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United States: The Political Economy of Massacres, by James Petras

15 Mars 2018 , Rédigé par Béthune

Every year over 30,000 Americans are killed by gunfire.  Every month, in  public schoolyards, dance clubs, concert venues, work places and public  gatherings, innocent people are slaughtered by assassins wielding legally  purchased high powered semi-automatic weapons.  The National Rifle Association (NRA), a 3 million-member organization, supports and sponsors free and easy  access to military-level weaponry.  The vast majority of US legislators, Presidents  and judges support the possession of the very weapons responsible for massacres. 

The question is why does the US political system bemoan the frequent  occurrence of mass shootings, and yet turn around and endorse the political  process that makes these killings possible?  The size, scope and duration of  massacres requires that we examine the large-scale, long-term systemic features the US political economy.

The Politics of Wars:  Massacres Abroad as ‘All American’ Heroism

The US government has engaged in multiple bloody wars where it has  massacred millions of civilians - including whole families in their homes -  representing no conceivable threat to the American people.  The wars feature the success of destruction and death as a means to advance US political programs.   War criminals are honored.  Domestic political conflicts and social problems are resolved by destroying invented adversaries and entire nations. In a political economy where overseas massacres are perpetrated by democratically elected leaders, who is to question the behavior of ‘a neighborhood sociopath’ who is merely following the practices of his president?  This should surprise no one:  Wholesale massacres abroad, fostered by our leaders, are reflected in the domestic retail massacre unleashed by the local ‘nutcase’.

The Mass Media:  Weapons Talk, Killings Resolve and the Media Profit

Everyday, at  every hour, on every media outlet, guns and slaughter dominate the minds, thoughts and fantasies (or nightmares) of viewers, especially the millions who absorb ‘the message’.  Films, TV programs and computer games are saturated with conflicts resolved by guns, killing victims - whether police or civilians.  Problems are solved through violence.  The message of the mass media is that victories come from mass killings. Wars and killings are portrayed in a wide variety of settings:  Homes, public buildings, public schools, workplaces, streets and plazas.

If wars and massacres are essential in this political system, the mass media ensures that it permeates and normalizes in the minds of the masses.


Weapons, used in massacres, represent a very lucrative business:  The manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, gun clubs, and police and military institutions all thrive in this free marketplace of murder.  The arms industry thrives on wars and media messages - and mass consumption.  Political leaders rely on the gun economy to finance their election campaigns.  Politicians approve of wars, gun industries and associations. They perpetuate the conditions for massacres.  Big business is protected from massacres at home, school and play.  Why would the CEO’s and political elites worry about public school massacres when their ownchildren are safe in expensive private schools?  After all, votes and profits are at stake.  Only ‘losers’ send their children to dangerous public schools.  The ‘winners’have safe alternative...


James Petras

Lisez ici la suite de l'article : https://petras.lahaine.org/united-states-the-political-economy-of/

Akira Miyawaki & Elgene O. Box: The Healing Power - The Philosophy behind Restoring Earth's Balance with Native Trees. Kosei Publishing C°, Tokyo, 2006.

Akira Miyawaki & Elgene O. Box: The Healing Power - The Philosophy behind Restoring Earth's Balance with Native Trees. Kosei Publishing C°, Tokyo, 2006.

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