Premise Four: Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims.
Premise Five: The property of those higher on the hierarchy is more valuable than the lives of those below. It is acceptable for those above to increase the amount of property they control – in everyday language, to make money – by destroying or taking the lives of those below. This is called production. If those below damage the property of those above, those above may kill or otherwise destroy the lives of those below. This is called justice.*
Another day, another explosion. This time in Lakeland, Florida.
As bad as I feel for Trayvon Martin, his was but one of the legal murders committed in America. It just depends, as it always has, on who is doing the killing.
Whole towns are now being devastated from explosions, yes, but also oil spills and water contamination. If you haven’t seen Gasland I or II, I highly recommend them; they will open your eyes to what is allowable and legal in the United States of America these days. Dish, Texas is so polluted the mayor of the town moved out. Mayflower, Arkansas is still in the dark about what Exxon may or may not do to clean up their mess. Marshall, Michigan still isn’t cleaned up, three years later. I suspect the people of West, Texas are still jumpy. It goes without saying that the Gulf of Mexico will never recover.
Corporations get tiny little fines, generally a cost of doing business, and continue spilling, leaking and lying. They get subsidies bigger than the fines, courtesy of their pals in Congress.
Meanwhile, Americans are being killed and sickened while that essential of life – water – is allowed to be polluted. You can’t fix a polluted aquifer. The corporations say, “oops, sorry” and continue on their merry way, leaving blight behind them.
There is no accountability or “rule of law” bullshit that politicians pull out of their ass whenever violence goes up the hierarchy. As long as violence flows from the elites to the masses, that is allowed. When violence goes the other way, well, that’s when torture, rendition, and targeted assassination are added to the skill set, along with the usual rigged criminal “justice” system and school to prison pipeline.
Really, let’s think about this for a moment. We’re not talking about an individual here or there, we’re talking about whole towns blown up or poisoned. And that is allowed.
Even that is nothing new. The superfund sites and cancer clusters can almost always be found on the poor side of town. “Those people” have never really factored into any big decisions. They are the first to be abandoned when the resources are gone and it’s time to move on, to suck up someone else’s resources.
But now the middle class is starting to understand that they, too, are fungible in this corporate owned world view. Our resources have been raided, of course, by the Wall Street Vampire Squid, and I have no doubt that they aren’t done.
But as we ratchet up the extraction, as the population numbers grow by 200,000 people a day, those unfortunate by-products of industrial civilization (pollution, CO2, methane, spills, etc.) can’t be restricted or contained to a certain part of town anymore.
There used to be an implied social contract in this country. If you worked hard, paid your way, played by the rules, got an education, you’d do better, be more comfortable financially and physically than if you didn’t. You could afford better housing in safe areas, with good school systems and the next generation would reap the rewards. That is no longer so true anymore.
Nothing stays the same, of course. We’re seeing a bold disdain for anyone who questions the status quo at any level, and the government response to Constitutionally protected civil dissent has been so extreme as to leave no doubt about future intentions. The people being arrested now aren’t “just” fringe ideologues, they are grandmothers and farmers and ranchers and parents.
The people we’ve been electing to Congress have abdicated all responsibility for actually writing the laws….this they delegate to special interest groups…..their full time job is running for re-election.
The laws being enacted these days protect the elite and no one else. The NDAA alone gives the American President permission to kill or render any US citizen anywhere in the world with no due process. That is just about as extreme a law as you could describe, but there are many others. Any list would have to begin with Citizen’s United and include state bills like the so-called Ag-Gag bills and the Right to Work bills, as well as the Stand Your Ground laws. All of these bills have been written by ALEC or groups like them.
A nation of laws, huh? Sure. We’re a nation of laws. Look who is writing them.
*Premises are taken from Endgame Vol. 1 the Problem of Civilization by Derrick Jensen