Saturday, October 22, 2011
DEMOCRACY FOR SALE
Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.
---Lawrence J Peter (1919-1990)
A few days ago a friend sent me an email telling that TeaPartiers demonstrate with guns and the cops don't bother them. Peaceful protesters from the Wall Street demonstrations get beat up and dragged to jail. Maybe they should carry guns too. The reason Iran wants nukes is because USA doesn't threaten and attack countries that have nukes. I wrote back to friend, the cops ARE the right wing. TeaPartiers with guns is the same as cops with guns. I once read in a dream analysis book that a dream of cops represents angels. Really? I can't say I have personally had a bad experience with a cop. I've never called a cop for any reason. I've had a couple of cops over the years attempt to intimidate me, and I let them believe they did, because once they get a bead on you, you have no recourse. When I was new to the South, a cop came into my apartment threatening me. I told him he's in my place without permission, and I don't have to answer his questions. He said, "By the time we get you to the station, we'll have something on you." This was my first learning about Old South police. I didn't have a Southern accent and certainly did not know the South.
My attitude toward cops came with the realization that they ARE the right wing. I've never appreciated the right wing, because I really do believe in American ideals. The role of cops is to enforce law. It really is. And that's what they do, to some extent. I've seen over the years a lot of them don't know the laws; they go by what they think oughta be a law. In court, their oughta be a law thinking gets cases thrown out of court and cops calling courts liberal. We once had a sheriff's deputy in Alleghany who had a passion for putting young guys in prison. The sheriff's department under that administration passionately set up the young for arrest. Two of the deputies, especially, were wild-eyed about putting local boys in prison. I say "wild-eyed" because they were. Their eyes were wild every time I saw them, wild with the passion of rightness.
One of them got carried away with setting up kids. He got with two kids who were charged with having drugs. He said he'd get them off their charge if they'd sell come cocaine for him out of the evidence locker. The kids were dumb, but not that dumb. They turned him in. One wore a "wire" for use in court. He was put away for 15 years. That was one of the times in the life I've seen justice actually take place in a courtroom, which I tend to think of as the gaming room, poker-faced lawyers attempting to bluff. I had to go to court once for a speeding ticket. It scared hell out of me. I went into the courtroom knowing American law is a "crapshoot." May the best lawyer win. I recently saw the outcome of a case in the paper where a prediction I'd heard came true. A particular lawyer held his case off until a certain judge would be presiding, common legal practice, a judge who always gave this particular lawyer his way in court. It turned out he got his way when it didn't make a bit of sense.
Since the draconian "mandatory sentencing" laws of the Reagan Revolution, and republicans packing courts with right wing judges all over the country for the last 30+ years, especially in this time we're in, I do not trust the police or the courts. When it was my time to stand before the judge, I was mortified. I'd learned about highway patrol quotas and all kinds of things that make our law a poker game. Evidence that everyone knows this is in the common belief that going into court you need the "best" lawyer, the one with the winningest record. It's like picking a team to bet on for the world series. You go for the one you think has the best chance to win. That's the only thing we look for in a lawyer. We pick the one we believe by reputation to have the best chance of winning. Observed courtroom chicanery over the years taught me by this time in the life to be afraid of court. It's like your fate is determined by the flip of a coin.
I'm learning why old people tend to be uninterested in politics and withdraw from much that is around them. It's not because they're old and don't get it anymore. The problem is, they get it. They've lived long enough to see the world they live in is false to the core. Many wouldn't put it like that, but I feel like this is the root, considering my own motivations. I've seen that falseness to the core since childhood. Possibly it was the influence of the Swedish preacher in the non-denominational baptist fundamentalist church where the preacher preached against Godless Communism in the early 1950s, the McCarthy era. The influence that had on me was pretty strong, until the day my dad told me out of the blue on a Saturday when he was in the house, "I'll kill you of you ever join the Communist Party." From then on, I wanted to be a Communist. I wanted to find a Communist Party to join. Communism became a great curiosity for me. Until I got to Stalin, or Dick Cheney with absolute power. He made Communism tremendously unappealing. The assassination of Trotsky in Mexico City. Khrushchev making noise at the UN, banging his shoe. So red around the collar.
Eventually I read the Communist Manifesto, to see what it was. It made a great deal of sense, and I suspect K Marx of visionary status. It had no relation to Communism in action, Russia or China, same as our Capitalism wedded to democracy isn't what it's cracked up to be. One of my learnings in life has been that when the human mind gets hold of something, that's the end of it. The way of the human mind runs counter to the way of the spirit, which is the way of everything living in the world around us, even ourselves. Concoctions of the human mind are, by their limited nature, short-lived. I'd venture around the same time the date for the end of democracy; though the most telling evidence that the supreme court, overruling an election, ended it in the year 2000, is rather compelling. I don't look to see it coming back. Like a precious caged exotic bird, once it gets out the door, it's gone. Won't be long til a hawk catches a good meal.
It's looking like it was mafia that replaced the Soviet government. The gambling casinos of Wall Street hold the power in America now. In our case, it's a legal mafia as they've spent the last half century shaping the laws to their benefit by buying off the "representatives" of "the people" with money and country club memberships from lobbyists. We haven't had any representatives in a very long time. Rational legislation to the benefit of the American working people, the 99%, is defeated by ignorance, with the cheerleading of Limbaugh and the strategies of Karl Rove that trump intelligence with ignorance. It works as surely as assassination works. We have the mafia of heirarchical corporate power. We used to be citizens. Now we are consumers, fires that burn up products. This is the world I have separated myself from in my later years, staying as low under the radar as I can. I'm of the old school of American individualism, and have seen it go away in my lifetime. I've seen in older people the ground of their belief systems go out from under them. I'm seeing it now in myself.