Americans and the world have experienced an interesting Post Labor Day ride so far; there's no telling where this careening handbasket is headed, but Chaos seems to be the principal objective of our diminishing set of High and Mighty.
Chaos. Fear, uncertainty and doubt. And futility.
Don't forget futility.
For years I've tried to ponder on the subject of what Our Betters could possibly be thinking while they go about making a titanic mess of local and global affairs and fight one another for pre-eminence and wealth.
What could they be thinking? Can there actually be thought behind these endlessly appalling and chaotic developments we are witnessing day in and day out? It hardly seems possible.
They clearly want us to believe that any action we might take in opposition to their madness is futile, utterly futile. We can do nothing about what they're doing -- except submit, willingly or unwillingly, it doesn't matter.
We can complain all we like, but it doesn't matter. They will do what they will without regard to what we may or may not think about it.
As long as we don't do anything to interfere with their comfort and convenience, why should they care what we think about anything?
For the past several months the growing movement against police violence and murder has been protesting and demonstrating in many cities around the country, demanding police accountability and an end to police murder. The James Boyd killing in Albuquerque in March started a series of protests and demonstrations that have spread across the country, to New York and St. Louis in particular after the killings of Eric Garner and Mike Brown, but there have been so many others. Hundreds and hundreds killed by police since Boyd was killed, more than 200 since Mike Brown was killed in August.
Are we supposed to think that our protest is futile? Are we supposed to believe that the police have been given free rein to hunt and kill at will? Are we supposed to believe that police owe the public no accountability for their actions, they are only accountable to... to whom? Or to what?
Are we supposed to believe that poor people, homeless people, mentally ill people, people of color and young people are always fair game for police, and that old people, defiant people, and anyone carrying or "reaching for" what might-could be a gun will at any arbitrary moment subject to summary execution?
And are we supposed to accept this state of affairs, submit compliantly, uncomplainingly?
Is that right?
Is that how it is?
Cosmetics and public relations seem to be the response of those in authority to the protests of the people against police violence, and when they don't work, there has been a quick reversion to threats, intimidation, and more violence. At no point during the continuing series of protests and demonstrations against police violence and murder have those in authority made any concession to the demands of the protesters. For the most part, those protests and protesters have been ignored by those who can actually do something about the problem. To the extent they have been acknowledged, the acknowledgement has been cosmetic or brutal.
In other words, nothing substantive has taken place to correct the problems of police abuse, misconduct, mayhem and murder. The killing goes on and on and on, a steady tattoo of three or four victims a day, day in and day out, world without end, amen.
How many are brutalized and crippled, who knows? How many are living with PTSD and psychological trauma because of police brutality and misconduct is anybody's guess but it must be in the many tens of thousands.
The police refuse to accept any responsibility for their misconduct and bloodlust, and to an extent I can understand. They are doing what is expected of them by their superiors and by their elected and appointed employers. What the public thinks about it is of little or no concern to them. They reject out of hand any accountability to the public -- apart from routine cosmetic statements which seem to have been produced en masse by PR departments.
So what are we to do? The protests continue to be ignored or put down or and in many cases the "issue" is individualized and shunted off to agencies, departments, grand juries, and district attorneys to "investigate" -- which typically means endless delay -- and then do nothing except exonerate the officer(s) involved. As long as procedures are followed, how could there possibly be a problem?
The public will just have to learn its lesson.
Oh, now and then a few officers, the lowest ranking, may have to retire early or fall on their swords to mollify the public, but nothing is done to alter the policies and protocols that lead to so much carnage. Not "nothing." No, what tends to be done is to "professionalize" the policies to make them even more certainly lethal more often. In other words, what tends to be done is to make things worse. The various domestic wars on crime ensure that the policies and protocols that lead to the carnage and killing remain in place.
The public barely knows what's really going on let alone how to undo the nightmare. A simple count of the dead is one thing. To understand why is something else again.
As long as that is the case, the futility of resistance is assured, no?
We never really know in advance what kind of action will move the powers that be to reform. We must try and try again until we have found a way to do it.
Meanwhile, the imposition of Chaos continues unabated.