We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Politics of ‘Looting’ and ‘Violence’

Click here to access article by Eric Draitzer from CounterPunch.

Draitzer sees how ruling class media frames the backlash in Baltimore to justify police murders, police brutality, and police oppression. By comparing capitalist media's portrayal of domestic upheavals with similar events in foreign countries, he reveals the true function of capitalist media: to frame events in such a way as to justify the actions of the ruling class.
...it is power, not objective reality, which determines what is and is not acceptable violence. To take by force [referring to the social disorder in Iraq after the US invasion] in Baghdad in 2003 is liberating and justified; to take by force in Baltimore in 2015 is violent “thuggery” and unjustifiable. The relation of any group to the agenda of power is the only determinant of righteousness and sin according to the morality of the Empire.

Sadly it is no surprise that the corporate media would spin a narrative of mindless violence and race riots, barbarism and chaos. The media exists not to inform, but to reflect the values and objectives of the forces that own and control it.