This is a very tricky subject. It risks running afoul of the “Love it or Leave it” types. But it’s time we dispensed with that simple – and simple-minded – kind of patriotism and take a hard look at what the people running the show have done to this once magnificent country.
I want to make one thing very clear, I love this country. Its people are as kind, generous and good-hearted as you’ll find anywhere in the world. Who wouldn’t love traditional American values like freedom, equality, and justice? They’re the very reason that people the world over have admired us and risked everything to travel to our shores and become American citizens.
But I find that during my adult lifetime something has happened to these values; they have been diminished, weakened to the point where, like the campaign slogans of slimy politicians who espouse them, they evoke a temporary emotional response but are soon too-easily forgotten – and too easily abandoned when the going gets tough.
We speak of essential American qualities with great pride and passion – but more and more these words are unsupported by any meaningful action. For millions, scratching out a living from our damaged, off-shored economy, opportunity is no longer a given in this land. Terrorized and spied-on by our own government, we find ourselves far less free and far less brave than the intrepid individualists who built this nation.
If our country is a shell of what it once was, perhaps it’s because the values we once embodied have become similarly empty and devoid real of substance or meaning.
Freedom, once the quintessential American virtue, has become something of a sick joke. The supposed leaders of this country have betrayed their oath to protect and defend the constitution, and in doing so have destroyed the very foundation of our freedoms. Measures taken by our government to “protect” us from hopped-up terrorist threats have dismantled our Bill of Rights, eliminated our personal privacy, vacated our right to due process and opened the way to allow military operations on our soil and against our citizens.
The surveillance state as it exists today in the Land of the Free would have been the envy of Hitler and Stalin. When we travel we are subjected to the most invasive search technologies ever imagined; more invasive even – and only marginally less humiliating – than the cavity search violations of our massive prison population. Our communications by phone, text and email are all routinely recorded and stored for use against us in some dystopian future. Our militarized police now routinely take advantage of black swan events to desensitize us to their increasingly unconstitutional practices of property confiscation, home invasion and population lock-down. And if you want to protest these abominations – you and your ilk will be corralled into Orwellian “Free-Speech” pens – far away from the ears and eyes of the corrupted bureaucrats who have so richly earned your rage and contempt.
Our voices at the polls have been even more marginalized. If it wasn’t bad enough that Washington was crawling with lobbyists and rife with back-door deals and pork, political corruption today has become institutionalized, thanks to the Supreme Courts bestowal of “personhood” onto corporations. With the “Citizen’s United” legalization of unlimited campaign donations, our politicians are now officially for sale to the highest billionaire bidders. The hundreds of millions of free-speech-dollars candidates now receive from financial institutions, multinational corporations, military contractors, insurance companies, pharmaceutical and agricultural entities now insure that their interests and their “voices” – not those of average Americans – will dominate the political process for the foreseeable future.
For example, where our government once concerned itself with the vitality of our own economic system and protecting American industry and America’s work force; politicians today have bent themselves to the will of their corporate globalist masters who seek only to remove all possible barriers to their exploitation and domination. Our supposed representatives now uniformly support policies advancing Free Trade, Privatization and Deregulation. They enable the off-shoring of our manufacturing capabilities, the suppression of wages and the erosion of workers benefits. Their actions day in and day out serve the interests of the moneyed elite – at the expense of the average citizen – and support the finance-based economic system that perpetuates the very worst kind of pillage for profit capitalist extremism.
Where once sovereign states managed closed economic systems; where goods were produced, profits made, taxes paid and capital reinvested in a circle of economic life. Globalist Free Trade laws have now effectively prohibited the very import taxes and tariffs which are Government’s only tools for protecting the productivity and livelihoods of the people. Corporations and their financial money masters are now free to place their factories and production facilities wherever they can best take advantage of exploited workers and lax regulatory environments. They off-shore their profits, depriving the federal government of hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenues, and the burden of that shortfall is shifted onto the backs of very same Americans they have so assiduously forced out of work.
With our government in the pocket of the money elite, we look around us for allies and find none. The press, that singular institution so vital to democracy that it’s protected by our constitution, is now owned by the very same corporate/financial interests who own everything else. Where once our national media was comprised of thousands of independent organizations, each competing to earn our trust, today all of our media are controlled by a cartel of just five or six corporations. This corporate-owned media is nothing more than an instrument for their propaganda; a private public-relations arm, dispensing only information and opinions which advance their agenda. When the powers-that-be want war, we are fed a daily diet of fear, mixed in with the vilification and dehumanization of the enemy of the day. When they want to vaccinate us, we are deluged with messaging uniformly praising how safe and effective vaccines are – but never discussing any of the evidence to the contrary. When the elite have selected their next presidential candidate, we will be fed positive exposés about that candidate, and not-so-subtle articles sandbagging his or her opponent. This, from a media which we have been conditioned to believe is uncensored, and offers only free and unbiased information.
It’s not censored… it’s controlled.
Though our press is technically free from the kind of government control, propaganda and mass manipulations common in totalitarian states, what we don’t realize is that when government and corporations are in league with one another, state censorship is unnecessary.. the corporate-owned media is more than happy to censor themselves.
Investigative journalism – once the ultimate expression of our free and open press – is dead.
Rare today is the story that exposes the true underbelly of our corrupt system. Reporters who insist on pursuing anti-establishment themes have for years seen their careers sidetracked while those who adhere to the establishment narratives – either because of ignorance or guile – are promoted, advanced and held up as the new ministers of truth. Any journalists who refuse to be compromised and who persist in seeking out and exposing truth are exiled to alternate media, and disparaged as pajama-clad bloggers, truthers or conspiracy theorists.
And we buy it.
We trust the co-opted reporter from the Times, we’re enthralled by the deep voice and calm delivery of professional newsreader from the Evening News, never quite imagining that they are tools of the system, and that their reporting is intended to corral us; to scare, cajole, mislead and entice us into emotional and psychological states amenable to the agenda of the moneyed elite. We were told the lie, for example, that Sadaam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction – but not the truth that he was defying the banking elite by offering his oil for sale in Euros and thereby challenging the dollar reserve status. We are told today that Iran is a growing nuclear threat, but not that this is a country – unlike the U.S. – that has never attacked any other nation in its history. We believe as we are told that Russia invaded the Ukraine, but kept ignorant of the billions spent by our nation to help overthrow the Ukraine’s former, democratically elected government, or how in it’s place we installed a hand-picked band of fascist thugs. We are told that free trade agreements will help business and improve the economy – but not that our jobs will be exported and we will be denied the benefits of off-shored corporate profits and avoided taxes.
This, my friends, is the new America, the once great but future wasteland. Our freedoms are a thing of the past, our power as a people is gone. We live under political system where only the interests of big money, big corporations, and the millitary/security complex hold sway. We live, not in a democracy, not in a republic, but in a fascist, increasingly totalitarian state. We refuse to believe this, because our masters have been far more skillful – they’ve got better publicists – than the brutish dictators of the past. Our brazenly two-faced politicians hide their tyranny behind false patriotism and insincere invocations of Justice, Democracy and Freedom… sacred American ideals that are defiled each time they’re uttered by these faithless traitors.
The inconvenient truth is that we no longer live under a democratic form of government. This is Fascism people… they’ve just put a friendly face on it.