Unless Trump is (genuinely) going to undo neoliberalism (which is, reduced to its simplest, privatization and deregulation and the empowerment of, or ‘liberating’ of, corporations while (and by) disempowering citizens who might interfere with mafia capitalism, then it’s now in God’s hands. Bill Black, interestingly, suggests that it will be impossible for insiders working within Trump’s criminologic empire to not see all the corruption and asks us to ensure that when those whistleblowers (which he expects to come out of Trump’s plans for infrastructure spending via P3s, which are privatization by stealth) want to blow their whistles, we are prepared to assist and protect them.
If I’m reading (the hard to read) Jeff Halpern right, he might disagree with Bill Black about Trump’s criminalogic empire. I’m still reading Halpern’s “War Against The People” and may or may not say exactly what he’s getting at here when I’m done.
I do think, in relation to the discussion of terrorists and why they are (and it connects with neoliberalism and the would-be saviour Trump), Jeff has made some worthwhile observations. Consider this passage from page 25 of his book:
Securocratic pacification has become increasingly evident among the core states themselves as the ruling classes impose neoliberal regimes of austerity and declining social services over the middle and working classes. In order to counter growing employment insecurity and to deflect attention from the effects of underemployment extending into the middle class, even as income disparities balloon to unprecedented proportions, the ruling classes have focused public attention on security threats, thus opening the way to securitization as a kind of pacification. Pacification in the core societies has its own particular colorization: It is packaged in as “consensual” a form as possible, in keeping with the ethos of core-state democracy.
The assertion of hegemony begins, then, with the “soft power” of consensus in the Gramscian sense of “cultural hegemony,” domination through fostering a popular identification of the people with the values, symbols and agendas of the ruling classes — patriotism, religion and sports being among the most powerful. The more successful the fabrication of consensus, the more social control can devolve to agencies that merely “maintain social order,” the classic definition of the police. Ideally, the role of domestic security agencies, the police, the judicial system, the prison systems, the social welfare system and other agents of discipline becomes so self-evident and routine that they are generally perceived as little more than necessary mechanisms of regulation. Where they truly discipline and punish — among marginalized minorities, the working poor or unemployed, unwanted immigrants, criminal elements and dissidents — is kept out of the public eye or, if visible, is lauded as “defending the public.”
Can we locate Abedi in that? And ourselves, because it’s all part of the understanding that we need to have here.
With these utterly undemocratic Benefactors in power, including CEOs (unofficial rulers), it is clear that their attitude toward law-abiding suckers is “We will be doing business as usual and you will interfere with that over our dead bodies.” If I DID NOT possess faith (in God and ‘his’ plan of salvation for imperfect humankind) I too might be thinking ‘and’ acting on dark thoughts (but not as dark and off target as those displayed by Salman Abedi).