We Await the Crisis...
by Gaius Publius
From my mother's sleep I fell into the State
I'll have a whole lot more to say about this subject later. But so this piece doesn't turn into an essay, let me expand just briefly on a theme I've been discussing by borrowing a few words from Chris Hedges.
The theme? That the nation is in a pre-revolutionary condition, has been for a while, from which could easily erupt a "rolling civil war."
Hedges writes about the Trumpian State's reaction to rebellion, whether by Black Lives Matter in unruly opposition to the next murder-by-cop, or the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) rebellion against the masters of oil and gas, or any other trigger that triggers the #NeverTrump crowd to action in the streets.
Hedges' observation? We await the crisis.
Waiting for the BarbariansSince 9/11, Bush and Obama, together and explicitly, have created the infrastructure for a turn-key dictatorship. Hedges:
We await the crisis. It could be economic. It could be a terrorist attack within the United States. It could be widespread devastation caused by global warming. It could be nationwide unrest as the death spiral of the American empire intensifies. It could be another defeat in our endless and futile wars. The crisis is coming. And when it arrives it will be seized upon by the corporate state, nominally led by a clueless real estate developer, to impose martial law and formalize the end of American democracy.
When we look back on this sad, pathetic period in American history we will ask the questions all who have slid into despotism ask. Why were we asleep?
Where were the lawyers, judges, law professors and law school deans who should have ferociously defended our rights to privacy, due process and habeas corpus? Why didn’t they challenge Barack Obama’s signing into law Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act? Section 1021 overturns the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibited the military from acting as a domestic police force. The section also permits the military to carry out extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers.Executive-ordered indefinite detention. Executive-ordered assassination of citizens. Military response to domestic disturbances. Espionage charges, fines and imprisonment levied against whistleblowers. And so much more. All this has been done already. All this stands waiting for the right (wrong) hand to expand further the reach of executive power, and spark an exploding response.
Why didn’t the legal profession fight against the Obama administration’s misinterpretation of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Act as giving the executive branch the right to order the assassination of U.S. citizens? How did lawyers and judges allow the misuse of the Espionage Act to target and imprison whistleblowers?
The door to this power is in front of him. The key sits beside it. Will Trump insert the key and enter that dark room, when the natural rebellion against his overreach comes? Will he further arm and militarize our so-called "police," but this time order the attack?
Portland, Oregon police guarding a bank
Trump has already, by choosing the cabinet from hell — the worst cabinet perhaps in American history — betrayed all he campaigned on. And he not yet even in office. Executive branch betrayal is no surprise; Obama did exactly the same. But Trump's betrayal is spectacular, of Dantesque proportions.
Obama's wet dream was a simple "grand bargain" for lower taxes and a diminished safety net. A neoliberal vision of relatively modest destruction. Trump already sits on chairs of gold and walks through Versailles-splendored palaces. Once he takes office, is "l'état, c'est moi" — and the battle that resists it — America's future?
"From my mother's sleep I fell into the State, and I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze." What are Trump's wet dreams? Will we freeze and burn within them?