Americans like to think that we revolted against injustice, embraced liberty, and became a model for a new republic in 1776. The ideas of that experimental, tiny precursor to the modern American empire have been lost in translation over the centuries. Human tendencies to love liberty and decentralization, to crave personal independence and the right to build and create their own legacies, to be kings of their own castles, remain, but they are in the mist in 2015 America.
For well over a dozen decades, the mythology that we live in the best, most powerful, most influential, and most envied nation that has ever existed has been force fed to a billion past and present Americans. These beliefs are part and parcel of a century of neoconservativism. These beliefs unite what remains of the Tea Party movement, and the Reform and the Bull Moose Parties before that. They underpin the popular rhetoric of democratic socialist Empire: A Novel Best Price: $3.97 Buy New $11.16 (as of 05:55 EDT - Details) Bernie Sanders. The Clinton and Bush dynasties embrace and evoke these beliefs, and have substantial fundamental legitimacy among the population as a result – regardless of how we distrust these particular candidates. The rhetoric of populist Democratic-Republican Donald Trump harmonizes perfectly with deeply held beliefs about American exceptionalism and militarism.
The 2016 choice is clear, singular, and irrelevant – anyone leading in the polls today would make an acceptable President, and both parties are united in state worship, couched in the idea of Washington, DC as the center of the universe, the indispensable capital of the world. When the population is asked, “What kind of ice cream do you like?” the real question, impossible to ask but necessary for our very survival, is “Do we want any more?” Many Americans still do want more, and the crony capitalist class, government-connected bankster class, and the staggering array of government dependencies throughout the country certainly do want more. They need more, and face an early and painful extinction if they don’t get more.
The Politically Incorr... Best Price: $1.14 Buy New $5.33 (as of 11:20 EDT - Details) Our Depression era grandparents would squeeze a lemon dry and use the rind. And so will the modern D.C. dependencies, that exist on redistributive allocations of stolen GDP and subsidized borrowing against future stolen GDP. These organisms –sustained by tax-eating and unwise borrowing – will squeeze that fount dry and consume the remainder, before they give up the ghost.
When the entities finally do say die, they will mean it. In the battle for bureaucratic survival, the odds will favor the armed and popular, i.e. the armed. This is always the end of tyrannies, and of empires. The present day public popularity of military and police may reveal a subconscious sense that here is where survival power is, that in the military state many will find protection, as dog eats dog.
Thus, we see both government welfare and conservative “values” advocates boldly embrace the use of state force, and instinctively refuse to threaten the existence or even the budgets of the massive and growing armed bureaucracies. The bureaucratic wolves, sensing a cold winter approaching, have prepared, by expanding the wars overseas while expanding domestic presence, through militarized policing, massive and pervasive government Theodore and Woodrow: ... Best Price: $2.30 Buy New $5.99 (as of 02:35 EDT - Details) surveillance and documenting of citizen movements, investments, and transactions, and a wholly incompetent but incredibly useful “homeland” security infrastructure.
As our subconscious sense of a “need” for state survival impresses on us the value of the militarist and force heavy state, the current ongoing wars in a dozen countries – mysterious in detail, convoluted in motive, reported mechanically if at all, celebrated by all major political parties or voices — are losing moral ground and physical territory in all cases. The Pentagon moans at loss of its “war” budget justification and cries at what sequestration has done to its “regular, non-war” and continually expanding operating budget. The very fact that this third century of America has not only blown in with the world’s largest standing military, but that this institution budgets for war separately (and unarguably) from its own existential maintenance as the largest military on earth.
The indispensable nation today is not centered in Washington, DC or even NYC. Today, for today, it is centered in Moscow. How fascinating that a former Soviet man, a modern-day dictator by most reports, a man who faces down domestic antiwar sentiment and critiques with prison sentences, has shown the decisiveness and will in stomping the named American enemy of the moment. Putin’s successful air attacks on the dread pirate ISIS in Syria Dead Wake: The Last Cr... Best Price: $1.24 Buy New $3.50 (as of 02:25 EDT - Details) have provided a big ideological challenge to American fantasies and frightened the deciders in Washington to their very core.
In calling the neoconservative, Republicrat bluff that ISIS is an enemy of the US (rather than the US-facilitated means for toppling the last independent secular leader in the Middle East, setting the stage for endless wars, reliable higher oil prices, and a ballooning US national security budget into the next several decades), the new indispensable nation (or at least Putin and his military) has inadvertently exploded the driving and unifying myth of American indispensability. He has, in one swift move, both clarified the issues and exposed the D.C. mob.
In another era, the shrieks from Washington about the cheeky Putin and the potentially cheeky Chinese, might have worked to turn the herd. But as with the era that preceded the British loss of the American colonies, the current king in the United States, a modern George III, is widely believed to be crazy, obsessed, wasteful, debt ridden and unlikeable. His popular opposition – while statists and militarists all, owe their popularity to how well they articulate (without really believing it themselves) the growing and real perspective that the king is a naked, lying, incompetent puppet and should be overthrown.
But popular politics in an empire is no match for bureaucratic survival of an all consuming and powerful central state. Putin’s move has delivered the happy and undeniable rationale for the immediate end of the U.S. warfare state, and has in one act, collapsed the core tenet of neoconservatism, the RNC and the DNC. But the word on this isn’t yet out to the hinterlands, and we must expect that it will be directly suppressed and creatively propagandized by government media outlets as a rationale for even more Washington, D.C. spending, assertiveness, and militarism. The leading presidential candidates will predictably use their platforms to articulate the needs of the state, over all else.
Washington D.C. is preparing to be burned. The state’s terror may be due to how they learned to stop worrying and love the bomb, or growing fear of domestic revolts against the symbols of overweening government. I suspect that the state’s terror is the result of internecine bureaucratic warfare gone hot in a collapsing Empire’s desperate capital. Terror within the (deep) state has an immediate symptom, and it is state terror. With Russia directly and successfully exploding the myth of America the indispensable nation, we may cautiously celebrate the long contest for real liberty. But we should expect the very worst in immediate outcomes, and not underestimate the fury of our faltering and desperate central government in coming months.