America: Gun Control & The Loss of Innocence – Newtown, CT

The horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT has shocked an American populace already accustomed to mass shootings, thus illustrating how violence has perforated American society and condemned the younger generations to a premature loss of innocence, marking the true tragedy of the Adam Lanza rampage.

The Loss Felt in CT has Reverberated throughout the Country, but Will Anything Chance?

The Loss Felt in CT has Reverberated throughout the Country, but Will Anything Change?

On the 14th of December, Adam Lanza committed the third deadliest gun-related massacre in US history.  At Sandy Hook Elementary, Adam Lanza used various semiautomatic handguns and rifles from his mother, another victim of his indiscriminate violence, and continued to kill an additional 20 children and 5 adults.  The resulting 28 person massacre included the lives of 6- and 7-year-olds, demonstrating the sickening act that was perpetrated.  The loss of youth, of pure innocence, marks the most horrendous factor of the shooting and yet the media has attempted to undercut the senseless violence by statistically analyzing the shooting in retrospect to others.  This statistical analysis of ‘body count’ and casualties marks the transition of American society away from humanity and empathy, towards the fictional worlds being crafted in video games studios and Hollywood –  fake realities devoid of human emotion.  So saying, the American nation has become victim to its own proliferation of violence on multi-media outlets: video games, TV shows, movies, etc.  With memories of Virginia Tech, Columbine, Batman Theater shooting and the Oregon mall shooting, the nation is being desensitized to violence.  The sensationalist media has ranked American shootings, popularizing the mentalities and motives of the shooters to as to begin a cycle of notoriety for these deluded killers and allowing for their names to become remembered, while their victims lie forgotten in graves.  It has taken the senseless slaughter of  the purist form of innocence, children, to awaken the American people to the savage reality that they themselves have constructed.  This momentary glimpse into concrete truth has emphasized that America’s grand empire of civility, laws and regulations are not the impeccable bastions of peace and progress that have been promoted by corporate-bought leaders.  By this measure, the American people must realize that their obligation to protect and ensure a secure future for today’s young generations is not being met.  The American nation is not doing enough to keep its youth protected; rather, it has allowed for the corruption and decay of innocence through the cyclical production of horrific games that desensitize kids to the sense of loss and the brevity of life.  The American Dream has been torn asunder, as its promises will never become reality for the child victims of the Newtown Elementary School shooting.

“Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?  I’ve been reflecting on this in the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no.  We’re not doing enough.” – Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States

The American society has stood as a beacon of urbanization and advancement, marking a clear divide between modernized civilization and the barbarism of media-targeted cultures in the East; yet, this view of American exceptionalism falters at the repetitious scenes of indiscriminate violence enacted by America’s own lost and estranged citizens.  The profit-oriented media has long manipulated societal thought, perpetuating fear so as to suggest that the masses must adhere to the messages of civic duty and consumer responsibility.  As such, the tragedy in CT has rekindled the flames of political debate over the severity and rigidity of gun control  but there exists a paralyzing inability of the political structure to properly address the concerns of a growing uncivil public.  The political atmosphere is defined by a growing polarization of views, a rigidity of ideals financed by special interests groups invested in the continuing sale of guns indiscriminately.  The senseless adherence to a malignant status quo is solidified by the indoctrination of American to the media, a medium controlled by conservative capitalists   The American people, mimicking the propaganda, are not thinking pragmatically; rather, they are merely regurgitating the manipulation of ideas on television.  With the reverberating shocks of this tragedy consuming society, proliferating fears that many seem logical and others not, the media has seized its target audience by reminiscing of years of past violence, political discourse over gun control, and the fear of mental instability.  As the deliberation over fun control circulated in the media and political arena, gun control advocates have pleaded to the President to assert executive powers and reinstate an assault weapons ban as part of a comprehensive plan to address gun violence.  Efforts to restrict the sale and distribution of guns is targeting the so-called ‘gun show loophole’ which has allowed people to buy weapons without background checks.  There are also talks of restricting high-capacity ammunition clips, as Adam Lanza carried hundreds of rounds of ammunition in extra clips and shot his victims repeatedly, one of them 11 times.  Nevertheless, fun control advocates need to realize that banning firearms is never going to happen.  Representative Steve LaTourette, a Ohio Republican, has openly stated that many Republicans will never address gun control.  Coupled together with formidable force of lobbying groups advocating the Second Amendment to its fullest extent, the political arena will not be able to institute a ban on firearms.  America’s powerful gun industry lobbying group, the National Rifle Association, has 4 million members and spend $57 million in a given year in efforts to mobilize members for political purposes.  The Sunlight Foundation reports that the NRA spends 66 times what leading pro-gun control advocacy organization, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Fun Violence, spend on lobbying, and 4,143 times what the Brady Campaign spends on elections.

“Alright! I’ve stood by and I’ve cried while friends have died.  You ever have a friends kill themselves, shot down or knifed?  Just when I think I’ve seen it, for the final time, it comes knocking back around to devastate my life.” – Anti-Flag, “20 Years of Hell”

The proliferation of gun ownership in society is leaving everyone vulnerable and American civilian gun ownership is the highest worldwide, with the Small Arms Survey 2007 estimating 88 weapons per 100 people.  In Chicago alone, gun-related deaths exceed one a day.  More Chicago dissidents are shot and killed than US forces in Afghanistan.  The Sandy Hook Elementary shooting was ‘ranked’ third deadliest in US history.  The second worst occurred in Blacksburg, VA on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s campus.  On April 16, 2007, 33 students and teachers were short and killed, many more were injured.  In January 1923, shootings and other violence killed 150 African Americans in Rosewood, FL.  Numerous other gun-related massacres pockmark US history.  The right to own, conceal and use assault and other deadly weapons is an ugly American tradition.  Nevertheless, the right to own guns it enshrined in the US Constitution’s 2nd Amendment and inextricably linked in the national consciousness to the manner of the country’s founding.  It is the fetishistic attachment to gun rights – cutting across party lines with polls showing that the majority of Americans favor private ownership – and the highly romanticized view on the individual against the world it engenders that are consolidating the pro-gun stance.  As such, the reality of the mass murders has left a resonating echo – the assault on politicians Gabrielle Giffords, shot in the head while 6 bystanders were killed, the Aurora shooting where a gunman killed 12 at a cinema, the Wisconsin gurdwara attack murdering six and now the Newtown Elementary school.  In a CNN conducted survey  Jackson Memorial Hospital was chosen for a study on treated gun-related injuries.  In one year, the hospital treated over 600 patients for gun-related injuries, which is more than the entirety of Britain for 10 years.  Additionally, children between the ages 5 to 14 are 13 times more likely to be murdered by guns in America than in any other industrialized country.  As such, the necessity of gun regulations is evident and the American people need to adhere to their own moral code, rather than the proliferation of profit-oriented noise on multi-media assets.  If people all over the world are better able to protect and ensure the safety of their children, than the land of freedom and democracy should also be able to do the same.  The current inability to do so is evidence of the decay of moral fiber in the American nation, as well as the greed inherent to politics that has allowed special interest groups to pilfer the nation.  American communities are unsafe and once again, the youth and innocence of the future generation is being jeopardized and dissolved by the perpetuation of desensitizing materials in society and the realistic threat of death that endangers the children.

“It’s not night, it’s not day.  It’s no more, for an unfortunate soul who witnessed his life violently erased, from the horror of the human race.” – Anti-Flag, “Hymn for the Dead”

In retrospect, the American nation has placed profit over safety, facilitating endemic violence instead of acting responsibly to curb it, thus aiding in the self-destructing cycle of lost innocence.  The government, through its inaction and invested lobbyists groups, essentially endorses easy access to dangerous assault and other deadly weapons, once again aiding in the murdering of America’s children.  Against this backdrop, it is no wonder that massacres like Norwalk CT, Virginia Tech, Columbine High School, Atlanta GA stock trader killings, 6 deaths at Ft Worth, 10 Washington DC sniper shootings, a Carnation WA Christmas eve massacre, Northern IL University killings, 13 deaths at Ft Hood, the Tuscon AR incident killing 6 and leaving Gabrielle Giffords seriously wounded, as well as dozens more incidents too many to mention.  On average, 8 times more fatalities result from gun violence than in other developed countries.  For children under 15, it’s 12 times higher.  With the weight of society pulling against the youth, domestic violence is becoming evident in younger and younger citizens.  In 2004, eigth-grader Jaime Rodrigo Gough was stabbed to death in a bathroom by his fellow student, Michael Hernandez.  In Miami Lakes Educational Center on the 18th of December, a 16-year-old student was arrested after stating his intention to target his own school through gun violence and expressed an interest in usurping attention away from the Newtown shooting with his own horrific acts.  Gun violence is resulting in the dissolution of the peace and civility that the American nation has so proudly propagated.  The tragedy of recent events is not solely the events of one school, it’s an unceasing toll across the country that is resulting in a denigration of generations.

America: Disparity by Design

Through deceit and false promises, the American people are deluded into a sense of belief in the availability of a higher ideal in life that is only attainable through hard work and ambition; yet in a hierarchy designed to maintain a status quo of elitism and surplus worker force, the promises are as empty as the thousands of foreclosed homes previously owned by those left behind by the American corporate machine.

The American Nation is Designed to Belittle the Masses into Mindless Subservience through a System of Wealth and Power Disparity

The American system has been mobilized into a cult of personality centered upon the distribution of capitalist propaganda promising the masses equal work opportunities that, if these promises were to be true, would result in an endgame of wealth and comfort.  Nevertheless, the system has been set up to slow or stop the rise of the people to any position of status, therefore polarizing power and stopping the distribution of wealth.  The system has been rigged so that those who are rich will continue to profit, whilst the masses perpetually strive towards the infinitely unattainable carrot that is dangled in front of them.  The system is designed to cause disparity for the working masses that strive day in and day out believing that a better future is a viable possibility through their sweat and tears.  The fairy tale is proliferated throughout the masses, systemically indoctrinating millions into subordinate tools for the corporate-capitalist hierarchy that profits from the exacerbation of disparity in a country based supposedly on equality and freedom.  The American system is defined by a select few that dictate the course of the nation, the taxes, the social programs, the international policies and the just rewards for the millions enslaved under theological nonsense – rewards generally expressed by crippling taxes and cuts in social welfare programs.  Living check-to-check, the people are a minimum wage away from repeating the mistakes of the past – adhering to a growing totalitarian regime based on a capitalist theology in which money and greed weigh heavier than can be supported by the huddled masses.  As the criminals of the state continue to aspire to insurmountable wealth through corrupt deals and offshore bank accounts, the social atmosphere continues to spin pro-mainland propaganda alluding to the greatness that awaits the masses at the end of the tunnel.  Alienated by politicians initially elected to represent them, the people have been left with no outlet from their misery and strife.  Lost in the maelstrom of political in-fighting and polarization, the American ship has continued on leaderless and directionless, being spun by the competing business interests seeking cheap labor and large profits.  With no recourse for action, the growing disparity has left the American people hindered and lost in a nation initially proclaimed as an indivisible family.   With religion being monopolized by the right, the conservatives have flocked under a Mormon leader proclaiming to take America back to its former glory, one he seems to define by appealing to solely the 1%.  On the other polarized corner, the liberals are failing to even flock in any semblance of organization and have rallied around a few masterful propaganda-esque speeches by their first lady and current President.  Despite the general colloquialism, ‘divided we stand, united we fall’, the American people are illustrating their finest stubbornness by remaining subservient to a system of corruption, disparity, division and greed.  No matter the candidate or the party, the American people are blind to the reality that inherent to the system is disparity and maintaining the status quo of mass subservience to corporate profit margins.

“We can’t repeat the mistakes of the past.  March Off!  To Die!  But We can take back control of the world, take back our lives.  Why should it be the poor to die in combat zones?  While Congress and their children sit safe in lavish homes?” – Anti-Flag, “Anthem for the New Millennium Generation”

It is through a system of division inherent to the two-party political arena of America that has allowed for a polarized hierarchy to emerge, in which the elite 1% monopolize the powerful industries of a democracy [healthcare, oil (government policies abroad in general), interest rates, banks, military, etc] and coerce the masses into subservience based on propagated fears and worries.  The corporate elitists have free reign over the political arena, thus having no checks on their power as they expand and consolidate into other assets of the nation.  The people are encompassed by a divisive stance by Republicans and Democrats on every issue, each party stressing that the other is wrong and they have the interests of protection and wealth fare of the people in mind.  With both parties pledging their undying loyalty to the people in the media, they profit in backroom deals at the expense of the people.  The masses are left with no actual representation or care, they have been degraded into a herd of tools for the state to use at will – be it cannon fodder for their wars, an electorate for a corporate-chosen candidate, or guinea pigs for new chemicals (Project Orange, Depleted Uranium, etc).  With no window of opportunity truly open to the people, besides fabricated tales of an American Dream, the American people must believe in the tales of America’s greatness and the aspirations of a nation as one.  The people are forced to believe in lies because without those lies, they would have nothing to even substantiate their lives on and thus actually bare witness to the reality of America – a country for the corporations and by the corporations.  It is through a designed disparity that the people are kept subservient and fearful of change and actual promises of a better tomorrow, believing that the status quo of their suffering is the only viable option for the nation.  Forced to work and slave everyday for a standard of living based on check-to-check, the people cannot lift their chins and stand resolute in defiance to corruption and greed; rather, they are conformists to an ideal proliferated on evening news that suggests that the economy is reviving and that it could be worse.  So saying, the American people have now conformed to the concept of ‘it could be worse’ and this is clearly not the ideal the American Dream is intended to express.  Allowing themselves to grow complicit to barely living and adhere to corporate dictated decisions and rules, the American people have lost the definition of individuality and the meaning of truly being free.

“I heard a man on the radio saying, ‘we’re facing an economic hell’.  It creates a vision in my head of ten thousand kids sent off to kill.  There’s always a voice that says, ‘you’ve got a choice’, but a choice between shit it still shit!” – Anti-Flag, NBC (No Blood-Thirsty Corporations)

The design of the American system is intended to keep the huddles masses desperate and loyal, creating a plethora of state tools to die in foreign lands for oil and ideals deemed necessary by corporations and their narrow business interests.  By using the private sector for their wars, the corporations have taken away the constraints of the nation-state and have turned their potential pool of soldiers and cannon fodder, the poor of the world.  The disparity of power and wealth in American has turned the masses into a herd loyal to the leaders posted at front, leaders bought and supported by special interest groups, allowing the politicians to represent the banks and corporations funding them and not the people.  The elite consensus has turned into a tool to undermine the individuality of the people, allowing an accepted norm for political action among Washington hacks to become an accepted norm throughout the nation because of the growing inability for the people to think individually. Left struggling to live, unable to stop and grasp the reality of the enslavement that has befallen them, the American people are being used as workers for a corporate machine that profits at the misery of domestic and international peoples, growing into a vampiric blood-sucking nation interested solely in greed.  Nearly 14 million children in America – 19% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level – that being $22,050 a year for a family of four.  Research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice that level to cover basic expenses, demonstrating the irrational biased method chosen by the government to conduct such surveys. Using the more rational standard, 41% of children live in low-income families.  This system of impoverishment from birth serves as an illustration of  the cult of personality being constructed by the elitists, indoctrinating from birth the American population into the notion that hardship is necessary for the status quo (poor getting poorer, rich getting richer) to perpetuate into the future.  Despite words to the contrary, the American government has not combated the growing disparity of the nation and the evidence is widespread, even though the recession has supposedly ended.  Only 4% of America’s population have estates worth over $60,000 or more.  9 out of 10 adults could pay their debts, sell everything they own, and not have over $30,000 left.  Worst yet is the fact that over 50% of all Americans would have a net worth of $3,000 or less; at the top are the richest 1% who own one-quarter of the net worth of the entire population.  The system is rigged to guarantee the polarization of wealth and power remains at the top of the corporate-capitalist hierarchy.  The poorer people are paying more taxes than ever before.  While corporate taxes have gone down, state and local taxes which tend to be more regressive than federal taxes, as well as social security have continued to take large bites out of the low-income paychecks.  Evidently, the American civilization is decaying as the huddled masses whither away under the pressure of their own obedience to masters lost in clouds high above, lavishly enjoying luxuries afforded to them by the sweat and tears of the poor.

“Have you seen the scene on the street?  Do you care what’s going on?  Thousands – homeless – in the land of the free but no one seems to think it’s wrong! That’s why we fucking wrote this song!” – Anti-Flag, “Culture Revolution”

In retrospect, the American democracy has become a corporatocracy through which the 1% are able to amass fortunes and power at the expense of the masses that are enslaved in chains from the cradle to the grave, working for an ideal only offered to them in a fabricate fairy tale of an American Dream proliferated on media mediums.  With millions homeless and millions more impoverished,the land of the free and brave has become the land of murderers and those enslaved.  Reverting into a totalitarian capitalist theology of power and greed, the hands of the wealthy have seized hold on all assets of the nation – political, fiscal and social – and allowed for the hierarchy to firmly consolidate itself on the shackles of the masses driven to pull it onward.

Russia: Pussy Riot

The 3 members of the feminist punk-rock band Pussy Riot have been found guilt of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, after being detained for months for their February 21 protest at the Christ the Savior Cathedral.

3 of 7 Female Members of Pussy Riot have Sparked International Controversy after Being Detained by Russian Authorities

Pussy Riot is a 7-member punk-rock band in Russia infamous for staging impromptu performances in public areas demonstrating their disdain for the return of a Stalin-esque era under Putin.  Most recently, the 7 members staged one such performance in the Christ the Savior Cathedral, criticizing the support Putin has received from the church.  The resulting crackdown by police forces after the video went viral represents that return of censorship and repression that has been installed under Putin.  The return of Putin has been marked by continuous protests and demonstrations against the militaristic, hard-lined conservative President notorious for his repressive handling of anything liberal.  So saying, the recent suppression of Pussy Riot serves as another illustration of the dictatorial nature of the President, marking a blow against freedom of expression and the return disproportionate punishment.  The 3 women that were detained for over 5 months have been convicted of charges of hate-motivated hooliganism and sentenced to 2 years in prison.  Moscow’s Khamonvinchsky District Court found 22-year-old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23-year-old Maria Alyokhina, and 30-year-old Yekaterina Samutsevish guilty on charges of hooliganism committed by a groups of persons motivated by religious hatred, under article 213, part 2 of Russia’ criminal code.  Despite the reported ruling for anti-religion, the group’s activism was aimed at criticizing the politics of the Church and the support it has for Putin.  The claims of religious hatred are fraudulent and mark the corruption of the justice system instituted in Russia, thus signifying the emerging conservative state based upon vague laws and bureaucracy used to control the citizens.  Not only was the verdict unjust and unfounded, but the proceedings of the trial were shameful and dishonest, shaking the belief of any Russians that were still optimistically in support of the faux democracy under Putin.  The judge rejected the defense and refused to hear reports from several witnesses who were in support of the band members, firmly denying all accounts of political activism and focusing solely on the religious aspect of the band’s ‘punk prayer’.  So saying, the trial of Pussy Riot has gained international attention, resulting in a sensationalist fervor in international media that has proliferated the reports of harsh treatment and possible torture while in police custody.  Evidently, the personal vendetta of Putin against the protest movement has resulted in the disproportionate punishment levied against the members of the band, turning the protest into a much more accredited symbolic movement that has gained international support and thus renewed attention on the practices of Putin’s theological rubber-stamping repressive regime.

“It’s clear in this case that the women’s aim was to make a political statement, and it’s also clear that some found their actions offensive.  But there is still a long way to go between an offensive political statement and a hate crime.” – Hugh Williamson, Human Rights Director of Europe and Central Asia division

The trial of Pussy Riot, at first a propaganda show by Putin to discourage further protests by crucifying the members as feminist hooligans of questionable morality, an erroneous judgement based upon their ‘unethical’ attack on religious values; the trial has spun chaotically into an international media fervor in which corruption and repression have become defining headlines for Putin’s return.  The media has seized upon the offences of the regime, intensifying the diplomatic pressure on Putin for the unjust ruling and punishments.  Reports being proliferated throughout the Western world allege that the band members have been forced to sit in cages for 5 days, some days for 10 hours at a time, being denied food and adequate sleep.  The regime has attempted to exhaust the members in order to extinguish their revolutionary fires, fires that have spread throughout the Russian and international public encouraging uproar and condemnation for such human rights violations.  Nevertheless, as the solidarity of the Western masses begin to coalesce into clusters of sensationalist supporters, the severity of the situation is being muddled in the new form of pop culture activism which, despite resonating enthusiasm, is short-lived and quickly turned into a celebration of issues not at central to the real problem being debated.  This is later turned into an exploit of commercialism that ends in the decay of the movement and the loss of a cause based on good intentions.  Pussy Riot embodies the questions about Russia’s degrading political freedoms and civil liberties,  a series of problems that have escalated under the iron fist of Putin’s powers.  In 2010, a Moscow district court found the co-organizers of a controversial art exhibit “Forbidden Art-2006”, at the Sakharov Museum in Moscow guilty of inciting religious hatred, which is considered an extremist offense, and fined them.  In June and July, in the midst of protests against Putin’s election, the newly formed loyalist parliament adopted a raft of laws putting new restrictions on certain nongovernmental organizations that receive foreign funding, on public demonstrations, and on the Internet.  During a winter peaceful opposition protest, authorities arrested demonstrators who were reportedly involved in a clash with police during the mass demonstration.  They were later charged with crimes disproportionate to their alleged actions.  Police have also conducted searches of the homes of opposition leaders that seemed intended to intimidate them.  Evidently, the intensified oppression of liberties and freedom marks the rise of the police state in Russia, centered around a cult of personality that resembles one of the Soviet era.  Putin’s use of force is not aimed at protecting public order and security, but instead, at setting boundaries for political criticism.

“The millions of dollars of taxpayer money spent in the last few years on fixing the image of our country abroad have been thrown to the wind.  Our image is getting closer to a medieval dictatorship, although in reality we are not that.” – Tina Kandelaki, prominent pro-Putin media personality

The controversy of Pussy Riot’s performances and messages have allowed for their trail and stance against political takeover to be heard across the world, constructing a solidarity movement of organizations and countries in support of the release of the female band members.  Nevertheless, the hype behind the members is being warped by popular culture.  Kony 2012 is a fit warning for the development of movements dedicated to representing and fighting for the just causes of Pussy Riot.  Kony 2012 brought to light a serious problem – warlords escaping justice in Central Africa – but it was turned into an exercise in commercialism, militarism, and Western meddling.  The intensity of the movement was rampant in the first few months but quickly died away as the message quickly became distorted by public mediums in charge of manipulating ideas and ideals to be readily consumed by the masses.  In Russia, Pussy Riot’s new found Western fans are taking the severity of the cause – fighting against political corruption and infringement on civil liberties and freedoms – and turning it into a celebration of feminist punk music and art.  The attention is being drawn from Putin and the hierarchy that is being installed.  For instance, whilst the Western sensationalist culture stars perpetuate the public fervor in directions other than political rights, there lacks any coverage of the much harsher sentences facing the not so famous and not-female co-protesters.  Along with Arytom Savylov, 12 other protesters have charged with calling for mass disorder and assaulting police officers.  Each of them could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.  This is not to say that there is special attention geared towards Pussy Riot because of their status as women, but their popularity in pop culture has allowed them to become figureheads for the media.  With respect, the media has allowed for the trial and unjust ruling to become a global phenomenon but it also results in a smokescreen for the more nefarious actions being committed but not reported.  The obsessive focus on these 3 women, not for their activism or political dissent, but for their status as female punk rockers, risks drawing attention away from other Russian activists or political prisoners and focusing it instead on the plight of all-women punk rock bands, which is decidedly less dire. Moreover, the message of Pussy Riot is about political action and refusing to stand by and allow for the Russia people to be, once again, enslaved by the President.  So saying, the members would not look favorably on the media distortion of the trial’s unjust ending and the manipulated focus on punk rock and popular items of culture that are not correlated to the activist call that they perpetuate. The consequences of the cultural focus also envelop the ability for Putin to manipulate the coverage by appearing lenient and forgiving towards the bands’ members (as has done by asking for lenient sentencing), while he deals in backrooms for harsher treatment of the other protesters (which was done and said above).

“It shows that the Russian authorities will stop at no end to suppress dissent and stifle civil society.  Each step in the case has been an affront to human rights.” – Michelle Ringuette, Amnesty International

In retrospect, the controversy surrounding Pussy Riot brings to light the re-emergence of the Soviet-era police state under former-KGB member, Vladimir Putin; yet, the overt attention of manipulated media has skewed international perspectives away from the general repression of the Russian people and more towards the popular culture item – a female punk rock band.  The development of cultural hype about the detention of these members is likely to converge with Kony 2012 in a cesspool of yet another failed international propaganda movement.  So saying, Putin has attempted to crucify the members in a general policy of ending future protests to his Soviet-esque power and though this has failed, Putin has succeeded in diverting attention away from the trials and tribulations of other political prisoners being tortured and sentenced to much harsher terms.  The Western world has hoped onto the bandwagon of Pussy Riot-related injustices because of their cultural significance as a punk rock band, their status as female punk-rockers and because of the provocative nature of the name, a multitude of selling points for the profit-seeking media networks.  It is this consequence of cultural hype that must be avoided so as to honor the purpose of Pussy Riot and the many other revolutionary persons in Russia that have braved the repression of Russian authorities to demonstrate the return of totalitarianism in Russia.   It is the mission and its objective of transparency in a faux democracy that should be celebrated in the Western lands, not the unjust sentence of a few female punk rockers.

America: Modern Civilization? – The Collapsing Empire

The American society has stood as a beacon of urbanization and advancement, marking a clear divide between the important civilization that had risen in the West and the barbarism of other underdeveloped peoples; however, this view of American exceptionalism has fallen into an age of decline.

The American Empire has Reach its Zenith. When Will It Fall?

The progress of history is marked with the emergence of great empires, all of which attained a zenith of societal advancement that marked them as a great civilization of civil people living in a new structure of hierarchy and urbanization.  These empires of history rose to become global powers defined by a golden age of prosperity, wealth and a general contentedness of their masses.  Each of these empires rose to represent the ideal of the time and yet, each of these empires fell due to a floodgate of problems that rotted their infrastructure.  Despite claims to the contrary, the empires of the past fell with extraordinary speed.  The transition from equipoise to anarchy took little more than a decade for many of the powers.  The vast imperial metropolis of Rome, the Ming dynasty’s rule in China and the Soviet Union were powers of vast strength and land, yet their structural integrity collapsed into utter despair and ruin in the span of a decade.  So saying, the great American power of the West has been plagued with a plethora of problems being perpetuated by a growing inability of the political structure to properly address the concerns of a growing uncivil public.  The political atmosphere is defined by a growing polarization of views that has constructed a parallel society of hate-mongers and delusions of the American greatness, an ideal only resplendent in the minds of a public too afraid and confused to address the reality of a crumbling empire.  The political paralysis of the American system should not be inevitable, but the rigidity of ideals proliferated by those in powers has resulted in a structure of education and thinking that indoctrinates the new age of American thinkers into the same growing divide of competition that has defined the past era of politics and society in America.  The era is defined by a political strategy defined by ignoring problems and failing to address the points that have been proclaimed as ‘nonnegotiable’ – social security, military budget, health care, etc.  This prolonged era of “can-kicking” has become the age of descent for the American nation, an age that was allowed to grow and fester because of the general unwillingness to make sacrifices and address the corruption, the poverty and the crumbling pillars of structure that are deteriorating at the weight of the American decline.

“See our sense of shame and throw it overboard.  See our moral compass and set it so past bored.  I guess conscience really does just make cowards of us all.  See us turn a blind eye till it’s criminal.” – Anti-Flag, “Turn a Blind Eye”

The root of problems being born in the American civilization are mainly found in the fact that the American nation is no longer home to a civil public; rather, the masses have become a divided sea of propaganda-infused tools from both the right and left.  This has essentially resulted in a civil war of competing values and ethics that undermine the American nation and its sense of indivisibility.  Though the American nation was founded on the cooperation of both the right and the left, an infusion of ideals congruent to all people, the modern era has forgotten the civility and brotherhood that gave rise to the republic.  The American people, mimicking the corporate-bought leader, are not thinking pragmatically; rather, they are merely regurgitating the manipulation of images and ideas propagated by television, allowing for propaganda to become a substitute for individual ideas and ideology.  The senseless adherence to a medium controlled by conservative capitalists has allowed for the American people to lose grasp on reality and believe that the status quo of American greatness will continue on under their complicit behavior.  Nevertheless, this American greatness is spiraling downwards as did the empires of old.  The rise of Western civilization, the reason for the rise of the American nation, was due to a series of institutional innovations – competition, scientific revolution, the rule of law and representative government, modern medicine, and work ethic.  These assets for growth were monopolized by the rise of the West and yet, these tools for civilization have  grown divergent of their initial purposes.  The consumer society has turned into a system through which the media can delve into the minds of the masses, run ads inspiring insecurity and superficial want for carnal and material pleasures.  The consumer society has turned the American nation into a corporate capitalist hierarchy through which the great diverge is seen in the ever-growing gap between the rich and struggling poor.  The work ethic is now a concept that applies only to the poor, those that must live check-to-check in order to maintain a standard of living that is barely livable.  As the masses grow tired of carrying the great American behemoth, the mechanisms of the American infrastructure begin to crumble under the weight of a debt and disparity to which they have no answer for.  50 million people in America last year to earn enough to eat.  This number, a fit description of the false myth of the American Dream, can also be coupled together with the fact that the $14 trillion bailout for CEOs and banks, the 1% who never struggle to eat, was paid for by the taxpayers – approximately $47,000 per person.  The poor and middle class will pay for it in the form of inflation, declining infrastructure, poorer education and higher state and local taxes.  As the rest of the world advances beyond the advancements from America’s past, the great empire languishes in its own investment in the past, unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to emerge from its stagnant pool of despair and decay.

“They call it America, ‘land of the free, home of the brave’.  More to the truth, it’s a murderer, it’s the land of the enslaved!” – Anti-Flag, “Until It Happens to You”

The media has become to represent cult of personality, one aimed at maintaining the servility of the masses.   The culture of illusion thrives by robbing the American people of the intellectual and linguistic tools to separate illusion from truth.  It reduces the people to the level and dependency of mindless slaves.  Rather than focusing on the crumbling walls of their own futures, the people remain unquestionably loyal to reality shows and the paparazzi invasion of some person or another’s privacy.  The people are plagued with a narcissism epidemic  in which a shift in culture towards greater self-admiration is illustrated by their malicious attitude and sadistic behavior towards others.  The American people are subject to a  growing desire to watch and laugh at the misfortunes of others, allowing for corporate media to create shows and images that enrapture the peoples’ attention and allow them to continue on blissfully ignorant of the collapsing empire.  To provide a general example – American Idol and the subset series of talent shows that have followed, through which the American people denigrate those who go on by a sadistic voting mechanism that demeans the worth of a person to the number of people who voted in their favor.  As millions go sick and dying in the streets, as brothers and sisters are sent to die in foreign lands to ensure the oil tycoons remain resplendent in their lavish homes, the American people sit on couched and laugh at people on these shows.  It is the same ‘freak-show’ distraction that comes along every time a mighty empire starts collapsing.  These shows have become the new coliseum  where the American people willingly participate in a show where the weak are torn apart for the sake of their amusement.  The American civilization, a society honored for its advancement and urban technology, has become home to cruel and vile population being deluded into waging war on each other and on their own minds.  As they fight among themselves about the validity of a FOX News report or an MSNBC claim, laugh at the idiocy of some star on Jersey Shore, or stare mindlessly at the sexual images of some HBO series, the American people are driven like animals towards the workforce to labor on.  The American people are not forced through physical power to work rank and file in jobs dedicated to the perseverance of a nation no longer representative of its intended purpose of freedom and justice for all.  Rather, the American people are coerced into these jobs to ensure that the debt and disparity of the nation, both of which were created by the corporate leaders and politicians in the 1%, does not utterly destroy the nation.  It is the media – tv, commercials, radio and the web – that has invaded the conscience of the people, making them fools.  The American people have become the target audience for the noise propagated by competing groups and organizations, all interested in profit and power instead of truth and fact.  Thus, a public is created that is divided into competing groups of barbaric fighters with no grasp of what is truly important.  The fighters stand on their pedestals of fabricated reports and gossip, regurgitating the manipulated information reported by their favorite medium.  Throwing word and dagger, the American people have brought down their own nation.

“I thought I’d begun to see a change, but the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Back stabbing and name calling, the trademarks of your act.  You talk and talk of unity, but divide with your attacks.” – Anti-Flag, “Tearing Everyone Down”

In retrospect, the American people are led to fight against one another, against those that represent an ideal opposite of what was published on their rightist/leftist media medium, believing that to rise up and be an American is to yell, scream and fight so ignorantly loud that no one else can heart another view, a view that could be the salvation for a nation that, apparently, is only home to deluded and bigoted people.  The people are led astray, led to lead senseless and ignorant lives, in order to maintain a stable and peaceful workforce that is in charge of keeping the rich aloft on pedestals far from the everyday worries of the masses.  The rich think of ever more ingenious ways to hoard more wealth, mostly at the expense of the public, instead of working to resolve the country’s problems.  As the people suffer way, they remain loyal to mainstream commercial mediums of media that pander to profits and gossip, deluding the peoples’ sense of reality and striving to fuel the peoples’ motivation to continue on working and listening, to continue on being so divided and bigoted.  In the end, what is the purpose of having an American civilization if the American people are no longer interested in being civil.  America has become a cruel and vicious place, rewarding the shallowest, meanest and loudest of those fighters that stand for the division of a country proclaimed as the United States.  With no sense of decency, no right or wrong, the American people pander to the most extremist of views and values proliferated on their favorite mediums, illustrating that the modern civilization is just another reality show of incredulous activities that demeans those within, destroys its surroundings and caters to the amusement of a target audience – the corporate benefactors.  The American nation has become a slogan-saying, bile-spewing, hate-monger.

America: (False) Promises of a Better Tomorrow – Capitalist Hierarchy

The ability to rise through the ranks of corporate America, to secure a future with a guaranteed higher standard of living, is only affordable to those able to pay the initial cost and thus, a preordained corporate capitalist hierarchy is constructed in which the poor get poorer and the rich get richer.

The American People are Deluded into Working for the Profits of the Rich

The American Dream promises of a better tomorrow in which the masses, through hard work and determination, will be able to rise through the ranks and secure their own stature in society as an individual of wealth and comfort.  Nevertheless, this promise is one constructed and manipulated by the elites and their propaganda machines to perpetuate the constant work and toil of the masses, the people who represent their slave-like workers. Living check-to-check, the people are deluded into believing that things will get eventually improve and that their sweat and tears will be rewarded with the ability to purchase their own white picket fenced house and sports cars.  This delusion has allowed for the capitalist hierarchy to proliferate, allowing the elites consolidate their hold on the power structure and even spread their grasp to both the political and financial infrastructure of the American system.  With the voice of the people being suppressed by their own complicit behavior, the elites have a free reign to buy the voice of the politicians and ensure their profits rise higher and higher at the expense of the people at home and the people abroad, those targeted for their resources and cheap labor.  The situation is exacerbated by the reality that the only viable option to infiltrate the elite circle of corporations and banks is to have the wealth and power to buy into it.  The system of connections and bribes has essentially preordained those who will be able to rise into the class of elites, whilst condemning the majority to languish in an eternal purgatory of struggle and strife for a standard of living based on check-to-check living.  The free world, as promised by the American Dream, is sold to the masses as a beacon of hope in which America is believed to be the land of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Yet, the reality is a nation founded on exploitation and manipulation to ensure that the majority of people sold on this pipe dream are also the ones most adversely affected by this exploitative system.  Promising that with hard work, all dreams are possible in the US, the elitists are able to convince tens of millions of people to struggle on in the workforce to help move the great American behemoth towards material gains only enjoyed by the elites in their lavish homes.  These hollow ideals are fed to Americans from the cradle to the grace, but the extent of capitalist greed spreads to other nations courtesy of the propagandistic Voice of America (VOA) and the United States Information Agency (USIA).  Evidently, the corporate controlled propaganda machine is powerful and more than capable of convincing millions around the world that the American Dream is an actuality and can be secured by surrendering to an established norm of corporate control.

“I seen a lot of rip-offs in my life.  The rip-offs of the old and of the young, the weak, the sick, the never known.  Stabbed repeatedly in the back by the Wall Street suit.  The Washington hack.  Lining up their pockets with the peoples’ cash and laughing all the way to the bank.” – Anti-Flag, “The Economy is Suffering, Let it Die”

America is a nation founded, built and sustained on exploitation of people.  It is through the elitist control of the system’s assets that the promises of a better tomorrow keep the engines of war and profit going, keep the great beast complicit and working, and keep the nation in a perpetual state of blissful ignorance, so as to ensure the status quo remains.  The elite are permeated within the halls of Congress, Wall Street and the elitist oriented Higher Educational institutions of America; three bastion of elitist values that illustrate the American ideal – disparity of wealth and power.  The American people toil hours, day in and day out, striving to pursue the unattainable carrot that has been placed in front of them by the lofty elitist bastions.  Their blood, sweat and tears are being exhausted on ensuring that the lavish lives of the elites does not change, consolidating a standard of living for the elites that is defined by ultimate wealth and power.  The extent to which the capitalist hierarchy controls the path of the nation in favor of the rich is illustrated in the numerous foreign imperial exploits, as well as the bailouts.  The American people were forced to work longer and harder in the few jobs available in order to maintain a standard of living that was barely livable before.  Rather than lending a helping hand to reward the efforts of the people keeping the American infrastructure aloft, the policies of the American government turned towards its priority – bailing out the corrupt banks and corporations responsible for the recession, for the despair that had rooted itself in the hearts of the people forced out their homes.  The government bailed out Wall Street with a recovery package of $13 trillion, money that came from the American people and added to a national debt already astoundingly high.  This national debt has also become a tool through which the elites attempt to waylay the people, forcing the masses to sacrifice more to higher taxes, less medical coverage, and cutting the few government programs that were a slight relief for the toiling masses.  As the American people are denied their healthcare, provided to all in every other industrialized country, the disparity in wealth and power grows every wider.  The gap between the small percentage of elites at the top and rest of the populace is more than ever before.  The Federal Reserve reports that the top seven banks in American have over $10 trillion in assets recorded in over 14,000 created ‘subsidiaries’ to avoid taxes.  So saying, the top 1% hide more than the total annual economic output of American and Japan combined.  This overt disparity leaves millions without homes, food and bare essential medical coverage.

“The richest of the rich, dine in fancy chic cafes, not a worry all their days.  The cost of luxury, throughout empires of history, is vengeance from those empire enslaves.” – Anti-Flag, “No Paradise”

The ruling class of elites does whatever it can to retain as much capital as they possible can, eagerly striving to gorge their financial coffers at the expense of the people subjecting themselves to a myriad of unfriendly labor conditions and with virtually no socially conductive safety net.  The oppressed and deluded people have been trained to have blind and unwavering faith in a capitalist hierarchy in which they will never prosper.  The economic system that dominates the American society is not built to sustain all or even most of its populous; rather, it is catered for the extremely wealthy and their families and thus justifying their corrupt capitalist takeover of all assets to ensure the masses remain chasing the myth of the American Dream.  77% of working Americans are living check-to-check, embodying the notion of rugged individualism that has been inculcated into their hearts and minds.  Yet the notion of rugged individualism has become a flawed concept manipulated and warped to adhere to the pro-labor message of the propaganda machines.  The elite controlled propagandistic corporations demand the people work day in and day out, pay 30% or more in taxes and receive little in return – meanwhile the elites pay 15% or less in taxes on things like capital gains and hefty inheritances.  It is their unquestioned power and wealth that has allowed them to proliferate the pro-rich policies of the American government, financing campaigning and determining which wealth candidate will be in the primaries.  The conservative capitalists have become the puppeteers of an entire nation, ensuring the road forward will remain one in which they profit and the poor do not.  Their control of the corporate based government, corporate media and the vertical economy, has allowed for them to dictate the national priorities.

“One trillion dollars could buy a lot of bling.  One trillion dollars could buy most anything.  One trillion dollars buying bullets, buying guns.  One trillion dollars in the hands of killers, thugs.” – Anti-Flag, “One Trillion Dollars”

In retrospect, the American people are deluded into a false sense that better days are coming by a system of propaganda controlled and operated by a small class of wealthy elites whose objectives are to perpetuate their profits and perpetuate the widening disparity that keeps the workers at bay.  The erroneous belief that America’s system is conductive to the creation and sustaining of prosperity for all is an American myth designed to continue the onward march of the great beast at the behest of the controlling capitalists.

America: Corporate Financed Campaigning – Citizens United

The corporate involvement in the political infrastructure of the American government has been made evident by the ruling behind Citizens United and the granted permission for special interest groups to finance politicians and thus replace the accountability they have to the American people.

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United Ruling has Undercut Political Accountability

The hyper-partisan nature of the political system has proliferated throughout the years, resulting in a decaying social atmosphere in which media propaganda deludes the masses into similar polarized spheres represented by the Tea Party and MoveOn.org.  This alienation has allowed for the public to fall victims to complacency and subservience, allowing for corporations and special interest groups to better consolidate their hold on the political agenda and decision-making process. The political system was instituted as a source for equal representation through which the peoples’ voice would be heard and adhered to.  Now, modern life is defined by the complicit public agreeing to a silent compact to keep up pretenses and allowing for the mega-donations of corporations to usurp all control.  The corporate takeover is not defined by a sudden rise of donations, financing and back-room deals; rather, the presence of corporate influence has been prevalent throughout the defining history of the American nation.  Nevertheless, the unbridled corporate and political greed has now been embodied by the 2010 Supreme Court decision on Citizens United which has now resulted in millions of dollars funding corrupt politicians favoring profit-seeking business interests.  The 2010 decision was followed by a report from the Center of Responsive Politics which showed that unidentifiable special interest groups financed pro-business Republicans with over $117 million, whilst Democrats were working with a budget of merely $13 million.  This disparity in spending overcame Democratic fundraising edge in 2010 among candidates and party committees, helping Republicans win a US House majority and increase their numbers in Senate.  Campaigns are no longer waged between publicly financed candidates and their political platforms.  They are no waged by shadowy attack groups posing as social welfare organizations.  With corporations being able to wield unlimited power and influence on the political system, politicians are now free from public accountability.  Thus, the ruling has resulted in targeted speech suppression, taking away the influence of the people and allowing politicians to have a corporate safeguard to protect them from a volatile public opinion.  So saying, the definition of democracy has been sold to corporations to be redefined as they seem fit. Evidently, the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission has now made election at every level of US government a sham proceeding.

“When there are secrets that we don’t know, then the ideal they pass as freedom in this country is fake.  When we are left with no right or no voice to choose, then we’re not living in a free and democratic state.” – Anti-Flag, “What You Don’t Know”

With a 5-4 majority, the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment protects corporate and union funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections.  The decision marks a radical chance in the electoral procedures, turning federal elections into a new form of democracy ruled by the corporate state.  The working class voters are likely to find it nigh impossible to influence lawmakers in competition with mega-donations from giant groups.  As the people work and struggle under receding economic conditions, the corporations have been provided with a board protection plan through which they can ensure the perpetuation of a corporate-capitalist run state and ensure the perpetuation of their profits at the expense of the people.  Among the business interests whose free speech rights the Supreme Court established in the decision are CIGNA HealthCare, Massey Energy Company, Halliburton, Tokyo Electric Power Company and Saudi Aramco, among countless others.  CIGNA HealthCare refused to pay for a life saving treatment for 14 year old Nataline Mary Sarkisyan who had recurrent leukemia.  The survival rate for her, after a liver transplant, was 65% and yet CIGNA HealthCare stated that it did not cover services considered experimental, investigational, and/or unproven to be safe and/or effective for the patient.  Their rejection cam after doctors at the UCLA medical center, including the head of its transplant unit, wrote a letter state the procedure was neither experimental nor unproven and called upon CIGNA to urgently review its decision.  Sarkisyan’s family filed murder charges against its insurer but the case was thrown out by the US Supreme Court.  Massey Energy Co. is another enterprise responsible for the deaths of 29 mine-workers at the Upper Big Branch Mine in southern Virginia when basic safety concerns were set aside for profits.  The foreign group represented by Tokyo Power Company are those who were in charge of operating their General Electric designed nuclear reactors at Fukishima Daiichi despite warnings, according to Wikileaks, from the International Atomic Energy Commission of serious safety concerns.  The last company is Saudi Aramco, a state own national oil company of Saudi Arabia which stands watch over the heart of global capitalist pursuits.  Saudi Aramco was responsible for the deployment of military troops against an Arab Spring related uprising in Bahrain in an attempt to protect their privatization of the nation’s resources.

“Bred into silence by television sets, accepting lies from media so soon we will forget the lives that we spend as workers for the rich.   You work so much, there’s not time left to realize that you’re in a fucking ditch.” – Anti-Flag, “The Truth”

With the elections approaching and campaigning intensifying, the masses are victim to a blitzkrieg of images and ads propagated by broadcasts and biased media to skew their opinions and berate political opponents with criticisms and falsehoods.  Secret groups, labeled as social welfare organisations and unions, are given billions in mega-donations to run political attack ads to ensure the corporate-bought Washington hack is the victor.  Reinforcing the ideal that the elections have become a sham-proceeding, the Supreme Court’s decision has allowed for these corporations to essentially rig elections by permitting these groups to propagate ads that need not necessarily represent the truth.  The concept of biased media and proliferated lies is not uncommon, the masses are witness to lies and false-charges on every and any major news source.  Nevertheless, the ability for political attack ads to broadcast locally and nationally deceitful lies is clear evidence of the failure of democracy in the American system.  The purpose of information is to create an informed voting public, an educated electoral base of constituents, which is enshrined in America’s civic values and governing statues such as the Freedom of Information Act and federal and state campaign donor disclosure laws.  Yet, the Supreme Court’s decision has opened a flood-gate of corporate schemes that have laid waste to these pretenses and have allowed corporations to break the peoples’ minds with false ads and manipulate their votes and opinions.  Senator Mitch McConnell has led the fight for corporate funding in politics, illustrating his beliefs that informed democracy is actually anti-democratic, as disclosing these multi-million dollar mega-donations would be violating free speech rights.  His support has allowed for tax exempt groups such as Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and the Chamber of Commerce to run supposed issue based attack ads without being subjected to the donor disclosure requirement by the Federal Elections Commission.  So saying, the Chamber of Commerce has become infamous with independent organizations such as PolitiFact and FactCheck.org that have investigated many of their supposed issue based attack ads, finding that a majority are ‘pants on fire’ and contain a plethora of falsehoods and inconsistencies.  The most notable example is in Florida where Connie Mack has spent $13 million to secure 3 weeks of television to propagate ads from the Chamber of Commerce that suggest current Democratic Senator Bill Nelson has aided President Obama in cutting $500 million from Medicare, a statement that was debunked by both PolitiFact and FactCheck.org.  The Supreme Court has accelerated the corporate takeover by giving them free reign of campaign finances and giving them access to media sources to proliferate any false ads that they desire.

“Just take a look around the world and you’ll find that nearly all mass media are owned and controlled by a handful of conservative capitalists.  We must devise and implement alternative methods of distributing our news, our information, our ideas.” – Anti-Flag, “Underground Network”

In retrospect, the decision by the Supreme Court not only marks a transitioning point in which corporations have become truly the sole source of power and influence in politics, but is also marks the general negligence for the public and the democratic values represented by the American statutes.  The Citizens United ruling has consolidated the capitalist hierarchy of the nation, allowing the rich 1% to influence and control the greedy politicians and buy hours of broadcasts.  Sponsoring public division, manipulating peoples’ opinions, and affirming a divided political arena, there exists no blockade to the corporations’ swarming takeover of all assets of the American infrastructure.

America: Complicit Society – Loss of Government Accountability

The system of democracy propagated in  America is becoming increasingly unaccountable and privatized by narrow special interests that are making negligible the role of the populous and making negligible the system of checks and balances that was installed so as to prevent the rise of unchecked powers in the branches of government.

The ‘Demos’ Have Been Removed From American Democracy

As the great empires of Spain, Rome, Persia and Greece, the American empire’s stance on liberal democracy is waning and being replaced by the rise of narrow business interests concerned with ‘privateering’, militarization, imperialism and the corporatization of the US government.  The populous, given powers to hold accountable a government intended to represent their ethics and interests, has fallen silent and complicit to the growing privatization of government for profiting purposes of a narrow sect of special interest groups.  Rather than adhering to the wishes of the people, the government has turned a deaf ear to the cries of a public subjected to rampant inequality and political alienation.  The days of protest and demonstrations have fallen away, allowing the government to continue on its polarized path without fear of being reproached.  As silence falls onto the masses, the public begins to be victimized by ignorant conformity to polarized propaganda proliferated on mass media communications like FOX and MSNBC.  Conforming to said bias, the public begins to parallel the political consensus that is determined by the dictations of special interests groups that direct the progress, or lack thereof, for the American system.  So saying, this has resulted in an entire system structured around the special interest groups that control the politicians, who control the media, who then control the public.  This chain of events has resulted in the corporatization of the American government, illustrated by the profiteering business leaders that are able to advance policies advantageous to their own agenda.  Examples ranging from Halliburton to Blackwater/Xe are notorious for their connections within the political arena that have resulted in various contracts and schemes advancing their stocks and investments.  The public, already at the back and call of politicians and their corporate puppeteers, has been reduced to a herd meant to trample periodically in support of one or another policy put forth by the 1% of profiting elites.  They have become complicit in the destruction of their own government, adhering to policies unrepresentative of their interests and failing to rise above silent conformity and call for reform.  The age of popular movement was rekindled by the Occupy Movement, yet lacking organization and a coherent message resulted in a rapid decomposition of the movement.  Evidently, the peoples’ hold on the government has been stripped away by their own ignorant conformity to silent obedience to corporations that pledge their allegiance to profits and investments.

“This police state only benefits the rich because the cops give them power to keep us all quiet.  With police disguised as the guardians of the masses; we’ll never suspect their role to save the rich bastards!  You’re all complacent, you’re totally fooled, you bought the system’s lies, but they don’t protect you!” – Anti-Flag, “They Don’t Protect You”

Rather than protecting and empowering all citizens, ‘privateering’ is resulting in the government transferring this moral mission to private enterprises and protecting only those that can afford their higher, profit enhanced, costs.  The right to ‘life, liberty and pursuit of happiness’ will be subjugated to profits, once again equating to the dissolution of democracy and its ‘demos’ (people).  The loss of domestic involvement and political accountability has been caused by the manufacturing of consent through the media system, as well as through the fear of physically repressive consequences represented by the growing militarized police state within America.  The creation of the American republic was intended to create a nation based on the people, the ‘demos’.  There was meant to be an equal governance or accountability shared by all the people.  Nevertheless, the idea of government run by pluralism, in which the republic would be structures around the collective deliberation of all viewpoints existing in society, has fallen into decay because of the corporate belittlement of the public.  This is also exacerbated by their ability to create a gap between constituents and their representatives’ ears.  The special interest groups have removed the fear of accountability and the fear of electoral retribution from the decision-making process of politicians.  They have been able to conform society into a homogenized state of complicit behavior, a state of unquestionable loyalty and adherence, that allows for the nation to be run freely by said narrow interests.  This unbridled power was intended to be contained through the separation of governance into branches of government, but this has been dissolved by the totalitarian system of the ‘Pentagonized’ Presidency, an increasingly militaristic executive branch superseding legislation and judicial reviews through sheer force of will.  The other branches of government have become little more than puppets, voting in favor of pro-interest group policies so as to illustrate to the masses a political consensus that they too should support.  So saying, the principle of truthfulness will continue to be, and has been, increasingly replaced by a system of disinformation and corporate created facades that suggest policy decisions are in the interests of the nation.

“Join the corporate army.  For god and country, give up your life.  Don’t try to figure out what’s wrong or right, you never tried to stop, to look, to see that you’re exactly what you’re told to be.  You did everything fucking right.  You followed the system’s guiding light.” – Anti-Flag, “Their System Doesn’t Work For You”

During the Vietnam War, the public did not remain docile and complicit to the hawk behavior of the Johnson and Nixon administrations; rather, the public rose to the occasion and demonstrated their disenchantment with the war, the napalm bombing of Vietnamese villages and the rapid militarization following the Gulf of Tonkin incident.  The people rose and held accountable their public officials and demanded that the violence be brought to an end.  Even after the police state suppressed demonstrations through force, resulting in the death of 4 college students at Kent State, the people did not resign themselves to subservience.  Public opinion is a tool through which society can control the implementation of policies by their government.  This tool has not been utilized to full effect and has resulted costly perpetual wars, the implementation of repressive and corrupt policies, and the growing privatization of the government to groups that are able to line politicians pockets with cash.  This capitalist drive has driven the politicians from the voters who elected them, it has driven them from fulfilling their representative duties, and is resulting in the loss of accountability – the one viable tool given to the people.  This is exemplified by the fact that America has grown increasingly militarized and internationally repressive in order to seize control of assets and resources demanded by the corporations funding those policies.  An example of this privateering, resulting in militarization for purposes of imperialism, is Iraq.  Blackwater/Xe has tens of thousands of mercenaries and pays them around $450,000 a year.  Xe has made billions of dollars on the Iraq Occupations and two-thirds of that has been through no-bid contracts from the government.  Halliburton and Bechtel are another two notorious corporations that experienced huge profit margins from multi-billion dollar contracts given to them by the Bush administration to aid in the mass privatization of state-owned industries in Iraq.  The examples of corporate imperialism through political takeover are endless and extend from the Americas to Africa and to the Middle East.  The people have only stood by and offered their sons and daughters as cannon fodder for the corporate wars, complicit in the imperialist nature of the US and complicit in their own political negligible status.  Through the NDAA and Patriot Act, the government has subdued the American people and has repressed the air of activism.

“Everyone keeps asking, ‘Why’s he so pissed and so angry?’.  When there’s killing in this world, of men and womyn, boys and girls, for the sake of dividend gain.  These actions proclaimed in our name, turn Stars and Stripes into shades of Shame.” – Anti-Flag, “Gift from America: With Love, the USA”

In retrospect, the energy that used to exist in the American populous to demand representation and truth has dwindled away, along with their civil liberties and freedoms that are being infringed upon by corporate sponsored policies.  Privateering is destroying America’s democracy by eliminating the government’s duty to protect and empower all citizens through the democratic institutions installed by the founding fathers to prevent the very thing that is happening, the rise of unchecked government powers that are dedicated to capitalist gains.  Privateering is supplanting the government’s public mission with privatized protection and empowerment of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.