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Police brutality within the societal and politico-economic context of the US

Racist and other forms of police brutality in the US are mostly being treated and responded to in fragmentation and abstraction from their structural causal connections to overall social, cultural, mass psychological, and politico-economic reality, which constitutes a fundamental intellectual and conceptual error. In reality, violent police is a product of a violent society, which, in its turn, is a product of a violent politico-economic system, that is, the extremist militarist capitalism and imperialism. Externally, this is manifested in constant wars and mass slaughters of people in the weaker Third World countries that are no match for the military and economic superpower. Internally, this violence is exercised in extremist forms against the blacks, who have been, historically, the victims of the worst forms of the most brutal injustices and exploitation, in prolonged slavery, and later subjected to numerous other forms of discrimination and inequality. Other racial and other minorities also have suffered, and continue to suffer, the disastrous consequences of discriminatory injustices and inequalities. Both external and internal violences have a large component of racism and are transformed into extremist forms against the others. These and innumerable other disastrous problems are ultimately rooted in their essence, that is, the political economy of extremist forms of advanced technocratic capitalism and imperialism. Single issue approaches to the solutions of these problems are doomed to failure. These can, at best, produce minor cosmetic reforms. For effective comprehensive solutions, these problems need to be understood and analyzed in their mutual relations and interactions, as well as to their essence.
Police brutality within the societal and politico-economic context of the US

Fazal Rahman, Ph.D. July 2, 2020

First posted on  https://imperialismandthethirdworld.wordpress.com on July 2, 2020

 https://imperialismandthethirdworld.wordpress.com/2020/07/02/police-brutality-within-the-societal-and-politico-economic-context-of-the-us-by-fazal-rahman-phd/#more-1168

Racist and other forms of police brutality in the US are mostly being treated and responded to in fragmentation and abstraction from their structural causal connections to overall social, cultural, mass psychological, and politico-economic reality, which constitutes a fundamental intellectual and conceptual error. In reality, violent police is a product of a violent society, which, in its turn, is a product of a violent politico-economic system, that is, the extremist militarist capitalism and imperialism. Externally, this is manifested in constant wars and mass slaughters of people in the weaker Third World countries that are no match for the military and economic superpower. Internally, this violence is exercised in extremist forms against the blacks, who have been, historically, the victims of the worst forms of the most brutal injustices and exploitation, in prolonged slavery, and later subjected to numerous other forms of discrimination and inequality. Other racial and other minorities also have suffered, and continue to suffer, the disastrous consequences of discriminatory injustices and inequalities. Both external and internal violences have a large component of racism and are transformed into extremist forms against the others. These and innumerable other disastrous problems are ultimately rooted in their essence, that is, the political economy of extremist forms of advanced technocratic capitalism and imperialism. Single issue approaches to the solutions of these problems are doomed to failure. These can, at best, produce minor cosmetic reforms. For effective comprehensive solutions, these problems need to be understood and analyzed in their mutual relations and interactions, as well as to their essence. No radical changes are possible without radical transformation of the essence, as, if the essence remains the same, the appearances will also remain the same, only assuming different forms. Even though, theoretically and dialectically, radical transformations in most or all the appearances can bring about radical changes in the essence, in practical terms, in the areas of social reality, this is next to impossible. Only the social revolutions can bring about radical changes in the essence, which are then manifested in radical changes in the appearances and forms.

Essence and appearance, form and content, and various other such categories are important parts of philosophy, the nature and developmental dynamics of which have been comprehended and explicated thoroughly by the dialectical logic, dialectical philosophy, and dialectical and historical materialism of Marxism, the understanding and education of which is extremely rare in the Anglo-American societies, including in their so-called institutions of higher education. Most philosophy departments, like most departments of other social sciences, in these institutions, are dominated by positivist, neo-positivist, pragmatic, abstractly scientistic, and implicitly and explicitly pro-capitalist and anti-socialist faculties and courses. Wherever the courses on Marxism are taught, in most cases, its contents are distorted and perverted into eclectic and non-revolutionary forms. The writings and speeches of almost all the intellectuals, including the leftists and Marxists, are devoid of dialectical logic or categories. The usage of these categories is of great importance in all areas of social and natural sciences, as well as in comprehending the nature of problems and their solutions, on deeper levels. If correctly applied, these categories can explain the nature and meanings of interrelated facts and their developmental dynamics incomparably more accurately and concisely than all the speculative writings and discussions. However, that is precisely the opposite of the interests and goals of the powers-that-be in the capitalist and imperialist societies, and therefore, in their academia and news media, oceans of confusionist, eclectic, and speculative diversions are flooded into the mass psychologies of the populations. Overwhelming majorities in these populations are blinded, deafened, and numbed by the capitalist materialism and view all reality through that lens, which is painted with images of property, money, and things. Nothing is less important than philosophy or philosophical truths for such mass psychology. However, it is the genuine philosophy that can connect all or most of the dots in the overall reality or parts of it, and reveal their essences and truths. Abstract sciences are focused on very narrow areas of specialization and frequently cannot connect the dots even in those areas, much less in the interrelated areas of social and natural sciences or larger areas of social and natural reality.

The dominant violent, crude, and vulgar White culture in the US has created a generalized culture in its own image, which has also become embedded among most members of racial and other minorities. Among other areas, this is also reflected in the violent so-called "sports", like American football, boxing, various types of extremely violent wrestling, the participants in which are paid huge amounts of money, as uncountable millions of Americans are very fond of and addicted to these and pay exorbitant amounts of money to watch these. Tens of millions are also addicted to pornography. The brain-washed "minds" of overwhelming majority are receptive reservoirs for all kinds of junk writings, junk images, junk TV programs, ads for junk products, junk food, and junk movies, etc. The really important, critical, and in-depth intellectual outputs are shunned like plague by this mob mass culture. This culture- including its fascination with and support of militarism- is also being internationalized, because of its success in accumulating enormous economic, political, and military powers, which are used to produce and maintain extreme inequalities and injustices, both domestically and internationally. Almost all the countries are in ever-increasing frenzy to import, export, and produce all types of weapons. The world has never been flooded with such enormous types and quantities of weapons before. Dangers of devastating wars- some of which may even lead to the Third World War, which will result in the annihilation of human as well as most other species- have multiplied in numerous parts of the world. This is the greatest tragedy in the history of mankind.

Overwhelming majority of Americans had supported the war in Afghanistan, when it was launched in 2001, like they had supported the Vietnam War for many years after its initiation. They have historically turned against the imperialist wars, when it becomes self-evident that those cannot be won, are causing important damages to the economy, and they are not going to profit from those. Such belated opposition is a symptom of mass opportunism, hypocrisy, and pragmatism, and not a genuine opposition to militarism, wars, and imperialism, or genuine mass psychology of peace. The whole history of American society, culture, mass psychology, political economy, and foreign policy is based upon militarism, exploitation, wars, violence, and genocides, some of which has changed forms, but not the content.

Beatings, injuring, killing, and mass murdering people is only one form of violence. In the American ACITS, one of the worst forms of violence is economic in nature, to which tens of millions of people are subjected, legally and normally. According to many studies, the relative economic inequality is the greatest in the US among all the industrially developed countries, and greater than even some developing countries. Such violence inflicts massive severe and prolonged psychological and physical damages on the victims. As expected and predictable, these damages are quantitatively and qualitatively much worse in the blacks, Latino, and other minorities. One of the numerous devastating effects of these is the much higher rates of criminalization in these communities. A recent effect that has revealed itself is the higher rates of infections and deaths among the blacks, due to COVID-19 Pandemic, indubitably as a result of much higher rates of poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to health care.

Economic violence is also externalized onto other countries, in the form of sanctions and measures to cripple their economies and trade and banking relations. Almost all the victims of such measures are countless millions of common people in those countries, as the ruling and other elites there are well cushioned.

Demands for defunding and even abolishing the police have increased lately. This is an extremely simplistic, unrealistic, fragmented, and abstract approach to a complex problem, which is interrelated to numerous other areas of the political economy, mass psychology, and culture of capitalism and imperialism. Abolishing or defunding the police in such a violent system, culture, and society, like the US, in which there are such great and widespread deprivations, inequalities, racism, and mental illness, will multiply the already extremely high rates of all kinds of crimes. Most of the crimes are committed against people who are not rich. The rich and super-rich are well protected and will continue to be well protected, even if the police were abolished. In such a case, crimes against non-rich people will multiply. The most one can hope for, within the status quo of the current political economy, is that extreme brutality of American police, especially against the blacks and other minorities, will be reduced through legislative reforms and fear of legal retribution for such crimes.

In capitalist societies, the functions of police are diverse and contradictory. The fundamental task of law enforcement agencies in these is to protect the capitalist relations of production, private property, and unequal distribution of resources and powers. Most crimes in these societies originate on that basis, and the police and the whole judicial system are the guardians and enforcers of that system. Within that system, the functions of police also include prevention and reduction of crimes against individuals, groups, institutions, and the state. Without the police, in a society like the US, there will be an unimaginable increase in the anarchy and violent and other crimes. Most of the victims of these will be the working and middle classes people.

Even in socialist societies, in which the inherent problems of capitalist societies were greatly reduced, police were not abolished. The main function of police and other law enforcement agencies in the socialist societies is to protect the socialist relations of production and socialist distribution of resources and power. Legal crimes are defined in those on that basis. Crimes of capitalist nature, as well as violent and other crimes of non-capitalist nature, are progressively reduced by the politico-economic and law enforcement systems in those societies.

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Too much money leads to militarization and abuse 25.Jul.2020 19:11

Robert Reich

American taxpayers spend
$107,575,000,000 more on police,
than public housing

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Robert Reich * 6/16/20 * Twitter