The United States in the 20th century proved itself to be the most formidable nation state on the face of the Earth. It settled two world wars, invented nuclear weapons and put a man on the moon. It also oversaw the implosion of the only other nation that rivalled it in military power and influence. It has the reserve currency for the whole planet and invented countless processes and products that define modern life. It was the engine that rebuilt the face of the human civilization and dictated the terms of acceptable behavior for almost every country. And finally, it dragged the whole world into the digital age and gave the internet primacy over every other way of communicating.
And that immense success was built on the cooperation of a continent straddling nation that saw themselves as a free people who were allowed enormous freedom in exchange for allowing their fellow citizens to enjoy that same freedom.
Here we are about seventy-five years after that immensely powerful country defeated the enemies of civilization in World War II. But now its richest and most influential citizens have decided amongst themselves that they no longer want or need a free citizenry. They see a new vision of the future. In this new world this elite would become the de facto rulers of the world. And the rest of the human race, including the rest of the Americans, will be their servants. And even the status as servants will be contingent on how much trouble they make for the masters.
And to bring about this new world they are using the tremendous power and influence of the United States government as their weapon. Having been given the fig leaf of the Patriot Act they can use the combined surveillance capabilities of the intelligence agencies and their vassals, the Tech Oligarchs to spy on anyone who disagrees with their agenda. And they can use the Justice Department and the Courts to enforce these agendas by dealing out unlimited prison terms to anyone they deem a threat.
The elites here are using the template that other totalitarian states have used in the past to control their populations. The Russians, the Cubans, the Chinese and the other Marxist states have been successful in the past at setting up a regime based on surveillance and fear. Russia was able to keep it going for about seventy years. The Chinese have done even a little better, but that may be because we have funded their industrial economy in the last thirty years. But our elites think they have the whole Marxist problem licked. No more talk of communist economics. Market capitalism is mother’s milk to these men. No, they have come up with a corporate state that they believe has all the advantages of democracy and communism without any of the disadvantages. It has the prosperity of the western countries without the messy results of free elections. It has all the dictatorial control of communism but without all the starvation and bad consumer goods of the Soviet Union days. So, everybody wins!
Well, except for people who want to live free lives the way they want to. Because certain things will have to go away. The biggest thing is freedom. It’s too expensive. We can’t let the proles have things we don’t want them to have. Like families, their own homes, cars and luxuries like air conditioning and good food. Those things will be reserved for the elites. The proles will get a guaranteed minimum income, free drugs and unlimited internet porn to keep them from noticing their futures and lives evaporating away. And they will get the satisfaction of knowing they are saving Gaia, their true mother.
It’s been a pretty effective plan. They’ve used the schools, colleges and the media to convince an entire younger generation that only evil people want freedom and a future. They’ve coopted all of the corporations and this effectively silences the working age population too. The only ones left to object are the self-employed and the older people. And as long as they kept alive the illusion that our leaders were selected by fair elections the people who saw things going the wrong way had the hope that things could be set right.
The 2020 elections put an end to that. The mask is off and we can see that the United States of America now has as illegitimate a government as any Latin American banana republic. And not only that, but most banana republics have nowhere near as much control over the lives of its citizens as the United States has. The pretense that Americans enjoy freedom of speech, religion, free association, and the right to bear arms has also been shattered. And the surveillance state will use its capabilities to punish anyone who tries to use these former freedoms in ways the state does not like.
So that’s a pretty grim picture. Are we doomed? Maybe not. The United States has a large population that is not used to being slaves. I think there is a reasonable chance that somewhere in the red states a resistance movement will spring up and act as a power center for a larger revolt against our masters. After all, in the last analysis the elites are depending on the US military to enforce obedience to the anti-freedom policies of the US government. If a big strong state ever told the federal government to pound sand it is not a foregone conclusion that the army is going to come in and kill Americans to make them submit to tyranny. In fact, I think even the elites know this in their hearts.
And that is how we come back to my title. A democracy ultimately depends on the consent of the governed. If the governed learn that the democracy is a sham then that automatically removes the consent. And if the free people of the United States decide that they’ve been enslaved the whole thing will fall like a house of cards.
The last two times there have been revolts they were led by the elites. This time that may not be possible. President Trump is the closest we’ve come to one of the elites jumping onto our bandwagon. It doesn’t mean he is the only one. But most of those people too bought into the existing power structure to want to start breaking things and risk being dragged off to prison or worse.
So maybe this really has to be a peasant’s revolt. I’ve heard that’s an impossibility but I think that just means it hasn’t been done lately. The good bad news is Dementia Joe and his woke friends are spoiling to cause more grief. It really only takes one good spark to start a forest fire when conditions are bad. And conditions are definitely bad.