Overweening Generalist

Monday, January 13, 2014

Gangsters and The State; The State as Gangsters: On the Semantics of "Gangster"

As we keep learning over and over, the NSA's spying into our every move has stopped zero terrorist attacks. So, this is not only a massive abuse of civil liberties and an absurdly gross violation of the 4th Amendment, it's very costly and so yet another welfare program for people already well-off.

It seems only natural to ask: is catching a terrorist really the main purpose behind the building of the total information awareness of the Panopticon? Because no War Criminals or Wall Street crooks have been prosecuted - almost everyone seems to be doing "better than ever" among those crowds - are they preparing for the inevitable uprising when the economy collapses again?

Is this all merely well-dressed gangsters from Ivy League schools seeing The People as a threat to their interests and taking precautions to smash any person(s) who deign to stop their gluttonous lust for cash and power? It's probably more complex than that, but I don't think I'm drilling in a dry hole here. There's just too much historical precedent.

Historical precedent for what? WTF is the OG on about now? Just this: most of the citizenry are garden-variety brainwashed to believe that "gangsters" are only Italian guys from New Jersey, or Mexican guys selling drugs and using machine guns, or some other Hollywood fantasy-image. I think it semantically fruitful to open up the definition of "gangster." Stick with me on this; it's brilliant. I may be paranoid, but I'm also a free-thinker.

UK Now
If gangsters can buy off juries, cops, lawyers, issue "get out of jail free" cards for a nominal fee, and infiltrate Scotland Yard, then who would be the gangsters and who would be the government? This is not an idle postulate, as Operation Tiberius, in effect since 2003, shows. UK gangsters even used a little-known but historically effective trick of infiltrating the Freemasons in order to aid in their corruption of cops. As William S. Burroughs might say were he alive to hear this: "It's the old game from here to eternity: it helps the pay The Boys off..."

Using a secret society in order to further the goals of your own secret society goes back at least to Adam Weishaupt's Bavarian Illuminati, which many Masons seem proud about after the fact. So far my research suggests Weishaupt's goals were what most of us would consider from the "Left;" the Propaganda Due (P2) secret society that corrupted the Italian justice system were right wing fascists who had infiltrated the Freemasons, starting (probably?) in the early 1970s.

Rather black (gangsters and thugs and criminals) and white (those sworn to uphold the law, truth, justice, and maybe even a modicum of fairness), the color I see when I look at various "justice" systems more often looks like this:

                                         Rather than "good guys" vs. "bad guys"?

No, but seriously: grok in its fullness the rot in the UK. I think this sort of thing is historically inevitable when the wealthiest 10% can buy the political system. And this is greatly aided by income inequality, perhaps the biggest social justice issue in the Northern Hemisphere since anthropogenic global warming, but this is mere opinion on my part.

US Allowing Sinaloan Drug Cartel to Flood US Cities With Drugs
In exchange for info on the members of other drug cartels, the DEA made deals with the members of the upper hierarchy of the notorious Sinaloan cartel, circa 2000-2012. It's estimated that 80% of the drugs - cocaine and heroin - entering the Chicago area were allowed under this deal.

A daily-repeated trope among right wingers in Unistat is that, since Chicago is Democratically-controlled and Obama came from there, (and other "reasons"), this explains all the corruption and murder in Chicago. It's a lot more complicated than that. (Of course it would be: the right wing's concocted stories seem increasingly designed to appeal to a 5th grade reading level.) This State-crime - the DEA agents are paid for with our tax money - is a FACT. Or to put it another way: children and other destitute people in Chicago and all over Unistat are murdered and terrorized by the decisions made about "information gathering" by members of the Unistat government, paid for by us. (See the gray area above.)

I have not seen this story covered in the mainstream corporate electronic news, but it may have been. And it should be covered and many members of the DEA and the Unistat government who sanctioned this should go to jail for a long time. But I've lived long enough to have grave doubts any white-collar of Unistat government-gangsters will do any jail time. Why? Because when I was twenty I read Alfred W. McCoy's The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia. I saw what happened to Gary Webb. I had worked for the Christic Institute, which was smashed by the Bush41 Admin. I attended talks and read the book by Michael Levine, a former DEA agent who revealed how corrupt the whole international drug smuggling scene was. I knew enough about the CIA dealing with Lucky Luciano and heroin trafficking in the 1940s. I read Chomsky, Peter Dale Scott, and others...like Ryan Grim, in his book This Is Your Country On Drugs, see especially pp. 171-192 for stories on Unistat-State-gangsters aligned with the Mafia and other syndicates and drug smuggling. I could go on and on.

This is all out there, but you have to READ; this won't be covered by Eyewitless News. If it is covered - and every now and then it is, and well-done, too - it's talked about for two days and then disappears; no public discussion emerges. Because it's...taboo to think about the implications? Robert Anton Wilson thought so. See his essay, "The Godfather, Part IV," in The Gemstone File, ed. by Jim Keith, pp.133-143.

And therefore, there will be no justice, only smashed lives in a terminally criminal and evil and stupid "War On Certain People Who Use The Wrong Drugs."

This may seem a bit glib or histrionic to you. But think about the mothers whose children are now dead, shot in the streets of the south side of Chicago. And then realize that sworn officials of the government allowed the drugs that were being warred over to flood those Chicago streets. Picture a mother at a funeral, crying for her baby who never had a chance. Who are the "gangsters" here? It's not so black-and-white, is it?

       CIA aid for Thailand
   was channeled through a front established

by a CIA agent
             with underworld bank connections
    thus helping to open up the world

to a flood of heroin through Thailand
             while the mob in Manilla
     helped to Westernize the Philippines

by its control of gambling
             and later child prostitution
     carried on in the big hotels

Can we be surprised this happened
              when the mob was being protected
     both by Hoover in the FBI

and Angleton in the CIA
             who vetoed a Justice Department investigation
     and almost no one in the US seemed to care

at least in its universities
             When I wanted to pinpoint
    the center of the corruption

I did not point to the CIA
            who seemed to think they were doing their job
    or even the government

which has always been corrupt
             so much as to universities
    for having sanctioned this system

-from Peter Dale Scott, Minding The Darkness, pp.178-179, and he gives footnotes for all his sources and assertions in the margins. NB PDS has the harshest criticism for his own: the universities who "sanction" this gangsterism.

Legalized Gangsterism
According to Simon Johnson of MIT, the "Most Dangerous Man in America" right now is Jamie Dimon, the head of JP Morgan Chase. Dimon seems to have contempt for Congress, the laws, and anyone who will challenge him, anyone not as rich as himself, or anyone who would try to reign in his Too Big To Fail (TBTF) bank. Recall that We the People bailed him out.

                                   Jamie Dimon: "The Most Dangerous Man in America"

Here's an article that describes how angry Dimon was with Obama for leaving him out of the team that was supposed to re-write the rules for the way Wall St worked. It links to a better and longer piece on this guy, who now knows he's TBTF, and can do just about any evil he wants in the world, and he'll only be fined if caught. He doesn't really produce ANY WEALTH with his own hands; he merely gambles with other people's money and wins even if he loses. And he wants MORE. He's worth an estimated $400,000,000 and "earns" an annual salary of $27.5 million. He may wear a nice suit. He may have a Harvard MBA. He may belong to all the best private clubs and be asked to give his opinions on the stock market on CNBC or Faux News, but to me, he's a gangster. But I'm only entitled to my opinion.

JP Morgan-Chase/Jamie Dimon studies:
Too Big to Charge?
Despite Eight Ongoing Criminal/Civil Investigations, the Bank's a Law-Enforcement Partner With the NYPD
JP Morgan-Chase: "Incredibly Guilty"
Now We Know: JP Morgan-Chase Is More Criminal Than Enron
Matt Taibbi Explains JP Morgan-Chase's Crime Spree

Jamie Dimon's feelings are hurt: people don't appreciate him enough. I'm not making this up. Sociopath? I'll go: yes. Gangster? Oh hell yea. I know, I know: I have a very active imagination. What do I know? I'm just some dipshit blogger sitting in his living room, among his books, worrying about paying the utility bills. Dimon's rich! He must be a Good Guy! Did he actually use an automatic rifle to kill a bunch of people over money? No. Well there you go: he's cool.

And I could've picked 30 or 40 other white collar Business Criminals here; Dimon just seems stellar to me.

From a poem about the year 1934:

He was a hero in Oklahoma
helping the oppressed by
              stealing from the eye-rollers
                                 & now and then giving to the poor

He hated bankers
and finally he was killed by FBI agents on 10-22
Woody Guthrie wrote a song about him
with those great lines: 
                                       Yes, as through this world I ramble,
                                            I see lots of funny men,
                                       Some will rob you with a 6-gun,
                                           and some will rob you with a fountain-pen.
                                       But as through your life you'll travel,
                                           wherever you may roam,
                                       You won't never see an outlaw drive
                                            a family from their home.
-from "Pretty Boy Floyd," by Ed Sanders, America: A History In Verse, Volume I, 1900-1939, p.323
["JP Morgan Chase Settles: Is $13B For Role in Mortgage Crisis Fair?"]

Note: Sanders regularly uses the term "eye-rollers" for the wealthy class, who, if you bring up anything like the ideas presented in this particular blog-spew, they merely roll their eyes, as if you're crazy.

This has been a ramble on the semantics of "gangster" and I hope at least one person found a modicum of edification. Thanks for reading!


Eric Wagner said...

I feel edified. Nice piece. Gangster seems too kind a word for these people. To many people today the word gangster provokes positive hip hop images.

(Note: when teaching Tolkien I often play "Nothing but a 'G' Thang" for Gandalf. I'll play the Who for the ents. (Imagine the sound of an ent whistling.) I'll play Elvis for The Return of the King.

Anonymous said...

It didn't take long for the coverup
when Smedley Butler did his whistle
blowing. The characterizations of
politicians are crooked cronys of the
gangster elite are far to often a
case of an ugly truth most will not
dare to face.

You just need to look at Carlos
Lehder to see there's something
rotten at the top. Sentenced to
375 years and magically allowed
to disappear shortly afterward.

Today brought another example two
police were found not guilty of a
wrongful death.

The reason given was the victim
had weakened himself by drug use
so that he was unable to survive
a routine police beating in the

The trouble with real life is no
fiction can come close to bizarre
enough to match it. One thing you
can bet is that when the inevitable
pendulum swing takes place the
line waiting to be processed by
the guillotine is going to be a
nice long one.

History is fun to study because in
it you can see then and overlay it
on now to see what happens next.
Euro fascists have risen from 11
percent to 30+ percent in just 3
short years. Fascism can cure the
economic problems but its a bitter
dosage of medicine for the patient.

Likewise the American Constitution
cannot be continuously degraded
with impunity. The last time we
had a general disagreement here it
cost millions of lives. Criminals
need to operate in obscurity to be
able to exist, if they get overbold
the Vigilance Commitees start in
to redress the balance.

There's a hilarious video on the
archive that shows Bill Gates in
receipt of a pie in the face. It
should be a reminder to all who
think they are unreachable that
it just isn't so.

I look forward to chasing your
links in this one, as always great

michael said...

Eric- Oh, wow. Thanks.

I had a really great History of Art professor named Carolyn Gomez and she did similar things that you do: music to match the topic of the day.

This seems weird to me, but I don't think I ever for one second thought of how the semantics of "gangster" had impinged on rap/hip-hop music/culture. Of course you're right. What an olde fogey I seem! For a piece on gangster's semantics, to not even mention the deep culture that valorizes that type of other "OG"...I seem to have missed the boat.

Thanks for sticking with it anyway. And I agree with you that now "gangster" seems too kind. "Monster" seems hyperbolic, and I don't want to dehumanize the banality of the evil these people do. If anyone has a favored word for people like this, please chime in. I took "business criminals" from Carlin. But that doesn't seem to cover the NSA or other government gangstas. ("Traitorous Spooks"?)

Meanwhile, a friend forwarded a recent YT talk by Jacob Applebaum from Germany, on the NSA and what may occur. It's 47 mins, but really gets going at 4:20 or so. Talkin' the gangsta-State here, yo:


michael said...

Anon- Smedley Butler Exhibit A for the Unistat Memory Hole/marginalization of discourse/semantic unconscious.

Why there's not a great biopic about that guy is one of life's great mysteries. I know Oliver Stone talked about it for a while...

Smedley's life story is so filled with intrigue and amazing twists...and it's all TRUE! I would think there is probably an interesting story to dig up about why there's no major motion picture about this guy. The bigtime movie about General Smedley Darlington Butler, the most decorated Marine of his time, fighter of wars all over the planet: China, the mudfields of WWI, Nicaraguan train escapades, realizing he'd lived a lie and that he had been "hired muscle" for Wall Street, admitting this openly. Trying to fight corruption in Philly during Prohibition, and realizing the Rich were behind the gangsters, having billionaire fascists approach him to overthrow the White House? You can't make this shit up! He lived it.

I followed the cop story you mentioned. But it's getting to be work: there's a few stories like that appearing literally every day now. Talk about Missing Public Discussions! Around a year ago the Supreme Assholes ruled that the cops can strip search - do cavity searches - for even a routine traffic stop. You had a blinker out. The Supreme I dislike the most, Scalia, voted against this. Good for him on this one. Well, the abuses by little tin-horned Torquemada cops in towns large and Podunk is truly frightening to me. I mean: this is insane!

Just three links:



Eric Wagner said...

"What then shall we do" - an essay by Tolstoy, used effectively in the film "The Year of Living Dangerously." I don't know that the names we use to call...those people...makes all the difference. Of course, Confucius puts great emphasis on using the right names. Hm, those who make great wealth out of...I don't know how best to express it. A middle aged Pound would have some choice words, but I don't know if he will prove the best model for conflict resolution.

Marvin Gaye (another questionable model) sang, "War is not the answer for only love can conquer hate." Man, that sounds hippie dippy, but when I feel rage against those I think have wronged me, that line keeps popping into my head, as does the similar line from the Dhammapada Bob Wilson quoted in Prometheus Rising, "Hate will not end hate. Not hate will end hate."

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Wish I could read the RAW piece you cited.

I have been thinking about blogging about Gary Webb, who represents a very interesting case of a journalist pursuing taboo subjects. Two more links: