• Top Secret Nation

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    Yes,
    the Bush Administration wants to know all of our personal details,
    from the books we read, to the obviously seditious emails we send,
    while stonewalling all information about its own doings, including
    the creation of an unelected “shadow government,” and its roadblocking
    of the 9/11 inquiry. But it isn’t Bush’s backstairs style we’re
    talking about here. What makes George Bush’s America the “Top
    Secret
    ” Nation is its incarnation of the Communist/Nazi government
    in the 1984 (!) Val Kilmer comedy.

    Kilmer,
    as American rock star Nick Rivers, travels to East Germany to sing
    his hit songs at a state-sponsored cultural festival. Little does
    he know that the conniving East Germans plan to use the festival
    as a cover to unleash their secret plan to conquer the world. However,
    Nick falls in love with a German beauty named Hillary, whose father
    has been forced to create a super-magnet that will destroy the NATO
    submarine fleet. With the aid of a British secret agent (Omar Shariff),
    the two lovers manage to save Hillary’s father and stop the East
    Germans. “Top Secret” is a riotous send-up of Elvis movies and World
    War II mythology, complete with French (yes, French) Underground
    guerilla fighters named LaTrine, Déjà Vu, and Chocolate
    Mousse, who is portrayed, of course, by a black actor.

    “Top
    Secret” features an expansionist government that’s successfully
    blended Communism and Nazism. The chief villain in the movie, General
    Streck, keeps fit with exercise routines from “Hermann Goering’s
    Workout Book,” whose cover features a Goering look-alike in black
    uniform with his legs splayed in the air Jane-Fonda style. The regime’s
    goal is world domination through military conquest, but it’s for
    a noble ideal. You could even call its intentions “Benevolent Global
    Hegemony.” Its citizens enjoy material prosperity and security,
    but know that disloyalty will be punished severely, as their national
    anthem reminds them:

    “Hail, hail
    East Germany!
    Land
    of fruit and grape
    Land
    where you’ll regret it
    If
    you ever try to escape …”

    Bush
    has brought the movie’s East German regime to life, though without
    the laughs. Here in Dubya’s USA, it’s also a good idea to flaunt
    your loyalty. After 9/11, one can never be too rich, too thin, or
    fly too many US flags. John Ashcroft may be watching. The Neo-Cons
    grasp the importance of blurring the distinction between patriotism
    and obedience to the Ruling Class. Thus, any who question the government’s
    actions will be denounced as disloyal. As David Horowitz so bluntly
    put it, “When your country is attacked there can be no such thing
    as an ‘anti-war’ movement. Protesters against America’s war on terror
    are not peaceniks, they are America-haters and saboteurs, and they
    should be treated as such.” That settles that.

    Besides,
    who couldn’t embrace the noble ideals that make us Americans what
    we are? Like the Communist East Germans, the US promotes a benevolent,
    universalist philosophy. We congratulate ourselves for that philosophy
    on Loyalty Day, which just happens to be the same day of the year
    as the old Communist May Day. In his Loyalty Day proclamation, Bush
    stressed cosmopolitanism as a cardinal virtue: “To be an American
    is not a matter of blood or birth. Our citizens are bound by ideals
    that represent the hope of all mankind: that all men are created
    equal, endowed with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the
    pursuit of happiness. On Loyalty Day, we reaffirm our allegiance
    to our country and resolve to uphold the vision of our Forefathers.”
    On the latest Loyalty Day, Bush’s PR team taped him addressing cheering
    servicemen aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, named after the president
    who re-invented the US as a “Proposition Nation.” Neither Eisenstein
    nor Riefenstahl mastered historic symbolism as well.

    So,
    by blending the most successful components of the 20th century’s
    most formidable dictatorships, the Neo-Cons have crafted a potent
    political pastiche. With Communist egalitarianism and Nazi economics,
    Neo-Conism avoids the flaws (racism, planned economy) while appropriating
    the strengths (universalism, mercantilism, and really good citizen
    surveillance) of both totalitarian systems. Combining the world’s
    largest economy and the world’s noblest ideals, Bush’s USA is the
    most powerful force the planet has ever seen. Unfortunately, the
    story line of the real “Top Secret” regime is not rated as a comedy.

    May
    17, 2003

    Michael
    C. Tuggle [send him mail]
    is a project manager and e-commerce consultant in Charlotte, NC.
    His first book, Confederates in the Boardroom, explores the
    implications of organizational science on political systems, and
    will be published by Traveller Press in June, 2003.


         

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