I talked at length with my mother the other night, and in an unusual turn of conversation, we ended up chatting for nearly two hours about politics, the world, the war, the economy, and life for our loved ones long after we’re gone.
Mom mused over world events and the possible outcomes of the war on Iraq. She hinted that she felt like she was living under some sort of Communist regime, where the State was all-powerful and its subjects were at the whim and decrees of their appointed masters. She worried that her grandson could grow up in an environment where his every movement and action is monitored under an Orwellian state of affairs.
Now my mother would make the claim that she is no extraordinarily deep thinker or political whiz. She would say she is just a civilian mom who is fed up with Big Brother on her back, in her home, and trampling through all parts of the world on her dollars. Mom doesn’t claim to be able to make the proper distinctions in terms of ideological concepts, but I consider her smarter than the average American because she asks all the right questions, and isn’t afraid to answer them in a way that deviates from the usual utterance. In fact, she doesn’t know anything about Orwell’s 1984, except she’ll describe similar circumstances in her very own words.
As I explained to my Mom in terms of the present war, we are living under fascist statism in the United States, with its related Imperialist ambitions running roughshod over peoples abroad that have no desire to be "democratized" or Americanized. It’s against the rules, you see, to want to live two-hundred years behind us, in stone houses, praising your own God, on your own land.
However, be certain that the same does not hold true for the aspirations of others, for what would happen if the Chinese decided to mount a presumptuous campaign to "liberate" blacks from U.S. ghettos, or to "liberate" poor people from their "rich oppressors?" Strangely enough, such an undertaking would probably seem appropriate to the rest of the non-Western, non-capitalist world.
But our leaders gloss over the war and carnage by speaking of "democracy" and "unity" in pretty and tempting tones, and they assign the main propaganda duty to a soft-spoken Texan who can’t possibly come off as anything but well-intentioned, laid-back, and humanitarian. After all, if you are going to try and sell mass murder, do your best to see that the bulk of the target market buys the product. In spite of the boy-next door spokesman with the sleepy drawl, what the party line really means is that the State and its elected leaders are the righteous arbiters of what is right and wrong, good and bad, and we, along with the rest of the world, had better not dare question it. After all, the U.S. Cold War conquest was supposed to be its checkmate on all of humankind well into perpetuity.
I watched conservative Michael Medved — on CNN the other day — sounding off that some Seattle dupe wanted to pass a local resolution naming support for the troops, while the malevolent lefties on the Seattle City Council were not as eager about such a declaration, and therefore didn’t opt for it. Medved spoke of this lack of "support" with great disdain, as if the lack of total unity behind some hollow affirmation by a bunch of trifling politicians inevitably translates into "leftist," "anti-American," and all the predictable catchphrases.
Such silly resolutions, of course, are merely time-wasting, government-decreed threats. Their purpose is to try and get us in line behind the collective mindset and promise to shut up and keep our dissent on a back burner so as not to upset the collective, fascist order. We thereby note that those who do not exclaim great exhilaration for the State’s resolutions proclaiming self-greatness are indeed not "one of them" (whoever "they" are), and are therefore against them, by virtue of the most simplistic and mindless logic.
On the contrary, to not be one of them is a plus point, for it means that you have gone out on a limb to think for yourself, rather than follow the rest of the fools into the gas chamber.
Just what is "supporting the troops?" Has anyone yet defined this? Of course it’s just more meaningless, murky propaganda meant to "out" those who don’t march lockstep behind the Imperialists and their wars. It’s a tall story to attempt to say that anyone — except perhaps the most militant and obscene leftist — does not "support" the individual soldier whose life is at risk in this war. On the contrary, those against this war support human life, peace, and prosperity for all, whereas the warmongers have no misgivings about leaving their children behind in a nation of perpetual war, where the militarization of society becomes a way of life in order to stay secure in a world where we are despised.
Note how the neocons, media shills, bureaucrats, and pseudo-patriots continuously berate the war dissenters and taunt them with their self-described, patriotic status. "We love America and you don’t," they sneer, in their pretentious, smug little editorials. They flimsily equate the skeptical grandmother or fed up autoworker with the revolutionary pro-Marxist who lives in a tree, fending off capitalism and human progress under the pretext of some ridiculous owl.
We are all supposed to be together on this latest undertaking, don’t you know? We are supposed to go along with the media and the politicians who have engaged in non-partisan killing in order to grow this great, new collective mindset. We saw it during Senior’s Gulf War, wherein unity, togetherness, UN veneration, and spineless yellow ribbons were the order of the day.
Thus we find ourselves in yet another war that cannot be legitimized or held up as righteous, no matter how relentless the song and dance. Even the average American is beginning to question what winning really means, where this thing will go post-fighting, and how the heck we are ever going to get out of this mess. Of course we won’t; these latest Imperial ambitions will keep us in that region of the world forever, with more "freedom operations" to come.
Meanwhile, at home, there are two versions of the Patriot Act holding sway over us. The latest version — Son of Patriot — is still misunderstood by the average Joe who is clueless because he’s held in a stupor by the relentless rah-rah of wartime spectacle created by the networks. Our politicians strategize to take advantage of the circumstances created by all of this mindless war unity in order to shove another massive increase in federal powers down our throat. Increased active surveillance, increased database surveillance, forced DNA procurements, the freedom to grope consumer credit reports, new citizen spy programs, and anti-encryption laws are all a part of our future, thanks to Ashcroft and his fellow fascists in Washington.
Meanwhile, we operate under a system of nationalized airlines and airports, wherein the outward appearance is that of private ownership, but in reality, everything in that industry is subject to the rules and regulations of myriad federalized bureaucracies that were created by the State in order to serve the State and its interests.
Post-9/11, I’ve actually heard Americans exclaim how great it is that El Al Israel Airlines has such splendid security, and that American airline security goals should strive for such flawlessness. "They don’t have problems with terrorists," the admirers say, "because they know how to take care of business." Apparently, the worshippers of statism believe it’s a great thing to be yanked off the airplane toilet by a group of thugs with submachine guns, because constipation has kept you in there suspiciously too long. Nevertheless, a time where the United States finds itself mimicking the militarized, authoritarian Israeli State is likely not too far off.
Mussolini would be proud of America’s new fascist direction, as his motto was "tutto nello Stato, niente al fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato," or, everything within the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.
Where is the money going to come from to rebuild this Middle East hellhole that we are "liberating?" Ask a silly question and get a silly answer. Fortune magazine recently put that reconstruction tab at $100 billion, but estimates by others are at $200 billion and up. And that does not include long-term occupation costs, which could mean billions more in the annual budget.
American corporations have long been lined up at the trough to receive their handouts by way of U.S. reconstruction policies in Iraq. Halliburton, for one, is already on the receiving end of cushy cost-plus arrangements (guaranteed profits), and is slated to run military facilities in Turkey. Countless others, in addition to Halliburton, are now getting their big payoffs for past provisions to selected politicos.
The war is troublesome enough, but the real turmoil starts when our government occupies and rebuilds Iraq, then sets its sights on the rest of the uncooperative Arab nations. On the home front, disorder begins when bombs are set off on buses, in schools, in nightclubs, and in packed football stadiums. Even while knowing what Muslim fanaticism is capable of, do Americans still kid themselves that this will not be the result? But perhaps our politicians really believe that killing Muslims, occupying a Muslim country, setting up a puppet government, taking over its resources, and threatening the rest of the Arab nations will have no repercussions here in the United States. And perhaps the American public is foolish enough to believe them.
From a statement by Indiana Senator Richard Lugar:
The Iraqi people have suffered for decades at the hands of their leaders. We want to contribute to the creation of fundamental structures for the people of Iraq to enjoy democracy and economic growth. The American people must understand that U.S. military and civilian personnel will be in Iraq for an extended period of time. Most experts believe that years of public investment and expert guidance will be required to establish Iraq as a secure and responsible member of the world community. Failure to stay the course in Iraq would risk great damage to U.S. credibility — particularly after the last several months of fractious diplomacy over the propriety of military force. Leaving Iraq prematurely also could lead to regional instability, ethnic warfare, failure to eliminate all Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and the establishment of terrorist bases on Iraqi territory.
Mussolini co-authored a definition of fascism in 1932, along with Giovanni Gentile, wherein he said that fascism "believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. The Fascist accepts life and loves it, knowing nothing of and despising suicide: he rather conceives of life as duty and struggle and conquest, but above all for others — those who are at hand and those who are far distant, contemporaries, and those who will come after."
In addition, he added, "for Fascism, the growth of empire, that is to say the expansion of the nation, is an essential manifestation of vitality, and its opposite a sign of decadence. Peoples which are rising, or rising again after a period of decadence, are always imperialist; and renunciation is a sign of decay and of death."
This spells out the present objectives of the U.S. government, and that is to control and run the Arab nations of the Middle East for the purpose of spreading the "democratic" Empire and the American way of life; subsidizing American corporatist State interests; and benefiting the political interests of our Israel allies.
Mussolini went on to say,
The foundation of Fascism is the conception of the State, its character, its duty, and its aim. Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State. The conception of the Liberal State is not that of a directing force, guiding the play and development, both material and spiritual, of a collective body, but merely a force limited to the function of recording results: on the other hand, the Fascist State is itself conscious and has itself a will and a personality — thus it may be called the “ethic” State.
Perhaps Americans are too easily thrilled by all of the puffy propaganda, the show of false, forced unity, and the filtered war news to notice where the finest of our country’s founders had hoped to lead us, and where we ended up. But hey, as long as the trains run on time, who cares?
Karen De Coster, CPA, [send her mail] is a paleolibertarian freelance writer, graduate student in Austrian Economics, and a business professional from Michigan. Her first book is currently in the works. See her Mises Institute archive for more online articles, and check out her website, along with her blog.