Why is it that virtually every liberal or progressive proposal for socioeconomic or political change in the United States is still-born, or on the rare occasions it survives the birthing process, it is beaten into submission by a domineering patriarch?
And why have virtually all crusaders for progressive causes in the "land of the free" wound up imprisoned (i.e. Eugene Debs), deported (Emma Goldman), or assassinated (MLK)?
For a nation that Thomas Paine, the intellectual catalyst of the American Revolution, envisioned as "an asylum for mankind", the United States has not been very hospitable to dissent or dissidents. How can this be?
A simple summation of a highly complex answer is that powerful reactionary forces are consistently poised to suppress those who dare to challenge the tyranny of the de facto aristocracy and corporatocracy. And they have an extraordinary propaganda machine known as the mainstream media to sustain the myth that the United States is a nation governed by and for "We the People".
One can readily find multiple examples of other governments and nations guilty of heinous crimes against humanity, but with a foreign policy that has resulted in the annihilation of millions of civilians, the United States is as malevolent as some of history's most despicable empires. And the "bastion of human rights" has a highly questionable track record domestically too. Ask Native Americans and Blacks how their ancestors fared in a nation populated largely by self-professed Christians and ostensibly governed as a constitutional republic.
It HAS happened here
Tragically, the forces of avarice, militarism, nationalism, and lust for power have all but extinguished the bright illumination cast by those amongst the Founding Fathers who were deeply influenced by the Age of Enlightenment. Despite its military and technological prowess, the United States is awash in ignorance, superstition, repression, and fear reminiscent of the Dark Ages.
Holding the reins guiding the world's sole remaining super-power, the United States' ruling elite have seized (or perhaps created) a ripe opportunity. Preying on ignorance and fear, they have convinced many amongst the masses to sell their souls for the "security" of fascist and corporate rule.
Fascism is multi-faceted and has been defined in a multitude of ways. However, Wikipedia provides a simple and succinct summary of fascism's widely accepted defining characteristics:
Fascism is associated by many scholars with one or more of the following characteristics: a very high degree of nationalism, economic corporatism, a powerful, dictatorial leader who portrays the nation, state or collective as superior to the individuals or groups composing it.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Sinclair Lewis' prediction has come true. And despite desperate propagandistic attempts to preserve the false cloak of humanitarianism, the Bush Regime is overtly displaying the innate savagery and predatory nature of the American Empire, Inc.
In the United States' version of a fascist state, the flag and those who mindlessly Pledge Allegiance have become nearly ubiquitous. The so-called "Patriot Act" has severely diminished civil liberties yet is widely accepted as necessary to preserve the security of "our nation". Two consecutive elections (each of which denied US citizens the opportunity to truly influence the outcome) "catapulted" a morally and intellectually bankrupt man into the role of "leader of the free world". Natural disasters occur and thousands of human beings are left to suffer and die. Imperial wars cost hundreds of thousands of lives, plunge the nation further into fiscal and moral bankruptcy, and strain military personnel beyond their limits. The Decider and company continue greedily consolidating power to elevate Bush to the position of a unitary executive. And thanks to the zealous efforts of the Bush Regime, the widening wealth gap and deep cuts to federal social programs are enabling some Developing Nations to surpass the United States in areas such as education and health care.
Corporatism and its evil ways...
With the rise of economic corporatism, the line between corporations and the federal government has blurred significantly. Dick Cheney is one of many key government officials who seamlessly slide between the private and public sector, closing the door on neither. In a blatantly criminal example, this "revolving door" has enabled Halliburton to win no-bid contracts and defraud tax-payers of billions of dollars. Intense lobbying efforts, large campaign donations, and the manipulation of Congresspeople with promises to create (or threats to eliminate) jobs ensure that corporate interests prevail in the public arena. And with $600 billion of public money going toward military spending each year, corporate defense contractors have become the pushers for a nation addicted to war.
How did corporations become so powerful?