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27 April 2015

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Fred

Adam,

"if we have leaders that can recognize opportunities for real, positive improvements rather than opportunistically exploiting the reality Angelos so clearly describes for their own and their patrons limited self interests."

Poor John Angelos, well more like white liberal multimillionaire finally finding that poverty is bad - and NAFTA, brought to us by Bill Clinton, made it worse. (He left out the part of Mexico's small farmers going broke because of it and how they promptly came North looking for work at any wage, thus increasing drastically the competition faced by young low skilled African American job seekers, but hey, immigration is good, because they all vote Democratic - like John.)

All those politicians he supported all those years he was getting rich(er) didn't have the best economic interests of the poor at heart? I don't need a millionaire to read me his statement of new found principles, however correct in the immediate present it might be. What the "American political elite" have been doing recently, to cap off their four decades of success (in exporting American manufacturing overseas and destroying the economic viability of many of Mexico's small farmers - thus putting immigration on steroids) is discrediting the very institutions of governance that help make this Republic function.

Now that the city he lives in is facing the same fate as Detroit did in 1967 he discovers that the "elite" politicians have failed the young (and poor) African Americans living there? Where was John Angelos when Eric Holder and the rest of the Obama Administration were busy NOT ensuring that an "... investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged" in Ferguson, Missouri or in Sanford, Florida? Where was he when the President of UVA denied due process to fraternity members based on a completely unsubstantiated article in Rolling Stone? Heck, the ink is hardly dry on the pseudo retraction of the last one. That University - and others - is setting the tone for disregarding the Constitution when it is politically expedient to do so. That's where the bigger danger to the Republic lies.

jerseycityjoan

Dr. Silverman,

I am afraid that when the American public really wakes up to its situation there will be hell to pay for quite some time.

Personally I feel we are not near the explosion point for all the nonelites in this country -- yet. We have a lot of unhappy and disgusted people who are filled with fear about the future.. However, we still don't have enough yet who are sufficiently fed up and desperate enough to reach their own personal tipping point, where the next big thing that happens they say, that's enough and translate feelings and talk into concrete action.

Anybody who was an adult in this country when both parties had liberals, moderates and conservatives -- and when the vast majority of politicians and voters were somewhere in the mushy middle between the outliers of the right and left -- is now in their mid 50s or older. Anybody young today has only known their state legislatures and Congress to be tied up in knots and both parties more interested in raising and spending money, promoting special interests and protecting their fellow elites both here and around the world than representing the interests of their constituents. The older group has stayed quiet through a lot of steady but gradual decline since the 1970s.

There is no reason to think the nonelite young people of any race will accept a lifetime of having less than their parents and grandparents while putting up with so much more without a fight.

I do not know what will happen but I think we all could be very surprised by how much and how quickly social unrest may be a frequent thing. If we had more elites like John Angelos looking after our interests things would be better and different.

But he's both right in much if not most of what he says and he's an outlier, betraying the selfish and willfully blind members of his economic class in the statement you quote.

Patrick Bahzad

Adam,

A very interesting piece with wide ranging implications ... Regarding the colour revolutions, I have some doubts as to whether they do qualify as revolutions, or were even intended as revolutions. If they are neither, we shouldn't really call them that, but that's just one point.
As for the implications that the economic globalization has on the social fabric of America, it is indeed a topic that deserves being looked into. However, I see a fundamental nature of the American civil society that make it quite impermeable to the notion of social unrest, unless one considers (as we would in Europe)riots by impoverished ethnic groups to be mostly the expression of a social failure. But that is not the most popular interpretation of these things in the US I think.

Hank Foresman

Adam my friend Steve Newton who teaches History at Delaware State University posted this on his Facebook Page Steve Newton Whiskey, since I can't figure out how to copy the link, I will share the entire post with you. Steve raises some very interesting points that go to what Mr. Angelos said about abuses of the Bill of Rights.
Until the Mayor and Police Chief can answer how Freddie Gray's spine was severed they will continue to see outbreaks in their city. It is going to be a long summer in Baltimore.

"Did Freddie Gray die from a police "Nickel Ride"? If so, what does this tell us about the current uprising in Baltimore?
John Vibes: "Many suspect that Gray was the victim of a 'Nickel Ride', a horrific police torture tactic where a suspect is handcuffed and placed in the back of a police van without restraints, and driven recklessly around town by police officers. This practice has also been called a 'Rough Ride' or a 'Cowboy Ride.'”
The Nickel Ride is not necessarily a Baltimore PD innovation, but they seem to be Grade A practitioners:
"Last year, Nickel Rides became notorious in Philadelphia, after a court case revealed that police were using this tactic as a witness-free way to punish unruly, uncooperative, or arrogant suspects – without ever laying a hand on them. For rogue police, it was a literal way to deliver 'street justice.'
"The practice was exposed through the lawsuit of a man named James McKenna, who was awarded $490,000 after he was able to prove in court that he was intentionally injured during his ride in a police van.
"Baltimore itself also has a dark history of police van torture. In fact, Baltimore Police have paid out millions of dollars in settlements to victims who were critically injured during rides in police vans. In 2012, a woman from Baltimore named Christine Abbott sued police after she was badly injured during a bumpy ride in the back of a police van.
"That same year, the death of Anthony Anderson was ruled a homicide, he too died of injuries sustained while riding in a police van."
I'd like you to consider one of those sentences again: "Baltimore itself also has a dark history of police van torture."
So when the Baltimore Chief of Police expresses himself as upset that Freddie Gray had not been strapped in correctly during his eventually fatal Nickel Ride, you must understand that the man either doesn't understand his own force (he's an idiot), or is the modern equivalent of the Vichy officer Louie in Casablanca, who is suddenly shocked to discover gambling in Rick's Place (he's in on it and conducting damage control).
Imagine the relief of high Baltimore authorities at being able to shift the narrative from police torture to the inappropriate reactions of those inner city "savages" to police torture."
http://thefreethoughtproject.com/freddie-grays-death-reve…/…

BabelFish

Adam, I was floored when I read that. It is getting wide circulation, at least among progressives. It certainly articulates the problem in plain language.

LeaNder


Fred, it no doubt must be/feels/seems helpful to have our emotions fixed precisely on the ultimate foes out there. - My personal fear in the larger 911 context which "poor John Angelos" touches on is once you offer one basic scapegoat people feel freed or any restrictions to add their perceived own ones.

Concerning NAFTA, what about TTIP and/or democracy?

confusedponderer

"However, I see a fundamental nature of the American civil society that make it quite impermeable to the notion of social unrest, unless one considers (as we would in Europe)riots by impoverished ethnic groups to be mostly the expression of a social failure. But that is not the most popular interpretation of these things in the US I think."

Perhaps it is this:

Riots in the US are not seen to so much indicate social failure, but personal failure on part of the rioters - for which they are personally to blame - they're anti-social, vandals and criminals. And are they not responsible for their actions? By itself that is a powerful and persuasive argument.

If there wasn't the context:

The assumption is that they could pull themselves out of poverty by their bootstraps if only they worked hard enough, as Americans are expected to.

The myth is that everybody can make it in the US. In that light, the rioters are - unforgivably - sore losers. Maybe there is something subconsciously Calvinist in there, too - they are poor because they deserve it.

Lifting themselves out of poverty may prove a very hard thing to do. Nowadays there are a lot of Americans who work their asses off just to make ends meet - not for lack of effort but for lack of a better opportunity.

A very popular theme in 2003 was that these angry Arabs resorted to all that violence for lack of econoomic opportunity. The US never applied that logic on the US.

It suggested all the wrong answers. Assuming the assumption is correct (it isn't, but that is secondary) and there is a correlation between that ... what about economic opportunity in the US? What about the economic opportunities of the inhabitants of Baltimore's bad quarters? Is the game rigged? What about upward mobility?

Europeans are more inclined to recognise the effects of social class on economic reality, and they are less Calvinist, too. The US is by and large in denial about that, perhaps deliberately so. And seriously, who could blame them? It is an unsettling thought that challenges a central assumption of what America stands for - the American dream.

The idea of the American dream - that ethos of making yourself, from dishwasher to millionaire - is something powerful, grand and encouraging.

In reality it proves to be difficult to accomplish. For every success, how many fail trying, hard? Is the American dream still alive? What if it isn't? Is it that what cannot be must not be?

I wager that an American politican who ran for office contending that the American dream is dead and must be resurrected would lose. Because the US wants to believe. It's the patriotic thing to do, and the US is a fervently patriotic country - and for many, by default, the bestest country ever.

And those who have made it likely inclined to believe also, after all, does not their own experience confirm this? Is the own experience not universally valid? How much contact do these people have with the working poor or the unemployed? Do they have any idea? And those who made it against the odds may even look down on those who didn't. Scott Walker is IMO such a kiss-up, kick-down type.

Maybe, when one of these days Mika or Bill O will say something like that they should eat cake if they're out of bread, Scott Walker will chime in and say that useless eaters and idle hands shouldn't get any food because they don't deserve it.

Valissa

"Regarding the colour revolutions, I have some doubts as to whether they do qualify as revolutions, or were even intended as revolutions."

Yes. It has been discussed on more than one occasion on this blog that these so-called revolutions are really US meddling in the affairs of other countries. PL has said as much himself. IMO, the news publication Foreign Policy assumes American exceptionalism and is not a reliable source of serious US policy critique (for the most part). Most of the authors appear to be koolaid drinkers. As has also been discussed here, this is required to get ahead under current conditions in US policy world.

BTW Patrick, thanks so much for all the fascinating and educational posts you've been doing recently. Your knowledge and experience is much appreciated!

William R. Cumming

MLB black players now less than 8%. Perhaps CUBA will fix that. Those in CUBA are in excess of 50% that culturally would be considered black in the USA.

As to the UKRAINE for almost 200 years the emigrants from the UKRAINE [vountary emigrants?] have made the right choice. Those remaining in the UKRAINE have suffered from Great Power rivalries and then on top few UKRAINIANS wanted a governance system of the people, by the people, for the people. But perhaps government by OLIGARCHS is what democracy is all about now worldwide.

And the insolvency of Greece and the Ukraine will soon be the fate of many other nation-states. Sadly the GLOBALIZED WORLD will be unable to operate in a fashion to protect the wealthy and they cannot hopscotch forever.

Matthew

Adam: This comment is quite biting, "... an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state."

Background on the anger in Baltimore: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/the-brutality-of-police-culture-in-baltimore/391158/

And what passes for “community development” in the poorer parts of Baltimore: https://www.google.com/search?q=Baltimore+detention+center&rlz=1T4NDKB_enUS588US589&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=0JM_VbP5FsaXNt-rgdgJ&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAw&biw=1680&bih=864#tbm=isch&q=Baltimore+metropolitan+detention+center

Dilapidated houses, failing schools, but an enormous, shiny, new jail.

You gotta love this carefully parsed language: “In order to remain constitutionally appropriate, an annex was added in 1994 adding much needed recreational areas and an enlarged kitchen. This expansion also allowed for the more humane housing of inmates with psychological issues. The new $77 million state-of-the-art building opened May 5, 2006. This facility was constructed to meet modern correctional standards, and it can house approximately 1500 plus inmates. The consolidation of correctional resources on one site allows the department to maximize efficiencies in service delivery for inmates and safety. Housing unit design allows for the secure housing of inmates with various security levels. The new institution enhances safeguarding our communities by increasing our ability to secure lawbreakers safely in an efficient structure.”

See http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/corrections/about/index.html.

Finally, we have the highest per capita incarceration rates in the world. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate

You add enough of these data points together, and a picture of collapse is hard to deny.


David Habakkuk

Adam Silverman,

Thanks for this fascinating post. But I think you need to take your analysis a stage back. You write:

'And perhaps the real question is whether we, as Americans, have the social, political, and economic will to make the changes necessary to bring about positive changes. And if we have leaders that can recognize opportunities for real, positive improvements rather than opportunistically exploiting the reality Angelos so clearly describes for their own and their patrons limited self interests.'

What is at issue is not simply 'will'. It is no use tackling problems with determination, unless the courses of action adopted by 'leaders' reflect a a clear understanding of problems. And this in turn requires a public discussion which actually gets to grips with the problems – in which a whole range of different groups have some kind of voice, and in which there are no insurmountable obstacles to calling a spade a spade.

The fact that so much of what passes for political debate, in the United States and Western Europe alike, is saturated in bullshit makes this very difficult. So bullshit is a subject which deserves more reflection than it commonly gets.

A Russian Jewish emigre to the United States, Vladimir Golstein, who is a literary scholar by trade, recently published an essay entitled 'Politics, Bullshit, and Ukraine', which is in turn based upon an essay 'On Bullshit' published in 2005 by Harry Frankfurt, a Princeton academic hitherto unknown to me.

(See http://original.antiwar.com/vladimir_golstein/2015/04/08/politics-bullshit-and-ukraine/ , and http://www.stoa.org.uk/topics/bullshit/pdf/on-bullshit.pdf .)

Whatever one's views on Ukraine, it is well worth pondering on Golstein's use of Frankfurt's ideas – not least because his personal history puts him in a position to make comparisons between past Soviet and contemporary Western 'bullshit'. However, the arguments Frankfurt makes clearly have relevance far beyond Ukraine and the issues involved in 'colour revolutions'.

Having begun by describing the prevalence of 'bullshit' as 'one of the most salient features of our culture', he goes on to make what seems to me a helpful distinction between the disseminator of that substance and the liar.

The former, he says, ‘does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it.' Instead, he 'pays no attention to it at all.' By virtue of this, Frankfurt argues, 'bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.'

And he goes on to argue that:

'What bullshit essentially misrepresents is neither the state of affairs to which it refers nor the beliefs of the speaker concerning that state of affairs. Those are what lies misrepresent, by virtue of being false. Since bullshit need not be false, it differs from lies in its misrepresentational intent. The bullshitter may not deceive us, or even intend to do so, either about the facts or about what he takes the facts to be. What he does necessarily attempt to deceive us about is his enterprise. His only indispensably distinctive characteristic is that in a certain way he misrepresents what he is up to.'

My suspicion is that if one looks at a large number of the policies pursued by Western elites in the past years, it is helpful to see them as the product of people who practice 'bullshit' in this sense. And this leads on to an interesting question.

In relation to what 'leaders' are likely to do, in the contemporary West as elsewhere, it is important to ask whether or not these are likely to see changes which help other groups in society as being in their own interest.

Commonly, it is unwise to trust too much in benevolence – a sense on the part of the powerful that they would be unwise to push their luck too far is often a powerful force making for reasonably responsible elites.

And here, I think, Fred's comments on the implications of NAFTA point to an interesting question. That the 'enterprise' that was behind the unqualified enthusiasm for the free movement both of goods and labour served the 'limited self-interests' of much of the American elite seems plausible.

A relevant question however is that of whether, if they had reflected on the possibility of the kind of longer-term implications to which Fred points, they might have asked whether this could eventually spell trouble for them.

But here it seems to me the distinction between 'lies' and 'bullshit' may be useful. Precisely because he – or she – retains contact with the world of fact, the disseminator of 'lies' may have some capacity to calculate the long-term implications of courses of action, for themselves as for others. Those who spread 'bullshit' may not be sufficiently in contact with reality to be able to do this.

And this fact, surely, is central to the sorry history of the 'colour revolutions' – and of projects of 'democratic transformations' more generally. It seems to me absolutely clear that Western policy towards Ukraine over the past months has reflected an extraordinary inability to anticipate the most predictable consequences of the courses of action embarked on – an inability quite as great as that displayed in relation to invasion of Iraq more than a decade ago.

What one has to ask, accounts for this apparently extraordinary collapse in the capacity to learn from experience? Part of the answer, I suggest, may lie in the way in which, once policies based on 'bullshit' generate unanticipated consequences, those responsible or indeed implicated are left with a choice.

Theoretically, they could recognise the destructive effects of what they have done – but if they did this, they would be finished, stripped alike of prospects of employment and self-respect: 'seppuku' might indeed be an appropriate response.

The obvious alternative response is to find new forms of 'bullshit' to explain away these unanticipated consequences, and policies based on these then generate further such consequences. The emergence of General Petraeus as a great 'guru' of COIN, recently discussed again on SST, being perhaps a case in point of where the need to rationalise away failure leads.

In his essay, Golstein links the increasing salience of 'bullshit' to a corresponding growth in 'conspiracy theory' – suggesting that this can be naturally seen as 'an attempt to decipher the nature of a bullshitter's agenda'. This seems to me a useful remark, and indeed it is evident that in societies permeated with 'bullshit', as the Soviet Union was, one finds that 'conspiracy theory' is endemic.

However, it may also often be the case that 'conspiracy theory' is based upon a propensity to assume that those who disseminate 'bullshit' are in fact disseminating 'lies'. Accordingly, it is assumed that the outcomes of policies they advocate are due to conscious intent based upon a realistic calculation of interest, where what may actually be at issue is the inability of people lost in a miasma of rhetoric to anticipate that they might end up where they find themselves.

Such people, of course, are characteristically likely to be equally unable to predict where their courses of action may lead in the future.

At that point, it may become interesting to apply Golstein's reflections to Nazi Germany – and ask whether its history may represent an extreme case of the disasters to which the corrosion of thought by 'bullshit' may lead.

Matthew

CP: When we surrender the American Dream, we surrender America. The American Dream is definitional, it is not statistical.

TedBuila

WRC, thanks for the thought/s.. Re "GLOBALIZED WORLD....they cannot hopscotch forever." Fair enough. I'd push "hopscotching forever" to "hopscotching themselves along with the planet into a long nuclear night."

Great Power/nation state usurpation by 'Brave New World' Global Military Industrial Cartels—is close to 75 years (post WW2) and growing. Ok, granted we people are fecund disposable prey for the GMICs, but the planet's core land sea atmospheric resources are pretty much unrenewable. Put another way, the trajectory of GMIC hopscotching has a half life measured in decades .. and that's not nice.

(PS: I'd add Info Tech to GMIC but 6 letters are a bit much.)

confusedponderer

Nobody is asking to surrender the American dream.

The point and real difficulty is to make sure it remains a reality. Since I don't think the US were ordained with that by virtue of being exceptional, I assume it requires constant work and reassessment to maintain the feasibility.

And clearly, assuming it is no longer a reality, then it is a cruel hoax. Those 'left behind', and there are those in the US, may just feel that way.

For all practical purposes it may suffice that many subjectively feel, perhaps wrongly (I mean, there are always those for whom it is always the other party which is to blame), they are being left behind, administered by police while they have the dream dangled in front of them as one would dangle a carrot in front of a donkey's nose.

Disappointment and resentment over such perceptions could have a great potential for unrest.

Europe for its part is facing some disillusionment about their economic prospects, the EU, the Euro, over aspects like austerity in greece, the EU-US trade deal, globalisation, outsourcing of jobs to low wage countries and so forth.

In Europe the worst of such tensions are being in part placated with a social safety net - a nightmare to US Republicans.

Clearly, in the long term - beyond the social safety nets - jobs and fair oppotunities are what is needed, but in the meanwhile placating the disadvantaged is, considering the collateral damage of not doing so, not all that bad an idea.

In a few days we in Germany will see, albeit in a different context, how not doing so might look in practice:

The annual ritual of May 1 riots in Berlin (and Hamburg) will see recreational rioters and leftist nuts join forces for a rampage through Kreuzberg (or whatever parrt of Hamburg) and a brawl with the police. Why? Because. Because it is May 1, again. Tradition! And to protest. The system presumably.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_Day_in_Kreuzberg

Fred

TPP,

Is even worse than NAFTA.

Dismayed

... of peripheral relevance, book recommendations, quantitative sociology of revolution...
The Roots of Otherness: Russia's Turn of the Century,
Volume 1: Russia as a Developing Society http://www.amazon.com/Roots-Otherness-Russias-Century-Developing/dp/0300036590/ref=sr_1_26?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430238136&sr=1-26
Volume 2: Revolution as A Moment of Truth

I wonder if there are grifters inside our 'defense' industry ignorant and arrogant enough to think they can model and predict the outcomes of these conflicts. I wonder if they have been pushing on Obama's henchwomen. "Our models show that we can boot the Russians out of Ukraine and put a NATO naval base in Sevastopol. Trust us, it's based on real math and will help spread democracy everywhere! But pay us loads of cash upfront, please."

Ex-PFC Chuck

Indeed it is worse. Far worse! Please call, or preferably write & send by snail mail a message to your and ESPECIALLY BOTH OF YOUR SENATORS a sap.

William R. Cumming

Many thanks for comment! What do you think [and ALL] of my notion that uniformed military with identifiable insignia are in decline world wide as elites choose to stay in the shadows even for their organized violence?

William R. Cumming

IMO power can be taken but seldom given!

William R. Cumming

Many grifters in defense perhaps even a majority. And the BEAST morphing
intothe DEEP STATE.

mbrenner

A few years back, I wrote a monograph called THE TRUTH BE TOLD? that touches on some of the themes being discussed here. Here is an excerpt.

Truth is the object of our desires. Yet the supply always exceeds the demand. That anomaly is the point of departure for this collection of thoughts. Everyone talks about the truth, but most shy from it when presented.. Truth avoidance, whether through lying or dissembling or a myriad of other ways, is now the norm rather than the exception. The very idea of truth is in jeopardy. Public persons exploit - wittingly or not - the growing sense that the actual and the virtual are interchangeable. Our leaders’ dishonesty with themselves at times matches dishonesty in dealing with others.

Most people orient themselves by a crude mental map haphazardly cobbled together from bits and pieces of inherited folk wisdom, partially digested fragments from schoolroom days, the biases of their community, and eventful life experiences. It suffices so long as they don't encounter things that either defy the coordinates of that simple mental map or are simply beyond them. It may take the form of a novel situation (a daughter's racially uncongenial friend), an unprecedented event/problem (9/11), abuse by a trusted institution (the Catholic priesthood), a perversion of core patriotic values (torture and spying in the name of fighting terror), or an unfathomable personality (Barack Obama).

The natural reaction is to hold onto the old map ever more tightly while fending off the dangerous intruder by denouncing it with angry outbursts of frustration. The intellectual resources and secure self-esteem needed to cope just aren't there. In these circumstances, the psychological defenses are in a state of high alert. Neutralization means transmuting it into the conventionally bad or the conventionally good. It follows that: Americans don't torture, or do so only to keep other Americans safe; our soldiers never kill civilians; pedophile priests are the exception who are dealt with harshly by Church authorities. I'm not prejudiced, but it's true that a lot of 'them' are not like 'us;' villainous bankers should be shot but you can't trust our government leaders to do anything about it; we need a man of the people to take charge - someone I can understand and who doesn't make me feel inadequate; someone better endowed but not better. So they fulminate.

A queer feature of contemporary American life is the equation of ignorance and freedom. New information is instinctively seen as a threat instead of something carrying possible value to be embraced. For it asks engagement, some mental effort, beyond the anticipated discomfort of having to adjust one's current inventory of knowledge and the understandings of the world built on it. The sheer novelty itself often is more annoying than enticing. Settled attitudes always have a priority claim on our mental space. That is a near universal trait. What varies are how high is the threshold that the novel must cross to be accepted (even to be considered) and the measures of utility that are applied.

This is a common phenomenon not only among untutored. It is evident right across our culture. The less you know, the less able you are to separate truth from fiction, actual truth from virtual truth. You concentrate on the proximate causes of effects that touch you. You understanding of more distant causes, such as it is, is formed by myths, prejudices and the fabrications of others. The second effect is to make persons, and the societies they compose, open to manipulation by those are able and desirous of exploiting ignorance to their own advantage. That includes vested economic interests, opinion makers, advertisers of all sorts, ideologues, and politicians. At worst, the way is opened to destructive practices and movements. The idle ignorance of individuals breeds the intended ignorance of creeds and of institutions grounded in calculated untruths. At best, persons live lives that not only are truncated but shaped and oriented by the needs and preferences of those who do not have their interests at heart.

TedBuila

Bill, yes .. surely post WW2 the number of mercenaries (w/wo insignias) have increased by at least a couple of magnitudes. The growth in private MIC, Corporate, protection "services" are there to be seen...way beyond the armed guards posted at bank entrances.

The troubling thought is that any number of "un FOIA able" government agencies very well may have private black ops/contractor corps to supplement MIC mayhem whatevers/wherevers.

Imagine

Mafia/barons have always hired thugs and mercenaries for small-scale and large-scale violence. Cf. the Pinkertons. Countries prefer armies for official actions, but unflagged for black ops. Peace runs in tide wave cycles of around 40 years, as a generation forgets the horrors of war and breathes its own exhaust, believes its own superiority propaganda. So the '60s are returning. Mafia/barons are flowing not ebbing but we have better social media technology, so this time it's more in your face/apparent. Like when B&W TV replaced the radio and brought the horrors of Vietnam into living rooms, only thankfully amplified this time. Sadly, the Orwellian spin-meisters have learned to counter this force, and outrage is damped. Professionals stay in the shadows.

Matthew

Ex-PFC: You mean you're uncomfortable with a trade deal that will allow foreign corporations to sue state and local governments for actually governing state and locally?

Matthew

CP: I'm not defending the concept; I'm trying to address your observation about whether any American politician would admit that the American dream is falling/already out of reach.

They will not. We have nothing to replace it with.

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