Thursday, October 5, 2017

Las Vegas Massacre. Harvey, Irma, Maria. What they have in Common.

Sean O'Torain.

There are a number of things the Las Vegas Massacre, Harvey, Irma, Maria have in common. The first and most important is that these events are resulting in death and suffering for hundreds of thousands of working class people. The hundreds of thousands hit by the storms and hurricanes, losing everything the had in many cases. And in places like Texas/Louisiana the after effects of the spilling of poisonous gases and liquids are still to be felt. These storms and hurricanes and the Las Vegas massacre are also showing that when tragedy strikes working class people rush to help regardless of race gender religion. But these are not all these events have in common. They also show how capitalism and the capitalism media deal with such events.From the most liberal of the capitalist mass media to the most right wing they gang up to try and make sure that no blame whatsoever is attached to capitalism.

In relation to Harvey, Irma, Maria. With very few exceptions the mass media outlets of capitalism do not mention the role of climate change in the increasing numbers and severity of storms and hurricanes. And even the few that do, they refuse to mention that climate change/global warming are caused by capitalism. No no, the few voices of the mass media that do admit that climate change/global warming do exist they are not capitalist made, they are “man made”. There is a whole world of importance to the use of the term,“man made’. Most important it is to avoid any thought of the real truth of the matter, that is that climate change/global warming is capitalist made. No no, it is “man made“, that is it is our fault, all of our fault, that is the fault of the working class. We have to be dragged into it. Even though we do not make the decisions that drive the world capitalist economy. Under no conditions can it be mentioned that these threats to life and earth are the fault of the capitalist class and their system. Practically all of even the environmental groupings shy away from pointing the finger to the culprit. The profit addicted capitalist system. Shy away from stating the reality, that is that unless capitalism is overthrown and a new international democratic socialist world established then life on earth as we know it will be destroyed.

Not to leave it there. The climate change/global warming is "man" made you see. Not only is it "man made" to take our eyes off the fact that it is capitalist made,  but why not “woman made”. Wherever you look the capitalist media including the so called liberal capitalist media what is exposed is their misogyny. 

In a recent piece we published post Harvey,  we shared the names of some of the people who hold some of the responsibility for the extreme damage caused by the hurricane. We shared thephotographs of the top officials of the National Association of  Homebuilders, or "developers" as they are sometimes called (some developers, they are not developers, they are wreckers). We pointed to the Texas Association of Homebuilders who boasted that they had blocked the zoning bills which made Harvey’s consequences so much worse.  Along with identifying these people we also confront the big picture. We put the overall blame where it belongs. The capitalist class and the capitalist system  internationally and locally. These hurricanes and storms with the intensity and frequency they are now taking place are not "natural disasters". They are capitalist disasters. 

Now to the Las Vegas massacre. What do we mean when we say it has things in common with  Harvey, Irma and Maria? What all these events have in common is that once again we see the capitalist mass media, including the liberal capitalist media, in full court press to make sure that capitalism is not mentioned in any shape size or form as having anything to do with or any responsibility for the Las Vegas massacre. The killer was “sick and demented” according to Trump. Well I suppose the argument could be made that Trump should know about sick and demented. But let us not get diverted by Trump. The point is that as usual, the mass capitalist media are trying as they always do to find the problem in the head of the killer. There is a whole industry of profilers and shrinks out there now trying to find out his “motives.” But crucial to their approach to “finding out his motives” they must make sure there is no talk about the sickness of US capitalist society which produces such sick and demented people, which produces the sickness that was in this killers head, which explain his "motives"..

Like in Harvey, Irma, Maria, and now in Las Vegas, the emphasis of the capitalist media is how wonderful the solidarity of working people is as they rush to help each other. And this is wonderful and has to be emphasized. See the long lines of working class people lining up to give blood. Some billionaire gives $400,000 dollars but he does not line up. And he can probably write this off on his taxes. The generosity and willingness of working class people to help has to be emphasized by working people and anti capitalist people as it shows what the working class can do. It shows the wonderful generous solidarity of working people when they are threatened. It shows that working class people could build a humane society. 

But it is always important to see not just what is being said but also who is saying it and why they are saying it.  Facts For Working People Blog and those of us involved in it are emphasizing the solidarity action of working class people to point to the great positive qualities that exist in the working class, the great positive potential of working class people, to explain that the working class can build a better and more humane world. But the capitalist class and their mass media are pointing to this for an entirely different reason. The capitalist class and their mass media and their gathering of “experts”  with their fancy clothes and hairdos (see how the reporters from the more liberal stations like MSNBC rush to the scene without their fancy suits, with no ties, with unbuttoned untucked in shirts,, all to make them seem really sympathetic you see) clutter the TV screens. Their aim is to divert any possible attention from the fact that it is the capitalist class and their system which is the cause of these catastrophes.  It is like an abusive parent beating their child and all the while saying what a wonderful child it is, look at how well it is taking the beating. Crucial to capitalism in all these catastrophes is to divert attention from they fact that it the capitalist class that is doing the beating, it is the capitalist class and the capitalist system that is the cause the suffering, is the cause of the madness, is the cause of the alienation in US capitalist society that creates these mass killers and these of catastrophes.

Then there are the other things that comes out of the mass capitalist media at times of crisis and catastrophes. As well as praising how well the victims of their catastrophes are taking their capitalist caused suffering they never miss an opportunity to say how wonderful and successful the police and the state apparatus are on all this. Wonderful!!!!????  59 people dead and over 500 injured!!! Some success for local "law enforcement" alright. "Law Enforcement?" They did not enforce much law. They did not even capture the killer. He killed himself. He "captured" himself. Not only that but it was not the cops who found out from where the killer was firing. It was Jesus Campos, an unarmed hotel security guard who found the killers room and challenged him, being shot by the killer in the process. It was Jesus Campos, who even with a bullet in him still managed to call in the local cops. The swat team arrived an hour, yes one hour later. The so called law enforcement were just about hopeless. Why is Jesus Campos, a genuine hero, not up there in front of the microphones and the capitalist press? Well that would really expose the ineptitude of the so called "law enforcement".

See the interviews with the heads of the cops, the local capitalist politicians and bureaucrats. For all the information you get you might as well go out and dig the garden. They shuffle about behind their microphones tight mouthed and looking terror stricken and giving no information. And they are terror stricken. Their role was hopeless. They must keep anybody from pointing this out. The capitalist media people present cooperate. On top of that the cops and politicians and local bureaucrats must play their role of keeping away from any talk of the responsibility of US capitalist society for this killer. They do not have the luxury of blaming it on ISIS, and as the killer was a genuine home produced white man they cannot come up with any explanation for the "motives." It is all just this one killer if only they could find out his motives. They will probably come up with some far off relative remembering that when the killer was three years old a car ran over his cat and it all stems back to that.  Anything but the madness and alienation of US capitalist society. 

Then there is the racism of it, the cover up of the racist history of US capitalism. Horrific and all as this massacre was, this was not the greatest single massacre in US history. Not even close. The capitalist media know this and try and get around it by saying modern US history. They do not want to talk about US capitalism's racist history.  There were much greater massacres. The massacre of over 250 Native American people by the racist US state. And this was before there was the heavy automatic weaponry that this killer had.

Then there is the question of guns. Of course it is insane that any nut case like the killer could have got his hands on 42 guns, or is it now 47, most, if not all of them, high powered semi automatic or automatic rifles. And ammunition without end. This is insane. Well it is not insane. It is the result of the mad addiction to profit of the gun industry which through the National Rifle Association, (NRA) bribes and threatens the gutless wonders in Congress and the White House. Any civilized society would have sensible gun control laws. The majority of gun owners agree to this. But to the gun industry and its attack dog the NRA, profit comes first. Before this massacre in Las Vegas they have been preparing a bill in Congress to legalize silencers!!!. Imagine how many more people this killer could have killed if he had silencers. It would have taken much longer to find from where he was shooting. Again US capitalism and their political representatives are driven mad by profit. If they want to search for motives. Search for the motives which lead to the passing of  laws that allowed this killer to own 42 or is it 47 guns. Almost enough to arm a small country. Search for the motives which lead to a society which so alienates people to where they indiscriminately murder people they do not even know.  It would not take long to find the motive. The addiction to profit and the greed of the capitalist class. This is what killed the 58 people in Las Vegas. 

Finally there is this to always remember. The capitalist class know that to remain in power they must control and dominate the consciousness of the working class. Every major event is responded to by the capitalist class with this in mind, responded to with the aim of never having capitalism blamed, and explaining that sure there may be this small problem here and there with capitalism, but anyway there is no alternative. Keeping off the public discourse any mention of the possibility that the working class can build a new and more humane and sustainable society.

The task for those of us who want a better world, who want to avoid the developing catastrophes, is to conduct a struggle against capitalism for the consciousness of the working class. We must fight to help the working class see that it can change the world. That it can build a new humane world. That it and it alone can end the nightmare of capitalism. That it alone, acting internationally can prevent the catastrophes and prevent capitalism from destroying life on earth. 

These are some of the things that Las Vegas, Harvey, Irma, Maria have in common. 

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