October 10, 2005

A HERO IN HIS OWN MIND:

We Can’t Let It Happen Here (Jason Miller, 10 October, 2005, Countercurrents.org)

America’s apologists can deny the reality to their dying breath, but the truth is that the United States of America as a democracy, a republic, or a free society is a fraud. While our nation was founded on high principles, even our founders fell far short of the standards they set for themselves. Many owned slaves, despite the fact that they may have had misgivings about it. Some, like Alexander Hamilton, desired an overt aristocracy because they did not trust the "people" to govern themselves. Virtually all of our founders were wealthy, white land-owners. Throughout its history, this nation has failed to deliver on the promises of its Constitution. Even Lincoln, one of the finer men to serve in the Oval Office, did not end slavery out of moral considerations. The Civil War and political pressures led him to pursue the abolition of that abhorrent institution.

In spite of the Emancipation Proclamation and the subsequent Thirteenth Amendment ending slavery, Black Americans have continued to face tremendous oppression, abuse, and racism throughout America’s history. The feeble response of the federal government to the crisis in New Orleans (a predominately Black city) and Bill Bennett's recent repugnant remarks provide poignant evidence that bigotry and racism are deeply ingrained into American government and society. As it continues to pour $5 billion per month into an illegal occupation in Iraq, the federal government plans to cut entitlement programs to pay for the reconstruction of the city of New Orleans. This will render a significant blow to the impoverished victims of Katrina and to many other poor Americans, regardless of their race.

Despite intense opposition by the wealthy elitists who dominated America's government, throughout much of the Twentieth Century groups and movements fought to utilize the mechanisms available through our Constitution to advance the cause of social justice. The Women's Suffrage Movement, the Wobblies, the Socialists, the ACLU, the Civil Rights Movement, and many others employed non-violent means to gain unprecedented rights for women, the working class, Black Americans, children, the poor, and other minorities. Many paid for their "crime" of standing up to the ruling elites through loss of their careers and reputations, prison time, beatings, deportation, and even assasination. Thanks to these brave individuals, the soulless worshippers of money were curtailed in their oppression of the people, at least for a time.

Richard Nixon was a felon, but the Watergate scandal was rather insignificant when one considers that his presidency marked the advent of a new "Gilded Age". Starting with the Nixon era, Social Darwinism began to recapture the hearts and minds of many Americans. While fancying themselves to be part of a pluralistic society resting on the pillars of freedom, equality, justice, and democracy, many denizens of the United States have willingly enabled their government to become one of the most avaricious, corrupt, and covertly repressive entities in history. Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II have worked feverishly to advance the "noble causes" of the enrichment of corporate America, the expansion of the American Empire, the steady erosion of the populist gains made during the Twentieth Century, and the substantial increase in the wealth chasm between the rich and the poor. When we see Ronald Reagan’s face enshrined on the $50 bill, we will know that the tyranny of the wealthy elite has reached a milestone in convincing average Americans of the "righteousness" of their cause. Few worked harder than Reagan to advance their agenda and to bring the social justice movement to a screeching halt. [...]

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis published It Can't Happen Here, his depiction of a "democratically elected" US president imposing a tyranny on Americans. In 2005, life is imitating art. However, there are those of us who are willing to sacrifice and endure whatever is necessary for the cause of a more humane and just government and society. I will stay in the United States to work for something better. I will continue to teach my children to struggle for social causes. And yes, I will persist in my writing and other forms of dissent against the tyranny of the aristocracy, regardless of the consequences.


This samizdata they they somehow manage to smuggle out of the gulag and that we all secretly pass from hand to hand really makes you realize how much like a police state we've become.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 10, 2005 9:04 AM
Comments

Not only is his thesis disproved by the sheer act of publishing it, but how does he think it can withstand this paragraph:

Despite intense opposition by the wealthy elitists who dominated America's government, throughout much of the Twentieth Century groups and movements fought to utilize the mechanisms available through our Constitution to advance the cause of social justice. The Women's Suffrage Movement, the Wobblies, the Socialists, the ACLU, the Civil Rights Movement, and many others employed non-violent means to gain unprecedented rights for women, the working class, Black Americans, children, the poor, and other minorities. Many paid for their "crime" of standing up to the ruling elites through loss of their careers and reputations, prison time, beatings, deportation, and even assasination. Thanks to these brave individuals, the soulless worshippers of money were curtailed in their oppression of the people, at least for a time.

Obviously, we can disagree on whether these were advances (I think that most were part of a broad-based effort to suppress black Americans), but they do give the lie to his argument.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 10, 2005 9:19 AM

"And yes, I will persist in my writing and other forms of dissent against the tyranny of the aristocracy, regardless of the consequences."

The consequences are that nobody pays any attention to him. He'd like to be a martyr. Instead he's just ignored. Tough.

Posted by: Casey Abell at October 10, 2005 10:11 AM

Lewis Lapham, most recently involved in libeling
Roman Polanski in Vanity Fair (Is that possible)
reporting on the Republican Convention, from the
future, congratulated Bertold Brecht, for his
'dissolve the people" quote, has just about said
we live in a fascist state, using Umberto Eco's
definition from ten years ago.

Posted by: narciso at October 10, 2005 10:18 AM

For a minute I thought this was the Jason Miller from The Exorcist. But he died in 2001, so I don't think we can pin the article on him.

Posted by: Casey Abell at October 10, 2005 11:00 AM

He forgot to mention the Communists. Must have been an oversight.

Posted by: Genecis at October 10, 2005 11:11 AM

Did you ever get the BBC sitcom Citizen Smith in the States?

Power to the people!

Posted by: Brit at October 10, 2005 11:41 AM

Silly little man.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at October 10, 2005 12:06 PM

I, too, will 'continue to teach my children to struggle for social causes' like lower taxes, smaller federal government, abolishing affirmative action, etc..

Posted by: JonofAtlanta at October 10, 2005 12:47 PM

Please, in the name of humanity someone go oppress this poor tortured, yet untortured, soul, so that his life can be fulfilled.

Posted by: John at October 10, 2005 3:34 PM

When we see Ronald Reagans face enshrined on the $50 bill ...

I like it! When can we make that happen?

Make sure someone tells the author of this piece about the secret Ashkkkroft camps in Idaho. You know that's why we haven't see Mr. Ashcroft in public lately ...

Posted by: Steve White at October 10, 2005 4:47 PM

Few things are more revolting than anyone living anywhere in the West trying to claim a moral equivalency to those elsewhere who really do suffer political oppression.

Posted by: Peter B at October 10, 2005 6:22 PM

"Richard Nixon ... his presidency marked the advent of a new "Gilded Age"."

Yeah the 1970's, those were great economic times, weren't they.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 10, 2005 7:23 PM

Peter B:

Funny though.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at October 11, 2005 12:08 AM

"Covert repression" I am secretly being repressed by the government? How would I know? How does he know? I mean, if it's covert it's secret, right? How would the government know its getting efficient repression for its money? [You just say you're repressing them Agent Smith, but how do we know you're not pocketing the money and the sheeple are acting how they would act any way? Don't be silly, Senator. Now, get off my yacht.] Isn't the point of repression to let the repressee know that he's being repressed, else what's in it for the repressor?

Man, I gotta get some stock in ALCOA.

Posted by: Mikey at October 11, 2005 12:31 PM

You've just described the genesis of the Time Zone Rule. That technique won't keep the elephants at bay in other areas.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 11, 2005 12:58 PM
« GEEZ, MAYBE I'LL GO AROUND WITH AN ORANGE BOX THIS YEAR: | Main | PLUS, HE CAN STEAL VOTES WITH IMPUNITY (via Robert Schwartz): »