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.

Weekend Edition
April 27, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Louis Proyect
Racism and Eugenics, American-Style
April 26, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
As Trump Berates Iran, His Options are Limited
Daniel Warner
From May 1968 to May 2018: Politics and Student Strikes
Simone Chun – Kevin Martin
Diplomacy in Korea and the Hope It Inspires
George Wuerthner
The Attack on Wilderness From Environmentalists
CJ Hopkins
The League of Assad-Loving Conspiracy Theorists
Richard Schuberth
“MeToo” and the Liberation of Sex
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Sacred Assemblies in Baghdad
Dean Baker
Exonerating Bad Economic Policy for Trump’s Win
Vern Loomis
The 17 Gun Salute
Gary Leupp
What It Means When the U.S. President Conspicuously and Publicly Removes a Speck of Dandruff from the French President’s Lapel
Robby Sherwin
The Hat
April 25, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Selective Outrage
Dan Kovalik
The Empire Turns Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again!
Joseph Essertier
The Abductees of Japan and Korea
Ramzy Baroud
The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago
W. T. Whitney
Imprisoned FARC Leader Faces Extradition: Still No Peace in Colombia
Manuel E. Yepe
Washington’s Attack on Syria Was a Mockery of the World
John White
My Silent Pain for Toronto and the World
Dean Baker
Bad Projections: the Federal Reserve, the IMF and Unemployment
David Schultz
Why Donald Trump Should Not be Allowed to Pardon Michael Cohen, His Friends, or Family Members
Mel Gurtov
Will Abe Shinzo “Make Japan Great Again”?
Binoy Kampmark
Enoch Powell: Blood Speeches and Anniversaries
Frank Scott
Weapons and Walls
April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail