Hang onto your hats, folks…

We The People never actually did the constitutions as intended.  We never extended the freedoms we cherished to those we disliked (Injuns, Darkies, Micks, Wops, Chinks, Bohunks, Catholics, Jews, etc., etc., et cetera…), and so the whole point of constitutional rule of law was compromised from the start.

In empowering a government to degrade or oppress anybody, we created a baby monster.  That monster would grow up, of course.

Well, maybe not so much a baby monster.  I think for present purposes I’ll ignore our government’s first centuries of slavery, native genocide/oppression, what happened with Civil War and Jim Crow, and move on to what we think of as our more pleasant selves.

coming-money-trustFrom 1910-1912, we feared occasional interruptions to history’s greatest economic expansion, so we surrendered our successful monetary/financial system to central banking and fiat currency through a political system of monetized debt.  This was also, not so coincidentally, how we could “pay” off previous wars and prepare for “modern warfare” in the future… by robbing the future.

Not long after that, our fear of drunkenness led to the prohibition of “…the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors.”  While this first prohibition of any sort of trade didn’t involve prohibiting consumption or purchase of anything, those additional prohibitions came as if by magic, along with rampant “civil asset forfeiture,” police and judicial corruption, and the presumption that government can prohibit other trade even after the 18th amendment was repealed by the 21st.

From WWI to WWII, our fear of Germans, Arabs, Italians and Japanese temporarily distracted us from our hatred/fear of Native Americans, Negroes and Jews, so our government took away our gold, rationed and prohibited a bunch of stuff, raised taxes dramatically, started “socializing” the heck out of stuff, and imposed lots of laws against speech and movement and so on.  But we were pretty proud after kicking some @$$…though we did, of course, fear commies (our allies just moments earlier) after that.

So some more liberties had to be curtailed, naturally.  That’s war, you know. Sometimes past mistakes rationalize making more in the future.

But by the 60’s we no longer feared alcohol, because we now fear drugs.
So we got SWAT teams, Nixon’s “War on Drugs,” and a thriving black market in …drugs.  And all without amending the constitution this time!
Police forces grew exponentially in size, armament, and since the 1980’s…immunity.

By the 80’s we feared black markets and drug dealers so much that we got more sting operations, spying, unlimited “civil asset forfeiture” and no-knock raids.

From the 70’s, when we tied our money to Saudi oil trade, through the 90’s, when some uppity Muslims challenged our petrodollar system, we decided that the people we’d been relocating for a hundred years, then overthrowing and manipulating with the Saudis, were “terrorists,” and THEY became our biggest fear…for which we’ve had to sacrifice innumerable freedoms of travel, privacy and finance.
Then after 9/11…ho boy!

Now the NSA has replaced Santa Claus as the keeper of lists, and you really don’t have any constitutional freedoms at all anymore.  You’ve got only conditional privileges with ever-more conditions on ever-fewer privileges.

Strangely, instead of thanking our nation’s founders, constitution’s authors and civil rights heroes for the freedoms we’ve been throwing away, we thank soldiers fighting foreigners in foreigners’ own homes.  …Fighting wars that rationalize the loss of more freedoms.
(how can we make this make sense?)

HwDrYuSo now we’ve got this really bad case of cooties, and we’re snitching on each other like CoroNazis, and trying our best to shovel even more power onto the authoritarians when that’s now becoming a very hard thing to do.

CoronaVirusNot to minimize how deadly a pandemic can be, of course.  With my first political campaigns, I tried to make an issue of our lack of preparedness for just such things (my first real job in healthcare was an internship at the Indiana State Board of Health, after all).

If you really want to live scared, communicable disease actually is a worthy terror.

ChynaApparently that’s not enough fear, however, because we’ve lately replaced our fear of Russia with the fear of China.  In some ways, that makes sense.  China’s much more dangerous now that we’ve given them at least close equivalence in economic, industrial, entertainment, information/ education, engineering and of course military/espionage might.  They could danged-near build a human bridge across the Pacific and kick our @$$.

But what you really should fear is that, as China has to an effective degree emulated our industries and market economics, We The People have emulated Chinese brutality, deceit and authoritarianism.
We’ve thus thrown away our economy, and our freedom.

…Oh, and our security.

Sure, we’ve angered the whole world by putting our forces in half the world with the guns pointed at the other half.  Our wars never end…even after our President/General Eisenhower warned us about the danger of a military industry.

But worse, all the preceding has rationalized more enforcement, more force, an increasingly adversarial relationship between us and the police and our “National Guard” forces.

Bad laws drive away good cops and encourage bad cops.  Too many laws mean selective enforcement, which is a major foothold for corruption and racism/tribalism.  And corrupt, continuously re-elected and therefore arrogant and unaccountable politicians want thugs and the fear they spread…it’s what gives politicians power over us.

Our collective fear, ignorance, tribalism and hate is leading us to a very, very, historically, epically bad place.  Only politicians thrive on our division, hostility, fear and hatred.  They feed and grow more powerful on our discord the way a tick drinks blood.

Our nation’s founders would be ashamed at not only the destruction of their gifts to us, but also that we’ve not come up with any better vision by now.  They’d be horrified that we’re fighting each other instead of the forces that divide us against each other.

We could easily fix things at least to fundamental principles.  I’m not the only one who for decades has proposed simple ways to govern our government, regulate our regulators, police our police, and make our justice system just.

HeroBut it seems us Cassandra types have naught to do now but prepare for what’s now inevitable, and maybe prepare to help pick up the pieces… …If people become any more amenable to reason after catastrophe than they are now.TheEnemy

Sigh… We can’t be the Land of The Free if we’re not also the Home of The Brave.  I’m afraid we’ve become the Land of the Serfs and the Home of the Fraidy Pants.

As demonstrated every Election Day, including the next one, by all the evidence I see, We The People don’t seem to want any regulation of our government at all.  We want authoritarian rule and we want it good and hard.

SaveUs

Over 90% of us incessantly blow electoral kisses to the Powers That Be…and then whine about the consequences.

And those consequences have only just barely started to show…

Hang onto your hats.
They may be all that’s left after we’re done doing to ourselves what we have always feared from others.

Fearing our own shadow

The Land of The Free has been surrendering freedom hand-over-fist because the Home of The Brave is scared of its own shadow.  Almost literally, its own shadow.

wwii-rubbleWe’ve for generations been the arms dealer and political destabilizer to the world.  Our CIA and armed forces have interfered with elections and even violently taken down one dictator to prop up another for over seventy years.

Our government has lied about its wars, warmongering, entangling alliances and foreign interventions for much longer than that.  Our CIA and NSA have been spying on the whole world, including every person within our own borders, as well as prying into foreign elections (and our own) for long enough that it’s disingenuous to complain about foreign spies and foreign interference in elections…unless we claim we’re the only ones who’re supposed to do all that.

To everybody.

All the time.12362834_10153703528535280_3712867037536160998_o

Though China is rapidly becoming a contender, We The People are the most heavily-armed, most globally nannying and bullying, domestically intrusive, imprisoning and militarized nation of all time.

It is our own shadows that both terrify and genuinely threaten us now, and, surprisingly, in the past, too.

You think our soldiers are fighting for freedom?   Which freedom?   How many freedoms must we lose to get that elusive freedom we’re fighting for?   At what financial/future security cost?   At what moral/social spiritual cost?

We have literally reordered and molded our society’s defense/military, monetary and legal and political structure to our collective trembling nerves.   Why?

While nobody ever says it exactly like this, the predominating justification for the USA’s violent, costly Fear-Aggression Syndrome is:

lucy-charlie-brown-footballOur past screw-ups necessitate today’s screw-ups.

Rational people can look at the USA’s past mistakes reasonably.  Our government made horrible, murderous, costly mistakes when it was far smaller, less powerful, less secretive, less snooping, and vastly less heavily-armed and militarized both globally, and domestically, than today.  But ironically, the closer we get to the present, the more wrong we call right, and the more we justify today’s wrong by yesterday’s wrong.

We all know that slavery and native genocide was bad.  Only the more educated among us know that the wars against Mexico and Spain were motivated by greed and desire for empire, and had nothing whatsoever to do with protecting American liberties and land.  But very few consider how Teddy Roosevelt stimulated the Empire of Japan and the USA helped create the Soviet Union, however, so we tend to think of WWII as a wholly Good War, where the USA wore white and saved the world for liberty and justice for all.

Bellamy2The point is that, the closer we get to the present, the more our views of USA government become disconnected from reality.
Even after we learned that the Vietnam War was justified on, at best, a screwup, we tend to think of USA government as a benevolent god of peace and love, incapable of wrongdoing (though we keep seeing new wrongdoing every day).

This is a freakishly weird phenomenon.  But it’s also the nature of tribalism and idolatry.  We love our team, and we hate the other guys.  We can’t see the wrong in our idols, teams, champions and leaders, but we know that the other peoples’ idols, teams, champions and leaders are pure evil.Testing football helmets, 1912

And it’s also just human: People of the past were THEM.  People of today are US.  We can easily admit that our ancestors did horrible, stupid things; but we sure don’t want to admit that, today, right now, WE are screwing up.  We’re blind to our own errors.

In other words, we see the past more clearly than the present.   And we see other sinners more clearly than we see ourselves.

So, as a result, we exemplify, even if unintentionally, the exact opposite of The Golden Rule.

This is self-immolation.   We have so many impending disasters of fiscal, social, monetary and military nature, that we desperately need an epiphany and revolution of heart and mind.

You can’t be the Land of The Free if you’re not the Home of The Brave.   But no nation can survive at all with this kind of stupid.