Posted by: quiscus | November 12, 2010

November 12, 2010

1.  “The Mythical United States of America: Rushing into Backwardness

The mythical United States of America so highly lauded exists nowhere. It is a Shangri-la. The Preamble of the Constitution makes perfectly clear what kind of nation the United States was meant to be. What exists today fulfills none of those goals. Some have argued that the nation was a fraud from day one. Whether accurate or not, what is clear is that it most certainly was quickly murdered by John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who wrote the decision known as Marbury v. Madison. Since that day, the Court has replicated England’s seventeenth century political economy absent only the monarchy. Today’s United States of America is a seventeenth century nation adorned with twenty first century trinkets, many deadly. Instead of being as it claims “the leader of the free world,” it is a backward authoritarian pre-enlightenment reactionary regime.

Recently, Sir John Sawers, the head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, devoted much of a 30-minute address to the central role of secrecy in maintaining security. “Secrecy”, he said, “is not a dirty word. Secrecy is not there as a cover-up. Secrecy plays a crucial part in keeping Britain safe and secure. If our operations and methods become public, they won’t work.”

Alas, Sir John is obviously not a master of the King’s English. Secrecy is by definition a cover-up. But Sir John doesn’t mean cover-up in the simple sense of hidden; he wants to claim that nothing unseemly or objectionable is being covered up. Unfortunately, that claim is impossible to verify and, if accepted, must be accepted on trust. If someone claims s/he did nothing wrong, the what and how of it must be revealed. How else could it be shown? Yet Sir John claims that the what and how of it must be kept secret.

Consider the claim that the universe contains absolutely undetectable attributes. The sentence appears to make perfectly good sense, but it doesn’t. How could the claim ever be given a truth value? All one can really do upon hearing or reading it is shrug one’s shoulders. The sentence has no content. The claim that secrets are not cover-ups is similar. To know that what is secret is not a cover-up, the secret must be revealed, but by definition alone, a secret cannot be revealed and be a secret. Such claims are entirely meaningless.

So why should anyone trust the pronouncements of governments and their agents anyhow? That they lie has been demonstrated over and over again in history. In reality, all that the secrecy actually does is arouse suspicion; secrecy leads people to distrust their governments. It also leads nations to distrust each other, and a world in which nations distrust each other is unstable, dangerous, and primed for disaster.

Governmental secrecy also annuls any trappings of democracy that a nation may exhibit. Even a perfectly rational citizenry would be unable to make rational judgments on matters of policy that are kept from it by secrecy. How can anyone be expected to make a rational judgment about something s/he is unaware of? Rational thinking requires premises that are factual. Without that knowledge, the electoral process is a mere formal, meaningless exercise. The people may be told that they are sovereign, but they do not even play a meaningful role in the process. The trappings of democracy do not make a nation democratic. Only transparently revealed truth and honesty do.

Most people assume that the American government is paralyzed by ideological intransigence. The assumption is that our political class has taken the attitude, “my way or no way.” But another possibility exists. Perhaps those who truly hold power, those who like things the way they are and want to contravene any change, immediately corrupt or isolate all newly elected officials and all of the ideological rhetoric that is heard is merely theater played to give people the impression that the politicians care. How else can anyone explain how everything stays the same after election after election calls for change? How else can the Congress continue to act as it always has in the face of decades of approval ratings in the lowest quartile? How else can anyone explain why Congress after Congress is a do nothing Congress? Is it because American elections are totally fraudulent? Is it  because the Congress has a secret master who functions behind the electoral system?

Calling the United States a backward authoritarian pre-enlightenment reactionary nation may seem harsh, but how else can anyone explain, no less justify, the American willingness to overthrow democratically elected governments, support right-wing dictatorships, and become a willing partner with the most corrupt nations on earth? No nation steeped in the principles of democracy would engage in such practices.”

2.  “The difference between the Soviet Union during its last few decades and the US Empire in its death swoon is the people of the Soviet Union knew it was all a fraud. In contrast, our corporate masters are too wily to display their corrupt carcasses on the reviewing stand on May Day as the fraudulent parade trundles past.

At present, the only reason voting is still permitted is to provide a wall of camouflage for corporate oligarchs. Their power remains hidden … provided the public believes, by voting, they are afforded any significant degree of mastery regarding the condition of their lives and the trajectory of their fates.

Extreme totalitarian policies such as Stalin’s engineered famines aren’t required under the hidden (loose knit) authoritarianism of the present system: Our corporate commissars have more cunning, albeit less dramatic, methods of keeping people in their place: keep the workforce off balance with downsizing, arbitrary staff reductions, and outsourcing; inflict a famine of the mind by means of a class-stratified system of education, in combination with a constant and enveloping bombardment of inane mass media content; and provide food, plentiful amounts of it, but manufacture food products as high caloric, high fat, high sugar, growth hormone-injected, antibiotic-sodden, empty calorie delivery systems e.g., corporate chain death burgers and donuts of doom.

Yet as Hannah Arendt observed: “Where all are guilty, no one is; confessions of collective guilt are the best possible safeguard against the discovery of culprits, and the very magnitude of the crime the best excuse for doing nothing.”

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