“What struck me” journalist Christian Parenti said in a recent Truthout interview, referring to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, “was the fact that these local towns and states around the region were sending the only resources they had to New Orleans: weapons and militarized gear.
When you live in the Fourth Reich, under the Illegal, misnamed and unconstitutional Patriot Act and its many additions, you can expect exactly what we are getting. The German People suffered under the Third Reich and its Enabling Acts, essentially in the same way, except that the SA, the SS, the Gestapo and the Wehrmacht didn't have the technological power to oppress that the Fourth Reich's similar agencies has.
Yes, CTS, as you say, "stop assigning partisan names" to the mere front-men --- and start calling this 'thing' what it really is: EMPIRE, a Disguised Global Capitalist Empire, this "Empire of Chaos" as Pepe Escobar calls it, the "Empire of Illusion" as Hedges calls it, and this highly integrated, but well hidden, six-sectored; corporate, financial, militarist, media/propaganda, extra-legal, and dual-party Vichy-political facade of the Global Empire merely 'posing' as, and HQed in, our former country and using the "apparatus" of the U.S. state's superpower status to facilitate the global elite's agenda of a New World Order of EMPIRE.
BTW, CTS, as Morris Berman wrote in his prescient book of this article's suggested New Dark Ages:
As Zygmunt Bauman hauntingly puts it, “In the case of an ailing social order, the absence of an adequate diagnosis…is a crucial, perhaps decisive, part of the disease.”13
Berman, Morris (2011-02-07). Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire (p. 22). Norton. Kindle Edition.
We must wake the fuck up and stop wasting time complaining about and being fooled by the mere political clowns and front-men of the necocon 'R' Vichy Party and the neoliberal-con 'D' Vichy Party facade of EMPIRE --- and concentrate of the otherwise undiagnosed and disguised EMPIRE that most American voter lemmings don't have the foggiest idea about.
Educate the masses about this damn EMPIRE that is bankrupting them, killing their kids, amping-up domestic tyranny, expanding resource wars abroad, and has already stolen their country!
If we do this, we can ignite the essential Second American Revolution against Empire --- as the original American Revolution was against the old world British Empire so obvious that they dressed in Red Coats --- but now the 2nd American Revolution can be non-violent and only 'excise' EMPIRE by exposing the Cancerous Empire of all Maladies!
Good assessment, Mr. Koehler:
"The driving force is institutional: government, the mainstream media, the military-industrial economy. These entities are converging in a lockstep, armed obsession over various enemies of the status quo in which they hold enormous power; and this obsession is devolving public consciousness into a permanent fight-or-flight mentality. Instead of dealing with real, complex social issues with compassion and intelligence, our major institutions seem to be fortifying themselves – with ever-increasing futility – against their imagined demons."
When Mars rules, every construct is perceived as (or through) a fight, and fights call for armies and armaments. This MENTALITY--armed, dangerous, delirious and as delusional as any serial killer is what now "runs the place."
As the Great Depression advanced in 1930 the economist John Maynard Keynes was asked if anything like the depression had ever previously occurred. Keynes answer: "yes it was called the dark ages and lasted 400 years". Fortunately 10% of US voters were voting for socialists or communists candidates and other progressive third party candidates like Huey Long had many followers, thereby pushing FDR to take a progressive approach rather than pandering to the 1% who caused the depression.
With Obama pandering to the 1% who caused the 2008 meltdown at the expense of the 99% as his way of moving forward, the US and much of the rest of the world has been placed on a downward trajectory that keeps looking more like a new dark age.
Spot on, CTS! You indict the malady in a few words. The malady is the problem. Let's attack all partisan politics and find ourselves on common ground. Our job is to identify that common ground and make people realize they must identify and own it.
Resurgence of the hierarchy.
Post WWII it seemed natural to continue society as a quasi- military organization. It was the common organizing principle for a radically diverse group of people. Suburban nuclear families replaced platoons and companies,while maintaining and extending the housing divide between 'officers' and 'enlisted.'
Each group that demands equal rights and access undercuts that absolute hierarchy and makes assigning authority based on appearance unreliable. So power seeks to reinforce its failing authority by allying itself with Abrahamic religions, which also promote rigid hierarchy and gender roles.
euro-Christianity was designed to be a conqueror's religion. American culture requires an enemy to strive against and defeat. A match made in heaven for continuing the hierarchy of the military regime, while draining off human and capital resources from a population questioning authority. Starve out the opposition.
You would be amazed how few people know anything about The Patriot act. They just go by the name. If you question or oppose it, you're not a patriot. Therefore you are a terrorist/enemy/anti-american/all-the-above.
Complex issues, but all of this has been strikingly evident. We just don't seem to know what to do about it. Even those on the left have been fractured for years, ironically by class, middle class vs. the poor. We watch the impoverishment of the country, the apparent growing censorship, the stripping away of fundamental rights, and the militarization needed to guard against a people's backlash. Who knows, maybe younger people don't even know how drastically the nation has changed since Reagan. Regardless, people don't seem to know what to do about it.
True, and I think the reasoning behind this is the belief that there's nothing we can do about it, anyway. We can huff and puff, furiously sign petitions, even occasionally gather to peacefully march in a designated protest zone (as long as we all behave). Government has no compelling reason to listen. All the tools are in place to keep the "masses" adequately intimidated.
Of a similar vein, an otherwise sane and seemingly rational friend of mine tried to defend Homeland Security's purchase of 1.6 billion rounds of ammo. Rather than consider that it was for enhancing the power of the police state over its citizens, he said something to the effect that it was done to corner the market so that terrorists and other evil bad guys could not get there hands on it.
This is just an incredible example of somebody who joined the cult, drank the kool-aid, attended the reunion, and bought the T-shirt. And no matter what argument I offered to counter his opinion, he could not and would not fathom any alternative to his thoroughly brain-washed and brain-drained opinion.
The Corp/Gov/MSM/MIC D & R parties' propaganda had convinced him of its holiness. This is the sort of crap that we face out there. It is truly incredible how some people willingly blind themselves to the truth. I feel a great sense of loss.
Thanks for mentioning mainstream media. They were pivotal in launching the 03 Iraq invasion, They've become the courtesans of government/military/fear machine, to put it nicely. Does anyone need Tom Brokaw pulling in 70 million a year while he writes his book telling us all about our parents? My Dad was in WWII and told me all about it. They have self proclaimed themselves as a new priest class, who will tell US who WE are and what WE want-going back to "how much we all liked Reagan".
They told us how necessary Iraq was, and even told us how in favor of it we were. Funny, nobody I knew wanted it...
They have so godamn much power these days and are mostly a bunch of cowards. None of them would ever interrupt their million dollar newscast and say the war is wrong, like Cronkite did. Dark Age? The media is "showing it" this "season," They know it is important for us to know.
A propos of J M Keynes and the Thirties Depression, it's worth noting that this was a period when the US and the UK governments followed different economic theories about coping with mass unemployment and the large-scale closing down of factories etc. (Rather like a scientific experiment repeated and tested in different laboratories.). But the US levels of unemployment were only really eased with the outbreak of war, whilst the British unemployment rates were coming down prior to 1939. Odd that Keynes is supposed to have been such a great success - as his theory was followed by the US government and rejected by the Uk government.!
Had there been anything like the Great Depression before the 1930s? Yes -: throughout the 19th century there were a great many recessions, some very deep and longlasting. The worst possibly was that of the 1880s, with very widespread long-terrm unemployment affecting almost every type of industry: as Lord Randolph Churchill noted, whichever way you looked, whatever the industry, it was dead - coal was dead, cotton manufacturing was dead, shipbuilding was dead, the steel industry too was dead. And there was even a belief that capitalism had reached a point of imminent collapse. How odd that Keynes felt he had to go back to a feudal period for a historical parallel! Crises come and go and Marx explained how this cyclical lurching from growth to recession was the outcome of the competitive nature of capitalism.
And bout those US "socialst and communist" candidates of the 1930s, I believe it to be the case that all of these stood for programmes of reforms - none of them stood for a complete change as a matter of urgency, for Socialism and nothng but Socialism, for a society of commmon ownership - a society wthout a class system,without the division betwen the haves and the have-nots, the employers and the employed, rich and poor - and endless wars. As a "dyed-in=the-wool" Socialist, I do get a bit cheesed off sometimes about the way such terms as socialist and communist are misused...Progressive is one thing - revolution is something else altogether..
Lastly, when Obama was campaigning, with his mantra about "change we can believe in", surely it was balatantly obvious then that this was just another snake-oil salesman, trying to sell you the proverbial pig in a poke, as per? I'm old and have poor eyesight and live the other side of the world, but this was such a blatant con that even I could spot it - so why didn't you guys spot it? Didn't the penny drop when you saw him on TV greeted so warmly as a guest to the White House by Dubbya and wife? remember how pally the two of them were?
No, that is a big point people do not talk about on the Left. Younger people generally have NO IDEA how much we lost in this country because of Reagan. Because he had mainstream media in his pocket, the young just draw a big blank about the 80s, without even wondering whether big changes happened which are affecting their well being. If you bring it up, you may be told to drop it since "it was so long ago.
"despite the long, honored tradition of protest and civil disobedience"
Just wondering when the tradition of protest and civil disobedience was last honoured in the USA. It wasn't honoured in the 1960s and early 1970s; I recall Mayor Daley's thugs beating up people demonstrating at a political convention; I recall the murder of some civil rights workers in some third-world southern state. I doubt if it was honoured in the 1930s, and certainly those indigenous Americans who protested back in the 1800-1900 period usually ended up getting shot..........whilst disobedient slaves didn't have much fun either.
"to pass flawed information about nuclear-weapon design to Iran, which may actually have furthered Iran’s weapons program"
What nuclear weapons programme was that, Mr Koehler?
"euro-Christianity was designed to be a conqueror's religion. American culture requires an enemy to strive against and defeat. A match made in heaven for continuing the hierarchy of the military regime, while draining off human and capital resources from a population questioning authority. Starve out the opposition."
All - (and there are too many of them) present and contentiously competing "religions, invention of man" were designed to be "conqueror's religions". To compliment, that invention, the mad genius that was early curious man, invented "the games" as convenient and useful "opiates for the masses".
"“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca 4BC-65AD
And that is repugnant hole we find ourselves in today.
The issue is not “politics in America”, that is “Republican vs Democrat”. It is much, much bigger than that: At issue is to very rapidly end an outbreak of a “scourge on humanity” that has accepted as its twisted goal, the reversal of human social progress back to the medieval or even “the dark ages” era.
While it may be true that the inciting cause of the “scourge” are the unintended consequences of past historic missteps , made by American and European powers, it must be recognized now, as the dreadful monster that now exhibits its existence, “ISIS”, and the exponentially more dreadful “thing”, its uber wealthy, genius, insatiable hedanistic, narscisic inventors dreams it becomes.
One can not tell me that as of this day, in mid May, 2015, dossiers do not exist in all the world capitols of likely members to such a fraternity of inventors.
The military-industrial complex is one of the most foolish examples of time, money and human life ever. Pretty soon people will realize you can't force someone to do what they don't want to. Period.
True, and what's so disturbing is that, as was true of Nazi Germany, the "mainstream" ignore or excuse-away the appalling changes we've seen since the 1980s. The US has pursued the same dictatorial agenda, relying on class as the force used to pit people against each other. The middle class are our Aryans, the poor are the "sub-races." Even liberals haven't been particularly concerned about the fact that we've stripped the poor of a list of fundamental civil and human rights. To ensure that there will be no push-back this time, liberal media were put into use to promote middle class elitism while the poor have been pitted against each other by race.
We're pretty much at the point where only those who are of use to employers/the corporate state are recognized as legitimate human beings. Fear of job loss/impoverishment keeps people obedient.
Of course you can force -- or for that matter, convince -- people to do what they don't want to do. Our most basic instinct is that of survival. The price of "failure to comply" can be too high.