(Quote used as headline is from Tim Buckley's "Phantasmagoria in Two," linked below.)
THE CRUSHING DEFEATS We the People suffered in the past year leave us with only two alternatives: submission or resistance, either of which portend a descent into darkness of such unprecedented magnitude, its intensity and probable duration should refute forever our comforting but utterly deluded notion “the arc of the universe...bends toward justice.”
What has obtained in 2016 should also force us to acknowledge the bitter truth we symbolize as darkness – tyranny, subjugation, slavery and genocide – is in fact proven by history to be our species' default condition. Our ancestors, most of them serfs or slaves and therefore utterly powerless, rarely knew anything better than the birth-to-death, always-beneath-the-overseer's-whip wretchedness Thomas Hobbes' so memorably described as “nasty, brutish and short”– the one true human eternity in its most absolute and irremediable sense.
Thus instead of revolution, which we now fear is doomed by the moral imbecility that invariably corrupts all our species' endeavors – witness revolution's colossal failures in the United States, France, the Soviet Union and China – our chronic powerlessness fosters either bottomless despair or addiction to the false opiates promised by religion: fake eternities of imaginary euphoria supposedly guaranteed by a nonexistent god in alleged compensation for the absolute reality of our eternal misery.
Resistance enters our equation not as the valiant expression of hope it was during previous eras but – in existential epiphanies akin to Jean Paul Sartre's realization during the World War II years Nazi Germany seemed invincible – as a quest for the entirely internal personal meaningfulness that in such circumstances is the only possible antidote to despair. The underlying lesson of the past 53 years – actually, reckoning from 4 July 1776, the cumulative lesson of the past 241 years – is that hope is absurd. Despite how fascist sensationalism wildly inflates our numbers, we true progressives are the tiniest of minorities, too few in number to be more vexing to the One Percent and its Ruling Class than a single mosquito might be to an elephant. And even if our numbers were truly great, we now at the dawn of 2017 know our overlords have the capability to kill us by the flick of a switch or the press of a button and the intention to do so in as expeditious a manner as possible, no doubt even to the extent of neutron-bombing an entire city to exterminate us but save all its material wealth.
Such is the shark-womb price we pay for being the only mammalian predators whose primary prey is our own species, our children, ourselves. Capitalism is obviously the ultimate and most likely terminal fulfillment of our genetic defectiveness, the grotesque reality underlying the Abrahamic legend of original sin. The inescapable destitution capitalism now relentlessly imposes on 99.9 percent of the global population is thus the latest (and probably last) self-generated affliction in our 200,000-year epic of suffering.
Donald Trump's looming transformation of the United States into Ku Klux Nation thus combines with the Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton campaign of suicidally provoking war with Russia, which combination leaves no doubt we are at the beginning of yet another of our species' periodic descents into total darkness – this time most likely forever and unto our own extinction.
“America’s aristocracy and its vassal-aristocracies controlling the U.S.-allied nations (billionaires, centi-millionaires, and their top agents in both the public and private sectors) are buying and building deep-underground nuclear shelters for themselves...(As for everybody else, those other people are not involved in geostrategic decisionmaking, and so are being ignored.) However...none of the West’s elite are condemning the path toward nuclear war that their governments are on. So: buying or building nuclear-war shelters is more acceptable to them than is stopping America’s planned conquest of Russia. The higher priority is to conquer Russia.”
What Zuesse correctly implies – but unfortunately does not state outright – is the nuclear winter that would result from the apocalypse intended by Hillary and Obama would almost immediately solve the problem of global warming. What Zuesse omits entirely is how such an apocalypse would fulfill the long-term Ruling Class goals of reducing the world population by as much as 99 percent while simultaneously ensuring the Caucasian-capitalist domination of wealth and technology that would also ensure eternal white-race tyranny over the planet and all its inhabitants. In other words, from the perspective of the One Percent and its vassals, World War III is the perfect solution to all global problems – the resurrection of radical socialism included.
We are, in a word, fucked.
If We the People of the 99 Percent are to evolve resistance powerful enough to defeat our enemies or at the very least hold them at bay as Vladimir Lenin and his successors did for 74 years with the Soviet Union or as Franklin Delano Roosevelt did for a mere 14 years with the New Deal (in truth ended by enactment of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947), we must first acknowledge the hitherto unspeakable truth that in 2016 We the People of the United States lost not just a battle but a war. It was a war that – though never formally declared outside the esoterica of ecclesiastical creeds and political dogma – was in fact the most important conflict in all our history: a species-defining clash between benevolence and malevolence and therefore quintessentially between Good and Evil. All that remains is equivalent to the die-hard guerrilla fight that typically follows conquest by an ultimately irresistible power, much as occurred in the North America's so-called “Indian Wars” and now obtains in the Middle East. Because of the global omnipotence of the USian Empire, in which this final struggle is being fought, its outcome will determine the fate of every living creature on this planet. Our victory could lead to a world in which the true Golden Rule – from each according to ability; to each according to need – is the dominant ethos. But history proves – again the example of the Indian Wars – such an outcome is unlikely at best.
Meanwhile – woe to us all – Evil has won.
UNTIL THE LAST few years our defeat was inflicted so slowly it is hard to know just when We the People began losing. Evil's useful idiots whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim date it to the Garden of Eden and blame it on women. More rational folk date it to colonial times or the earliest days of the republic, blaming religious fanatics and slave-owners respectively. Though I cannot disagree with the culpability of zealots and slavers, I find it more useful to date our defeat to 1934, when President Roosevelt granted the Bankers' Plot traitors immunity in return for their pledge to stop fighting the New Deal.
What happened next is obvious: when World War II did not go as the One Percenters hoped – when their (by-then clandestine) champions Hitler and Mussolini were unable to defeat the Red Army and conquer the Soviet Union – the One Percenters imported legions of Nazi war criminals to tutor them in the postwar strategy and tactics of converting the U.S. into the Fourth Reich. Men who had given their monstrous intellects to the Evil personified by Hitler and the German Nazi Party now gave their repulsive talents to the less obvious but far greater Evil personified by the USian One Percenters. Soon reinforced by the sociopathic psychiatrists and psychologists who served Wall Street via Madison Avenue, this secret, diabolically Machiavellian cabal, now functioning as an informal end-human-liberty-forever think-tank of refugee Nazis and pro-capitalist psychological warfare experts, began as early as 1946 scheming how to Nazify the United States – not suddenly, as Hitler had done with a German population already predisposed to acceptance of tyranny, but rather by the stealth with which one slowly boils a living frog.
Recognizing the USian homeland population's hard-shelled egotism – its bigotry, anti-intellectualism, religious fanaticism, proudly self-sustained ignorance, anarchistic disdain of governmental authority and most of all its perverse obsession with sex – the One Percent's Ayn Rand-minded advisors weaponized all these negative characteristics into the most brilliantly conceived subversion campaign of all time. Thus our apparent victories in civil, reproductive, matrimonial and gender rights were in fact defeats in that their long-term results – goading our enemies into ever more tyrannosauric frenzies just as the One Percent intended – led inexorably to the inauguration of fascist governance sought by the Bankers' Plot conspirators. Facilitated by the murders of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Malcolm X, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert Francis Kennedy, then advocated by the Powell Memo and personified by the betrayer Barack Obama, the anti-democratic process was finally brought to terrifying fruition by the 2016 presidential election campaign.
Given the raw material with which the One Percent's consultants had to work – an intractably racist 77 percent within the white majority, a total USian Homeland population that by definition is 64 percent Christian Fundamentalist – it is no wonder these “motivational research” experts were able to engineer an USian majority that is either Nazi-minded or submissively apolitical and in any case is as permanently reliable and therefore politically predictable as 70 years of the world's most relentlessly intense psychological conditioning can possibly make it. The uniquely USian brand of Nazism is now the dominant ethos of the once-vaunted “land of the free.” Most of us, We the People of 2016, are now in our submissiveness indistinguishable from the Good Germans of 1933. These are not attitudes that can be changed, certainly not overnight and probably not ever.
Even so, we also need to bear in mind this nauseatingly obscene parody of an election is not technically over until 6 January, when the House either votes its formal acceptance of the electoral college's legal coup or rejects it and sets in motion a process by which the House itself, ruled by the same Republican Party that nominated Donald Trump, imposes its own presidential choice on the nation. Though it is unlikely, Hillary, who out-polled Trump by 2.9 million popular votes, could still be chosen president. For that matter, so could Sen. Sanders, though because he represents the progressive, anti-apocalyptic populism so feared by the One Percent such a compromise would be an upset of the first magnitude and is thus even more improbable.
But no matter who is awarded the presidency, nothing changes but the timetable of our subjugation. Whether Hillary or the Donald or some other anointed surrogate for our capitalist overlords eventually ascends to the Imperial White House, the one undeniable declaration of the 2016 presidential campaign is that We the People are irrelevant – that we are factored in imperial affairs only to the extent we can be forced or seduced into providing our masters with cheap labor, readily available canon-fodder and above all else a profitable rationale for building ever-more-inescapable slave pens walled by ever-more-irresistible technologies of total surveillance and sadistically violent death.
If we dare read the fine print of 2016's oft-unspoken but nevertheless implicitly glaring declarations – a reading far too many of us will never find the courage to undertake – we will surely be smitten by the realization the year's paramount unwritten decree is that in the eyes of the now truly omnipotent One Percent, We the People are henceforth irrelevant. Our hopes and aspirations no longer matter. All the ideals so eloquently expressed in our Declaration of Independence and in the Preamble to our constitution – “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”; “justice, domestic tranquility, general welfare” – are rendered obsolete by the moral imbecility that sustains the capitalists' ever-more omnicidal quest for profit.
Thanks to the framework of tyranny so carefully laid by Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush II and most maliciously of all by Obama – thanks indeed to the decades of now-obvious preparation for just such a pivotal inauguration as is planned for 20 January 2017 – Hillary or the Donald or someone else – whomever so chosen is now more Führer than President. Thus he or she must as a prerequisite to their ascension pledge to uphold the core principle of capitalist governance: absolute power and unlimited profit for the One Percenters and their vassals, zero-tolerance subjugation for all the rest of us. Thus too our well-being – or more correctly our ever-more-wrenching lack thereof – troubles our rulers only when our anger intrudes on their endlessly predatory orgies of profiteering.
In this regard, We the People , we of the 99 Percent – all of us now forever denied even a fraction of capitalism's falsely promised wealth – are like some battered wife who throughout her years of abuse strove diligently to regain the love and respect she believed her husband pledged her during their courtship and vowed so-help-him-god on her wedding day but revealed that night as the cruelest of lies when once inside the nuptial bedroom he beat her and raped her and sneered at her pain and bewilderment, just as he would do for the remainder of their matrimonial paring. In response she did the best she could just as we all do when faced with capitalism's parallel brutalities whether in the bedroom or the classroom or the workplace or the welfare line or the church or the mosque or the temple or the clinic or the hospital emergency room. She worked hard and she obeyed the rules and above all else she believed her efforts would eventually win her the respect and security and perhaps even the comforting love she so desperately sought to fill the aching hole in her heart. But now she is battered and bruised and bedraggled and she is cast off in the most heartless of divorce actions, just as we too are cast off and abandoned when we are no longer exploitable for profit. Capitalism, the archetype of domestic abuse, is moral imbecility – and moral imbeciles are incapable of loving anyone but themselves.
Thus 2016 was the year of the moral imbecile, the year the morally imbecilic One Percenters revealed the extent to which they despise us and view us with contempt. They did so by afflicting us with two moral imbeciles as presidential candidates who reduced our once-cherished voting rights to an obscene parody – “They want elections? Let them choose between tyrants” – hence the terminally insulting choice between Hillary who promised thermonuclear apocalypse versus Trump who promised a new Holocaust and now amongst the chaos of his contradictory tweets seems intent on keeping that one promise.
Now, as if by publication of divorce decrees, our masters are making certain we get the message the era of charade democracy and the Democratic (sic) Party Big Lie of progressive populism is over. From now on the Democratic (sic) brand of fascism – which at its core differs from its Republican counterpart only in the former's fanatical commitment to forcible civilian disarmament and lip service to minority rights – will be as unapologetically tyrannical as the Republicans have been since they ended Reconstruction in 1877 and then via the long purge that climaxed with the Goldwater candidacy in 1964 and triumphed with the election of Reagan in 1980 methodically suppressed all traces of their party's former Lincolnism. That's why the Democratic (sic) Party now openly spits in all our faces by its fight against progressive reform even as Trump and the Republican Party batter us with appointments that say “ahha we gotcha again; this time we get to rape you forever” and tell us all their populist promises were Big Lies of nearly the same malicious magnitude as Obama's eternally infamous “change we can believe in.”
Divorced by the One Percent and its Ruling Class vassals, divorced in the name of capitalist governance and its core ethos of moral imbecility, divorced and cast off and abandoned and soon to be denied not only our remaining jobs but food stamps and Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security and WIC and any other conceivable means of sustenance – soon to be denied not just our rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness but (whether by austerity's slow-motion genocide or war-for-profit's mass murder), denied our very right to life – We the People are now the microcosm of our species' most unfortunate divorce victim ever, our Mother Earth, the cast-down goddess of whom the late Tim Buckley dared sing, “If you tell me of all the pain you've had, I'll never smile again.” Though once our species loved our Mother dearly, we forsook her long ago; though once we loved our country dearly, now we ourselves are as forsaken as orphans. Our anguish is as in an old lament: “Once I had a sweetheart, but now I have none.”
Of all possible metaphors for our present circumstances, there is probably none more apt than the abused wife who finally rises up angry, the woman beaten and full of despair and rage and perhaps fighting back only for the sake of her children – or so she now may be telling herself at the beginning of her odyssey of resistance. But next may come that odyssey's healing epic of self-discovered strength, and after that...
Think Lexington Common and Concord Bridge, 19 April 1775; think Paris 14 July 1789; think Petrograd on International Women's Day, 8 March 1917. But all these victories have been swept away, betrayed more by human Evil than by military force. Therefore think also on the fate of First Nations peoples under USian Manifest Destiny and the similar fates of Jews and and other minorities under German Nazism.
In such times as these, survival itself becomes an act of revolutionary defiance.
ALL OF US who are politically conscious must now become Outside Agitators. The name, which we should embrace proudly and thus redeem, is how we are damned by our enemies, the Ku Klux Klan of yesteryear and the plutocrats and their killer cops today: “We din have no trouble with our niggers,” the old Jim Crow tyrants always said, “till them damn outside agitators come down hyar an stirred em up.” But now in the eyes of the One Percenters and their Ruling Class vassals, skin color no longer matters: I a white male am a nigger and you whatever your race or ethnicity are a nigger and we are all niggers, and like the “uppity” niggers of the Civil Rights era, we must now in solidarity keep one another “stirred up” if we are to even begin to effectively resist the genocidal brutality of USian governance and transcend its soul-destroying omnipotence.
To succeed we must acknowledge the fact that whether we personally identify as African-American or Hispanic or First Nations or White, whether we identify as heterosexual or LGBTQ, whether we identify as Left or Right – We the People are all cast off and abandoned and alone as never before in our species' history. Individually we are of no more consequence to the One Percent and its Ruling Class than a single cockroach is to an exterminator. Involuntarily united in our abandonment and oppression, we should voluntarily unite in rejection of submission to the One Percent. And now at last we must confront the hard truth that if we are to survive, we must build our solidarity not from race or gender or sexual preference but from our socioeconomic circumstances and its commonality of grievances. Only then can we muster adequate defenses against disempowerment by the disunity inherent in the identity politics our overlords shape and sustain solely for their own protection.
We 99 Percenters must also expand our reading and viewing tastes. Sun Tzu, Niccolo Machiavelli and Vladimir Lenin are far more relevant to our present-day circumstances than Deepak Chopra, Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale or any other self-help huckster might ever have been. The camera work of Gene Smith and Dorothea Lange and Jacob Riis and Walker Evans tell us more about who we are than all the fashion photographs and idealized landscapes ever shot, even those by Ansel Adams and Richard Avedon and their ilk. The wrenching realism of the 2010 Russian film Brest Fortress aka Brestskya Krepost (Брестская крепость) tells us more about World War II than the 2001 USian film Pearl Harbor, which shows us only a Disneyland version of combat, complete with glaringly comedic technical errors. Ayn Rand's fictionalizations of Mein Kampf – long among USia's most popular reading – are relevant only as prosecutorial evidence. The primary task for those of us who are courageous enough to acknowledge we are in fact part of the (potentially doomed) 99 Percent is spreading the word our economic afflictions define us as potential patriots and partisans of that true Golden Rule which given the infinite bleakness of our future – if indeed we have a future at all – cannot be repeated too often: from each according to capability, to each according to need.
Yet despite our despair and the boiling anger it provokes we should never forget we are so few in number we can only resist by nonviolence. We must therefore continue to embrace Rev. King.'s example, never forgetting war is at this point an exclusively Ruling Class methodology. Wars are started by the Ruling Class only because our overlords know as a certainty of their privileged births they can exempt themselves from the horrors of war and wage their warfare as if it were nothing more than a board game and dump all its bloody burdens – all its shattered faces and blown-off penises and spilled-intestines – on us, we the workers and peasants who are too disempowered to prevent ourselves from being conscripted as canon fodder. As our bodies pile up, the Ruling Class profits in every way imaginable.
Thus are We the People the targets of the final moping-up operations in the long war of our own subjugation by capitalism, the most malignant Evil our species has ever spawned and unleashed on itself..
GLEN FORD WARNS us in Black Agenda Report we are also collateral damage in an apocalyptic clash by which the USian Ruling Class “is undoing itself.”
If we recognize Trump as the figurehead of a dissident element within the One Percent – which is in fact exactly what he is – Ford's analysis is demonstrably true. Indeed it brings to mind a lengthy report, published during the late 1960s or early 1970s and probably in The New York Review of Books, that hypothesized a “Yankee and Cowboy War" as the key element in all the USian Empire's internal struggles over foreign and domestic policy. The article was written by the late Carl Olgesby, who subsequently expanded it into a book by the same name that is now not only out of print but censored by price, with poor-condition paperback copies starting at about $50.
As I remember – and here I must apologize for the fact my inescapable poverty prohibits the confirmation of memory I would normally seek before writing – Olgesby's epicentral conclusion was the assassination of JFK had been a pivotal, probably permanent Cowboy victory that led directly to Vietnam and doomed the Empire to a future of endless wars.
The Yankees in Oglesby's formulation were the members of the so-called “Eastern Establishment," which included FDR, the Kennedys and Republicans of the Jacob Javits/Nelson Rockefeller/Dan Evans variety. To one degree or another, these were all liberals in the New Deal/Progressive traditions that had sprung from the Democratic (sic) and Republican parties respectively. The Cowboys were equally bipartisan. Their Machiavellian archetype was the Democratic (sic) President Lyndon Banes Johnson; whose bogus peace candidacy, conducted as he and his henchmen schemed to expand the USian military presence in Southeast Asia into a major war, is second only to Obama's “change we can believe in” in Big Lie brazenness. But Cowboy ranks included Republicans Richard Nixon, Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and all the (venomously racist) Southern Democrats. Meanwhile Cowboy LBJ savvily governed by bribing the Left with long-sought civil rights legislation and dramatically expanded social services, thus silencing all but the most relentless opponents of his Southeast Asian wars of imperial expansion. (Two of these opponents were MLK and RFK, who were instead silenced by assassins' bullets.)
Socioeconomically the Yankees were Keynesian, while the Cowboys – secretly in the case of LBJ and Nixon – were fanatical Ayn Randers. The Yankees favored diplomacy; the Cowboys favored war. Regardless of their factional identity, each group favored capitalist tyranny – the Yankees of the stealthy Brave New World variety, the Cowboys of the openly brutal 1984 sort. But neither the Yankees nor the Cowboys were as unabashedly genocidal as the Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton/Mitch McConnell imperialists of today, who until very recently hid their Nazi-like intentions of global conquest behind false flags of traditional “American” rhetoric. But now it seems they have concluded such deception – which was enabled by an ever-more-ignorant public and its ongoing mental deterioration inflicted by mainstream media (which let us not forget is the world's first privately owned, for-profit, Josef-Goebbels-type ministry of propaganda) – is no longer necessary to the advancement of their schemes.
Hillary, a political nobody when Oglesby was writing, might have been labeled a Cowboy merely by her associations Goldwater and Arkansas Democrat Bill Clinton. Trump would probably have been labeled a Cowboy too, simply because he is (apparently) so despised by the Democratic (sic) and Republican establishment. But Hillary and Trump differ radically on how best to sustain the empire. As we know, Hillary favors war – especially thermonuclear war that risks human extinction – which given her obvious hatred of Russia and all persons and things Russian, makes me wonder if someone close to her, perhaps in her family or among her ideological tutors, was one of the many German Nazi war-criminals for whom the One Percent arranged USian sanctuary.
Trump – apart from his violent intentions toward Islam and USian minorities – seems to favor economic competition rather than war: hence his apparent rapprochement with Vladimir Putin, which despite how it grants us welcome relief from the prospect of World War III nevertheless also prompts serious reflection on the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939.
But given the apocalyptic intent evident in the Obama/Clinton/McConnell schemes, I am no longer certain the Yankee/Cowboy formulation – or for that matter even our present-day labels of neo-liberal and neo-conservative – are adequately descriptive. For what we are talking about – note again the Zuesse report linked above – is ultimately a clash between proponents of our species' survival and advocates of its deliberate near-extinction. And I confess my efforts to conjure up memorably simple but nevertheless properly descriptive titles – an ongoing quest that began when I started working on this piece a month ago – have thus far all failed.
Meanwhile I am beginning to wonder if the clandestine truth of the Hillary-Trump campaign is not the opposite of what was initially rumored: that instead of Trump being the One Percent's stalking horse to ensure the election of Hillary, the reverse is true: that it was Hillary who was used to ensure Trump's victory – and that she herself was not informed of her function until after the election – hence the sullen silence that so loudly suggests she is overwhelmed by post-election bitterness.
In this context note how, in Trump, the One Percenters may believe they have indeed won the shortest most direct route to the unabashedly Nazified nation they and their fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers have sought since the failure of the Bankers' Plot. Note too the undeniable liberty's-end message of Trump's appointments, discussed here on the always-informative website Popular Resistance, with a comment thread that includes my own detailed estimate of the horrors – based on the common Hard-Right ideological denominator of Trump's appointments whether rumored or confirmed – that will probably confront us after 20 January.
Nevertheless, though I am painfully aware of the implicit irony, I wish you all a Happy New Year.
Quoth the 17th Century samurai Miyamoto Musashi: “To win any battle, you must fight as if you are already dead.”
LB/1-31 December 2016.