It Has Happened Here – What Now?
|October 27, 2013||Posted by Staff under Editorials|
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.
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.
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.
The American people themselves would honor and applaud the Bradley Mannings and Eric Snowdens of the world, if this government did not manipulate and monitor the propaganda campaigns against them.
There are no forms of government that cannot be twisted to serve the interests of the few against the needs of the many.
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.
Totally disparate circumstances have produced some of the most democratic struggles in history: the student movements of the 60’s; 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.