I speak often of antiseptic slavery. It affects us all. And it would do us well to understand the concept as it is killing us by thousands of cuts.
The narrative we are encouraged to inculcate in our minds is that the protesters around the country are detracting from the real issue which is the murder-by-cop of George Floyd and the bigger reality of police killing POCs and specifically black men disproportionately. That is the undermining of our intelligence but unfortunately too many of us are lazy enough to fall into the trap.
I am saddened on a personal and individual basis for all the small businesses that have become victims to the protests. Perpetuators within protest do different things. Some are peaceful, some want revenge for the pain they’ve lived their entire lives, some see an opportunity for profit at the expense of others given the opportunity created by the chaos, and yes some are just plain thugs.
Here is the thing. The ills of society that the society as whole has selfishly refused to solve is solely responsible. Because too many of us have been indoctrinated by the Powell Manifesto which dictates our economic construct, we can justify the innate evil of our system.
Please explain the difference.
Looters and thugs see protests as an opportunity to maximize their economic position by taking some thing at a 100% discount, stealing. In the process they hurt a select unfortunate set of businesses and people. That is terrible.
We are currently in a pandemic. In the process many people are out of work, a large percentage permanently in the short term. Yet corporations that manufacturer ventilators who made deals with the government pre-pandemic had a contract to build them at about $3000 each. With the blessing of the president “market forces” inflated them to up to $50,000. Corporations knowingly stole the life out of employees in meat-packing and other plants for profit. Pharmaceuticals inflated the prices of COVID-19 related medications. Corporate driven hospitals continue to bankrupt Americans. Every corporations that sells any product that is needed for the pandemic has inflated prices even as unemployment soars. One could go on and on to illustrate that in difficult times corporations are sucking the blood out of the masses.
Either way one is getting screwed. The only difference is one is sanction by the state and the other penalized by the state.
The old slavery was overtly cruel, bloody, and dirty. Imagine if one could have a system where you can maintain the structure but have folks living in The Matrix. You do not even know you are a slave.
Well, they have figured it out. When slaves were property, given that our economic system values property/capital over humanity, that property had to be maintained in sufficient form to make it economically productive. It had to be clothed, kept healthy, be non-white, and be fed.
Antiseptic slavery was the answer. They still have power over what you do in the workplace, but they no longer must clothe you, feed you, or give you healthcare. But most importantly the pool from which to select slaves is now huge. Why? Because white people are now in the pool. The only caveat is we must make democracy just a semblance thereof where we ensure laws continue to be biased towards the corporation. Mission accomplished.
So when you have the urge to allow the bad acts within protests to color your support for the underlying reason for the protests, remember that the protests are short term and in the aggregate affects a small percentage of small businesses. Those who continue to screw us economically, racially, socially, health-wise, and otherwise are systemic. A humane economic system in the long run will mitigate the losses of those harmed by the transition.
The only solution is for us to support the underlying tenets of all the different protests that are attempting to make life better for us all. I am sure Great Britain was not enamored with having their Tea in the Boston Harbor. I am sure the indigenous Americans were not enamored with their trail of tears. And someday I hope not to have a lump in my throat when I am in close proximity to a cop.