Saturday, August 11, 2012

Keep The Future In The Past

Crime is up these past couple years, but what is instead talked about in the media, is a "peaceful trend" (June, NBC) that is the result of an "innovative public safety approach that is beginning to show signs of tremendous promise" (Eric Holder), although another piece also includes an aging population, video games, the end of the crack boom (Christian Science Monitor). This is keeping with the anti-democratic tradition of viewing people as a mass, not as individuals, a "herd" that must be controlled from above by elites.

One important elite is Eric Holder. The scholars picked up on his message and are sticking to it.

Holder did note in July briefly that "a number of major cities across the country – including Philadelphia – have experienced alarming increases in the number of homicides over the past year" which he reasons, is a problem for the cops, not the citizens. They are "threats that law enforcement officers face every day." Holder is wrong, although it is considered a perfeclty acceptable way to talk about the subject. In quiet voices they recognize that there's a problem, or something, but then proudly boast that they are on top of it. The FBI has refused to release the data required for independent analysis as of yet.

It appears to me communities are not even allowed to take care of themselves. "The same populations—houseless persons, panhandlers,youth of color—that were being targeted for elimination from the downtown area by the BIDs," writes Urban Habitat, "flocked to Occupy Oakland for the sense of camaraderie it created and the services it offered, including food, medicine,and security. Many of the tents pitched in Oscar Grant Plaza housed persons who had been living outdoors or in cars and tents long before the encampment started." With that in mind, Holder's promise to "learn from the successes" of there, where dozens upon dozens of federal agents "surge" into the city during "this time of economic and budgetary challenges" in a form of "targeted assistance and relief" to address "the need for cooperation among all relevant authorities" has a much more class-oriented significance.

Look at those stories again, the Monitor and NBC. People's security resulting from solidarity is not attributed to actual social movements, but to the miserable state they are in.

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