree. Such things as traffic lights, zoning laws or EPA regulations are nothing more than a reaction to changing times and conditions. In a world so intricate and hyper-populated, we ARE a collective, we NEED to be a collective, and basically, humans want to be part of a collective. Even your corporate driven, market driven paradigm is made up of huge collectives, collectives I reject as being self centered, amoral (at best), and impervious to the common good. I’d rather put my trust in other forms of collectiveness, but not exclusively. See my essay The True Left. ciao, PCM

  2. Alex, The statistic you put forth about prison populations in the world is staggering. I never knew this existed to THIS extent. In any event, as one who cannot ever lie to myself, can I thank you for giving me my dose of depression today … and in general? If so, thanks … or no thanks. But the sheer truth is this: someone has top say these things and I greatly thank you for it. ciao, PCM

    1. Jerome,….thanks? 🙂 It is not my intent to bum people out, but rather to nudge them into action, if possible…The brain dead and complacent are a lost cause, but we have a pretty lively and engaged bunch of coconuts at Blue! Peace

  3. Alex,

    As usual, very detailed and magnificently written. Your courage, commitment and intelligence are crucial ingredients, as we move forward. Thank you for your brilliant contributions….

    As you know, ‘one step at a time’, ‘one foot in front of another’; ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step’; we are reaching critical mass, “a change is gonna come”.

    I have experienced extraordinary miracles, regarding antidotes to the toxic happenings that you’ve described. I’ve found that as I press on with my calling, I’ve grown in ways indescribable. Perhaps my involvement may have benefitted others; however, it most certainly expanded my understanding and awareness of life. In some respects my consciousness has been catapulted into another dimension because of the hardships and difficulties faced.

    Sometimes, it was those very experiences, situations and individuals that I disliked most; which caused my advancement. I was unable to appreciate the darkness I felt at the time, as a Blessing.

    I have individuals such as yourself, to thank for my growth.

    Blessings & Respect….

  4. Wankjm, I see no point in this article with regard to our discussion. Whether we are talking about the government or private institutions, it is PEOPLE that create policy and the results of such. I believe in a certain form of market driven activity, in fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But private interests in possession of omnipotent power is a bad situation for the bulk of humanity. All I ask for is a rational form of refereeing, such that the market actually does perform as it should. Only an entity outside market activities can do this. Look, you can’t let the players referee the game. It’s as simple as that. ciao, PCM

    1. but jerry I must disagree. policy is not created by ‘the people’ but by ‘private interests’ exactly like the ones I point out in the link and yes a very bad situation for humanity as you say. however the way these ‘private interests’ have taken totalitarian control is because ‘we the people’ have been asleep at the switch ie not refereeing the game. welcome to the matrix!

      is not our declaration/constitution/bill of rights predicated on ‘we the people’?
      did not franklin hold that the people have been given a republic [but only] if they can keep it! suffice to say the ‘people’ lost it long ago to a growing fascist collective state with individualism as its core enemy and unfortunately participants in the collective knowingly or unknowingly cheer on more of the same.

      ever wonder how people with the lowest of ethics and values can be elected and become career politicians for 30 and more years and our country continues downhill?
      again welcome to the matrix.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.