Reflections from the Monster Factory

Gary Ghirardi / NNOMY - First disclosures: This Op-ed is being offered up by myself, Gary Ghirardi,  for the September 2020 newsletter of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, themed: Teaching Kids to Kill, a vehicle of NNOMY's communications efforts to give voice to the few who stand up to endless wars and largely public ignorance and indifference to what is done in their names. It in no way reflects the opinions of the diversity of those organizations that collectively represent the bulk of groups, large and small, who offer up youth demilitarization efforts nationally in the not so United States of America.

This Op-ed is short and not so sweet, like the Psychology Today Op-ed proceeding this in our lineup of offerings for the September NNOMY Newsletter. Short seems to be the new formula because people are adverse to reading long articles now and actually prefer videos where they only need to watch and maybe listen. Those have to be short also. Attention spans have shortened.

What has been stirring in my mind is not a popular idea likely to be supported by many if even a few. Yet I cannot escape this prescient thought about what is the business of the USA and its global military in this seemingly culminating moment of the November Presidential election in a few weeks time; kind of a not so calm thought before the storm that is likely coming.

If I am to take the rhetoric of the election as a guide to informing my thinking about our culture, I can only surmise that the televised back-and-forth serves only to maintain the status-quo with a faux battle over which dressing will be applied to coat the business of defending a dollarized global economy. After-all, isn't that what the project of the U.S. military really is?

I think back to all I have seen and those I have known in my intervening forty-two years of legal adulthood and the best formula for succeeding in this success driven culture is the endless and uncritical pursuit of wealth creation and the little power that can be acquired over others along the way with no holds barred.

Surveying the nativist and immigrant propensities to follow this path, I now believe the United States of America is a monster factory, and now franchised to a country near you. It seems like a harsh characterization on the surface to explain so many places and lives spread out over generations but those most successful adherents to the pursuit of the rewards of worshiping money and power above all other priorities, if we take those constant ques from our 24/7 media's talking heads, surely identifies us as cultural monstrosities.  

And to what extents are we willing to sacrifice fairness and good will?

Can a television ratings war “trump” in importance the dangers of giving billions of publicity to a sociopath?

A case in point.

In the practice of demilitarization from a peace perspective, and not as those rhetoriticians at the Pentagon define it, conditions solidly place enormous obstacles in front of us citizens concerned about escalating cultural militarization.  

Of late, our youth need to soul survive a cavalcade of propaganda and endless violent diversions that turn the concept of war into militainment at the rate of thousands of kills per year as demonstrated by the popularity of militarized first person shooter games, now replacing our national sports as the pandemic culture emerges in 2020.

And what kind of values in people does a monster factory produce?

How about people who value liberty before reason.

People more moved by fantasy and opportunity than reflection and compassion.

I don't want to seem illiberal, but let us face it; we are less concerned with a false democracy as long as it is our democracy.

Judging from the last four years, or forty, we will tolerate any indignity if it is familiar enough and the defense of it is followed by product commercials that ensure in us that the market is looking out for our insecurities and ailments.

Or creates them?

And what can that collectivity of monstrosity look forward to?

More of the same or worse I suspect.

With our dollarized democracy expanding into space, or at least the rim of it around our planet for now,  we will learn to not be aware of the trillions of debt dollars building a security belt around us of high energy and low yield nuclear weapons.

It is not only good for our economy, it is our economy. We are the global war economy, and similarly as the frequently repeated edict in Star Trek, with the prime directive prohibiting its members from interfering with the internal and natural development of alien civilizations, unless those natural developments interfere with the family business of course.

And what of our groups doing demilitarization work? Well, maybe the climate for funding anti-militarism will improve, and that funding will manifest in corporations getting into the mix.

Maybe a Disneyland of consciousness will emerge and silence cultural violence openly with the approval and participation of commercial sponsors.

Anything is possible in the monster factory.

By the way, what is your kid playing on their computer? Pay attention and do not normalize cultural violence and militarization around your house anymore!

Gary- Ghirardi
9/14/2020


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