Definition of Götterdämmerung:
a collapse (as of a society or regime) marked by catastrophic violence and disorder; broadly : downfall the Götterdämmerung of Communism
No matter which of a near infinity of competing versions of current “reality” in the United States of America you choose to believe, the only common denominator among them is that something has gone horribly wrong with our society. The two major parties are to all appearances mainly interested in putting each other in jail.
Meanwhile self described conservatives who do not support the supposed party of limited government and fiscal responsibility watch dumfounded as the GOP runs up trillions upon trillions of Federal debt while continually expanding the power of the Federal Government over the lives of the citizenry.
On what the Main Stream Media calls the far left, there is a cacophony of dissent and disgust of the Democratic Party and its major media supporters. But there is no single world view, even on JPR.
Some, like myself, believe that our “democracy” has been dead, at least since 2000, due to overt manipulation of the election process. Starting with Bush v. Gore, and continuing through insecure electronic voting, highly sophisticated voter suppression techniques and the manipulation of primary election rules, the established power structure has severed the link between what the voting age majority wants and who runs the government.
Others continue to berate the Hillary Clinton campaign for its stupid electioneering techniques, lament the bizarre activity of the Democratic National Committee and furiously debate the merits of a Third Party versus a takeover of the Democratic Party. The only way that any of this line of thinking makes any sense is if you maintain some sort of faith in the election process.
Some, like myself, believe that Democracy has been supplanted already and replaced by a strange amalgam of authoritarianism and anarchy. The lock step unity of the Main Stream Media in support of War Forever shows the authoritarian side. The absurd “bi-partisan” votes in the Congress to give Trump more power; to support his every military adventure; to increase his Defense Budget; to put sanctions of Russia, Iran and North Korea; — all this shows me that the furious rhetorical war between Trump and his Democratic and Liberal critics is a sham.
Others buy into the nuts and bolts of the “investigation” of Trump, and debate whether Trump or Pence would be worse while speculating over what evidence Mueller will be able to squeeze out of the various assholes and shady characters who associate with Trump. The only way to take the succession of “bombshells” seriously, is to be believe that there is still respect for objective reality within the halls of American power.
What unifies us all in this — both left and right, both party loyalists and party renegades — is that something illegitimate is going on. Either Trump was installed by the Russians or some mendacious assholes are lying about it. One side or the other of that debate is committing a serious crime against democracy and the rule of law.
Never before in American history have the main stream institutions of civic life — elected officials, the political party structures, what used to be called The Press — attacked the credibility of our institutions so stridently. The powerful are telling us that they need more power to bring justice back to our Republic — even as they supposedly are trying to put each other in jail. There is only one word for a political system with no legitimacy and no single ruling power — anarchy.
Yet, those two parties somehow manage to get over their mutual desire to lock each other up to vote for war.
Fourteen years ago, on another board I wrote a post that got some attention and got reposted to some other boards. It deals with the questions that have now brought our politics to its current utterly irrational stalemate:
That Nazi Moment
From time to time, here and at our predecessor board, somebody raises the question of how much Bush is like Adolf Hitler. The conversation is invariably shallow, with the world-weary eggheads rolling their eyes out of their sockets while trouncing the angry lefty who raised the question in the first place. Bush offers no hint of wanting to exterminate the Jews or any other similar genocidal madness, and that pretty much kills the comparison for any practical purpose.
I bring up Hitler in the same breath with Bush for another reason altogether. I assume that Bush will never propose mass executions and he will therefore never deserve to be called “another Hitler.” But he damn sure is a sui generis W — and the depth and breadth of what he is capable of doing is still unknown.
For people living in Germany, there never was a point where either the aspiring Nazi Party or the governing Nazi Reich ever announced:
“We are nihilistic madmen who will start unprovoked wars against Poland, France, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Yugoslavia, Great Britain, Greece, the USSR and the USA — and try to conquer all those societies at once. We will attack the cities of our enemies from the air in an effort to destroy their civilization, so that we can take over and demand fealty from everybody on the planet. We will hunt down and slaughter all the Jews and Gypsies in Europe, because we think the world will be a better place after they are gone.
“We know that our wars of aggression and our systematic genocide will induce the most profound anger the world has ever seen, and millions of our people will be killed in this regime of Total War. There is a chance that we will lose this war, as we will be significantly outnumbered by our enemies. If we lose, our country will be occupied by foreigners who will define our future for us.
“Nevertheless we have a vision for the future of our Folk — and our destiny is to rule the world as we are the best people on earth.”
History shows that thousands of people, particularly German Jews, foresaw parts or all of this fate in advance. But millions of Germans, and millions of people the world over, did not believe that Hitler would really be as bad as all that. In hindsight, it is easy for us to say that everybody should have realized that the man was a psychopathic lunatic. But for those that figured it out ahead of time, they must have had a Nazi Moment — the last straw that confirmed that Hitler really meant to bring death and destruction to the entire world.
I have often wondered about That Nazi Moment — what it would be like to be a student in Munich or Dresden or Berlin in 1933 or 34 or 36 or 38? You could choose to believe that the authoritarian measures of the Reich were unfortunate but beyond your control. You could regard the harassment of Jews to be unfortunate but beyond your control. You could regard the bizarre symbolism and mass hysteria of the Nazi movement as unfortunate but beyond your control. You have your own life to lead in any event. By seeing the future accurately, as some did, you pretty much condemned yourself to death or exile.
In 2004, you really can’t know for sure what the Bush Administration is capable of doing. But here are the pieces of a puzzle that could match anything that Hitler did:
1. Ideology. The Project for a New American Century contends that the USA has determined the correct political structure for all societies — secular democracy with free markets. It is now the official National Security Policy of the United States to use our military to coerce other countries to adopt this “single model” of national development.
2. War. The incumbent President has responded to the crimes of September 11 by declaring war against all “evil.” This preposterous formulation carries no limiting context, no practical guide to discriminating more evil from less evil or evil from the merely awful. In practice, this purposefully vague theory of fighting evil has been used to link a war against Afghanistan (which was partially responsible for the September 11 attacks) to a war against Iraq (which had nothing to do with September 11) on the grounds that Iraq was run by the sort of people who would commit further acts of terrorism if they had the chance. Tens of millions of Americans support George W. Bush’s war against Iraq for precisely this reason. Obviously, this rationale for war is infinitely elastic.
3. Power. The current government now claims the right to designate any American citizen an “enemy combatant” with no means of questioning the designation. Anybody so designated is thereby stripped of citizenship, and all constitutional rights. No courts, no lawyers, no press, no calls to friends — just, poof — you are now an un-person. Meanwhile, the current government contends that its troops in the field are answerable to no law other than that of the military command structure.
4. Prisons. The current government has already built a chain of detention centers around the world that are shrouded in secrecy and where physical coercion is at the sole discretion of the jailers. The information age has made it impossible to keep all of the details of these installations secret — bizarre sexual rituals and systematic degradation are the tools of choice in trying to coerce detainees to give up information about other targets of the infinite war on terror.
5. Dishonesty. Here is where it gets frightening. The only limit on any of these four elements of infinte control is the conscience of the government. They start from the premise that they are fighting evil, and therefore they define themselves as good. All abuse and any mistakes they make are always cast in contrast to the Evil of Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein — we may put underwear on your head, but they will cut your head off. If you go further and challenge their motivations directly, they declare you a supporter of the terrorists. These cheap rhetorical games are bad enough, and ought to scare anybody with half a brain to death. But when you realize that these are all serial liars who never tell the same story twice, you realize that what deep shit we are in when they say, “Trust us.”
At least they’re not Hitler. At least they’re not gassing Jews. At least they’re not killing their political opponents.
So here’s the question. Let’s view everything about Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft in the most favorable light as of June 1, 2004. Let’s regard all these assertions of unilateral power as designed only to prevent further terrorist attacks against the US and our allies. Let’s assume that only real terrorists are likely to be sent to Gitmo without due process of law.
OK, for now.
What should a vigilant American be on the lookout for in case these guys aren’t as good as they claim they are? What detail would convince us that instead of earnest men trying to protect the citizenry we have nihilistic madmen driving the whole world toward death and destruction?
What would be that Bush moment?
My fear is that Bush and his colleagues believe that the demographic shifts in America that obliged them to sue to their way into the White House in 2000 have convinced them that the American experiment with mass democracy must come to an end. The War on Terror is their stalking horse for shitcanning the whole business of individual rights and popular government. They dream of conquering the Middle East, just as we once conquered the American West, and they realize that they cannot make this happen within the four corners of the Constitution.
They believe that America must be recast into a permanent warfare state, with millions of young people trained to occupy Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Democracy must be controlled or abandoned, and all who might interfere with their grand vision for Global Empire must be suppressed by whatever means necessary.
I fear that these messianic madmen are psychologically incapable of grasping the concept of defeat — that they are all overgrown adolescents who cannot govern their own petty egos. So they have carefully set up the mechanism for a global police state under cover of the catastrophe of September 11, assuming that once their dream is accomplished and all the Middle East is tamed, then the American People will bow down at their feet to worship the men who had the boldness to capitalize on the opportunity of being the only superpower at the dawn of the New American Century.
Their minds cannot grasp the possibility that we might get our asses kicked on the ground in the Middle East.
So, assuming for a moment that the PNAC manifestos should be read like Mein Kampf, what should tip off the average American that we are not dealing with honest men trying to protect us from terrorists, but instead are faced with a gaggle of bloodthirsty fools consumed by the painfully familiar dream of Napoleon and Hitler?
The one answer that I will not accept is they wouldn’t do that. That’s what the people who stayed in Germany thought.
A gaggle of bloodthirsty fools consumed by the painfully familiar dream of Napoleon and Hitler have minds that cannot grasp the possibility of getting their asses kicked on the ground in the Middle East are getting their asses kicked. By usurping the Constitution they have inadvertently usurped their own pecking order and now we have chaos.
As grim as the Nazi Moment is when you have it, all is not hopeless at all. More on that in a later post. This one is too long already.Peace Patriot, LaaDeeDaaVA, hypergrove and 29 othersJEB, Scott Crowder, Major Hogwash, eridani, nevereVereven, PuffGranny, canoeist52, Pam, chknltl, Babel 17, Koko, ccinamon, davidthegnome, Marym625, cleverflamingo, Iwalani88, Ohio Barbarian, Betty Karlson, Cleita, Coyote Walks, PADemD, Doremus Jessup, djean111, iggy, Enthusiast, jwirr, MistaP, NV Wino, Bernin4U like this
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