The Original Think Magazine (Published since 1996)

The End of the Empire: Why America is Headed for a New Civil War...

END OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE

America’s people are unemployed at a rate of 22-25%, while its middle and lower classes are facing huge tax increases based on a tax estimator, and service cuts to cover tax breaks for its richest, who have officially declared a class war.

The United States is a time bomb, and it may well explode in Europe’s face. US experts are emerging from all sides of the political and economic spectrum in its media. They are raising alarms over the most telling predictors of revolution.

The uncontested verdict so far is grimly affirmative. Unemployment, wealth super-concentration and suffering are at “tipping points.” Amer­ica is likely to face a massive and possibly sustained period of violent upheaval.

MarketWatch investment columnist Paul B. Farrell is no wild-eyed, WTO-protesting, anti-business rebel. He works for Rupert Murdoch. But you might be surprised at some of his writing lately.

In a more recent article (March 22, 2011; “New Civil War erupts, led by super rich, GOP,”; marketwatch .com), he is succinct.
“Wake up America. You are under attack. Stop kidding yourself. We are at war. In fact, we have been fighting this Civil War for a generation, since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1981.”

But if you think he is the lone voice in the wilderness, guess again. He has some serious backup for his assertion. Warren Buffett-level supprt, to be exact. Buffett said, in 2006, and reiterated recently this sentiment: “There’s class warfare, all right,” warns Warren Buffett. “But it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

To be fair, Buffett also declared that the superrich needed to pay more and to be less predatory, but his tacit acknowledgement of the war presaged a huge economic collapse and the most obscene flow of public money into private coffers ever known to man. Too big to fail and too powerful to be punished, the banks and their crony politicians mopped up and gobbled down the little remaining American middle-class prosperity with a single swipe of George W. Bush’s pen.
Why no revolution at that moment? Why no backlash and bomb­ing, or even a whiff of violence in response to the abuse? The propaganda machine is why… but its memes are running thin.

To date, the sluggish and undereducated American population has been absorbed in the “superrich daydream,” as Farrell describes it. “Why tax the superrich when someday I am going to be rich like them?” is a mantra played over and over by, ironically, his bosses at Murdoch’s corporate headquarters, through Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.

When rage built up in recent years, it was cunningly aimed at the Obama administration and diverted into “Tea Party” hijinks. “Taxes are bad… You can’t stop the market… The banks will pay us back…” the lies flowed from the right and the corporate media, even as they laughed and planned even more abuse.

The result? Americans elected the Trojan Horse, installing a new group of even more sociopathic thieves and animals under the guise of tax revolt. Now, rather than create jobs and cut deficits, Americans are faced with a $1.8-trillion tax cut for the rich, a slash to all the programs which support their elderly and poor, and an increase in defense spending as well.

Unfortunately for the republicans and their new-breed stooges, the Tea Party GOP, they are electing to spit in people’s faces as the aforementioned tipping points come into play. Witness to this is the unemployment rate. Though officially pegged at 8.8%, the true number is closer to 25%, according to pollsters who use their own, less rosy approaches to sampling.

The reason the numbers diverge is that people who are unemployed for two years, are employed half-time, are considered not looking for work, or who are retirement-aged, students, or carrying any of numerous statuses are discounted from the rate. The unemployment rate also does not factor in the underemployed, the poorly employed, the working homeless or even multiple persons in a single home looking for a job.

So… 8.8% is a lie.

In the Great Depression, there were no such shenanigans. No work? Unemployed. Period. People know when they have no jobs, and even in the sedentary minds of the American masses, the superrich daydream is being awoken from, right at the tipping point.
That tipping point is the 25% unemployment that was suffered after the crash in 1929. On top of this, the stripping away of all services aimed at relieving poverty, the attempts to legalize illegal foreclosures and bald-faced attempts to attack peaceful protestors are rankling an unstable, uneducated and angry hive of gun-loving Americans.

There is no real outlet for the anger and the pressure. The Tea Party delusion has worn off as well, thanks to some excesses and calls for violence. The calls for action are, as a result, turning away from elections and simple protests.

A republican attack on labor rights in Wisconsin was partly averted by massive protests. However, a call was sent to actually instigate violence by the governing Republicans themselves.

Scott Walker, the state’s governor, was caught red-handed by a phone prankster, stating that he had considered using agitators to spark violence with the unions and invoke a state of emergency. He thought he was speaking to one of the Koch brothers, extremist anti-democracy industrialists heavily backing the war on the poor.

The calls for violence against workers were more strident from another state, Indiana. The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism found a call to create a “false attack” on Walker. Carlos Lam, a deputy prosecutor and Republican, sent an email advising Walker thusly:

"If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions' cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions… [the attack] would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions."

This kind of violence-baiting was not a one-off by any means. Republicans and their supporters feel they have the upper hand in violence, and that using it is justified. Another Indianan, Deputy Attorney General Jeff Cox, called for Wisconsin to “use live ammunition on protestors.” He later added, “You're damn right I advocate deadly force.”

But the right wing of American politics received a slap in the face itself. Walker lost his support, and anti-union sentiment fell through the floor. Americans like working with dignity. Who’d have thought?

And his plan to keep police on his side (with a concession to preserve their right to negotiate for better pay) was wrong. The police firmly sided with the protestors.

The far-right in the United States is a notoriously poor winner in any case. But when they smell blood, and in this case the blood is the potential political ability to destroy anything contrary to their amassing of wealth and infliction pain without check, they become truly nasty. The idea is a complete, fascist, industrial plutarchy, and they think they can have it.

The truly telling nexus here is the direct link between the rich, their powerful puppets, and the idea that they feel they can win a new civil war with violence.

Since all else is in their hands at the moment in terms of wealth, and with a Supreme Court affirming the right of prosecutors to jail and even kill Americans based on false charges and concealing evidence of innocence, is there much more to steal or destroy?

Having already won most of the wealth and most of the political offices, the only thing left is complete control, and the crushing of the will of their opponents to resist their whims. And they feel they can wring it from the American people with false flag attacks and violence against their opponents.

Someday, someone somewhere will play out a violent gambit. For every one known incident, one can reasonably assume that more than a few others, undetectably hidden, were in play.

When that happens, a viciously violent American revolution will begin. The people of the United States are a confused, angry and often senselessly violent kind of animal. As Farrell notes, “Revolutions build over long periods — to critical mass, a flash point. Then they ignite suddenly, unpredictably.”

And if Egypt and Libya were previews, there will be one very big mess to clean up when it is all over.


Art: J. Cortazar

Think Magazine on Facebook