The iron fist of the marketplace

Burmese priests protestThink you’re the only one who’s come to the conclusion that the average person can be relied upon only as far as you can drag him by the ear? Do you lament that the common sense of common heads put together adds up to a hill of beans?

If you think you know better, your challenge might be to cajole or inform, in hopes of motivating the herd, where others high on the food chain would simply ride roughshod.

Burmese monks leave their sandals behindI find it odd to use animal kingdom analogies to explain human behavior when Homo Sapiens comprise neither competing species, genus, class or phyla stalking each other.

Of the nurture versus nature, I mean carrot versus stick herd management option, which approach do you observe governments most often employ? In public schools it’s authoritarian, on the streets it’s civility so long as people submit appropriately to their fleecing. But as recent events have shown, dissent has meant government reaction with black gloves, masks, armor padding, truncheons, and low tech brutality. Every aspect something you’d expect more from those traditional masters of persuasive communication, the mobsters.

The people most alarmed by totalitarian repression are the educated class who over the centuries have fought for every liberty their overlords were forced to yield. The working classes represented the leverage used to negotiate each concession, and thus came along for the ride. But its muscled ranks have always served as the labor pool for the thugs the governors would use to fight any progressive reformers.

Your police departments all have riot gear to don in the event of civil disturbances. Can you say you’ve approved of their harsh measures in the event of your getting hysterical? That equipment isn’t for soccer hooligans, it’s to break strikes and beat back political assemblies.

We’ve seen police around the world fire on crowds assembled peaceably in Burma, Mexico, Tibet and Iraq. In New Orleans we’ve seen police taser crowds of people just like us, who wanted to protest a public meeting where the decision was being made to condemn their houses.

If you think massacres are beyond the pale for our corporate overlord class, think again. If they can do it without inciting a mass rebellion, they will. The independent minded people of East Timor were massacred with US weapons and the tacit complicity of a media which let it happen off camera. So long as you don’t see it, it doesn’t bother anyone’s conscience apparently. Children labor as slaves in Bangladesh, Africa and Asia for our corporations. You don’t see it, so it’s not a problem. For the profit-mongers all corporate genocide is OK, be it by economic starvation, accident, contamination, or pollution. If you could understood the depravity inherent in their exploitation of world poverty and its resources, can you doubt they’d hesitate to fire live rounds into a crowd who threatened their rule?

Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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