In our country, the lie has become not just a moral category, but a pillar of the State.
– Alexander Solzehnitsyn
Earlier this month, when General Betray-Us was among us, Larisa Alexandrovna posted Our Cold Civil War at the Huffington Post. It caught my eye, and I filed it away for a better time to write about it. Lucky you, that time is now. Her thesis is two-fold:
- There are two wars going on, the one overseas, and the one domestically. The domestic war is between the oligarchs of this country versus We, The People. In her view, the domestic war far overshadows the overseas war in importance.
- Move-On’s General Betray-Us ad represents a major pushback in this domestic war – not because the ad was so great, but because roughly 3 million MoveOn members were able to pool their resources and have an effect – of getting Bush, the Senate, and others to rebuke it.
I don’t agree with everything she says – she doesn’t get why we’re still in Iraq (here’s a clue), but she expresses ideas both new to me and also ones I’ve long held but don’t often see in print. Examples:
…The attacks of September 11, 2001 were not the singular, all-transforming event that changed everything. Rather, it was the Supreme Court decision of 2000 that changed everything, a consequence of that single monumental failure to protect the Constitution…
The robber barons needed their figurehead, and so their allied fourth estate bosses fixed the propaganda around the myth, creating substance where there was none. The propaganda worked to create an image of a war veteran candidate Bush with a stellar educational background, an experienced and successful businessman, and an honest Texan raised on a farm. Those lies led to more lies and since then, we have essentially been held hostage by an ever expanding parade of liars.
The corporate interests of America are now almost entirely at one with the political interests of America. The people are either relegated to the outskirts as unimportant bystanders or are caught in the cross-fire as casualties of a hostile corporate takeover by American and even foreign corporations. We "the people" do not matter in a country where corporate profits are tied to state policy, which then uses those same corporations to tell us what is real and what is fabricated, what is true and what is false.
If a voice of dissent should manage to slip through the heavily corporatized and politicized public censors, as we saw happen in the case of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a cadre of purchased truth tellers, reporters, and grassroots groups are ready in the wings to react swiftly, to silence and discredit back into the shadows not only the lone whistle-blower, but any other person considering coming forward.
This is not something that happens in a democracy. This type of political character assassination in which the assassins are so much of the mainstream does not happen in a democracy. It only happens in countries under the control of something other than the people, but not in a democracy.
In a nation where corporations control the government, the military, and every possible freedom that can be afforded to a people (voting rights, access to basic life sustaining resources, etc.), a thing such as "democracy" is merely another marketing strategy or product brand, worn like one might wear a tiny American flag on the lapel of a dinner jacket.
Such corporate control and merger with the government and military has been in modern times called fascism. In America, we call it "privatization," so that the jagged edges and unpleasant concepts of a nation where no choice is our own to make can be much more easily digested.
In America we now have designated areas where people may protest, conveniently far away from news cameras and the people they are protesting – so out of sight…they have been rendered largely invisible. The right to congregate, as with other constitutionally protected rights, would have been almost entirely dismantled by this administration if not for the Internet. So armed with a new printing press, a global printing press at that, it would not be long before the public awoke from the lies that led to the Iraq war.
And even when those lies were finally exposed, and we – the public knew that we were all being lied to, we watched is stunned horror as the corporate owned/state sponsored "news" outlets attempted to convince us that we simply did not understand the reasons given for the war in the first place. It was WMD; no, it was the spreading of Democracy; no, it was something or other; but whatever it was, it was always "we the people" who were at fault. We simply did not get it, is what we were told. The entire administration set off on a tour of the US hoping to convince us that we simply did not get it. What they did not realize, however, is that we simply no longer bought it.
It has slowly become more and more obvious that we are fighting a domestic war, as yet unnamed, but is palpable to any of us who pay attention. Although it is important today as ever that we hold the Bush administration accountable for cooking intelligence that led us into a war of choice against a nation posing no threat to us, the most immediately important questions surround the reasons for why we continue to be held hostage to that war.
Understanding the nature of the domestic battle can only lead to a single conclusion. Whatever the myriad of lies that have led us into Iraq in the first place, we now only continue to remain in Iraq as a distraction from the real war at home and likely for the worst kind of political abuses.
Divide and Conquer:
Yet those villains [the oligarchy] would have us believe we are fighting each other, a nation divided by its own political and social views. The same corporate interests who are robbing us blind would have us believe that we are a deeply divided nation: pro-choice vs. anti-abortion, taxes vs. no taxes, God vs. godlessness, gays vs. heterosexuals, and on and on it goes, pitting us against one another on the basis of every conceivable human attribute, position, and whatever differentiates any one person from another.
Does it not seem odd that differences that have for so long existed and co-existed, even with some tension, would suddenly now be strong enough to split this nation apart over the policies of George W. Bush? I have yet to meet a sane and rational person, regardless of political affiliation, who believes anything positive about Bush, Cheney, and the rest of their administration. When I talk to everyday people in everyday context, they don’t bring up pro-choice vs. anti-abortion, nor do they bring up the mantra of gays taking over the country. No, everyday people I talk to are appalled, embarrassed, and frightened of this cabal.
Indeed, on the most important issues of our time and despite our many individual differences, the majority of us agree on the basics of what is currently wrong with this country and its leadership.
So why are we being constantly bombarded with the idea that we are a nation divided? And just who spending billions on propaganda to make us believe it?
In our cold civil war, the enemy is not a part of the country called the "red states," as conveniently manufactured. Nor is the enemy a phantom right wing "wing-nut" or left wing "liberal loony," although there are some people who fall very much under those definitions. On the whole, however, there are simply not enough delusional and/or corrupt Americans to fill the manufactured stereotypes of the typical this or a typical that, even if the label is color-coded for political fear tactics.
The image of a divided nation at war with itself is a false one, as false as the reasons for this war and the general war on terror, which is more of a reign of terror than anything else. But who is it trying so hard to divide this nation and for what reason?
Perhaps the most obvious answer lies in that same question reworded thusly: Who benefits? Consider this question in yet another way: So long as we are standing face to face and not standing shoulder to shoulder, who is benefiting? The answer of course is the same corporations and their lackeys masquerading in the garb of government. They need to distract us, divide us, spend billions of dollars trying to convince us what we need, what we hate, what we love, who is evil, who is good and everything in between.
She eventually talks about how the MoveOn ad demonstrated 1) strength in numbers, and 2) who in the power structure is for us and who is against us, by their reaction to the ad. Read the whole piece.
I first became radicalized to her point of view, during the 2000 election cycle, back when I was a Green, marching in the streets of Los Angeles during the Democratic National Convention. I was reading Jack London’s The Iron Heel – which, combined with these events, connected the dots for me, and changed my view of American politics forever.