Monday, January 11, 2021

Violence and Liberal Politics


Violence and Liberal Politics

Peter Schultz


            It is the most interesting phenomenon that most Americans do not see that the American political order revolves around, draws strength from, and is bottomed on violence. For example, I have no idea why people think that our elites are troubled by and wish to avoid violent attacks and protests. After all, after such attacks and protests the government and its elites are fortified, strengthened, while those dissenting are weakened.


            Some examples. After the assassination of JFK in 1963, LBJ went to war full-blast in Vietnam after his landslide election in 1964. After the debacle in Vietnam, Richard Nixon, who consistently supported and even expanded that war, was re-elected by a landslide in 1972. After 9/11, President Bush’s approval ratings went through the roof, to the point where he could and did undertake the invasion, occupation, and destruction of Iraq based on lies about non-existent WMDs. He was so popular after failing to advert the attacks of 9/11, that even when it was discovered that there were no WMDs in Iraq, his popularity barely suffered and he was re-elected in 2004 handily.


            I can imagine the Democrats, watching the “insurrection” in D.C. unfold, and thinking, even gleefully: “Wow! This is just what we needed. Now our power will be such that anyone who opposes us can be accused of being ignorant, weak, or even of being treasonous.” As this is what happened after 9/11 and even happened during the 60s and 70s when people protested the war in Vietnam. University and college students were gunned down for protesting that war with the subsequent approval of the governor of Ohio and the president of the United States. And, of course, the protestors in Chicago were the victims of what was officially labeled “a police riot” when they demonstrated at the Democratic National Convention there in 1968. And some might have thought: “Well, this guarantees the nomination of Hubert Humphrey.” And it would also have guaranteed the continuation of the Chicago-Austin coalition that then controlled the Democratic Party.


            What this means is that regardless of how you see the possibility that the lack of armed force protecting the capitol, whether you see it as arranged to provoke the “insurrectionists” or whether you see it as an accident or the result of Trump’s malevolence, it remains a fact that the establishment Democrats and Republicans had the motivation to arrange such an “insurrection.” Such “insurrections,” such attacks, such provocations are actually welcomed events for US elites because it is in light of such events that their legitimacy is fortified regardless of other events going on that undermine that legitimacy. Pandemic being mishandled? Forgotten. Millions without health insurance? Forgotten. Police forces infiltrating and occupying black neighborhoods and using deadly force repeatedly? Forgotten. All that matters in the light of such events is responding to ensure that such events will not recur. That is, not recur until the establishment needs them again.

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