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Murder, Inc.

July 20, 2015

Murder Incorporated.

That’s the name that the press gave to organizations of killers, organized crime gangs, in the 1930s and 40s that acted as the “enforcement arm” of the American Mafia (Wikipedia). There were also a book and two movies.

Similar groups that come to mind in American history are the Texas Rangers (“Ranging Companies”—who hunted down indigenous people and immigrants from Mexico), the state militia at Wounded Knee, the KKK, White Citizens Councils of the 1960s, and some Sheriff Departments and other local police departments (sometimes called Public Safety Units) today. They enforce the racist fantasies and policies of “white” communities and politicians (people who lead fearful lives and practice terror—or pay enforcers to practice it for them).

Let’s face it, and say it, the Nazi SS also comes to mind; and while the scale was hideously enlarged, the fantasies are all the same: a surge of supreme power, personal and state, over people whom they want to be rid of.

It’s State violence against its own citizens (discussed, for instance, by Henry A. Giroux as reported in Daily Kos).

Armed violence is one of the major psychopathologies of American democracy. It’s a major way in which we imagine, image, and act out life as a society. Its major roots are in Late Renaissance European attitudes toward Others wherever they “discovered” them, and in American slavery.

The soul writhes in agony, and must find a way to re-imagine. It must re-tell its story, in a way that accords with Life.

Neither civilization in general nor a democracy in particular is compatible with murder. Murderers cannot be tolerated, whether they are actors outside of, or within, the administration of law.

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