Causes of violence in our society
I was once again disappointed, yet not surprised, when I viewed a corporate news show this evening accidentally.
I would like to preface a short analysis and critique of what I saw with some facts.
* Violent crime has declined dramatically in the last two decades compared to the three decades that preceded them in almost all categories and US locations with few exceptions.
* Violence (whether contemporarily considered criminal or not) has declined exponentially in the transition from monarchs and feudal states to our present representative democracies throughout the world. (Note: this is referring to local or domestic violence and NOT the violence many of the latter societies reign on invaded and occupied client-states)
With this information in mind its logical to think our ‘institutions to disseminate truth' would report this information and discuss policies in place working to reduce crime and their pervasive effects. Instead, profit-seeking corporate mouthpieces pedal the party-line-propaganda of the patriarchs of their professions. FOX NEWS CEO Roger Ailes sends daily memos to his “journalistic” and editorial staff on the daily talking points including what to talk about and what to play down or exclude.
This extreme and Orwellian example is not representative of all national or local news but even those institutions are purely commercial and confound brief news snips (‘the world in a minute, tick… tick… tick.. tick…') with product promotion (from actually featuring products to slightly more subtly featuring restaurants, musicians, movies, and other commodities that are shockingly made or distributed by corporations owned by or divisions of their parent corporations)
I saw a local (Chicago) news story on ABC News at 10 about a protest. Being a political junkie attracted heavily to activism, I resisted my natural impulse to RUN from the noxious, deleterious local news and watched.
The protest in Chicago was in response to the 31 children killed by gun violence in the first 5 months of 2007 within the city limits. This is a problem that needed to be addressed and the protest attempted to do this. From shady politician, Mayor Daley, to priests, activists and others, a message was shouted that we need to respond to the causes of this violence.
The news story neglected to say a word about why people in this city kill more than other places, or less than comparable urban areas. Stratification both economically and culturally (which are HIGHLY related) has replaced racial and sexual hierarchical division in our society as a (if not the most) prevalent antecedent of violence. The have-nots struggling at the bottom are getting raped by job exploitation, cultural isolation and millions of minutiae like overdraw charges (What a fucking detestable policy; “Let's charge people who already can't afford things” Do you really think people who have plenty of money overdraw their accounts? ~$50 is nothing to them but a day's work after taxes to the millions on the bottom)
We are in a society where over 40% of the wealth is in the hands of the richest 1% and the Gini Coefficient method of measuring wealth disparity puts dozens of countries (including ALL developed countries and some African and South American countries) ahead of the US (which lies in the same category as China). Many indigent young men and women join the armed forces in an often vein attempt to rise out of their impoverished communities. Some from the most violent areas even state that they feel safer in Iraq and Afghanistan than say East L.A.
In summation, I was once again agitated from a short viewing of corporate propaganda (not Stalin's posters but information that is manipulated and ‘chosen' to promote consumerism and fear). The news-media promoted intense fear before and during the Iraq War by almost universally, unquestioningly reporting the government position as fact. On the local level, news programs constantly report violent episodes in poor neighborhoods (…ever seen COPS?) with increasing frequency while consciously or otherwise consumers see their society as violent and scary. Mostly white people spend so much of their income on security systems while they aren't supporting the local corporate puppet promising to crack down on crime. A wonderful example was pinko-commie Bill Clinton during his election in 1992. In response to criticisms of the his machismo or if he was ‘tough on crime', Clinton flew back to Arkansas from the campaign trail to oversee the execution of a mentally impaired individual.
The news media, especially the local news, shapes peoples' view of their society to varying extents and the more you are exposed to this atrocious faux-news, the more afraid you are of all the masked gunman, nonwhites and turbin wearers that according to ABC are everywhere!
In the words of DPZ:
(rap group Dead Prez released an album with a Sony subsidiary which later deemed their music too radical. The label decided that they would not put out anymore of their records but according to their contract; the label owned their name. M1 and Stic.man, members of Dead Prez have released much material themselves since their falling-out with their label)