Skip to main content

Reply to "Some sobering statistics on poverty"

Unfortunately, these numbers and what they mean have become "normalized", in the sense put forward by Edward Herman in his book "Triumph of the Market". It can only be so, as capitalism panders to the uncontrolled greed and self-interest of the few. These statistics have to be accepted, normalized or else people would realize something is wrong and this is a threat to capitalist culture.

And there is a method to all this as well. One of the cornerstones is to promote the banality of evil. This is the function of capitalist leaders and intellectuals, as well as the media... to promote the acceptance of these numbers. Those that can't compete because of racial, cultural, or gender exclusion, because of emotional or physical handicaps, well, too bad... just accept it. They are the waste product, the litter of a capitalist economy.

Seldom in the mainstream media do you see an image of the corpse of a child who has died of starvation. On the Internet, yes, but on mainstream news sanitized for everyday consumption? Never! And this is no accident.

In 1971 Morley Safer, now with CBS 60 Minutes, along with a film crew from CBS News photographed a US soldier using a cigarette lighter to torch a Vietnamese village. The report and the film footage were broadcast worldwide and ruined the evening meal for many Americans. It caused CBS and Safer a lot of trouble and he has been trying to make-up for it ever since.

As a result of this incident, the US government exerted enormous pressure on the media to sanitize their reports and the results are with us today. Try finding an image of a dead American soldier, even on the Internet. Capital intensive warfare against mere gooks and Arabs means distancing the public from the slaughter. This is helpful in "normalizing" the unthinkable, the unspeakable. It has been "normalized" even here. Look at the number of responses to this topic.

The same applies to the casualties of capitalism. The dead, the dying, and the wounded are all around us. Just look in the streets, at our children, at the poor and impoverished. But the public is to be spared the sight of burning, starving, and decaying flesh. News of the crisis in Africa can be found on page three, while "Marriage Finds New Expression In The Gulf" is front page stuff. A nice trick. A human interest story that can be used to "normalize" the use of violence. "Honey, pass the bombs." But a real looming tragedy has been practically ignored and relegated to page three. No pictures, please!

You know those college professors in your Econ 101 classes who regurgitated the ideology of their corporate sponsors? You were young and naïve and anxious to learn and they told you that capitalism provided the greatest benefit for the greatest number of people? They lied.

Reference: Triumph of the Market by Edward Herman, Chapter 13: The Banality of Evil
Last edited {1}