Tyrants and terrorists: They just love those big cities
Just suppose for a minute you are a terrorist. Okay, so it’s difficult for the average working or retired American to think of themselves as terrorists. That is generally the realm where students and academies thrive, at least in theory and ideology. But just try to imagine you are a terrorist and you want to put a nuke at the corner of Main and Central Streets in some American city. Do you choose San Francisco or Indio, California? Do you choose New York City or Ithaca? Dallas or El Paso, Texas? Chicago or Peoria, Illinois?
Where people are herded into high rises or spaced like sardines in a row of nine by twenty pens that are laughingly called apartments, row on row on row, slum after slum, the shock effect of a terrorist attack of any sort has the greatest impact where it takes out the most people and leaves the most visible devastation. Is anyone really going to bomb the salt flats of Utah or Nevada and hope to make a statement? No. It is absurd on the face of it and the only purpose for introducing an absurdity is to study the danger inherent in building enormous American cities, or any massive cities around the world for that matter.
Suppose you aren’t even a terrorist, just an illegal alien or somebody on the lam. Where can you find back alleys and junk neighborhoods where the people outnumber the roaches? Big cities! The larger the city, the higher the crime rate per capita, although it is embarrassing that my state, Arizona, outnumbers New York in major crimes and that is due to the fact Phoenix is now the sixth largest city in the nation.
People used to come to cities for the types of work available. Some wanted to get off the farm and out of the drudgery of daily sameness, weather fluctuation and lifelong neighbors into the lands of adventure and opportunity. So come they did. Los Angeles in 1942 was a spread out metroplex before that was even a word. Land was cheap. Most people came to earn money in the war production plants. Other people really did not want to leave their small home towns unless they sought an education to further their dream professions. But for every honest American who came from the small town to the big city, along came the pond scum to run the local underground, the network of crime family members, small time pickpockets to big time racketeers. And with them, they brought their babes, trollops whose best friend was whatever money they could save from their “professional” night jobs before age put them out of business.
Cities also grew around thriving corporations. What was Detroit without the automotive plants or Los Angeles without Lockheed, Hughes Aircraft and the motion picture industry? The Hollywood Hills, for the duration of my memory, was never the habitat of good ole boys with log cabins, it was the secluded area for the rich and famous or just rich.
Now gather them all together, the poor, the hoodlums, the working middle class, the rich, and dump them into an area where the water of their character or the gold of their bank accounts defines their level of placement. You still have a city, a big city, one from which there is no known defense against bioterrorism, only the threat of a huge wipeout. Same for a nuclear weapon or other terrorist device. Big city equals big target.
The tyrant doesn’t differ a lot. In big cities people hardly know who lives next door. Neighborliness is something for small towns, not big cities. You find your own friends where you can and keep them until they move on. No one is going to come to your aid in time of emergency, you’re on your own. As the political clubs emerge, no one has any idea about the agenda, the personal integrity or other qualifications of the candidates offered by the party. They vote party, not person, unless the person happens to be high profile before candidacy. As the tyrant establishes each big city precinct’s agenda, the people fall in line.
There is no room to escape to the hills or foment a rebellion against the abrogation of civil rights. People become used to taking orders from landlords, since few own their property and those few need a lot of money to afford city property. Once a person gets used to taking orders from a landlord, they get used to the changing city codes, ordinances and other rules. They no longer think, they simply follow … using the old rag “you can’t fight city hall” as an excuse for strict obedience against the most outlandish rules.
The individuals who have tried to fight the tyrant’s stranglehold have found that the judiciary has been purchased also. Every individual who goes up against a tainted hall of injustice comes out far the worse for it, because there was no unity among people who should have a common interest but don’t. They’ll wait and see if the guy who won’t toe the line wins and if he does, they’re all for him (as long as they don’t personally get involved) but if he loses, he’s a sucker who doesn’t understand the system.
Maybe this explains something of how tyrants take control over the big cities, where most of our American population lives now.
Would we have the benefits of a big city without the city? Tucson, Arizona has a university with a well known medical center, yet Tucson is No. 31 in size of American cities, far smaller than Phoenix. Both have bad crime rates, but Phoenix is higher. As to jobs, small towns are better for the entrepreneur, such as the grocer, the auto mechanic, the other service people and small businesses. A small town surrounded by landowners whose land is productive can survive when big cities have soup lines. Recession doesn’t hit as hard when the economic base is tied to the productivity of the land. That’s why the government has such a hard time with the boys who live by the Code of the Hills — they don’t surrender without a fight and they can hide where only the rabbits know the trails. In the city you might hide in a back alley for awhile but someone’s going to squeal. In the areas that still follow the code of the hills, no one knows a thing about your whereabouts.
It’s also easy to control the movement of city people by air, since airport “security” is going to identify everyone coming and going, by retinal scan or other device. Some people are willing to forfeit privacy under the delusion that it makes them safer. So if the plane is brought down by a surface to air missile, you are how safe?
If terrorists find big cities a welcome target for intimidation and vast damage, tyrants find them conveniently packaged stockyards of cattle for the slaughter. The unfortunate part of all this is that big cities exist and no one is going to leave them as ghost towns to take to the hills unless and until they do survive a terror attack. As to tyranny, it’s still going to be the more rural areas, the smaller towns, where people know each other and discuss issues that will be the backbone of any American freedoms we have left.
A major city is a tyrant’s best friend and a terrorist’s best target.
Someone should have thought about that before we allowed the developers to turn our nation into monstrous polluting metroplexes paved with asphalt and cement, teeming with crime and fear, bastions of anonymity and yet safe for no one.
Look at the controls cities are imposing, from bicycle helmets to subdivision uniformity and non-smoking laws, a veritable series of small reichs at the disposal of the tyrants.
Cities are the breeding grounds of the welfare class and the cheap dope peddlers, the nudie bars and adult book stores, the things that taint our moral ground and pollute our air, literally and figuratively. Our earlier Arizonans knew this and wanted to keep out big development. But the money won, and our cities grew, particularly Phoenix, now a sprawling Los Angeles of the desert.
People never learn.
“Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”