Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Sixth Floor Museum: An Anarchist Review

I was just in Dallas and wanted to see the sights. As it turns out, the only real sight in Dallas is the museum that commemorates John F. Kennedy’s assassination. It must be sad to be a city only known for where someone was shot. But I digress.

What nuggets of wisdom did The Anarchist Review glean from the experience? Did I finally crack the case? Figure out Lee Harvey Oswald’s true motives? Unfortunately the answer is no. Despite walking over the same area thousands of people have walked over, and watching the same footage thousands of people have pored over, no new revelations on this great criminal mystery came to my keen mind.  But some important observations I do have.  (My thoughts on the crime investigation at the end).

The museum is a government museum, and as with all things coming from that fountain of guns and propaganda, must be taken with a grain of libertarian salt, if you will. However, to be fair I do feel the government is not trying to hide things in the museum and does its best to give accurate information. You just need to understand their engrained biases.

One of the most interesting aspects (outside of the intriguing criminal investigation) was a board near the end of the museum about results of the shootings.  The first thing on the list is that congress passed a law that made it a federal crime to kill a president or vice president.

Are you kidding me? What is the government’s solution to everything: write some words down on a paper to add to the long list of laws that no one reads. The layers of lunacy in this are just too much. If only there had been a federal law against killing the president, I am sure Lee Harvey Oswald would have put down his rifle, traded it for an American flag, and joined the crowds of people cheering the visit of President Kennedy.  

The other even more disturbing thing about the law is that it means the death of us commoners is not a federal crime. What does this say about a government By the people, for the people, and of the people? If the governments put protection of itself over protection of the people, does that not make it government By government, for government, and of government?

What was the number two listed outcome from the shooting? A large increase in security spending. More money to the secret service and CIA. It is curious every tragedy almost inevitably leads to an increase in federal spending. 9/11 led to an explosion in the security state, Kennedy’s assassination did the same for the secret service.  

After the section on the direct results was a section on the legacy of President Kennedy. This is wear government bias comes in strong. Clearly it is a museum memorializing Kennedy’s death, so it is not going to air all his dirty laundry. Kennedy adoration is particularly strong. The clips from his speeches are eloquent. He is smooth and good-looking. Definitely the Barak Obama of his time.  The video presentation focuses on four things considered his legacy: The Civil Rights Act, the space race, volunteerism, and the arts. There are major issues with his approaches to these things but those will be covered in other anarchist reviews. I want to note a particular paragraph at the end of the exhibit.

The paragraph states that historians debate the effectiveness of JFK’s time and what benefit he actually created. But after discussing all the different opinions, the paragraph states his effect has been “overwhelmingly positive.” So basically, regardless of the facts or whatever happened, despite what historians say, JFK is a huge success because we say so. As is typical of government the guy has to be a success because he was part of government and what government does is always right.

Even I was almost brought to tears by the video they made about his life. Inspiring music, inspiring speeches, apparently good causes. What is not to love? They also show some polls that confirm how American’s have consistently rated JFK as the best or among the best presidents of all time. Is this based on data and reality, or a successful PR campaign? Based on what I saw at the museum, it is fully and entirely the result of nice speeches and a smiling face, good video shots and not a scrap of reality.


Notes: I don't really buy into most or any of the conspiracy theories. However I do find it interesting that the group that most clearly benefited from the assassination was the CIA an secret service. If there was some organization behind it, that would be my guess. Likely of course they would work through a mob group, not themselves, an only a very few would know about it. But honestly it seems unlikely. It appears as if Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, but I would not be surprised if he did not. 

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