The burned out shells of vacant buildings and crumbling infrastructure, the mobs of dispossessed youth wandering the streets, the constant violence and threats of violence set against a soundtrack of car alarms, bumping car stereos, and the distant hum of an electric transformer buzzing like a swarm of electric flies feasting on the carcass of a once thriving city-at a cursory glance these places seem ungovernable, or at the very least ungoverned.
But here lies the ultimate irony: the citizens residing in these districts are possibly the most intensely governed people in the country. From birth until death, they are shuffled through an almost constant stream of government institutions: government housing, public schools, welfare, the penal system-the list is almost endless.
Indeed, last weeks announcement by President Trump announcing that he will be sending federal agents to “clean up” Chicago indicate that the most intensely governed among us will be subjected to an even more proximate relationship with the government that they already depend on for nearly every facet of existence. Dad is either dead, or locked up, or running the streets, while Mom rules the household with the State as her sugar daddy. Destruction of the family is essential, because the State is a jealous god who allows no reliance upon any other institution. While the 20th century saw the collapse of the extended family and the rise of the nuclear family, the 21st century has seen the destruction of the nuclear family and the rise of the fully atomized individual who is disconnected from any support system other than the state. This was always the intention.
The live feed of violence and inner city debauchery broadcast to the Capitol and the surrounding districts functions as both entertainment as well as a threat-yeah it’s shocking and violent and sometimes funny, but if you f*ck up too badly, you might end up there too.
Chicago Man Murdered While Recording Himself on Facebook LIVE
Guy Has a Shoot Out On Facebook Live With LAPD
In the 1990s it was COPS. Now it’s Worldstar Hiphop, Facebook Live, and Liveleak broadcasting a constant stream of no-budget sadism-as-entertainment to satiate the curious and the bloodthirsty in real time, direct from the deepest corners of the most depraved, impoverished districts. And while we, the spectators, marvel in awe and disgust at the fights and robberies and suicides and murders that we watch live onscreen, we forget that we, too, are denizens of a similarly curated and managed ghetto environment: the digital one.
Whereas the actual, physical ghettos are the product of 1960s utopian ideas about government spending being the answer to social ills gone awry, the digital ghettos are also an inverted utopia, albeit one crafted by the rogue programmers of the 1970s and 1980s. These programmers imagined a world where personal computers and the emerging internet would literally connect the world; where ideology would wither away as the postmodern World Wide Web would force all of us to confront a myriad of foreign ideas and foreign people, all from the comfort of your home office.
These technologies have not connected us, or at least not in the ways that these computing pioneers imagined. We, too, have been hyperfragmented and atomized into our own digital ideological echo chambers. The 21st century collapse of the nuclear family that we discussed earlier was perhaps intended to redefine one’s sense of self in relation to society as a whole rather than in relation to one’s immediate or extended family (you know, the whole “It takes a village” nonsense that people liked to talk about a couple of decades ago). But what we’re seeing now is a sort of fragmentation of the self, facilitated by these digital technologies, where there is a disconnect between one’s online self and one’s physical self-a sort of “social schizophrenia” that threatens to destroy the very societies that these technologies were supposed to solidify.
Now back to the districts: what the Capitol fears most is an uprising of the district that bleeds into the Capitol. We call this The Fourth Turning: S?ummer of Rage and the Tot?al Eclipse of the Deep St?ate. Provincial wars are fine, as long as they are kept far away from the ruling elite. Periodically, though, rival factions governing the Capitol enlist mercenaries from the districts to cause trouble at the doorstep. We see this regularly with the astroturf Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, and other seemingly ‘grassroots’ franchise protest movements erupt in American cities every few years-these dispossessed citizens of the district, unemployed or underemployed with little to no job prospects, saddled with debt, and very little to lose or gain are shipped around from city to city, given some protest signs, and proceed to yell, fight, burn buildings, and disrupt traffic.
A genuine uprising would be terrifying to the ruling elite, because it would be a refusal to participate at all in a society that exploits you solely by your participation in it. Non-participation is much quieter than the manufactured type, and doesn’t lend itself as well to dramatic photo ops. It’s impact, however, would be much more significant. Certainly, in the digital realm, this refusal would look very much like Bitcoin and other cryptocurriencies, whose very existence threaten the hegemony that the international banking cartels have over global finance. This is the same idea: our non-participation in corrupt institutions is their death knell. These are the quiet weapons for quiet wars, and I believe that we will win.
Conclusion: Your districts are the body. The capital is the beating heart. A refusal to participate is a disruption in the flow of the lifeblood to the capitol. Prepare for heart-failures…