chicago made
itself violent?

it did. it used industrial-age resources to address its digital-age violence

The stumbling block to digital-age public safety has been violence reduction. A holdover public safety strategy from Chicago's industrial age, violence reduction has struggled in vain for six decades to merely reduce violence at times when Chicago had in place the digital-age resources that the city could have used to make itself safe.


   Violence reduction is a strategy of confinement that uses police force to attempt to confine Chicago's gangs within the poor, non-white neighborhoods from which they recruit their members, who are commonly juveniles lured or bullied into joiningViolence reduction remains Chicago's primary public safety strategy to this day.Violence reduction furthermore KEEPS CHICAGO VIOLENT by preventing the city from deploying its digital-age public safety resources to enable Chicago to realize a universally desired and digitally-realizable goal: that of MAKING CHICAGO SAFE for all residents.


At first, in the 1960's when Chicago was hit by an explosion of gang violence, the city arguably had no choice. The very suddenness of the rise of its heavily-armed, drug-dealing, youth-victimizing street gangs compelled Chicago to respond to this public safety threat with the industrial-age resources of law enforcement - its police, courts and prisons. 


Chicago adopted a public safety strategy of violence reduction, itself a holdover from the city's industrial age. A strategy of containment, violence reduction sought to contain gang violence within the poor, non-white neighborhoods from which the gangs recruited their underage members.  


The failure of violence reduction is seen in the extent to which Chicago's violence has spread citywide today. More than that, violence reduction has backfired, itself becoming  a cause of violence police, racial and citizen violence in Chicago.   


The digital age began in the 1980's. The miracle of modern communications technologies - of PC's and cell phones - has transformed life as we know it the space of a few decades.

But not in the field of public safety.

In a Chicago's digital-age violence has always been primarily about young people - juvenile gang members - not adults.


It is well known that the perpetrators (and victims) of most of Chicago's gang/drug/ gun/youth violence have always been poor, non-white juveniles bullied or lured into joining the heavily-armed, drug-dealing, youth-victimizing street gangs that arose in Chicago and other cities nationwide in the 1960's. Ovcer the years, Chicago, like other cities, has responded to its youth violence much as it responded to the adult criminal violence of its industrial age: with police, courts, prisons. Violence is violence. It must be responded to, whether adult or juvenile. 


But the use of adult-appropriate police force to address Chicago's largely juvenile violence over the past decades has not only failed - disastrously - to reduce violence, it has backfired, itself becoming a major cause of the violence that has now spread citywide. 


In the 1990's Chicago began addressing its youth violence not only as a traditional Public Safety (police) problem but also as a Public Health (medical and sociological) problem driven largely by poverty and equality.But this non-violent public safety strategy coexists uneasily at best with the violence of Chicago's longstanding public safety strategy of violence reduction.


The aim of violence reduction has always been to confine by police force the city's gang/drug/youth/gun violence within the very poverty-stricken, non-white neighborhoods to which public health professionals concentrate their efforts.The balance of these two approaches to Office of the Mayor continues to subordinate the city's  Public Health efforts to its overall strategty of Violence Reduction.   -----


It was also in the 1960's that Chicago and the rest of the world saw the rise of the so-called generation gap: the worldwide breakdown of trust and communication between young people and adults. ====The fact that City Hall now addresses Chicago's violence as a public health matter confirms its awareness that industrial-age violence reduction was a  wrong way to address the city's digital-age violence .

==== pre july 26 ===

And this history - a history of mounting violence from the 1960's to the present day - is best understand in terms of Chicago's violence-plagued transition from industrial-age to digital-age approaches to public safety. During these years, Chicago has used violence-exacerbating, industrial-age violence reduction tactics to address an entirely new, digital-age kind of violence arising in the 1960's among young Chicagoans living poor, non-white neighborhoods.


The digital age is commonly said to have begun in the 1980's. But the roots of the digital-age youth violence that afflicts Chicago today go back to the 1960's and the rise of the youth culture and the generation gap  that split young and old in nations around the world in the 1960's.

It was that Chicago saw the rise of its heavily armed, drug-dealing, youth-victimizing street gangs. began turning large areas of the city into the warzones made a terrible mistake when the city erupted into the youth violence that afflicts it today.

It was then that its heavily-armed, drug-dealing, youth-victimizing street gangs began turning huge areas of the city into the warzones that 

It used its police force to address its youth violence.  

The city's public safety strategy - violence reduction - was (and is today) a legacy from Chicago's industrial age. It failed. Disastrously. It never reduced violence. (Just look at Chicago's violence today.) And it backfired. It made Chicago violent.

Violence reduction used (and today still uses) the industrial-age force of Chicago's police, courts and prisons not to make Chicago safe but merely to reduce the youth-inappropriate, digital-age violence of the city's heavily-armed, drug-dealing, youth-victimizing street gangs. 

Violence reduction is a strategy of containment. Since the 1960's its aim as been to contain Chicago's gang/drug/gun/youth violence within the poor, nonwhite neighborhoods from which tens of thousands of at-risk children, often in their early teems, have been lured or bullied into joining Chicago's street gangs.

The outcome? By 2010, Chicago's 12,244 police officers had lost control of huge areas of the city to over 100,000 members of Chicago's gangs, with 25,000 more selling illicit (but now legalized) drugs in the suburbs. 

By the 1990's, Mayor Richard M. Daley was saying that Chicago had lost two generations of young people to gangs and drugs. Adults, he said, had failed to solve the problem. Today the toll of lost generations is three and counting fast to four, with no end in sight.

Violence reduction has not only failed, it has backfired. From the onset, it has been a force multiplier of Chicago's violence, a major source of the citywide fear and mistrust among Chicagoans of all ages, races and backgrounds that pervades Chicago today. 

Its failings reported and reinforced daily in Chicago's violence-obsessed news media, have produced the citywide mistrust among citizens, police and City Hall that leads most Chicagoans today to accept wartime levels of violence as permanent, unalterable facts of Chicago life, like brutal Chicago winters. 

Nowhere in Chicago are Chicagoans talking seriously about ways making Chicago SAFE. Chicagoans gave up on safety long ago. It never had to this way. 

This violence centers on the poor, non-white juveniles lured and bulled into joining the heavily-armed, non-white street gangs selling illicit drugs throughout the Chicagoland area.




And it doesn't have to be. Chicago has long had in place not some but all of the digital age resources it needs to make itself SAFE.

All along, Chicago could have used the local media of its digital-age public communications system to connect Chicagoans and City Hall to advance the universally desired goal of making Chicago SAFE.

But it didn't, and Chicago has yet to do so. In part this is so because five decades into the digital age the city continues to rely primarily on the industrial-age violence of its police to try merely to contain or reduce the digital-age violence of the heavily armed, drug dealing, youth victimizing street gangs that have terrorized Chicago since the 1960's. 

But this is so also because the public and commercial media that comprise Chicago's public communications system have yet use their resources to help Chicago make itself safe.



Absent a digital-age media to help Chicago realize a digital-age age public safety strategy, Chicago's head remains stuck in the sand of the industrial age. Chicagoans and their leaders can't think and act as a city committed to its own best interests.



Six decades of Chicago's public safety strategy of violence reduction failed, disastrously. And coupled with decades of media accounts of Chicago's wartime levels of violence and the city's failure even to reduce it, violence reduction has backfired as well.


Today most Chicagoans have given up on the possibility of safety. The city more or less accepts violence as a permanant, unalterable, even natural fact of Windy City life, like brutal Chicago winters. In these ways, Chicago has made itself violent. 

Instead, five decades into the digital age, Chicago's head remains stuck in the sand of industrial age in the sphere of public safety. For six decades it has been relying primarily on its its police violence in consistent failed attempts not to make itself safe but merely to reduce the youth violence of the heavily armed, drug dealing, youth victimizing street gangs that arose in the 1960's along with the rise of generation gap and the communications between young and people adults

it is using its digital-age media to keep itself violent. It has yet to realize that, in a digital age, public safety is not just a traditional public safety (police) problem or even a public health (medical and psychological) problem. It is also, and equally, a public communications (media) problem. 

This abuse of modern interactive communications technologies Digital-age Chicago, like cities everywhere, is still transitioning (or evolving) from its industrial age. The transition The wartime levels of violence and, in the eyes of many, the citywide breakdown of law and order that the city is experiencing today are best understood in light of the difficulties the city is experiencing in making this transition.

Well into the digital age - for the past four decades - Chicago's responindustrial-age yet to enter the digital age in the sphere of public safety. 


in its grip today is a different order of violence from the city's industrial-age violence.


It is a relatively new, media-driven kind of violence centering, ostensibly, on young people, not adults. In fact, its true center is the breakdown of communication between young people and adults that has occurred worldwide since the 1960's with rise of the never-trust-anyone-over-30 generation-gap with the drug/music/media generation gap.

In does not merely occur in the digital age, but is substantially fueled by the very digital media that over the past four decades have transformed life as we know it.



Superficially, digital-age violence it's about young people, not adults. The violence that erupted in the 1960's from Chicago's heavily-armed, drug-dealing, youth-victimizing street gangs, for instance, has seen as a form of youth violence

It's also seen as gun violence. But these labels overlook 


More essentially, its about the media-fueled generation gap: about the division of young people and adults into separate and often alien cultures that arose worldwide in the 1960's in today's ever-more media-driven world.

Chicago's digital-age violence can be seen as an instance of this phenomenon.

And six decades of Violence Reduction have left Chicago with the of violebackfired. Disastrously. In part because throughout these years Chicago has insisted on using industrial-age police violence pitted adults against children. In 2010, it pitted Chicago's 11,000 police officers against the 100,000+ mostly teenaged members of the heavily-armed, drug-dealing, youth-criminalizing, youth-victimizing street gangs that had terrorized the city since the youth-culture, generation-gap years of the 1960's.

gangs. Chicago' longstanding violence reduction public safety made the city violent whose use of industrial-age police violence     addressing the digital-age violence of gangs . 

. Suddenly, during these pre-digital age years, the city's criminals (and victims) were mostly young people, often children. By 1992, Mayor Richard M. Daley was openly saying that Chicago had lost two generations of young people to gangs and drugs.

Today the total of lost generations of youth is three and counting fast to four, with no end in sight. Violence reduction has not only failed to reduce violence, it has backfired. Chicago's violence, and its breakdown of law and order, is now citywide. Read more.




Chicago's use of 

Chicago's failed struggle to curb its digital-age violence with the public safety strategy of violence reduction began in the 1960's with the use of an industrial-age public safety of violence reduction. The objective was to contain the exploding violence of the city's heavily-armed, drug-dealing, youth-victimizing street gangs within the poor, non-white neighborhoods that were home to the gangs. 

In the 1960's it pitted Chicago's adult white police officers against the city's mostly teenaged, non-white gang members. 

By the 1970's Chicago, like most American cities, was experience warfighting the so-called War on Drugs 

By the 1990's, violence reduction had failed. Disastrously. Gangs now controlled huge portions of the city. Mayor Richard M. Daley freely admitted that adults had failed to make Chicago safe. "Chicago," he said, "has lost two generations of young people to gangs and drugs." At one point, he even challenged Chicago high school student leaders "to formulate a drug policy of your own."

By 2010, Demand for illicit drugs - mostly the cannabis that has since been legalized - had enabled Chicago's 100,000 non-white, mostly teenaged gang members to overwhelm Chicago's 11,000 police.

It keeps itself violent today by relying primarily on its law enforcement resources to strategy. In the 19Well into the digital age, Chicago mistake made Chicago violent. 

Well into the digital age, it keeps Chicago violent today. But it never had to be this way. Chicago could have made itself safe. And it still can.

More on How Chicago made itself violent.

More on How Chicago keeps itself violent.

This division between young and old was an inner-city instance of the generation gap ("never trust anyone over 30") that drove a wedge between young people and adults worldwide in the '60's. Fueling this gap were the music and the media that empowered the youth culture and its alienation from the adult world.

In the 1960's it began using its police, courts and prisons to contain within its poor, non-neighborhoods the exploding violence of its heavily-armed, drug-dealing, youth-victimizing street gangs.

Like other cities, it waged a War on Drugs. This war pitted one form of violence against another: industrial-age police violence against digital-age gang violence. But police weren't fighting adults. For the most part, they were fighting young people, often underage children.   

Yet modern violence won, hands down. The 100,0000+ members of Chicago's mostly teen-aged street gangs overwhelmed the 11,000 members of Chicago's undermanned and outgunned police force. Today, gangs control huge portions of the city. And gang/drug/gun/youth violence is now, suddenly and alarmingly, a citywide phenomenon. City leaders are at a loss as to how to deal with it.

Violence reduction backfired. It made Chicago violent. And it keeps Chicago violent today. But it never had to be this way. Chicago could have made itself safe. And it still can.


DIGITAL-AGE chicago 

now USING 
all SIX of
INEFFECTIVELY (and at times


  • Nearly six decades of failure to make Chicago less violent than it is today

  • Violence now a CITYWIDE problem

  • Three generations of Chicago youth lost to violence, counting fast to four​​

  • Billions of taxpayer dollars spent annually on failed attempts to reduce violence

  • Zero attempts ever to make Chicago  SAFE

  • No anti-violence plan prepared with the input of all Chicagoans

  • No attempt ever to make use of Chicago's powerful media to reduce violence

  • City leaders Chicago's violence


Chicago made itself violent by using industrial-age violence reduction resources to address its uniquely digital-age gang/drug/gun/youth violence.

But digital-age violence is not the adult violence of Chicago's industrial age. It's about children: about the hundreds of thousands of children from poor, non-white neighborhoods who since the 1960's have been lured or bullied into joining Chicago's notorious street gangs . 

Like other cities, Chicago since the 1960's has persisted in addressing this entirely new, youth-victimizing kind of violence with industrial-age violence reduction tactics (police, courts, prisons).  This punitive approach has not only failed, disastrously, it has backfired, itself becoming a distinct cause of the wartime levels of violence and political hostility that have brought Chicago to its knees today.

Eventually responding in the 1990's to the inadequacy of police-centered approaches to violence, the City of Chicago began to addresses its violence, in addition, as a public health problem, with a focus on providing medical and psychological support for at-risk teens. While this approach has saved lives, it hasn't kept Chicago. Yet Chicago remained violent. And today its public safety strategy is still violence reduction.

Chicago must pull its head out of the industrial age, violence-reduction sand when it comes public safety. It must discard a pernicious Violence Forever mindset that for decades has inured Chicagoans to wartime levels of violence, lulled people into accepting violence as a harsh fact of Windy City life, like brutal Chicago winters.

Violence reduction has failed, disastrously, even to reduce violence. It's made Chicago violent.