The Best Way To Use An Injured Soldier

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You don’t have to be an MSNBC “political analyst” or a “CNN consultant” to understand a basic and simple fact about State of Union speeches. All you have to do is ask yourselves: why are such speeches, that are supposed to give people a status report on pressing issues and the plans for tackling them going forward, so laden with jingoistic and patriotic cliches and hyperbole, as if we’re being readied to counter a massive enemy invasion that we have to rally people to stand and fight in order to defend the homeland? The answer is that such nationalistic speeches and meaningless and empty sound bytes are meant to make people feel good and proud about their “exceptional” country, that’s on a mission from God, and accept the status quo and current policies. Unless you’re being invaded, patriotism is acquiescence to the rulers. The corollary to unwarranted and unnecessary patriotism is the “national security” pretext for putting down dissent, should such feel-good patriotic references not work. When people feel good and proud of “our country”, they’re less likely to raise their dissatisfaction and rise up in protest and demand change. Patriotism raises people’s tolerance for pain. It’s an anesthetic that numbs the pain of hunger and the humiliation of “soup lines”.

Cory Remsburg, the young injured soldier who had been deployed to kill Afghans 10 times and who was given a long and sustained standing ovation during the speech, has not just been used literally as a pawn to advance the hegemonic agenda of the corporate empire, but, was used once again, in a totally different way than he normally is used: as a tool to promote patriotism in order to gain the public’s acquiescence to policies of war and plunder overseas and cutting social programs and curtailing of civil liberties at home. All those who stood up and gave a long standing ovation to that injured young man were part of a mass deception, a deception that is one of the requisite raw materials of the profit driven system of capitalism.

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