Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Professional protection rackets

In many ways, modern governments function as protection rackets, and a "Stage Third" evaluation of them as such will tend toward accuracy, regardless of the inherent failings in said stage.  Within the context of money and power dynamics, though, detailing the governments' particular structures of organized crime is only one piece of the puzzle.  The cultural conception of "government," with its useful functions of impartial legitimacy, is but an administrative by-product of the other criminal structures operating upon the species.

A "protection racket" involves an organized criminal enterprise whereby, instead of producing something of value to satisfy a legitimate (natural) need or desire, the racketeers create artificial requirements/desires, then peddle the solution at a profit.  The necessary variables are as follows:

1) A population (Marks) producing resources greater than required for survival;

2) Enterprising racketeers (Cons) unscrupulous enough to steal this surplus;

3) Thugs (Muscle) willing to use violence to prevent the breakup of the criminal enterprise.

The formula goes:

1a) Cons create a problem which troubles the population, or

1b) Cons establish a monopoly on the solution to a pre-existing (natural) problem;

2) Cons inform the Marks that the racketeering organization's solution is available, and make it clear that the use of any other solution is likely to result in the Marks getting hurt;

3) Marks pay for the solution.  Some Marks seek alternative solutions, whereupon the Muscle busts them up.

4) Those who want to get in on the racket, and become Cons themselves, are required to make a high investment of cash and years of mortality in order to ensure that they have "skin in the game" and will not betray the organization.  

The traditional western example here is the thugs who offer to protect your small business from trouble.  If you pay them their dues, things may go well.  If you don't pay your dues, the thugs break your windows, slash your car tires, and if you still don't get it, set fire to the shop and kill you.  The next leaseholder pays his dues.

The "unfairness" and "deception" associated with the con is easy to understand, but going through the motions of calling it a payment for protection, rather than bluntly and honestly committing the robbery, is the all-important step.  Intrinsic human dignity will often cause people to fight back, even against impossible odds, if someone says "I am being unfair to you--I will attack you unless you give me money."  Pretending, though, that you're protecting someone--even if they know it's a lie--is enough of a social nicety that it cuts down on the direct resistance.  It even makes the intimidation more chilling, by veiling the threat (This psychological step is discussed further in the Tax Theft series).

It's relatively easy to fit this skeleton underneath the tissue of government and its associated military muscle.  For example, the "American government" warns American people that dangerous Afghani are coming to kill them.  It then taxes them to buy a vast glut of "military supplies," some of which are actually used to kill people in Afghanistan.  In the meantime, the American people at large become impoverished, desperate and weak by being drained of their resources.  The boogeyman they have been told to fear is, in fact, a series of pseudo-nationalist jihadi movements funded by the CIA decades earlier.  Like the thugs in the traditional western example, it is the racketeers themselves doing (or arranging for, as you prefer) the window-breaking in order to force the shopkeeper to pay up.  This CIA funding was done, of course, as part of an earlier racketeering structure to use nationalist jidahis to protect America's allies from the communist menace.  Which was created to protect America from the Nazi menace.  Rinse and repeat.

Getting to that step of understanding, while certainly important (and often difficult or impossible), addresses the criminal organizations only at the level of nation-states.  While "local politics" is similarly structured, economies are also often set up this way, which discussion is the meat of this essay.

Having an understanding of how racketeering organizations operate allows the application of this structure to more than just governments.  Focusing on "America," these structures are numerous, and like corporate logos, so intrinsically a part of culture that they pass with near invisibility.  The best trick Satan ever pulled, as they say, was to convince man that he did not exist--and so, while the government and its military adventures bring more and more to recognize a serious problem (even one they can't describe properly), the more insidious cancers within go unnoticed.

Here's the formula again, for later use:


1a) Cons create a problem which troubles the population, or

1b) Cons establish a monopoly on the solution to a pre-existing (natural) problem;

2) Cons inform the Marks that the racketeering organization's solution is available, and make it clear that the use of any other solution is likely to result in the Marks getting hurt;

3) Marks pay for the solution.  Some Marks seek alternative solutions, whereupon the Muscle busts them up;

4) Those who want to get in on the racket, and become Cons themselves, are required to make a high investment of cash and years of mortality in order to ensure that they have "skin in the game" and will not betray the organization.


Here's how some common rackets work in America:

1) Pharmaceutical medicine.  Marks get sick and have other negative medical conditions.  While it is impossible to keep them from communicating with one another entirely, or from doing healthy things for themselves on their own, the Cons establish a system whereby medicines--chemical compounds that can fix humans--are controlled substances.  Anyone who tries to cultivate or exchange these substances outside of the Cons' approved doctors and pharmacists is fined or put in jail.  If they resist, and insist upon their right to "prescribe" their own bodies or families medicines without paying an exorbitant fee to the Cons, they are killed.

(Chemicals which are easy to grow at home, and require a relatively low investment to test and distribute, or which have a comprehensive battery of pain- or anxiety-relieving effects, are declared completely illegal, to make the Marks reliant only on complex ones produced by the Cons.  This reduces enforcement costs by making it cheaper and easier to discover and eliminate disobedient Marks.)

In order to become part of the system, a massive investment--$200K min.?--of cash, and time (doctor: 8 years of college, 1-2 years residency; i.e., the rest of your young life; pharmacist: some college, D.P., training period, and can't even issue your own prescriptions, just hand out those written by M-docs) is required, such that once you finally get to the end and hit the salary, you need to stay in the game, and become an independent promoter of the game, to survive.

2) Ontological Medicine.  Cancer treatment is even more insidious.  With "industrialism," the ozone layer was damaged and vast quantities of pollutants were dumped into the human environment, resulting in a terrifying, and possibly extinction-terminal, cancer epidemic.  Industrial profits then turned, in part, to the pharmaceutical industry and health care administration, including the provision of $300K scanning machines, complex cancer fighting cocktails, and radiation therapies, all of which can only be purchased from "licensed providers" (Cons).  With cancer treatment in particular, the Cons not only have a monopoly on treatment options; they also inherited the wealth of the original causers (and those who continue to cause) and turned it to the investment of treatment monopoly.

The most disgusting part of that particular game is that the Marks are themselves blamed for the condition.  As generations of babies suck down industrial pollutants and develop tumorous growths in various parts of their bodies, highly qualified university scientists tell them that their faulty genes are to blame for their problems.  Oh, thank the university scientists for saving us from our treacherous genes!  Time to buy some chemo!  Oh, and yes, chemo and radiation can cause cancer, in some instances, but that's okay--we already have it, so we might as well do the best we can treating it.

Next up: lawyers and professors!

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