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eXile TV / Going Postal / January 12, 2011

Ames Ratigan Show Mark at the Mic Jan 11 2011

Mark Ames was back on MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show yesterday talking about the Tuscon assassination-rampage murder, the degeneration of America’s political class and how growing inequality makes everything and everyone shittier. To quote eXiled hero Charles Portis, “We’re weaker than our fathers, Dupree. We don’t even look like them.”

Here’s the video:

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion: From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond.

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33 Comments

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  • 1. John Drinkwater  |  January 12th, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    It’s not just inequality by itself, but a heartless society that refuses to take care of people. Or refuses to accept the idea that we live in a “society” where there is (or was) certainly plenty of wealth to provide for everyone. Whether it’s workers getting squeezed, kids being bullied or, in Jared’s case, people clearly in need of some serious counseling. People are constantly being ‘pushed’ to extremes by a government that simply doesn’t give a shit about them.

  • 2. Doug  |  January 12th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I very much doubt that inequality makes “everything shittier.” First off let’s off with the fact that income inequality makes people save more and work harder:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WHV-51W057F-1&_user=10&_coverDate=01/04/2011&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=aefa0565d77841e67b11c864628f276b&searchtype=a

    Then there’s also the consideration that many of the high points in Western culture occurred at times of staggeringly unequal inequality. E.g. Renaissance art was funded by the insanely wealthy Medicis and other Italian banking families as well as the papacy, while the peasants toiled in the field. Compare this to the culture of mass consumption we have now where trite trash like Nascar, Everybody Loves Raymond and Ke$ha reign supreme.

    Inequality on a global level is even good for peace. The stability of post-War Western Europe was largely a result of the massively larger US economy and military which made it impossible for any European nation to ever challenge the Pax Americana. In contrast the rise of China, India, Russia and other nations as economic rivals to the US (flattening global inequality) does not augur well for a peaceful future.

  • 3. THE_HONEST  |  January 12th, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    What about Ron Paul, Ayn Rand, and Palin? I’m a party hack who thinks they’re responsible for everything–if you don’t agree with me, then you also probably believe that Obama is a bad president and that he hasn’t totally solved the economy, the financial system, and everything else. He’s black, you know–you have to give him that.

  • 4. korman643  |  January 12th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Brilliant Mark, and more than that, utterly well argued and convincing, something that’s more than can be said to 99% of political commentary around.

  • 5. John Drinkwater  |  January 12th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    @Doug – In many cases, massive inequality has led to revolution. Take the French and Russian Revolutions. Is that what you want in America? I do, but something tells me you don’t. Hell, the only reason why welfare states were created in the West was to check the Soviets and prevent the rise of a socialist revolution.

    Ever since the Soviet Union died, welfare systems in the west started crumbling (our governors figured they were no longer needed). And now we’re starting to see a rise again is mass, social unrest.

  • 6. Lavrentij "Anarchy99" Lemko  |  January 12th, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Inequality, huh? How about the Meritocracy of Morons — this kakocracy (you know the names: Larry Summers, Jeffrey Sachs, Jamie Dimon, etc.), where the world is ruled by its worst elements who are simultaneously cursed and blessed with King Midas in Reverse, turning everything that they touch into detritus, dust, dust.

  • 7. Zhu Bajie  |  January 12th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Well, I’ve emigrated from the US to China to get away from richer people crapping on me. Originally, I hoped to stuff my resume with some teaching experience, then get a US job. But after 6 months of NOT being treated like dog sh*t, and I decided to stay longer. Now I’m in my 15th year.

  • 8. Zhu Bajie  |  January 12th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Doug, don’t tell me that our super-richies have anything like the taste or generosity of the Medicis! When the US republic goes, it will not leave much behind in the way of art. Certainly not like Venice, Florence or Athens. Probably we’ll be remembered for our vast heaps of trash.

  • 9. Zhu Bajie  |  January 12th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    “I very much doubt that inequality makes ‘everything shittier.’ ”

    Sure it does. It makes getting health-care much harder, for example.

  • 10. Joe  |  January 12th, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Spot on mark.

  • 11. Spade  |  January 12th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    That’s because he is a “GenY” killer. You are comparing Traditionalist/Babyboomer Generation Murderers (Lonegunman) to GenX/GenY Murderers in the example of Political to Hybrid Political/Postal.

    He’s the top of GenY for Christsakes. As the top of GenX speaking, it seems clear to me why there is a migration in killing “styles” and “hybridization.”

    GenY, now I’m speaking from a marketing standpoint and social standpoint, is the first generation of the create broad spectrum cultural adoption. Multiculturalism and Tolerance, for example is now part of their DNA unlike GenX where “tolerance” is merely “tolerated.”

    Case in point: One of my former customers that runs a small retail store and is at the top of GenX said this about her GenY customers. “It isn’t like when we were in school. They aren’t jocks, or grubs, or nerds, or stoners. They are part hippie, part raver, part phish, — they are phishhippieravers.”

    So, it doesn’t surprise me one bit that someone at the center/top of GenY (as defined by being born in 1981 to 2000 or so) (now this guy is 22) would be a hybrid killer.

    It’s just a natural thing to this generation to be a combo instead of straight any one thing and you will see more of it.

  • 12. EJK  |  January 12th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    You did it again, Mark: “the Lone Nut assassinations of the 60s.” Is this the price for hangin’ with Ratigan?

    Come on, dude!

  • 13. mydick  |  January 12th, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    You’re looking less nervous, nice job!

  • 14. Lavrentij "Anarchy99" Lemko  |  January 12th, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Mob = CIA/FBI/NSA/etc. = Goldman Sachs/JP Morgan/Monsanto/Xe/KBR/eXXon/BP/ etc.

    Ever read your Shakespeare?

    Your Julius Caesar?

    We were born into a crime scene, fellas, be you Gen X or Gen Y or Gen Z or A.

    Buy some popcorn and enjoy the show!

  • 15. Jie Ke  |  January 12th, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Uh, Mr Zhu you’re wrong about a couple of things, here. So allow me as a fellow resident of the PRC to point a few things out.

    You can’t say the US isn’t producing good art. While much of the world gorges itself on crap like Lady Gaga and Avatar, intelligent American TV, led by HBO, is going through something of a golden age at the moment. Plus, there are the (less commercially successful) good movies and music.

    Also, I think you’re wrong to say that Chinese elites are somehow more bearable than American elites. The PRC has started exporting their nasty net censorship technology to Laos; at least Cheney could tolerate people making fun of him on the Internet!

    You may have a point about everyday Chinese treating you better than everyday Americans but I would say this is only true in certain circumstances. If you speak English properly and hold a Western passport you have already achieved the two major life goals of a significant percentage of the PRC’s population, so the people will consider you to have higher status than them and be intimidated. However, they’ll still talk shit about you, right in front of you, if you don’t speak Chinese and never get tired of it. Admittedly this is due to the relatively new phenomena of outsiders in the country. Also, if you’re of Chinese descent, then you’re a very presentable prospective family member. I know many ABC guys here who can (and do) fuck hot girls all the time because the girls are willing to just take a chance with that set of marriage credentials. So, if you’re a Chinese-descent American who speaks Chinese then yeah, you’re treated like a rockstar out here, and although I am neither Chinese descent nor American I love living in China, but it’s in spite of, not because of, the pompous, bullying way that the locals start behaving to each other once they get a bit of power.

  • 16. paul cripps  |  January 12th, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    How about your appalling public education system .Yes your elite schools are just fine.Having travelled in your contry extensively , and by the way treated with enormous kindness, i still could not get over the ignorance of your colledge educated people. Not just ignorance of the rest of the world, but there own country, the usa. It was sad and at times embarrassing to correct my friends on historical in accuracies of thier own country. This is only annecdotal, but really whats going on here.

  • 17. Systemless  |  January 12th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    This is a lot like boring textbook late-empire chronology. Geez, America, I thought you were unprecedented? Not even subtle differences with
    Rome, or Britain…at least the USSR had the dignity to try a social experiment that involved occasionally doing people some good, before it doubled down and lost everything in the arms race. In Amerika, we have the cutting-edge progressive benefits and justice of a socialist society in only one place: the military. Support our gay illiterate troops! Kill! Kill! Kill!

  • 18. Doug  |  January 12th, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    @John Drinkwater

    Maybe inequality does lead to revolutions, maybe not. There are certainly a lot of cases of very stratified unequal societies lasting far longer than the lifespan of the US, Soviet Union or any modern day democracy. The Roman Empire chiefly comes to mind. The Qing dynasty in China is another example. The slaves in the antebellum South were held for 250 years and treated like dirt, with nary a peep of protest. Even Imperial Russia and China lasted an order of magnitude longer than the People’s Republics.

    Don’t underestimate just how effective political will and ruthlessness are at keeping the masses down. The one thing Louis XVI, Nicholas II, Batista, Puyi, Porfirio Diaz, et al. have in common is that they were not exactly the strongest rulers. Pretty much every revolution is preceded by a period of moderate reform. Had the Bourbons kept on producing heads of state like the Sun King I think there’s little doubt that Versailles would still be a private residence.

    Even in modern times you’re seeing a hell of a lot more unrest in socially egalitarian Western Europe, a lot less in the US, and hardly any in highly unequal, stratified countries like Singapore, China, Japan, Korea and Russia.

  • 19. Matt  |  January 13th, 2011 at 12:06 am

    @Doug

    Hey man, China isn’t the United
    States. You don’t improve your social
    status by saving you earn it by
    buying cars, houses, shoes, drugs, drinks for
    fly ladies, and if you can’t afford it,
    don’t ask your family for a loan,
    ask the friendly banks.

  • 20. John Drinkwater  |  January 13th, 2011 at 5:56 am

    @Doug,

    Fair points, good history. But the examples you cite involved highly repressive and strong regimes of an order and magnitude we’re not likely to ever see again (even if they eventually fell under relatively weak leaders). Nothing like most governments in the modern world who are far more vulnerable. Even and esp. the United States, however repressive it may at times appear to be appear. (And it is repressive by modern standards.) Wikileaks has shown just how vulnerable and paranoid current leaders are.

    The unrest in western Europe and growing in the US is due to growing wealth inequalities and the deterioration of protections and services that people had come to rely upon. Frankly, I’m hoping we return to the political climate of 100+ years ago when socialist and anarchist movements were booming and were becoming real threats to capitalism in the west. I think esp. western Europe is potentially headed in that direction.

  • 21. El Drano  |  January 13th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Ames and Levine said: “If only Jared hated on a more appropriate target–like this piece of shit bankster, Lord Jones–Jared would’ve been a hero…”

    Awesome! Truer words were never spoken. If Jared had taken out Larry Summers, Jeffrey Sachs, Frederic Mishkin, Blankfein, Dimon, Robert Rubin, all of those crooked bastards in one targeted assasination rampage shooting, for instance while they were coming out of another one of their bankster conferences, yukking it up about how they’d pulled another fast one on the American public, how to steal another $500 billion from the taxpayer, in one week, ….. and then suddenly, from out of nowhere, there is Jared blasting away with his 9mm Glock, taking these fuckers out one at a time. Imagine the joy that would spread across this land. There would be dancing in the streets all across America. A shooting like that would have made Jared a greater hero by himself than John Paul Jones, Joan of Arc, Admiral Horatio Nelson, Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, and Chief Sitting Bull all put together!

  • 22. Jack Boot  |  January 14th, 2011 at 9:37 am

    The irony is, the top 0.1 percenters are cheating themselves.

    Back in 1915, Henry Ford took the radical step of quintupling his workers’ pay – from $1 to a staggering $5 per day.

    Of course, the old skinflint did it to keep out the unions; but now his workers could actually afford to buy the cars they made – and much else besides.

    The 20th Century middle class was born, and Hank became one the world’s 3 richest men.
    Win-win…

    Today’s US elites seem determined to reverse Ford’s achievement; but have they really thought it through?
    If 90% of the population is impoverished, who will buy all those cars, houses, consumer electronics, etc?

    And then there’s always the possibility of a peasant revolt; do those bankers & MBAs really wish to end their days dangling from lampposts?

    Remember France & Russia, lads…

  • 23. JF  |  January 14th, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Yo! John Drinkwater – Your original post hit it right on the head.

    Either way Doug, the poor in ancient Rome or China didn’t have the internet or TV to know how bad they really had it. That is why insurrections happen with regularity in the developing world.

    Doug, If I used marxist theory, it would tell me that oppressive regimes stay in power by limiting the means of communication. Thats why North Korea is still around and why old school dynasties lasted centuries. The book Wired For War broke this down in a simple and entertaining way.

    The old dynasties were tied to religion as well, thats really the key(the whole human quest for immortality fear of death , self esteem glory, thing-see Ernest Becker). Political will and ruthlessness sometimes serves to actually undermine the regimes stability. It strengthens the resolve of the insurgents that they are fighting an altogether “unholy” evil worth risking ones life and limb to destroy. Remember though, sometimes politics can become a religion of sorts(Facism,Revolutionary Marxism,Maoism), those and other religious folks will fight you to the grave no matter the odds.

    Pain is martyrdom to them.

    Peace out from BK

  • 24. FunTimeSteve  |  January 14th, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Loughner made over a hundred posts on abovetopsecret.com ranting about NASA and the impossibility of space travel and the Mars rover.

    Giffords is the only member of congress with an astronaut for a husband.

    With all the speculation about motive that’s going on, I’m surprised more hasn’t been made of that.

  • 25. Flatulissimo  |  January 14th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    @ Jack Boot – your thinking is stuck in the past.

    The top 1% don’t dirty their hands with the actual manufacturing and selling of products anymore. They can make fortunes now playing impossible to understand financial games amongst themselves. “Paper shuffler” used to be a put-down, but now there’s not even a need for the paper. Make billions manipulating data on screens, producing nothing of value, largely removed from the productive economy that actually deals with goods and services. They don’t have to worry about people being too poor to buy anything, because they only play these numbers games with the other 1%-ers.

  • 26. ThierryEnnui  |  January 15th, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Well I thought Doug’s points were absolutely terrible.
    Firstly, one scientific article on Chinese inequality does not a global truth make.
    Second, define your “high point” in culture. Ke$ha might be shit, but a bunch of paintings of Italian nobility and Christian mythology is merely an artistic reiteration of the very inequality you’re defending. The modern-day equivalent would be paintings of Sarah fucking Palin (while people toil in McDonalds).
    And if inequality on a global level is “good for peace”, tell me why do you think it is that people are willing to fly planes into buildings just to bloody the noses of corporate America? All this Loughner character did was localise and personalise the same issue: “you represent the world that’s fucking me, and I will destroy you”.
    Tell me again how “peaceful” this is?
    Finally, all WWII did was leave American and Russian hegemonies to go relatively unchallenged, but this “peace” that you speak of was not evident. 1st Indochina War, Korean War, Vietnam, Algerian War, Warsaw Pact Invasion. Money and inequality is as complicit in wars as religion, if not more so.

  • 27. RedBastardGod  |  January 15th, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Inequality has not lead to more savings. Savings is at all time low in the US. Doug is making shit up.

  • 28. erik in manhattan  |  January 16th, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Equality sounds so nice to hallucinating Americans, you have NO idea of what it looks like until you go to East Berlin. That’s equality! Trabantanstadt or whatever the locals call it. Those buildings are worse than any US housing project and painting them candy-color green and pink certainly does not alleviate the horror of it all.

    And what is it about Equality that makes all the white guys shave their heads and put on steel-toed boots? I guess they are Commies too, they want the DDR back. Or they did 10 years ago.

  • 29. Jack Boot  |  January 17th, 2011 at 8:52 am

    @ Flatulissmo

    You have a point: The US elite has indeed subcontracted the scutwork to Asia, leaving it free to play with money.

    But, even a fiat currency must be backed by something solid. The laws of economics are just as pitiless as the laws of physics; but they work with a delay.

    Think of Wile E. Coyote running off a cliff without realizing it. For a few moments, he continues running on thin air; but then he looks down, gulps – and plummets…

  • 30. wintersoldier  |  January 21st, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Ames is who I’d like to see replace Olbermann. He’s the only person short of Ed who’d kick as much ass as Olbermann did if not more. Alas we’re liberals and can’t be seen kicking too much oligarch ass …it just isn’t done. Is like Chomsky says, corporate will define left middle and right
    for the mutant mob. We can’t let the hornets out of their jar now can we.

  • 31. wintersoldier  |  January 21st, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Fixing on the comment of Dylans on not people of the current as opposed to our fathers’ generations not even being considered equal. Ann Brewers remarks at the funeral we filled with implications of a hierarchy of worthwhile people and what she perceives as not worthwhile. The woman is mentally ill.

  • 32. the dodd  |  January 22nd, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    “We can’t let the hornets out of their jar now can we.”

    speaking of that…i bet, eileen is gonna take “the green hornet” apart, hehe.

  • 33. Yuri  |  January 23rd, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Anyone link me the video? Semms I cant link to it from this sit.


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