Wednesday, November 26, 2014

When Violence is Not Beyond Explanation, Ferguson Again

Rioting is not beyond explanation, even if it's counterproductive. A friend of mine asks, why destroy property? What sense is there to these riots?  To explain violence and destruction proffers no remedy.  First we need to understand.
When society preferences property values over people and profits over the value of labor and there is a crisis of trust where a significant segment of the population feels fundamentally disenfranchised in that system, then those persons feel like prey. It is a predatory capitalism, our current model rooted in inequities. The system preys upon them and the law comes to represent the enforcement of a system that is betraying them rather than serving and protecting them. That system confers profits on others while it preys on those disenfranchised. There are consequences, emotional and often counterproductive but not unexplanable. The social contract has been contrived to exclude a group that believes it has lost rational recourse.
Sure, we can deem it irrational, counterproductive, and foolish to destroy another's property or hurt others (and oneself) to express this point, but it is not a wholly irrational reaction. It's an ill-conceived reaction because it is so counterproductive. What is rational about such an action is that when those preyed upon have _in fact_ been preyed upon _by the system_ (it's crucial to see this as structural, endemic, and institutional, not individual incidents which are triggers and examples), such persons respond by becoming self-predators and have no compunction in destroying the system.
Why care about a system that excludes you and means to oppress you? Why care about a system that is designed to exclude you or imprison you in situations where property is always before people and profits are more important than your labor? Like working for forty hours a week for a minimum wage that does not pay you enough to live? Why _not_ just burn it down? And then some are also sociopathic criminals but so too are the structures and authorities who hide behind the guise of their "justice for all" and "fair trial" claims when any serious look at history tells you that is another form of power claiming its own prerogatives and prejudices over others.