Ask Who Benefits

It is the Republican Party’s job to expand the US military, rob and oppress the working class, serve US plutocrats, facilitate ecocidal capitalism, and foment division among the electorate. It is the Democratic Party’s job to do these same things while blaming it on Republicans.

One of the weirdest things to happen last year was the entire western political/media class deciding to start pretending Ukrainian Nazis aren’t Nazis based on literally nothing whatsoever, just because it’s convenient, and a substantial portion of the population playing along.

This is still happening, by the way.

Part of the problem is that westerners live in a pre-revolutionary society that we’ve been duped into believing is a post-revolutionary society. We self-righteously look down at our noses at other nations and pity their lack of freedom and political sophistication, when in actuality we’re all deeply enslaved and the global south is the only place where anything real has been happening politically.

The Wall Street Journal has a new article out about how US war veterans are no longer recommending their kids join the military, which is cutting the war machine off from an important recruitment “pipeline” because the children of military families make up the majority of military recruits.

I’ve seen a lot of right wingers sharing the article with comments to the effect of “hurr hurr, that’s what you get for having a woke military,” but they plainly didn’t read the article, because it lists many factual and entirely valid reasons why military families have stopped steering this new generation toward military careers, and none of them have anything to do with “wokeness”. Here are some excerpts:

  • “After the patriotic boost to recruiting that followed 9/11, the U.S. military has endured 20 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan with no decisive victories, scandals over shoddy military housing and healthcare, poor pay for lower ranks that forces many military families to turn to food stamps, and rising rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide.”
  • “Deeper problems soldiers report include moldy barracks, harassment, lack of adequate child care and not enough support for mental health issues such as suicide.”
  • “Families or those who live off base can find expenses outstrip income. More than 20,000 active-duty troops are on SNAP benefits, otherwise known as food stamps, according to federal data.”

Recruiters are struggling to meet their goals, partly due to veterans not recommending their kids enlist because it’s a shitty job no loving parent would wish upon their children, and partly because the US war machine can’t compete with Carl’s Jr.

One recruiter is quoted as saying “To be honest with you it’s Wendy’s, it’s Carl’s Jr., it’s every single job that a young person can go up against because now they are offering the same incentives that we are offering, so that’s our competition right now.”

I view these as positive developments. Hopefully everyone stops enlisting in the world’s most murderous military.

Everyone got mad at the Boy Scouts of America because they groomed boys for sexual molestation when they were supposed to be grooming them to murder impoverished foreigners in the US military.

Ask who benefits from the continued emphasis on electoral systems that never succeed in bringing about real change.

Ask who benefits from the continued emphasis on culture wars over class war.

Ask who benefits from people being continually herded into two mainstream political factions which both support empire, oligarchy and authoritarianism.

Ask who benefits from the mass media continually focusing on the misdeeds of nations their government doesn’t like while ignoring their own government’s abuses of the needful, the marginalized and the disobedient.

Ask who benefits from ordinary people being too busy getting the bills paid to learn about what’s going on in the world.

Ask who benefits from those who ask these questions being labeled crackpots and conspiracy theorists.

Ask who benefits from the widespread assumption that how things are is the only way they can be.

Ask who benefits from the widespread assumption that the status quo is inevitable and resistance is futile.

Ask who benefits from your beliefs about what’s possible and what’s impossible.

Ask who benefits from each of your beliefs about the world.

Ask who benefits from each of your beliefs about humankind.

Ask who benefits from each of your beliefs about yourself and how you should be.

Ask who benefits from these beliefs not just among the powerful, but among the people you know in your own life. Who put that belief in your mind, and why might they have done so?

Any time you are presented with a narrative about how things are in a way that asks you to believe it, question who would benefit from that belief, whether it’s a large-scale narrative about the world, or a small-scale narrative about yourself and your own life.


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