Friday, December 4, 2015

How Mark Zuckerberg Causes Mass Shootings

While the ruling class in the Western democracies debate the merits of bombing yet another poor country, US citizens spent the week murdering each other again. The non-shooting at UNC Chapel Hill was overshadowed in the same day by an attack in San Bernardino targeting social services because pure nihilism drives these American jihadis.

That might be a loaded term, seeing as the perpetrators were an Illinois-born Pakistani-American and a Saudi respectively, but their motives were pure American: an “office dispute” between Syed Farooq and one of the many victims in the office park. That little detail will get lost in the paranoid noise over what the GOP clown car will declare a terrorist attack, thus compelling them to get balls-deep into another Middle Eastern country that was never involved.

Of course, every mass shooting in America is an act of terrorism but the political correctness of the right demands we never use the “T” word when the Second Amendment is involved…

But even gun control on the scale of the United Kingdom wouldn’t stop this sort of thing from happening. The motivation, the many many office disputes at the root of these All American massacres, is a byproduct of the extreme capitalism the US has embraced since Reagan and is best exemplified by the self-satisfied mediocrities of Silicon Valley.

While fourteen people were dying for your Second Amendment rights in San Bernardino, Facebook maven Mark Zuckerberg announced his new not-a-philanthropy. He sure tried to make it look like a charitable organization, adopting the same his-and-her naming convention as that Bill Gates tax write off and offering up some noblesse oblige platitudes alongside family pictures, but all in support of an investment vehicle. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is an LLC and under no legal obligation to actually perform any acts of charity. Zuckerberg spent the day bragging about donating his many billions of dollars to himself.

And the rubes ate it up.

Major media companies have been working overtime to emphasize Farooq’s Muslimness, much as they tried to paint Major Nidal Hassan as some crafty al Qaeda sleeper agent. That both were American with American grievances - which they expressed in the most American way of all - doesn’t get as much airplay because it invites uncomfortable questions...

“Sometimes, you don’t earn enough to buy things for what the children need for school, or food for the house, or personal expenses … like house payments or bills.”

The environment that drove Farooq is the same post-industrial hellscape immediately familiar to every American outside the coastal urbanite enclaves. A place of tract homes, big box stores, and toxic bitterness over an economy that has left you behind. The Reagan revolution still continues, transferring wealth upward whether in tax breaks, federally mandated private insurance, or just good ol’ fraud.

Like Zuckerberg’s purported “charity” company. He stands to make back his investment to himself with interest in the very near future, while maybe squirting a few research dollars into one of Silicon Valley’s dead-end Singularity projects. A government with actual social welfare in mind could have taken that 45 billion and given everyone real universal healthcare - with free college as a chaser - but even a Democratic White House is more interested in Reagan’s failed neoliberal experiment than in providing for the general welfare.

For proof, just look at the other folks in Zuckerber’s tax bracket. Like former Massey CEO Don Blankenship, who will maybe serve a whole year in jail for killing 29 people. Or Cerberus Capitol's Stephen Feinberg, a literal vampire who got a federal bailout and invested in Bushmaster right before the Newton shooting and turns a hefty profit on farming human plasma from impoverished Mexicans bussed across the US border. If that sounds sociopathic, that’s because it is. Neoliberal capitalism is not some free and fair market but a deliberate system designed by and for sociopaths like Blankenship and Feinberg and Google.

Syed Farooq and John Lewis Dear are terrorists. They’re also the logical result of a socio-economic system that conflates wealth with worth as a human being.

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