Jan 25 2017

RESISTANCE

This LINK is to an interesting piece by Rob Urie who, within modern history, traces resistance movements in this nation and how psychological manipulation by capitalist entities affected them.

An excerpt: “In 1929 Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud and creator of the term ‘propaganda,’ paid a group of young and fashionable women to smoke cigarettes in a suffragette march as an act of ‘resistance.’ Mr. Bernays’ goal was to convince women who had hitherto found cigarettes repulsive that smoking was an act of rebellion against male-determined conventions. What he accomplished was to consign several generations of women to poor health and diminished lives for the benefit of cynical (male) tobacco company executives.

Mr. Bernays’ ploy was spectacularly successful if exploiting social vulnerabilities for profit and social control can be termed ‘success.’ The women who were convinced to take up smoking were neither stupid nor more vulnerable to implausible suggestions than anyone else. And the paradox at work, selling psychological manipulation as self-determination, calls into question the very idea of self-determination. These women may well have felt liberated even as they ceded power over their lives to the forces they were nominally rebelling against.

In this interminable political season cries of ‘resistance’ are being put forward by political operatives who want to return the Democrats to power as well as by people who perceive irreconcilable contradictions in the existing social order. Chatter to ‘resist Trump’ implies that he alone is ‘the problem.’ Toward this end national Democrats have cited those bastions of social resistance and known truth-tellers (not) the CIA, FBI and the corporate-state press to assert that the public’s choice of products was corrupted by ‘outside’ actors.

For those with less mercenary concerns, the question of timing is important here. The Democrat Party is known as the ‘graveyard of social movements’ because it is the graveyard of social movements. Barack Obama was the ‘deporter-in-chief’ who rescued Wall Street while leaving the socially vulnerable to their own devices that set in motion the election of Donald Trump. Bill Clinton ‘freed’ Wall Street to abscond with several generations of Black wealth while launching his racist dog-whistle ‘war on crime’ at the Confederate war memorial that was home to a regional KKK revival. These seem good targets for ‘resistance.’ So where was it?”

Permanent link to this article: http://lacatholicworker.org/2017/01/25/resistance

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