There are two movements taking place in America. There is the apparent Woke uprising, and there is the corporate agenda advancing in its wake.
When I was advocating strategies of nonviolent direct action, civil disobedience, and tactical disruption in Egypt, I conscientiously reiterated time and again that these activities should not target, harm, or frighten the general population nor compromise public safety. At that time, I advised disrupting the operational efficiency of multinational corporations and the infliction of profit loss, including through the destruction of property essential to doing business. That is as radical as it got.
The purpose was to deliver a message to the corporate interests who were supporting the El-Sisi regime, and who were pursuing neoliberal economic reforms that would devastate the Egyptian economy for the vast majority of its citizens, that this policy would not be a profitable one. The slogan was not “No justice, No peace”, but rather, “No justice, No profit”; hopefully to recruit the support of private sector power for a return to democracy in Egypt, if only for the sake of their own financial interests.
For this, I was depicted in the Western media and (of course) the Egyptian press, as a violent militant mastermind. However, today, the mainstream media in the West approves of far more radical and destructive methods pursued by Black Lives Matter and Antifa; including rampant arson, looting, indiscriminate property damage, assault, menacing, and intimidation of the general public. Nikole Hannah-Jones of the New York Times – the very newspaper that labelled me as violent – has herself stated that destroying property is not violence. Mainstream news anchors have questioned why protests are expected to be peaceful. BLM leaders openly threaten to “burn the country to ashes”, and declare that the whole world will not see peace until they get what they want. Looting is excused, if not explicitly extolled in the press. Reporters standing in front of burning cars and buildings assure viewers that the protests are “mostly peaceful”. What I advocated wasn’t a fraction of the degree of mayhem BLM and Antifa are causing. I was vilified, they are applauded. I was listed on Interpol, they receive hundreds of millions of dollars from big business.
What does that tell you? I mean, aside from the rank hypocrisy and double-standards of the media. What it tells you is what I just said – private sector power approves and is subsidizing BLM and Antifa’s mayhem. As I said when writing about Egypt – corporations operate according to transparent motives, and conscience is not one of those motives. Think of the old adage, “invest when there is blood in the streets”.
Some obvious beneficiaries of the chaos, of course, will be companies connected to defense, law enforcement and home and personal security, surveillance, weapons, insurance, and (always) banks and lending institutions. Social media companies like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube all gain users and advertzing revenues during high interest public crises. Of course, construction companies, the automotive industry, and any company whose business might be involved in rebuilding damage to entire cities, will also stand to profit. Then there is Wall Street, which has done nothing but climb since the riots began, as the Federal Reserve continues to pump in trillions of dollars to artificially boost share values during the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression, cushioning the biggest private sector players from any negative ramifications of the ongoing unrest and Covid-19 lockdowns.
In a World Bank report in 2017, stakeholders in countries regarded as “conflict zones” were 10% more likely to view the economic trajectories of those nations positively than those in non-conflict zone countries. And, as I have discussed many times in the past, and as detailed extensively by Naomi Klein in her book “the Shock Doctrine”, civil unrest, conflict, crises, and catastrophes provide excellent cover for neoliberal reforms and predatory investing.
A study in April by Lloyds of London identifies three fundamental “super-strains” of political violence ‘pandemics’. The first consists of “anti-imperialist” and “independence movements”, as well as social movements calling for the removal of an “occupying force.” Despite sounding very dramatic, these tend to be nonviolent and limited in scope and frequency of disruption. The second consists of standard popular demonstrations, usually around a certain current social issue. The final “super-strain pandemic” is “armed insurrection” or “insurgency” and is associated with two particular ideologies, “Marxism” and “Islamism.”
If you thought that the BLM and Antifa protests / riots fell under the second category, well, that is optimistic. BLM is a self-declared Marxist organization. Antifa takes its name from the Communists who fought against the Fascist regime in Spain. These are anti-Western, anti-Capitalist, and anti-Democratic groups, serving a broader destructive “Woke” agenda, and the likely forecast is for an increase in violent confrontation; making the US a conflict zone.
The combined crises of the uprisings and Covid-19 distract from a dramatic reconfiguration of the American economy, imposing Austerity with an iron fist in a surgical glove, massive cost-cutting for corporations and an unimaginable number of redundancies; and the only Socialism this Leftist revolution will achieve is an even greater transfer of public money into the private sector’s biggest players.
It is quite ironic that the movement calls itself “Woke”, when they could not possibly be more oblivious.