FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Massacre in Dallas: America, the Ungovernable

Blowback doesn’t just happen with America’s global intervention; it happens here as well—and based on the same political-structural-ideological dynamics. Anticommunism, the rigid fixation defining the American world-view for over a century, creates an authoritarian atmosphere in which racism, xenophobia, ethnocentrism thrive, already overlaid on the foundations of a mature capitalism dependent for its functioning on militarism and class division (a grossly uneven distribution of wealth and power). This does not excuse the murder of police officers in Dallas. It helps to explain the context for its occurrence.

Violence gnaws at the national soul, a unified fabric of psychodynamics created at the outset by US counterrevolutionary engagements and practices throughout the world. Capitalism joined to militarism as mutually reinforcing agencies of hegemonic stabilization, seen in peak intensity in the American experience, profoundly affects, justifies, legitimates what goes on internally in society. What happened in scorched-earth policies in Vietnam, torture and murder at My Lai, waterboarding and rendition today, cannot but further depersonalize and, as with armed drone assassination, desensitize the political culture—to the extent that even the oppressed take on the features of the oppressor.

No, the assassin in Dallas is not thereby exonerated; beyond murdering officers, he or they defiled a peaceful march by demonstrators themselves protesting police brutality, whether Louisiana and Minnesota or the innumerable cases of daily humiliation in which white police officers have beaten down and sometimes murdered black citizens. This was not an act of revolutionary violence, but a crude imitation of falling into the abyss of white hatred and nihilism. In fact, less an imitation than an internalization of the mindset of the oppressor, the real consequence of a fascistic mode of social control and racism.

America descends into a hellish framework, which corrodes and poisons all within it, even the innocent of wrongdoing, and the victims of abuse, exploitation, arrogance, and pride, due to its infliction on other peoples and its own population as well of a projection of contempt of what is specifically human, life-giving, selfless, no longer to be found in its own identity and aspiration. But the extermination-urge directed outward, lest it return home as self-hatred, cannot go on indefinitely without provoking irremediable damage in every way. We are seeing that now with the renewal of the Cold War and its mirror image, the impulse to kill with impunity those in America who do not measure up to the patriotic standards of whiteness, affluence, conformity.

Patriotism is everywhere, pushing to the borders of Russia (US-dictated NATO strategy) and to battle groups in the South China Sea (Obama’s Pacific-first geopolitical reorganization of the global system) from an encrusted American fear of losing its unilateral chokehold on the world system. Better dead than red, better collective destruction than a multipolar and decentralized international order based on mutual respect and social justice—an order specifically and directly antithetical to US needs, values, continued prosperity.

A crazed gunman killed five officers in Dallas and wounded others. A crazed bipartisan leadership, coalesced with financial and business elites, and military brass, kill in seconds around the clock the same or greater number. Is it possible that if the latter did not happen, neither would we see more of the former? I have implied that violence is contagious; to go further, it is also causative, particularly when legitimate authority takes the lead and sanctions rules which filter down to the rest of us. Rules such as, show no quarter; brutality is next to godliness, when the (self-approved and self-defined) cause is just—which it always is.

More articles by:

Norman Pollack Ph.D. Harvard, Guggenheim Fellow, early writings on American Populism as a radical movement, prof., activist.. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail