Is The Hegemony Changing?

Psi Phi Society White Paper


Damn good question!  But first maybe I should define “hegemony” before we go any further.


Cultural hegemony refers to domination or rule maintained through ideological or cultural means. It is usually achieved through social institutions, which allow those in power to strongly influence the values, norms, ideas, expectations, worldview, and behavior of the rest of society.

Cultural hegemony functions by framing the worldview of the ruling class, and the social and economic structures that embody it, as just, legitimate, and designed for the benefit of all, even though these structures may only benefit the ruling class. This kind of power is distinct from rule by force, as in a military dictatorship, because it allows the ruling class to exercise authority using the “peaceful” means of ideology and culture.

This concept came from the mind of an Italian suffering at the hands of Benito and his fascism….Antonio Gramsci…..

Antonio Gramsci was an Italian Marxist intellectual and politician, who can be seen as the perfect example of the synthesis of theoretician and politician. He was not only a thinker involved in the revision and development of Marxism, who wrote in several socialist and communist Italian journals, but also a politically active militant. The fascist government of Benito Mussolini imprisoned him between 1926 and 1937.

Gramsci’s political activities were not only related to his publications. His actions as a politician, activist, and intellectual were consistent with his ideas. He believed that the proletariat needed “organic” intellectuals to become a hegemonic class, and during his lifetime, he himself assumed such a role. As a member of the Socialist Party and, later, the Communist Party, he wrote in several journals seeking to reach a wide audience and indoctrinate it in the basic ideas and principles of the proletariat and social struggle. While incarcerated, and away from mass media, he wrote his most celebrated and influential theoretical contributions to Marxist theory. Among these, two concepts would become most important to scholars of different disciplines: hegemony and historical bloc. In what follows, this piece will concentrate on the concept of hegemony in Gramsci and the sources upon which he built it.

For me the controller of the hegemony of the oligarchs is the mass media which sells the ideas to the masses.

For those that cannot read I have a couple of short videos that will help understand what hegemony is all about.

A bit more in-depth for those interested…..

The society of today is being reformed by the “Black Lives Matter” protests and movement.

The question is…will these protesters and activist change the conversation or will the media continue to spread the news that only helps one group to dominate over another?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is This A Class War?

Inkwell Institute

Civil Disobedience Series #3

For years I have been protesting and trying to get my fellow Americans to see the growing inequalities in this country…..and finally a few years ago I was not talking to the wall…..

Let’s look at “inequality”….

Unless you live on Billionaire’s Row, you’re probably aware that economic inequality is as salient a topic these days as it’s been in perhaps a century. That should be no surprise. Substitute heavy-industry robber barons with hyper-rich social-media moguls; Gilded Age Newport mansions with $238 million Manhattan condos; and slum-dwelling immigrants with the opiate-addicted Rust Belt underemployed, and it starts to feel a lot like 1890 again.

But if you think something is missing from the national conversation about inequality, you’re not wrong. It tends toward sweeping assertions about what’s “fair” and “decent” in a country as rich as the US. That’s the sort of argument you hear when Bernie Sanders (I-VT) calls for rich people to pay their “fair share” of taxes, or when conservatives accuse liberals of wanting to “punish success.”

The problem with this sort of argument is that it conflates two different things: fairness and equality (or equity, if you prefer). One isn’t necessarily the other, as any poker player can tell you. If an exceptionally skilled player happens to win all the chips, that’s just as fair an outcome as an equal distribution of the chips, so long as everyone plays by the rules. Indeed, an equal distribution of the chips would be unfair if one talented player deserves to win them all. And, as conservatives reasonably argue, the best players won’t come to the table at all if they know their winnings will be confiscated in the cause of greater equity.

The Real Problem With Inequality

How many times have you heard the argument against pay raises as an assault on success?

The pandemic and the economic down turn begs the question….will this nation be only for the rich?

So far it looks like that is the case……

This society has long suffered from a kind of Stockholm syndrome: we look to the rich for answers to the very problems they are often responsible for creating and from which they benefit. The wreckage of this pandemic moment is a bitter reminder of this affliction, as well as a signpost suggesting how we must emerge from this crisis a just and more equitable nation. With a possible depression ahead and more social unrest on the rise, isn’t it time to stop vindicating the wealthiest people in this country and look instead to leadership from those who were living in a depression before Covid-19 even hit and already organizing and protesting?

The events of the last week or ten days shows me there is more to these so-called “riots”….it is finally looking like a class war as well…..

The people who became known as the looters were a fraction of those who stayed behind after the earlier protests dispersed. They are now deemed “thugs” and “thieves” by those who find it easy to write off their palpable frustration, which spread to Santa Monica and across Long Beach by Sunday evening. Writing it off, however, not only ignores America’s systemic racism, but also neglects to address our dire social stratification. As displayed this past weekend on the streets of L.A. and elsewhere, the upheaval taking place across the country is now as much about class as it is about racial injustice and police brutality.

Trump, in his own egotistical way, hoped for this outcome, stating that he desired to be a “wartime president”. Wish granted. The flames Trump has fanned since taking office have sparked America’s tinder box and the fire is burning on his doorstep. What we are now witnessing is full-fledged class warfare. No doubt, it’s been a perfect storm of events; the effects of Covid-19’s massive unemployment, some 40 million, the virus’s death disparity, the continued assault of black lives by a militarized police force along with a corporatized government that intentionally fails to protect its most vulnerable citizens.

It’s a Class War Now Too

Not to worry…the media will frame it in another way… is all about the police violence towards blacks……I disagree with that and it is their, media, way to try and dumb down the protests.

To help me illustrate what is happening…..a paper by the Journal of Dispute Resolution……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Militarization Of The Police

Civil Disobedience Series #2

The recent protests have once again illustrated the military force that the local police departments have……how did it come to this?

How did the police, the champions of the local protect and serve, become just another arm of the Pentagon?

When did the police need to be an extension of the force and power of the military?

It’s easy enough to buy tactical gear in the US, and the Homeland Security Grant Program has funneled billions of dollars to law enforcement agencies to acquire military-grade equipment. But for decades, a primary driver for why it can be so hard to tell a National Guard troop from a local cop has been the Department of Defense itself, through a program that has parceled out everything from bayonets to grenade launchers to precincts across the country.

Created as part of 1997’s National Defense Authorization Act, the 1033 program allows the Department of Defense to get rid of excess equipment by passing it off to local authorities, who only have to pay for the cost of shipping. (A precursor, the slightly more restrictive 1208 program, began in 1990.) According to the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), which oversees the process, over $7.4 billion of property has been transferred since the program’s inception; more than 8,000 law enforcement agencies have enrolled. Much of that inventory is perfectly ordinary: office equipment, clothing, tools, radios, and so on. But the haul also includes some of the so-called controlled equipment—rifles, armored vehicles, and so on—that have helped create such a spectacle of disproportion.

There are attempts to try and roll back this militarization program…..

That year alone, some 500 million pieces of military equipment were transferred to the country’s police services under the 1033 program.

But the recent anti-police protests have recharged efforts to stop it.

This week around 200 lawmakers in Congress, mostly Democrats, sponsored a bill, the “Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act”, to again reel in the program.

The bill, in the House of Representatives, would strictly limit the transfer of guns, ammunition, grenades, explosives, certain kinds of vehicles, and drones and other aircraft designed for the battlefield.

Not to worry…this should go nowhere in the Senate.

It is time for Biden to step up and make this a campaign issue….but sadly he is just as guilty as anyone in DC over this overuse of police military force….but now is the time to come out JOE!

But how do we fix this? Remedies are not easy to find or implement. One avenue to mitigate these defects in our society is to limit the capacity of the state to perpetrate this violence on its own people.  Despite some tepid attempts to control it after the events in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, the events of the last few days unequivocally show that police militarization continues apace — materially, culturally, and conceptually. Addressing militarization cannot fix the scourge of racism, but it could limit the tools by which racists can realize their goals. Slowing police militarization is not enough. It is time to roll it back.

Demilitarizing local police forces across America should be a central part of the Biden campaign’s platform. It seems unlikely at this juncture that the Trump administration would ever seriously consider such measures, leaving this to his successor, whether it is Joe Biden or someone else in 2024. Police militarization is both ineffective and widely unpopular across the political spectrum. If elected, Biden would have a significant mandate to fundamentally change the relationship of the police with the citizens they are ostensibly sworn to protect.

How to Get Started on Rolling Back Police Militarization

But Biden is worried that if he steps up the opposition will paint him as someone who wants to “de-fund” the police…so he may steer clear of this and continue to throw crap at a problem that needs leadership to repair.

1033 Program…what is it?

I agree that PDs need a SWAT to handle these sensitive situations but the whole department does not need to be snipe qualified.

This is where to begin the reform of police departments….then move on to training and community relations…..but military equipment should be sparingly shared.

If there is too much excess equipment then maybe dial back the orders that only make more profit for the makers…..maybe someone should look into the DoD and 1033 Program in depth.

The biggest obstacle to any reform or change will be those groups that call themselves a union….police unions……

Advocates argue that moderate reforms like enhanced training and greater community oversight have failed to curb police violence and misconduct.

But there’s a major, and usually insurmountable, obstacle to reform: police unions. Research suggests that these unions play a critical role in thwarting the transformation of police departments.

Union officials like John McNesby in Philadelphia, where I live and work as a scholar of law and the criminal justice system, do not deny this. Over the course of his 12-year career as president of the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, he has derided the city’s civilian review board and predicted in 2010 that beefed-up misconduct procedures would wind up “… at the bottom of the litter box.”

Personally, I do not consider so-called “police unions” as actual unions they are more like an association that does not work for labor at all but rather the hierarchy of the PDs.

Just a thought

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Would You Or Not?

Inkwell Institute

Civil Disobedience Series #1

The question was asked…..would you stand up to an oppressive regime or would you conform?

A great question for anyone who thinks to try and answer….and answer honestly.

Let me give my answer up front…..I have been rebelling since 1970….so my answer is I would step up and do what I feel is in the best interests of the American people.

To answer the question a piece that was written recently…..

To answer this question, let’s start by considering a now classic analysis by American organisational theorist James March and Norwegian political scientist Johan Olsen from 2004.

They argued that human behaviour is governed by two complementary, and very different, “logics”. According to the logic of consequence, we choose our actions like a good economist: weighing up the costs and benefits of the alternative options in the light of our personal objectives. This is basically how we get what we want.

But there is also a second logic, the logic of appropriateness. According to this, outcomes, good or bad, are often of secondary importance – we often choose what to do by asking “What is a person like me supposed to do in a situation like this”?

Before you answer this question it might help if you familiarize yourself with Title 18…Section 2385……

You do not need Google I will help you out….

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or

Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or

Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

As used in this section, the terms “organizes” and “organize”, with respect to any society, group, or assembly of persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new units, and the regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes, and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons.

Now after learning the penalties for “being a rebel”…..let me know what you would do.

“lego ergo scribo”

What Does De-Fund Mean?

The call these days is to de-fund the people because of the police abuses toward the people especially minorities.

I have written that I think the term “de-fund” is not the best term to use because it will be spun into something that does not represent the issue at all.

The once-obscure slogan has become a rallying cry for protesters calling out police brutality and racial disparities in policing.

Calls to defund the police have become a rallying cry for protesters calling out police brutality and racial disparities in policing. But there are plenty of questions about what that means.

Some activists are pushing for police funding to be redirected to Black communities for services like education, health care and housing. Others want to completely abolish local police forces.

  • Evolution: This used to be more of a thought bubble among activists and academics on the left, but it’s been going more mainstream in recent years, and the Floyd case has cemented that, per the Washington Post. The city of Minneapolis, for example, is taking steps to disband its department and New York City is cutting the NYPD budget, reports Newsweek. Still, the meaning of “defund the police” is on a spectrum, a Yale sociology expert tells CNN, with some definitions more radical than others.
  • A book: The movement has brought renewed attention to the 2017 book The End of Policing, by sociology professor Alex Vitale of Brooklyn College. “I’m certainly not talking about any kind of scenario where tomorrow someone just flips a switch and there are no police,” he tells NPR in an interview. “What I’m talking about is the systematic questioning of the specific roles that police currently undertake.” Most burglaries, for example, are driven by drug use, he notes. Better drug-treatment programs could help ease that.
  • Critics: Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf called defunding police “absurd” on Fox News Sunday, and Attorney General William Barr denied that systemic racism exists in US police departments. Last week, Fox’s Tucker Carlson called defunding the police a crazy idea that would mean “thugs are in charge,” per Fox.
  • Black Lives Matter: BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors tells WBUR that defunding is essential “because it means we are reducing the ability of law enforcement to have resources that harm our communities.” Instead of spending the money on armored vehicles, invest it in black communities, she says.
  • Semantics? “It’s not a slogan I’ll use,” says Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, referring to “defund the police,” per the Washington Examiner. But he does support fundamental changes in police roles. Activist and actor George Takei isn’t thrilled with the slogan, either. “Let’s be smart,” he writes. “Let’s not call this ‘defunding’ the police. That won’t fly with the public. I say, let’s ‘demilitarize’ the cops. Take that money and fund minority communities.”
  • John Oliver: He’s on board. In his latest Last Week Tonight, Oliver backs the idea and notes that it could benefit officers, too, per Deadline. “The concept is that the role of the police can then significantly shrink because they are not responding to the homeless or to mental health calls or arresting children in schools or really any other situation where the best solution is not someone showing up with a gun—that’s the idea of defunding the police.”
  • Congress: Democrats (including Booker) will unveil legislation Monday calling for a wide range of police reforms. Among other things, it would make it easier to prosecute officers for abuses, reports the Wall Street Journal.

All this illustrates what I said when the slogan became popular and the media picked up on it……it has lead to confusion and misunderstanding.

The Dems are not really helping by offering their idea of a reform for the PDs……

The Justice in Policing Act would:

  • Limit legal protections for police. For example, it would revise the federal criminal police misconduct statute to make it easier to prosecute officers who are involved in misconduct “knowingly or with reckless disregard.”
  • The package would also change “qualified immunity” protections for police “to enable individuals to recover damages when law enforcement officers violate their constitutional rights.”
  • Create a national database of excessive-force incidents.
  • Ban police chokeholds.
  • Ban racial profiling and boost requirements for police body cameras.
  • Grant subpoena power to the Justice Department to conduct “pattern and practice” investigations of potential misconduct and help states conduct independent investigations.
  • The measure stops short of calls by activists to “defund the police,” a push to dismantle or reduce financial resources to police departments that has struck new intensity in the weeks of protests since Floyd’s death

As I said….this just adds to the confusion and probably has NO chance in Congress….but it does look good for any upcoming elections.

Let’s say for a moment that this issue is successful…how do we reinvent our police departments?

This is a great start, and at the very least cities should require 100% of their police to be residents of their communities and emphasize public safety.

But there are other vital steps communities should consider.

All across America, we need police oversight boards that are independent of police departments, complete with subpoena and indictment powers, and that can impartially rule on police actions and matters.

We also need the leadership of police departments, the top authority, what we now call the Chief of Police, to be an elected civilian who’s main responsibility is to protect the community, not the cops.

I believe that police departments all over the nation have needed a reinvention to make them the servant of the public…kinda like the oath they take when they are employed but soon forgotten once they hit the streets and old biases take over.

Plus ‘police unions’ which are nothing more than cover to commit horrible crimes against the people they are sworn to protect… them what they are…….associations for the police.

We are now facing the day when we can make a difference in our society….will we step up or will we do what Americans do most of the time….push it aside for another day?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Remember The “Cowardly Lion”?

An episode of The Old Professor’s Emetic(vomitorium)

If you are old then you will remember the Wizard of Oz and the companions of Dorothy….the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion as they travel along the Yellow Brick Road.

This cinema character was afraid of just about everything from noises to his own shadow…..

About here one would be asking just what does this cinematic character have to do with anything, right?

Well for this post it has a correlation with the so called Hard Right in our politics……Some call it the Alt-Right but I prefer the term “hard”.

This group seems to write insulting diatribes about anything they do not agree with or afraid of and that is where the similarity with the “Cowardly Lion” begins.

The Old Guard of the GOP is afraid…afraid of liberals/democrats……afraid of socialism….afraid of immigrants….afraid of citizens with brown skin…….afraid of Muslims…….afraid of the media…..afraid of the voter….afraid of….well you get the idea…they are afraid of anything and everything that looks like change in this country….from voters to ideas…..

And like that Cowardly lion they use macho crap to look like they care….they use those morons with their guns and tac gear to show up at protests to intimidate the population watching.

These people are the COWARDS for they need weapons to try and enforce their belief.

Thanks to social media they can spread fear and loathing and unlike the “Cowardly Lion” of the Wizard of Oz the GOP will not find their courage for it is too far gone to be retrieved.

The pandemic we are currently facing illustrates just how pathetic the GOP old guard has become….Mitch…McCarthy, Nunes, et al……they are doing more harm to the country by carrying the genitals of the president around in orifices of their bodies….( an exaggeration but you get the idea)…….

Then there are those lameass “evangelists” that try to justify their existence by putting their followers at risk…..another sub-set of the “Cowardly Lion”……during the pandemic they defy local health restrictions to collect more cash from the faithful.

All in all…the GOP cannot locate their courage for they have been lying and cheating for so long they do not know where to look.

We should start by acknowledging that there is No “National Values”….there were at one time but those days are gone….

And, indeed, these are the sort of practices/values that most U.S. citizens agree are important. Most, but not all—not the 30 to 35 percent of Americans who constitute President Donald Trump’s infamous base. These citizens are typically intolerant and are uncomfortable with diversity. Their notion of inclusiveness does not go much beyond their own perceived community or group. And their respect for the rule of law is conditional at best. Thus, they appear energized by Trump’s rhetoric, which has overtones of classic fascism. But let’s leave this minority aside for the moment and just concentrate on Biden’s classic value claims for democratic America.

National Values: Reality or Propaganda?

Yes there is NO national values….and please do not get me started on that silliness some call the “American Dream”(probably a post to come)……

That Cowardly Lion has more than one face……the US Senate is full of them….and the loudest “Lion” is the leader of the US Senate, McConnell……he and his underlings have done more to undermine this country than all the protests since the 1970s.

This country is run by cowards.

Enough Said!

Learn Stuff!

“lego ergo scribo”

Why Not Try Non-Violence?

We all have well aware of the protests and the riots and violence that keeps breaking out.

30 years ago I presented a paper at a scholars conference at the Univ. of Louisville on the “Shortcomings In The Theory Of Non-Violence”…..I apologize but the original paper was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina…I lost a large portion of my pre-pc papers in that storm.

Let me say before I begin…I am not saying the a non-violent campaign has no place in protesting for change…only that it is not always a win even when it is declared to be one.

I have read many op-eds that call for these protesters to return to the days of Gandhi and MLK,Jr and their use of non-violence to achieve their goals.

Now I ask what did these movements achieve?

I actually wrote about this back in 2017 with the Charlottesville situation…….

In case you are too lazy to read this post then I shall break it down further……try to keep up.

Did the use of non-violence actually solve the problems of the movements?

Let us begin with Gandhi.

Basically, Gandhi’s non-violence campaign in India began around 1930….it all revolved around independence from the UK…..some of the other issues within the movement was an end to the class system, equality of the religions….(that is a simplistic explanation for brevity)…

Now fast forward to today…..India is independent…..religions are seldom tolerated….class system remains….just from those two I ask what did the non-violence campaign of Gandhi actually accomplish for the people of India?

Now let’s look at Americans favorite “rebel”…Martin Luther King, Jr…..first I am taking nothing away from the efforts of MLK, Jr and his movement….I am just pointing out what his campaign of non-violence accomplished for the Black people of America……

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sought to raise the public consciousness of racism, to end racial discrimination and segregation in the United States. While his goal was racial equality…..again it was more complex than my explanation but again for the sake of brevity and understanding I did it as simple as I could….

Once again fast forward to today….segregation has ended in the US (or has it?)…racial discrimination is as prevalent today as it was in 1957…..just not a blatant…..racism is still raging across the nation…..blacks did get the right to vote and are losing that right state by state….housing is still a problem….pay is also unequal…..

So I ask….what did the non-violence campaign of MLK,Jr actually accomplish for all the violence inflicted on the participants?

I think most blacks are sick of the “conversations” that so many leaders pretend will end the cycle of violence.  Most have tried to go about their citizenship in a proper manner….sadly the white establishment has not taken any steps to meet them in the middle

Here is a few thoughts from Thomas Jefferson (remember him)…..

“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

Plus I would like to throw a favorite quote of the slugs in the Tea Party from Jefferson back at them….

“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”