Category: global

The killing machine has become spectacularized, endlessly looped through the mainstream cultural apparatuses both as a way to increase ratings and as an unconscious testimony to the ruthlessness of the violence waged by a racist state. Once again, Americans and the rest of the world are witness to a brutal killing machine, a form of domestic terrorism, responsible for the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling who were shot point blank by white policemen who follow the script of a racist policy of disposability that suggests that black lives not only do not matter, but that black people can be killed with impunity since the police in the United States are rarely held accountable for such crimes.

In the Castile case, the police fired into the car with a child in the back seat–a point rarely mentioned in the mainstream press. At the same time, the power of violence as a tool for expending rage and addressing deeply felt injustices has resulted in a young black man mimicking the tools of state violence by deliberately killing five police officers and wounding seven others in Dallas, Texas. This is a horrendous and despicable act of violence but it must be understood in a system in which violence is disproportionately waged against poor blacks, immigrants, Muslims, and others who are now defined as excess and pathologized as disposable. The killings in Dallas speak to a brutal mindset and culture of mistrust and fear in which violence has become the only legitimate form of mediation

In the increasingly violent landscape of anti-politics, mediation disappears, dissent is squelched, repression operates with impunity, the ethical imagination withers, and the power of representation is on the side of spectacularized state violence. Violence both at the level of the state and in the hands of everyday citizens has become a substitute for genuine forms of agency, citizenship, and mutually informed dialogue and community interaction.

Etienne Balibar has pointed out that “as citizenship is emptied of its content,”[i] the right to be represented is ceded to the financial elite and the institutions of repression or what Althusser once called the “repressive state apparatuses.” Under such circumstances, politics is replaced by a form of “antipolitics” in which the representative and repressive machineries of the state combine to objectify, dehumanize, and humiliate through racial profiling, eliminate crucial social provisions, transform poor black neighborhoods into war zones, militarize the police, undermine the system of justice, and all too willingly use violence to both to punish blacks and to signal to them that any form of dissent can cost them their lives. But such apparatuses do more, they willfully exclude and repress the historical memories of racial violence waged by both the police and other racist institutions.[ii] They have no choice since such histories point to the deeply embedded structural nature of such violence as a reproach to the bad cops theory of racist violence.

What we are observing is not simply the overt face of a militarized police culture, the lack of community policing, deeply entrenched anti-democratic tendencies, or the toxic consequences of a culture of violence that saturates every day life. We are in a new historical era, one that is marked a culture of lawlessness, extreme violence, and disposability, fueled, in part, by a culture of fear, a war on terror, and a deeply overt racist culture that is unapologetic in its disciplinary and exclusionary practices. This deep seated racism is reinforced by a culture of cruelty that is the modus operandi of neoliberal capitalism–a cage culture, a culture of combat, a hyper masculine culture that views killing those most vulnerable as sport, entertainment, and policy.


The United States is in the midst of a crisis of of governance, author­ity, and representation and as historical narratives of injustice and resistance fade there emerges a further crisis of individual and collective agency, along with a crisis of the identity and purpose regarding the very meaning of governance. As democratic public spheres disappear and the state increasing turns to violence to address social problems, lawlessness becomes normalized and violence becomes the only form of mediation. This is fueled by a discourse of objectification, and a race-based culture of pathology, which often finds expression not only in police violence but also in scattered mass shootings and a tsunami of everyday violence in America’s major cities, such as Chicago. Politics has been emptied out, lacking any representative substance, and opens the social landscape to the dangerous forces of right-wing populism and ultra-nationalism, both of which are deeply racist in their ideological discourse and their relationship to those excluded others.

Americans are witnessing not simply the breakdown of democracy but the legitimization of a society in the grips of what might be called a politics of domestic terrorism, a kind of anti-politics that rejects the underlying values of a democracy and is unwilling to reclaim its democratic tendencies while deepening its civic principles. The U.S. is deep into the entrails of an updated authoritarianism and until that is recognized under such circumstances violence will escalate, people of color will be killed, whites will claim they are the real victims, and the discourse of racial objectification will become, as it has, a visible if not embraced signpost of an anti-politics that defines the varied landscapes of power and institutions of everyday life.

The ultimate mark of terrorism both domestic and foreign is a hatred of the other, a certainty that defines dialogue, an ignorance that embraces the power of the mob and the redemptive force of the savior. As America moves dangerously close to embracing such an authoritarian social order and the politicians who endorse it, indiscriminate and intolerable violence will assume a kind of legitimacy that allows people to look away, refuse to recognize their own powerlessness, and align them with a barbarism in the making. All of this bears the weight of a history in which such indifference is easily transformed into the worst forms of state violence. The face of white supremacy and state terrorism, with its long legacy of slavery, lynching, and brutality has become normalized, if not supported by one major political party, a large percentage of the public endorsing Donald Trump, and a corporate and financial elite wedded only to increasing their power and profits. We are in a new historical era that is widening the scope and range of violence-an expansive age of disposability that widens the net of those considered expendable if not dangerous.

Some conservatives such as David Brooks have argued that the collapse of character and the rise of a form of political narcissism are producing deeply troubling forms of authoritarianism.[iii] That analysis is too facile, and ignores the underlying social, economic, and political conditions that concentrate power in very few hands, distribute wealth largely to the upper 1 percent, eliminate social services, and destroy those institutions capable of producing a culture of critique, empathy, and engaged citizenship. The old age of the social contract and social democracy is dead; the economic foundations that once supported large segments of the working class have been destroyed by the forces of globalization; and the promise of a collective ethical imagination has given way to the tawdry self-indulgence and self-interest that drives a consumer and celebrity culture. Not only have too many Americans become prisoners of their own experience, they also  have become passive in the face of state violence, a culture of extreme violence, and a web of mainstream cultural apparatuses that trade in violence as sport and entertainment.

Racism is one register of such violence, but in the age of cell phones and video cameras it has become more visible, and its brutalizing imagery contains the possibility for mobilizing social formations such as the Black Lives Matter Movement to both expose and eliminate its underlying ideologies and structures. At the same time, such blatant acts of racism offer a false sense of community to those being organized around hate and anger, resulting in a blind devotion to false prophets, such as Donald Trump, who trade in fear and despair.

Let’s hope that the current crisis we are witnessing as it appears to unfold daily will transform cries of collective outrage into a social movement that is organized around a call for economic and social justice, one less intent on calling for reforms than for eliminating a neoliberal economic order steeped in corruption, racism, and violence.


[i] Etienne Balibar, “Uprisings in Banlieues,” Equaliberty, [Durham: Duke University, 2014] pp. 252

[ii] See, for instance, Jerome H. Skolnick, The Politics of Protest: Task Force on Violent Aspects of Protest and Confrontation of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence 2nd Revised edition (New York: NYU Press, 2010). Also see Jonathan Simon, Governing Through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009).

[iii] David Brooks, “The Governing Cancer of Our Times,” The New York Times, [February 26, 2016] Online:


Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University. His most recent books are America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth (Monthly Review Press, 2013) and Neoliberalism’s War on Higher Education (Haymarket Press, 2014). His web site is

Caleb Maupin

1President Xi Jinping, representing the overwhelming sentiment of China’s huge population, has continued to crack down on corruption. His “Mass Line Campaign” involves punishing and halting the excesses of the booming Chinese market, and ensuring that the Communist Party keeps absolute control of the economy.

Xi Jinping has gone after some of the top officials in China who have been caught taking bribes, who are not fairly enforcing the law, or who are otherwise working in the service of profit-making institutions. Xi is firmly committed to the political ideas articulated by Deng Xiaoping during the early 1980s. As Xi makes clear in the many pages of his widely distributed book The Governance of China, capitalism exists in China only to advance the Communist Party’s goals of creating a prosperous society and strengthening “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.” In accordance with the Deng Xiaoping Theory, capitalism in China will not be allowed to run rampant, and the needs of Chinese society as a whole will always come before the profits of capitalists, both foreign and domestic. Xi is moving to secure that the state sector of the Chinese economy remains dominant, and that the private corporations will remain tightly controlled and restricted.

This strategy of utilizing foreign capitalist investment to strengthen Chinese socialism has been cemented as the political line of the Chinese Communist Party since the early 1980s. However, during the late 1990s, the world has looked on to see factory owners and capitalists running wild throughout Chinese society. The widely told horror stories about the facilities owned by FoxConn and Honda, the routine bribery of government officials, and the endless groveling efforts to accommodate US and European corporations have all become a source of national outrage. The average Chinese person is furious about a pattern of corrupt betrayals of the 1949 revolution and its principles.

The Chinese Communist Party is tightly organized on a local level, with a network of local organizers in every community. Despite still upholding the unified practice of Democratic Centralism and presenting a unified vision in statements to the public, internally the Chinese Communist Party is full of divergent strategies and criticisms of current government policy. Figures like Bo Xilai, who use language more akin to the Mao era, have risen and fallen within the party strata. In society at large, beyond the party, there is a rise of Neo-Maoists and independent labor activists who seek to bring China more in line with the socialist vision its founders fought for.

The increasingly contradictory political and economic situation in the People’s Republic has been the synthesized in the rise of this leader whose common nickname is “the big boss.” Xi Jinping, a powerful political figure championing the over one billion working-class people in the country, declares “Mao Zedong Thought must be central in all things.” Speaking for the Communist Party he proclaims, “We have declared war against extravagance and wealth.” In speeches utilizing phrases pulled from The Little Red Book, Xi is forcefully pulling the private sector of the Chinese economy back under government accountability. Authority is centralizing, and the party’s practice is becoming more unified.

Xi’s controversial new national security law is a groundbreaking response to Western meddling in China’s affairs. The new law imposes political restrictions on foreign investment. Corporations that have worked to overthrow or weaken the Communist Party will be restricted and monitored in their investment activity. The law protects China from the methods of destabilization developed by George Soros, Samantha Power, and other agents of Wall Street. The law prevents Western investors and intelligence agencies from utilizing the tactic of funding NGOs and manipulating currencies in order to cause unrest. The law makes China safer than ever before from the methods utilized in the attacks on the former Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, Libya, and Syria. The law works to effectively prevent any possible “color revolution” on Chinese soil.

With his sweeping anti-capitalist reforms, Xi Jinping is not only battling against US corporations and domestic profiteers. He also is battling against the right-wing of his own party who are reluctant to see their bureaucratic privileges restricted. Xi’s mass line campaign is exposing and punishing a deeply embedded cartel of Western bootlickers, who want to erase everything Mao and Deng ever wrote, except of course the beloved phrase “Too Get Rich is Glorious.” Xi’s crackdown on corruption is shaking the world, and the cartels in Wall Street and London, along with a few of their well-paid allies in Shanghai, want it to immediately cease.

What Caused the Crash?

The US press, functioning as the voice of its wealthy owners, declared the recent crash of the Chinese stock market to be the result of Xi Jinping’s policies. This response was predictable as Xi Jinping has long been subject to a demonization campaign in the Western press.  For well over a year, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and all other voices of the rich and powerful have been condemning Xi Jinping with words like “Stalinist,” “Neo-Maoist,” “Hardliner,” “Authoritarian,” “Dictator,” and every other political expletive they can muster.

Slipped into the heavy condemnations of Xi found in the US press are subtle admissions of his overall success. The achievements of Xi Jinping that scare his detractors the most are taking place beyond China’s borders. Xi Jinping’s vision of a “New Silk Road” involves the expansions of trade between Russia and China, including the construction of high-speed trains and a natural gas pipeline. Xi is pushing the Chinese state and corporations directed by it to expand their investments in countries like Pakistan and Nigeria.

The articles in the US press blaming Xi Jinping for the crash offer little explanation of why he is at fault. They simply quote voices from leading market- oriented Chinese think tanks blaming him, and further bemoaning his “centralization” of authority, especially in the economic field.

The Financial Times, a London newspaper which functions as a more serious publication of economic analysis, has admitted that the cause of the Chinese stock market crash wasn’t Xi Jinping’s regulations, but rather, a lack thereof. An article in the July 14th issue says that the cause of the crash was irresponsible practices from various “fund matching corporations.” The Financial Times writes: “Since they were not subject to regulation, fund-matching companies permitted higher leverage and lower barriers entry.”

The Financial Times also revealed another interesting tidbit of information. In the United States, 55% of the population is currently somehow invested in the stock market, and would be directly affected in the case of a financial crash. In China, less than 6% of the population is tied into the Stock Exchange. A crash on Wall Street would have exponentially larger consequences for the US than the recent crash has had in China. Despite its large private sector, Chinese society remains mostly insulated from fluctuations of the market.

Furthermore, even in the direct aftermath of the crash, China still reached its quarterly goal of 7% growth. The world was expecting that, finally, the crash and much heralded “slow down” that preceded it, would somehow dramatically halt the powerful juggernaut of China’s state-controlled economy. However, it didn’t happen. China still reached its quarterly 7% growth goal.

The Financial Times now reports that, “Emergency measures designed to curb market free fall in the Chinese Stock market last week apparently succeeded in stabilizing the market.” Essentially, less than a week after the dramatic financial episode, the Communist Part controlled economy has whipped the market back into order. The vast plans for government construction of trains, irrigation systems, and other modernizations are plowing ahead.

Escalation of Violence

The external attacks on China and its invincible economy have risen in recent months. Chinese officials recently arrested a number of Chinese Muslims who had been involved with Saudi-backed Takfiri extremist groups. China has already experienced a wave of stabbings and other horrendous ISIS-style killings. The suspicion that somehow the United States and Saudi Arabia are involved in fomenting extremism and terrorism among the China’s Islamic population is now basically confirmed.

The Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that is loathed by progressive people on every continent, has new anti-Chinese economic stipulations. The US-aligned signatories in Asia such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and South Korea, will be required to set up further economic barricades against Chinese investment as part of this widely unpopular treaty.

The United States continues to accuse China of “Cyber Warfare” against the United States. The United States military has continued expanding its presence in the Pacific and in Central Asia. Recently, US airplanes created an incident by violating Chinese airspace.

Vietnam has joined with the United States in its regional anti-China campaign. The United States is utilizing a classic Cold War tactic, playing Communist Parties against each other, in order to further the aim of their mutual destruction.

Xi Jinping’s trademark policies are designed to rebuild the somewhat eroded links between the Chinese Communist Party and those who brought it into power. Xi is also gradually and subtly working to re-establish the international bonds that once made China the epicenter of a global explosion of anti-imperialism, in a time when Mao Zedong thundered, “Revolution is the main trend in the world today.”

The policies of the United States in China are self-defeating. The harder that international finance pushes its crusade against China, the stronger Xi Jinping and his New Silk Road will become. The two are directly linked.

Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”