Thursday, July 21, 2005

All Hail the Emperor!

All Hail the Emperor!

This was the cry of the citizens and politicians of Rome when the name of Caesar was spoken or he rode by. Heads bowed, hands saluted, and the populace was awed by the Emperor, who was elevated to near god-like status. When founded,the American Republic eliminated royalty, nobility, and imperial government. The President, contrary to the wishes of monarchist John Adams, is not called "your majesty", "royal highness", "my lord", or "the sovereign". The Founders, particularly the Jeffersonians, rejected such slavish and aristocratical titles and ideals.

With the rise of the National Security State after World War II, the growth and usurpation of power by the executive branch has changed the face of the American Republic forever. The Executive, once considered the weakest branch of the federal government, is now the most powerful of the three branches. Every President since Harry Truman has involved American forces in overseas adventures and wars with little or no imput from the US Congress. The Congress has not provided any check on the powers of the President and has allowed it's own power to be seized by the President and the federal courts. This has created the rise of an imperial mindset to grow in the United States.

This mindset, what I call the new royalty, has been propagated by both major political parties. Whether a Democrat or Republican in office, each party vehemently defends "their man" no matter what. Lies, corruption, dishonesty, are all cast away by political partisanship. The Republican Party has now taken this royal worship of " their man" to a height not seen before in the United States. Let us examine how George Bush has been elevated to being the new king.

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Savage and other right wing propagandists promote the idea of the infallability of the President. He is referred to as "our leader", "your" or "our President", "your commander in chief", and other slavish and bootlicking terms.
Underneath these terms the real political theory can be examined. It is an old theory, one of old monarchy, despotism, and the divine right of kings. The terms referred to above are a subtle substitute for "your majesty", "your highness", "your excellency", etc. As I have related in other essays these are the old doctrines of monarchist Sir Robert Filmer, Edmund Burke, England's King James I, and the brutal kings of France.

With the advent of the new "war on terror" after the 9/11 attacks, the American right wing has made several inroads into destroying our republican government. The Patriot Act, the increase of the standing army, the creation of a de-facto national ID card, and the creation of an American domestic spy agency called the National Security Service. These events only increase the power of the federal government and the executive branch. The Right loves it because they do not believe in representative government, Jeffersonian Democracy, or the principles of liberty. They are in love with kingship, whether he is called a dictator, king, emperor, governor, or supreme ruler. This is our future unless the Jeffersonians among us rise up and reinvigorate our dying republic with the true ideals of freedom: individual liberty, freedom of religion, press, person, protection of habeus corpus, trial by jury,and the repudiation of monarchy and all of it's trappings. In America today we are seeing the elimination of the experiment in republican government and the trappings on the American monarchy taking shape. This monarchy rules with the help of a wealthy oligarchy of big business, big government bureaucrats, strong central government, and a standing army. This is our future if the authoritarians, both right and left, succeed.

If one more terrorist attack happens in America, particularly if it is catastrophic, we will see the end of American democracy. It will not matter whether the President is George Bush, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton or some other politician, martial law will be declared, elections suspended, and the rule of one propagated. Congress will eventually be disbanded, and an American Caesar will come to power. Once that Caesar is in power, American liberty will be buried under a new martial society, 500% patriotism, propaganda, and extreme nationalism.

Here is what life under the new Caesar will be like: internal passports to travel within the USA, police checkpoints throughout the states, the establishment of a domestic spy agency (NSS), the annhilation of all state and local power and authority, and the wedding of private corporate interests with the federal government. This is called fascism. Fascism is the philosophy of state socialism and the uniting of Big Business. Big Business serves the fascist state and in return receives monopoly powers and privileges, just like during the monarchies of the middle ages. A aristocracy is erected, the middle and lower classes are degraded through a declining standard of living, poor education, violence and high crime, and the loss of the locus of sovereignty in the people. High at the top of this pile of corruption, bureaucracy, and statism will be a dictator. This dictator will rule through a corrupt and venal oligarchy full of sycophants willing to do his bidding. The people will live in banality, immorality, and fear. This is exactly what the dictator and his minions want.

When this happens there will be no freedom, no liberty, no protests, no opposition to those in power, and no right to privacy. There will be no voices shouting from the rooftops against the new king, no one yelling rebellion or revolution from their soapbox. The only voice heard loudly and strongly will be " ALL HAIL THE EMPEROR!, GOD BLESS HIS ROYAL MAJESTY!"

If those words are heard, it will be too late.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Rise of the Empire, Part 3: "The Emperor has dissolved the council permenently"

In Star Wars IV- A New Hope Grand Moff Tarkin, the commander of the Death Star enters a briefing of his military staff who are arguing over the support for the Rebellion against the Empire. One Admiral begins to state " The Rebellion will continue to gain support in the Imperial Senate.." when he is interrupted by commander Tarkin who enters the room with Darth Vader. Tarkin states " the Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us, I have just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permenently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away." The Admiral then replies "impossible how will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?" Tarkin replies " the Regional governors will have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line; fear of this battle station." This fictional account of the dissolution of a representative body is not new, nor was it placed in the Star Wars saga by mistake. George Lucas has stated he studied the death of republics from ancient Greece and Rome, Revolutionary France and Napoleon, to the rise of Hitler. I believe these historical usurpations of power by tyrannical rulers is very possible in the near future of the United States.

In the last 50 years in the United States we have seen the rise of a powerful national security state along with a growing power in the executive branch of the Federal Government. This has not been by accident. Powerful politicians, military leaders, and members of both branches of Congress have created an Empire that is militarily the most powerful force on this planet. The National Security State which has arisen since the end of WWII and the subsequent Cold War has left a permenent standing armed forces. America is currently in 140 nations around the globe with approximately 725 military bases. This Nation security state is incompatible with a democratic republic. Paranoia, secrecy, coup d' etats, and assasinations are the lifeblood of it's existance. Democratic republics have no need to perform such vile acts. The currency of a democratic republic is respect for civil liberties, representative government, democratic political processes, no standing military, sovereignty in the people, not politicians, and equality under the law. In Empires, these values do not exist. Let's examine a possible scenario based upon previous dissolutions of republican government.

A little over a month ago, an off course aircraft caused mass panic in Washington, DC. The White House was on full alert, and the US Congress was evacuated by armed police and military. Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi was literaly picked up in her chair and carried out. Police officers with weapons drawn entered congressional hearings shouting and ordering all to leave the building. Now this was done obstensibly to save members of Congress from harm. What I find more telling is the precedent it sets for a would be dictator. Suppose the incident had been a real attack and that Congress was evacuated. Assume in the following days after the attack the President asked for total power to "fight terror".
Suppose the Congress granted him this power. Then let's say a year or so down the road members of Congress see tyranny raising it's head: secret trials, military patrols, no habeus corpus protection, and spying of citizens. Some members of Congress begin to object and start to rally both Houses against the President. Then in the middle of a congressional debate and session the President orders soliders to surround the Congress because they are "aiding terrorists". The soliders then enter both chambers and arrest congressional leaders and the President issues a proclamation dissolving the representive body and declaring that he has done so in the name of national security since Congress was aiding the enemy by opposing his security measures. In the days following The President permenently dissolves Congress and declares himself the President for life. Representative government would be dead along with the liberty it is supposed to protect. Impossible you say? Not in America! Well a errily similar scenario happened in the French Republic on November 8, 1799 when Naploleon, along with some aristocrats in the government, destroyed the French legislature. The French Council of Five Hundred and Senate opposed Napoleon's rapidly increasing power. He personally entered the chamber of the Council of Five Hundred and was assaulted by the deputies who realized that he was preparing to destroy representative government. After fleeing he and his brother Lucien, and the Abbe Sieyes, continued their plot against the republic. Soliders were sent to the legislature, surrounded it and forced it to dissolve. The French Senate, called the Council of the Ancients. and the Council of Five Hundred where powerless to stop and the members left in these now rump legislatures approved the Consulate government. This government eventually made Napoleon "First Consul and then eventually Emperor. Why do Americans feel this is so impossible here?

We are ripe for such a scenario. We live disconnected and distracted lives: movies, video games, "Unltimate Fighting Challenge", "reality TV", these are all the gladiator games of the American Empire. Keep the masses busy, distracted, unconnected, and the elite will silently begin their rule. Once in power, like all despots, they will not give up their power without a fight.

The Republican Party and the far Right's near worship of George Bush is reminiscent of the aristocratical mindset of blind obedience to the king. This aristocratical and ancient doctrine has resurfaced in the likes of rabid right wing fanatics like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and G. Gordon Liddy. These neo-fascists promote the idea that loyalty lies with the person of the President, not with the Constitution or the intent of the Founders. Reason, rationality and common sense are cast aside by lies, loudmouth bluster and anti-intellectualism. This is the work of propaganda and manipulation of public opinion through mass media.

The Democratic Party is no better. When in power they promoted the idea that President Clinton's policies were pracitally infalliable and that opposition to him was immoral. Now with Bush in power they are unable to provide a true opposition to imperialism and tyranny. They cower, and meekly oppose the President, and have seemed to perfect the art of cowardly sacrifice of the American people's liberties and freedoms.

I know this all sounds depressing, that is because it should be. We are the closest we have ever been to an end of representative government and Jeffersonian Democracy. Tommy Franks, US Army General and statist, gleefully told Cigar Afficianado magazine a couple of years ago that if the US suffered another catastrophic attack, the "Constitution would probably be scrapped in favor of a military form of government." WOW. Here is a high ranking military general making a prediction of a Napoleonic takeover of the US government. This is a very, very real scenario. Look at the attack just a few days ago in London. Blair and others will soon be screaming for more and more power to fight "terrorists". This type of event is bound to happen in the USA. The claim is made, much like Hitler's claim that communists burned the Reichstag, that Islamic fundamentalists are behind the attack. Do we REALLY know who is behind these attacks? For all we know it could M15, the CIA or even the Mossad.

In any murderous act, you must ask several key questions: why did the incident happen, who benefits, and who has the power to cover it up. This is not conspiracy theory talk folks, just basic police work. The United States , in my humble opinion, is one catastrophic event away from a Napoleonic dictatorship. Once the dictatorship is established, recovering freedom, liberty and republican government will be very difficult. The dictator will use any means at his disposal: the standing military, spies, police forces, and mass propaganda to maintain power.

Once this happens, the Empire will reveal it's true face and the words of Grand Moff Tarkin will ring true " the last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away..."