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Thursday, August 29, 2013

It Has Happened Here – What Now?

It Has Happened Here – What Now?

By Luke Hiken
Dissident Voice
August 29th, 2013

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis wrote a satirical novel entitled “It Can’t
Happen Here.”

In the book, a democratically elected President transforms the
country into a totalitarian, ruthless regime, relying upon patriotic
rhetoric and fear to dominate and control a docile populace.

Just as Lewis predicted it would, it has happened here:

1) Those who identify and expose government misconduct are
labeled as traitors and criminals.

2) The bankers and corporations who gambled with the money
entrusted to them get off Scot free for the theft of untold
trillions of dollars, while the world’s people are forced into
conditions of austerity and economic survival. The poor are
prosecuted for trying to survive, while the rich are immunized
from any negative consequences for their crimes.

3) The U.S. government spies on its entire population, and
arrogantly insists upon the right to do so.

4) The U.S., and its overseas puppet, NATO, wage war upon
every nation that opposes U.S. economic hegemony over the
world. The presence of hundreds of U.S. military bases on
every continent bolsters U.S. control over the world’s people.

5) Result-oriented judges, appointed by obedient politicians,
immunize transnational corporations and military aggressors
for every abuse inflicted upon the working and poor people of
the world.

6) Health care, education, and retirement security are reserved
solely for the rich, while the poor, minorities, and elderly are left
to die and suffer in poverty.

7) The so-called “political parties” are merely servants
and handmaidens to transnational corporations, serving
their economic masters at the expense of everyone else.

8) The mass media mouths the corporate propaganda of
the moment obediently and without question.

9) Prisons, violence and war are the primary vehicles used by
the State to control an ever more rebellious and dissatisfied
population.

10) Civil rights, voting rights and personal freedoms are
viewed as privileges reserved for the rich.

11) Dissent equals treason, and those who oppose authoritarian
rule are labeled enemies of the state.

In Lewis’ novel, a disillusioned citizenry eventually rebels and takes
up arms against the dictatorial regime that has seized control of the
United States.

In the book, the ultimate outcome is left in doubt.

For those of us who fear the parallels between Sinclair’s nightmare,
and the current military-industrial cabal that runs today’s world,
the question arises as to whether the military resistance described
by Sinclair is the only avenue of recourse available against the
government’s common enemy.

If so, we are in serious trouble in this country.

The Pentagon is not only complicit with the corporate-controlled
state, but it’s main proponent.

In Sinclair’s book, it is a rebellious faction of the military that
fights back against the repressive state.

That has not been the case for other revolutionary struggles
almost anywhere during the last century.

Instead, revolutionary cadres, underground organizations and
unorganized rebellious citizens have initiated struggles against
the state, and only when the masses came to their assistance
were the revolutionaries able to create and sustain an armed
force capable of fighting those in power.

In virtually all of the successful revolutions of the last century,
there was a political leadership that put forward a vision of
what an alternative state would look like, and how it could
avoid the fascist tendencies of the current oligarchy.

For many struggles, the resistance adopted the mantle of
communist revolution (Russia, China, Cuba), in others it
was a nationalist, democratic vision that was put forward
(South Africa, Venezuela).

But in the U.S., there is no unity as to what a different form
of government would or should look like.

Americans realize that our present government represents only
the interests of the rich, and uses the “electoral process” as a
charade to force the poor to act against their own interests
and support the racist, reactionary program put forth by their
corporate owners.

Nonetheless, Americans are years away from unifying around a
politics that would replace those in power with a more democratic
leadership.

In spite of the reality facing us every day, Americans still believe
that the problem lies not with our form of government, but with
the people we “elect.”

That level of naiveté deserves the beating it is taking.

In fact, there are no forms of government that cannot be twisted
to serve the interests of the few against the needs of the many.

What is needed is a social consciousness as to how to create a
democratic, participatory process that meets the needs of the
society as a whole, and not merely a handful of billionaires.

It is not so much a question as to what structure will enforce such
principles, but rather how to unite the masses of people to pursue
a common goal.

Doug Lummis, in his brilliant treatise “Radical Democracy” analyzes
the various contexts in which democratic principles can flourish.

It is not structures or institutions that determine how the democratic process functions; rather, it is the relationship between people and power.

Thus, he demonstrates how totally disparate circumstances have
produced some of the most democratic struggles in history: the
student movements of the 60s; the civil rights movement; the
anti-apartheid struggles throughout Africa; and, Chinese peasant
movements, both before and after Mao Tse-Tung.

The list of how and why democracy prevails is as long as the
history of social uprisings, themselves.

The ossified, self-perpetuating autocracy that the U.S. government has become is not an indicia of the success of the “American dream,” rather it is the essence of why the citizens of this country are disenfranchised, disillusioned, and ignored by a corporate autocracy, loyal only to its own class interests, and not to any particular nation.

Throughout the world today, one nation after another is rejecting
American domination – in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa,
Russia, China and elsewhere.

As the Pentagon attempts to coerce the international community to
support its repressive efforts against those who speak out against
U.S. imperialism, a growing number of nations offer sanctuary and
asylum to U.S. “enemies.”

The American people themselves would honor and applaud the Bradley
Manning's and Eric Snowden's of the world, if this government did not
manipulate and monitor the propaganda campaigns against them.

Sinclair’s predictions parallel those of all great writers from Socrates
to Marx, to the effect that totalitarian regimes sow the seeds of
their own destruction.

The oligarchs who have placed themselves above and beyond the
laws that apply to the rest of us, should heed the words of Shelley’s
prophetic poem:

My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Forward looking Americans will reject the patriotic tripe urged upon
us by the corporate media and join with other progressive forces
worldwide, who seek to dismantle the stranglehold that transnational
corporations and their G8 allies hold over the governments of the
world.

Such actions don’t constitute treason; they represent the only means
by which working people internationally can regain democratic control
over our lives.

Saluting the flag, honoring our mercenaries, and glorifying the rich,
are nothing short of collective suicide.

The corporate military coup has already happened here, and the true
patriotic response is to recognize it and overthrow it.



Luke Hiken is an attorney who has engaged in the practice of
criminal, immigration, and appellate law.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/08/it-has-happened-here-whatnow/
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