Kill Lists, Kill Teams, and the
Bloodthirsty Horde of Ignoramuses
“The difference between willful ignorance and true self-deception is subtle, but important. Willful ignorance tends to be more adaptive than self-deception. Willful ignorance is a cognitive strategy that people adopt to promote their emotional well-being, whereas self-deception is less controllable and more likely to be detrimental. Although willful ignorance and self-deception sometimes help individuals to avoid unpleasant facts, in the long run, it is usually better to confront reality than to avoid or deny it. Because the self-deceived person fully believes things that are untrue, she has fewer resources for correcting her course when her erroneous beliefs lead her astray.”
Americans are strange people. They tend to have respect for a system that was put in place almost 250 years ago by oligarch landowners (slaveholders). The system was fashioned for a “republic” and is termed a “democracy” although it is quite clear that democracy was absolutely not wanted by the framers of the American constitution. The fact that it is still called a republic by so many people is only possible because of the vague echoes of the Roman republic (e.g. the Fasces wrapped in laurel branches on the rostrum of the House of Representatives), which retained the SPQR (the Senate and People of Rome) logo even after the empire became the vehicle for serial emperors (serial killers all) and their fellow oligarch supporters who were always jockeying their families into position to become the next dynasty at the head of the most powerful military juggernaut in history. Even Mussolini used SPQR to make his regime look as if it was a continuation of the old republic. Modern Italians, with a self-deprecating sense of history now translate it as: Sono Porci Questi Romani (These Romans are Pigs!)
We (those of us with a minimal awareness of reality) all know that the opponents of democracy (even the pretend kind of democracy that the American constitution has provided) have been on a trajectory to overtake control of the system since the public assassination of JFK, the mini-explosion of Barry Goldwater in 1964 and then the wild rout of any social-thinking forces that still existed in 1980 with the insertion of Ronald Reagan into the halls of power. Of course it is quite clear that Reagan was only a figurehead. His head was empty and got emptier as his second term ground to a close. He could still recite his lines though, and that charming smile and wave of a hand mesmerized the fools who actually believed that if you sent money up, some of it would trickle back down again and help the not-so-fortunate. The Sopranos should have cured everyone of that twisted thinking: Tony Soprano: This thing is a “pyramid” since time immemorial, shit goes downhill, money goes up: it’s that simple. I should not have to be coming here “hat in my hand”, reminding you of your duty to that.
Since 1980 the eternal pyramid scheme has been renamed and has acquired a veneer of theoretical economic respectability as neoliberalism. Brazen greed and the rape of resources, with a parallel destruction of any social benefits for the working populace, has a legion of Madison Avenue culture warriors cutting through the media landscape, clearing a path broader and more devastating than Sherman’s march toward the sea. The new ideology of greed has wrapped its tentacles around the whole world. The first experimental feelers were sent out to Chile under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The rape of the Chilean economy was so successful that soon the method was being refined and further disguised through the benevolent-looking auspices of the IMF and The World Bank. And then, the final breakthrough, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the injection of rampant capitalism into a system that was already so corrupt that the nomenklatura immediately transformed itself into the new oligarchs and, were it not for the intervention of Vladimir Putin, would have been run as a subsidiary of Standard Oil and Chase Manhattan Bank.
No, this is not going to turn into a positive argument for Vlad. It’s just a reality observation. Without him, Russia is, as John McCain said: a “gas station masquerading as a country”. [Yeah, sometimes the worst guys have the best quotes.] So now, although Russia is still a glorified gas station, it has been able, through the willful ignorance of the pro-democracy forces in the US (as well as in Europe) to push a very poison needle deep under the political skin of the whole world.
Have absolutely no doubt:
Putin and Trump are working toward the same goal: Autocratic domination.
Autocrats are united in their fear and hatred of any society that opens a path to social justice. This was true of all the empire-builders throughout history, and it is still true of autocrats wherever they may be, the Philippines, China, Brazil, Florida or Hungary. Sitting on top of the pyramid is where an autocrat wants to be. From there (mostly) he can look out over the world and see fellow-autocrats sitting atop other pyramids, smile, wave, and secretly (or not so secretly) plan their destruction and domination.
The war against Ukraine is not accidental. The expansion of China into Tibet was not accidental. The domination of Central and South America by the Monroe-doctrinaire Americans is not accidental. An aggressive nation doesn’t arise suddenly one day after breakfast with an extra cup of coffee that got its dander up and unintentionally caused it to invade its neighbor or sweep across a continent and eliminate its indigenous people, or get rid of a bunch of humming monks who thought their harmony with the greater oneness of the universe could save them from Mao’s dictum: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Autocrats know this. And as noble as it might have been for the communists of China to fight against the Japanese imperialist forces, you must understand that this phrase is at the very heart of modern autocratic thinking. “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” And, coming back to the United States now, we know for sure that the anti-democracy forces are going to implement this belief very literally as soon and as often as possible.
Oh, you are either really willfully ignorant or blindly self-deceiving yourself if you think there are no kill lists being circulated by the ignorant hordes and the malicious murderers that worship at the altar of God’s Own Party. Why do you think that armed vigilantes are recording license plates and filming people who are going to vote early in elections? Are you naive enough to believe that these people are only engaged in some kind of “civic duty”? You are either too young or just ignorant enough of history to remember that Tricky Dickie Nixon had an “Enemies List” and actually tried to move against those enemies during his presidency. His dark side was ruled by J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI, a cross-dresser (nothing wrong with that, Edgar) who had a maniacal need to have something nasty written down about anybody who was near the levers of power.
These days all the kill lists are being circulated on the dark side of the internet. With access to police data-bases and actual serving military, the compilers of these lists are preparing the post-electoral landscape to reflect their deeply desired bloodbath of purification of the American populace to remove those of non-Christian beliefs, and especially those who are atheists. The non-whites will either be subjugated into the new slaves (and be rewarded nicely if they adhere to Christianity) or will get herded into the narco-ghettos of big cities where they will either die from overdoses, from starvation, or from gang violence, since gang leaders are both willfully ignorant and self-deceiving, believing that their dominance of a certain “turf” bestows some kind of magic power upon them and allows them to make deals with the Dixie and other mafias so they can live like little kings on top of a heap of trash.
If only the pro-democracy forces in the USA could learn from the resilience of the people of Ukraine. What that bombed and battered populace is standing up to now in their war against an aggressor that is not just twice as big and powerful, but more than ten times as big and powerful than they are is not just praiseworthy, it is the closest thing we have to the ideal of the little guy standing up to the bully in the playground. The pro-democracy forces in the USA are the little guy and the anti-democracy forces are the bully, that is more than clear. Just look at the bullies that God’s Own Party has placed in the media limelight. The impunity of these people is astounding. Well, it’s actually no different from the impunity of Franco, Hitler, Mussolini, Bolsonaro, Urbán and Putin, and you can fill in a whole list of other madmen who have captured center stage for themselves.
It is therefore imperative that the pro-democracy forces must organize themselves in home defense units comparable to the ones the Ukrainians organized prior to the invasion and which helped them weather the first horrible storms in the battle for Kiev. What skills do you have? Are you a doctor, a nurse, a good driver? Do you have military experience? Know your neighbors. Are they pro or anti-democracy? Will they support or hinder you in the upcoming civil strife?
To some I’m beginning to sound like a survivalist who is now going to tell you to stock up on food and ammunition so that when the apocalypse hits, you can survive for a few weeks. I don’t want to alarm you to that extent, because the civil strife will not be apocalyptic in the sense of being comprehensively destructive for everyone everywhere all at once. It will probably be more like some of those California and Oregon forest fires of late. A deadly inflammatory situation here, another one there, and the competing media stoking the fires so that their constituents will be inflamed against the other side. Certain regions will have a de facto martial law imposed upon them, even if it’s not called martial law, just a “curfew” from sunset to sunrise in this or that part of a city. With police in control. But whose police are they?
In Washington you can be sure of only one thing: paralysis. Political paralysis. No pro-democracy politician will ever risk his or her status and political future by actually standing up and organizing the forces of democracy against the political lunatics in the anti-democracy faction. The ancient men and women who sit on their hundred-million-dollar thrones are not going to risk anything to support “true” democracy. The few young representatives who just might do that will be among the first to be targeted for destruction of one kind or the other.
In Nicaragua they called them Death Squads. They were taught their trade at the School of the Americas, and they learned well. The modern-day kill teams in the USA have been trained in the armed forces, sent to practice their trade in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, and other obscured locations. And those overweight and under-educated white boys that didn’t have the balls to take risks in the wild world beyond the US, joined police forces and militia groups near home so they can now open-carry their penis-extending ARs and AKs in public. These people are not only willing to use their weapons, they are eagerly waiting for the representatives of God’s Own Party to give them the green light. And that flashing green light will come, not after an electoral win, but after an electoral loss. If the balance of political power tends toward the anti-democracy forces after an election, the guns will stay silent for a little longer. However, if unexpected losses occur because somehow the populace has awoken to the imminent danger, the “clear and present danger” of anti-democratic forces, then the first trigger-happy ignoramuses will begin to claim victims.
The kill teams are out there. It’s convenient these days to fear groups that call themselves silly playground names like Proud Boys or 3% or whatever idiotic moniker they dream up. Those are readily identifiable groups and can be fought in a conventional way. No. It is the undefined and unnamed squads of professional killers who band together in murky associations for both ideological and monetary reward who are the greatest menace. Like the Wagner Group in Russia, these professional killers are only in it for their own cynical purposes. They may wave the banner of Christianity at the masses, but it is gold and power that they are really interested in, and they are more than willing to rape, torture and kill their way to the fortunes they seek. Think of Erik Prince and his private army of mercenaries.
Oligarchs are rich, yes, but most of them are stupid enough to believe that the soldiers they employ will never be disloyal enough to turn on the master. The condottieri of the late middle ages in Italy should disabuse any rich person of that silly belief. “The most fearsome of the mercenary armies was the Great Company, its leader, the German knight, Werner von Urslingen, whose motto was ‘Enemy of God, of Pity and of Mercy.’” Sounds just like The Wagner Group motto: Death is our business – and business is good!
Just as Wagner Group financier Yevgeniy Prigozhin (while pretending to be Putin’s buddy) is starting to make a move to take over from Vladimir Putin and make Russia his own private fiefdom, any American mercenary killer with a remnant of grey matter brain cells will have designs on the power structure in the USA. The flaccid American oligarchs who own sports teams and plan to own city and perhaps even state governments, support their anti-democracy cheerleaders with dark money and “innocent bystander” expressions when they get named or shamed. Within the blink of an eye their media friends make sure that the tables are turned immediately so that the accusers are accused, the whistle-blowers are named and shamed and as soon as possible the storm is determined to be in a teacup, and all goes back to business as usual. The pyramid scheme eternal. Money goes up, shit comes down.
Bloodthirsty Horde of Ignoramuses
It’s certainly not “only in America” but America probably has the most comprehensively stupid – that is, under-educated and miseducated – mass of citizenry in the world. And this stupidity is not accidentally caused by unavailability of education or decrepit infrastructure that prevents schools from being built. It has been engineered into existence.
The destruction of the university system was begun in 1964 when Reagan became governor of California. Slowly but surely he started jacking up fees for students. Today, going to state university is just as expensive as going to a private one. As soon as opposition to the war in Vietnam took hold at the university level, this destruction through fees was made a nation-wide model. Then, with each subsequent post-Reagan administration the rot crept down from the university level, to the city-college (JC) level, to high schools and all the way down to the grade school level, so that now if you send your kid to a Christian faith school where they are steered clear of any kind of logic or critical thinking, those schools can suck on the tax tit of the city, county or state and federal government without having to meet even the lowest standards of general education. OK. The kids might be able to read a text message and recite a couple of bible verses, but please don’t expect any of them to know anything about science, history or art.
These are the ignoramuses who populate the stagnant pools of American cultural society. They are transfixed by reality shows and 15-second Tik-Tok film clips while they ride gas-guzzling monster trucks to the end of the Death Spiral Highway, “And believe in whatever may lie/In those things that money can buy”. The difference between these ignoramuses and other ignoramuses of the garden-variety is that with the flick of a media switch these bastions of consumerism can be turned into a bloodthirsty mob of predators ready to maim and pillage. All they need are simple directions to be pointed in. Once upon a time we were amused and slightly horrified by the Westboro Baptist Church and its crazy little mob of anti-gay warriors. Now all a local anti-democracy proponent has to do is say: “Drag Queen” and masses of armed rock-throwing fanatics appear within the hour at whatever location is indicated. They are there to prepare the bloodbath for public consumption. And the cameras will be rolling because prime time says: If it bleeds, it leads! Should a gun-toter be killed, the media will make him a martyr. If a drag queen is dragged through the streets chained to the back of a mega-truck, she’ll be labeled a provocateur trying to groom children.
Like the Putin machine in Russia that has convinced an untold number of Russians that NATO is planning to invade Russia and turn all their children into homosexuals and transsexuals, the anti-democracy forces around the world use issues of gender and women’s reproductive freedom to prepare the killing fields for the bloodbath they so eagerly await.
Being well-meaning and willfully ignorant has now become a liability that can be fatal. Without some pretty quick organization at the basic level for the citizenry among the pro-democracy forces, the initial devastating shock of loss that the first attacks from the anti-democracy forces create, will cause a depressing loss of faith in the possible final victory of democracy, true democracy. But it is precisely the arrogant hubris of the aggressor (and the ingrained rot of corruption) that ultimately also causes his downfall. The Ukrainians were shocked. But they were not over-awed. They fought off the enemy around Kiev and in the ensuing months have mounted a counter-offensive that is on the verge of reclaiming most of the territory they once lost. Of course they have had help from allies in America and Europe.
Who can the pro-democracy forces in the USA count on getting help from? From Canada. From Mexico. From Europe. From pro-democracy movements everywhere.
Organize now. Create the basic network. Be ready to move into action. Evil doesn’t wait for an invitation to enter, it tries to break down the door. Fortify that door. Barricade yourself against evil. And after the first wave has hit, be ready to counter-attack.
True democracy will emerge from the rubble of the old system.
May I suggest:
One thought on “Insurrection 2.0”