Gun Culture and the American Nightmare of Violence by Henry Giroux, January 10, 2016:
Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that relies on violence to feed the coffers of the merchants of death. Given the profits made by arms manufacturers, the defense industry, gun dealers and the lobbyists who represent them in Congress, it comes as no surprise that the culture of violence cannot be abstracted from either the culture of business or the corruption of politics. Violence runs through US society like an electric current offering instant pleasure from all cultural sources, whether it be the nightly news or a television series that glorifies serial killers.
Mass Shootings: The Vicious Cycle Fueled By America’s Toxic Cult of Violence by John W. and Nisha Whitehead, May 25, 2022:
Ask yourself: Why do these mass shootings keep happening? Who are these shooters modelling themselves after? Where are they finding the inspiration for their weaponry and tactics? Whose stance and techniques are they mirroring?
When you start to connect the dots, they lead right back to the American police state and the war-drenched, violence-imbued, profit-driven military industrial complex, both of which continue to dominate, dictate and shape almost every aspect of our lives.
In their blog post, John and Nisha Whitehead quote the above paragraph by Henry Giroux, minus the last sentence. Remarkably, the Whitehead’s Rutherford Institute is a conservative Christian ‘civil rights’ organization whose political stances are far to the right. Henry Giroux is a critical Marxist education theorist.
Aside from their agreement about the contribution of U.S. militarism to its culture of violence, Giroux and the Whiteheads could be considered at opposite ends of the political spectrum. “Could be considered.” Actually, the political spectrum is an extremely flawed instrument for comparing political views. What is loosely represented as “centrism” in the U.S. is actually a bipartisan national security state consensus that embraces super majorities of both Democrats and Republicans.
For the moment, let’s not call the national security state consensus “fascist,” although there may be compelling historical reasons for doing so. Fascism has come to be associated with particular self-described national manifestations, just as “communism” has come to be associated with Leninist states. But my point in mentioning that coy non-designation is to illustrate that what is conventionally called centrism is not necessarily “in the middle” of two “extreme” ideological positions.
Actually existing centrism is itself a form of extremism. During my lifetime, the U.S. has spent over 41 TRILLION dollars on “defense.” For comparison, the world GDP in 2020 was around 85 trillion dollars. Those are big, unimaginable numbers. There is nothing “moderate” about them. I will say this, though: if those $41 trillion hadn’t been spent on armaments and those who operate them, world GDP also wouldn’t be as high as it is. Nor would carbon emission have been so high. The military-industrial complex and the economy, as it is presently constituted, are of a piece.
Again, I must refer to my previous posts calling attention to Michal Kalecki’s analysis and Leon Keyserling’s “revenue siphoning” scheme.