Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Criminal State And Its Enforcers

As protests mount in Baltimore over the death in police custody of Freddie Gray from a spinal cord injury, video has surfaced in South Gate, CA, of a cop grabbing a woman's cell phone as she records police and smashing it to the ground.

Both incidents are receiving national coverage by TV networks. That marks a difference. The coverage itself is different. A CBS report about the Baltimore protests puts that case in the context of a history of police misconduct. That indicates certain elements of the ruling class are beginning to take notice, sounding the alarm, pointing out the need for reform.

Not too long ago such things went pretty much unnoticed by the general public, like an incident in Bakersfield, CA, where, after the police shot and killed an unarmed Latino, they went around and confiscated the cell phones of all the witnesses. Last I heard about that no one had gotten their cell phone back.

This past weekend I posted a piece that put rampant police criminality, that's finally beginning to see the light of day, in the context of state power, and I posted one this morning listing the many places around the world where our warmongering federal state is causing murder, mayem and instability.

Whether the general public begins to make the connections between corrupt police and the criminal exercise of state power remains to be seen. I was radicalized at a young age. The illusions dropped away. The curtain was pulled back. I'm not burdened by nationalism, which we like to call patriotism. I view Capitalism itself as a criminal activity. Most people don't. To see things that way would represent a big leap, a complete reversal, almost.

We need to believe that our country will right itself, that things will get back to normal. That the future will be better than the past, that there will be good jobs again, that we can trust the police and the government, and feel safe. We need to believe that things are going to keep keeping on. We need to believe in something.

The solution is pretty simple, really. We need to believe in each other. They have us divided, Republican and Democrat, right and left, black and white, brown and black, young and old, engaged and disengaged, socially conservative and socially liberal, religious and otherwise. It's hard to see how much more divided we can be. But there are things that could unite us in a hurry. Fear. Mass disillusionment. The realization that in each of us there's a desire for justice and fairness. A human being.


  1. Hi Frank
    Hope you're doing well down there, I'm adjusting from late spring to 'the first hints of spring' back here in MT.

    Read your last few posts, you're a good writer, focused in your prose.

    I'm probably about 30 years older than you, from what I've read, which makes me exactly zero wiser, but a bit more experienced maybe. I think we're very similar in some aspects, most perhaps. And perhaps it's just we, mostly, move through phases of being the same thing; not evolution, nor acceptance or 'copping out', but actually going from one place to the next, mentally.

    At this point I'm willing to accept small victories when they occur, and hunker down when things are going poorly, and hope they don't last.

    I wish you all the best, and think you and those like you should stay out there as long as you can. Those small victories I spoke of a moment ago? They only come from those like you on the leading edge. Without you, and me circa 1969, movement does not occur.

    Do not be hindered by dogma, from either side.


  2. Thanks for your comment and compliments, Mike.

    I like "phases of being the same thing."

    Another analytical tool. As are ideologies, dogmatic systems, as is the way I write about things in this blog, which ends up being mostly polemical writing, and or getting things off my chest writing, but ideological. Like all the rest of it out there, left, right and center, ideology can't really fully explain reality, which is way too complex. Polemical writing is best seen as advancing an argument, I think. It has a hidden agenda, or rather an unspoken one, which is power. Conservatives, Liberals, Socialists, Feminist, advocates for Black people, Latinos, etc, are all, by the way they go about it, mostly just trying to move themselves higher up on the power hierarchy, which means someone else will have to move down. It's a little like moving the deck chairs around on the Titanic, as they say. It will in some ways "advance civilization" by changing some material conditions, but no one is thinking about how to make a world where you don't need power to get what you need.

    I think phases of being the same thing differs, as does the kind of writing you've been doing, in helping decipher human nature. I don't know if that's your intent but it could have as an effect that it helps us in understanding ourselves. Which we need, because I don't have any illusions that ending Capitalism and starting up Socialism or Anarchism or something else would solve anything, unless human nature changes first. There might be opportunities to try to find new ways of organizing society, but another economic system would have its own set of problems.

    I do do some of that kind of writing once in awhile. I always have a project underway, not making much progress usually but trying to advance it when it comes to mind. In fact fiction writing is what this blog started out as, but then I went back to work and it became what you see. I don't know if it was so much the work and time constraints as being back out there in the world that got me swept up in it. I look forward to being able to retire, though, and get back at it.

    I hope you keep at it, too.

    I'm 62, by the way.