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The Year of Living Dangerously: Part Two of Two

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 Read Part One

 An Absence of Will


Under constant manipulations, lies and propaganda, a nation of courage has become a nation of cowards. A nation that once questioned its leaders now falls lockstep behind them, blindly following criminality and corruption. A nation that once stood for protests, strikes, marches, sit-ins, challenging the government and seeking accountability now prefers sitting comfortably on couches or chairs, watching the world pass by through television sets or laptops, some becoming arm-chair activists, most simply rotting away their lives, preferring the life of a couch potato, passively ignoring the destruction of rights and freedoms, silently acquiescing to myriad number of crimes against humanity, and obediently shopping, purchasing and consuming according to the dictates of the corporatist world, their new god the Almighty Dollar commanding them to congregate at the Cathedrals of Consumerism, the Malls of Materialism, told to do their job and be good consumers, spending what little they have, even consuming with money that they do not have, and must therefore borrow.

What dreaded dark skinned bogeymen could never achieve Bush, the Congress and the mainstream media have succeeded marvelously at implementing. Under the constant threat of terror, we have failed to see the fusion of government and corporations, now more than ever, as well as the mutation of government into the instrument of profit, revenue and the bottom line. We have failed to see who, in fact, the true terrorist entities are, what the true threat to our way of life, our liberties and our rights is. We have become blinded to the political duopoly, the two-headed hydra, working in synergy and collusion, not in the interests of the people, but for the corporate world.

We fail to see that there is no choice, that elections are predetermined, and oftentimes orchestrated by the Ministry of Truth, that an opposition party is but a façade, that only the Corporatist Party exists, its two hands simply performing a juggling act, each taking its turn running the three ring circus we know as government. In our delusions of grandeur and exceptionalism we have become blinded to the reality that democracy is a sham, that real democracy is a threat to the corporatist element, that America has done more to destroy real democracy around the world than any nation on Earth.

“Democracy,” it turns out, is a synonym for American imperialism, a disguise to ram neoliberal devastation down the throats of billions, a method of controlling populations through puppets disguised as leaders. It is only democracy if our corporatist elite approve of its victors, only if they pledge allegiance to the Empire, at the expense of their populations. Hypocritically, the nation that espouses freedoms, rights and democracy tolerates and supports dictatorship and tyranny if it protects our interests, but libels and slanders real democracy if it audaciously protects the interests of the people. Thus, in the halls of smoke and mirrors only illusions do we see. In the desert of delusion only mirages can be reached.

The dark recesses of fear have made us forget that the Constitution is not just a piece of paper, that its principles are the foundation of the nation, that in its words and meanings are the cornerstones of what and who we are as a people, and what we as a species aspire to reach. Its contents are the eternal spring that secures our liberties and rights and freedoms, yet we have forgotten that it exists, and thus, have allowed its meanings and principles to be castrated. Today, the Constitution gathers dust in the annals of history, now a forgotten remnant of humankind’s past, becoming a relic reserved for a museum, its words no longer read, or understood, or defended against the agents of tyranny who have always tried to destroy what it stands for. Sadly, the Constitution has been disappeared, both in practice and in the imagination of the very people it was designed to protect and inspire.

Unfortunately, in our euphoria of comfort, mass consumption and materialism, in our concern for security and protection, in our myopia of short term happiness at the expense of long term vitality, in our hatred of those different than ourselves, in our haste to seek revenge and deliver wrath on those scapegoated for our suffering and emotional train wreck, in our complete abdication as informed citizens and knowledgeable human beings, and in our demonstrated cowardice and silent acceptance as American-style wickedness is delivered to millions of innocent human beings, we have forgotten who and what we are as a people.

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We have allowed ourselves to fall hypnotized for the myth of egoist-induced exceptionalism, basking in our perceived greatness, claiming ourselves the greatest country on the planet, as if it is true just because heavenly deities make it so, even with our complete ignorance of the world outside our borders. We have used our unchallenged, unrivaled power, which we have simply chosen to abuse and mismanage, to arrogantly destroy our standing in the world, in the process eroding international relations, international law as well as the sisterhood of nations.

Our unquenchable hunger for imperialist expansion, which the masses nonchalantly approve of through our indifference, is conveniently excused by our historical call from the heavens above to a manifest destiny seemingly promised us by humankind’s gods. If we ever looked deep into the mirror, we would see that America suffers from narcissistic personality disorder, bordering on megalomania, becoming an insecure, paranoid, schizophrenic nation that must resort to allocating military budgets that annually exceed all those of the entire world combined. In our reality, might makes right, peace is secured through perpetual war, we are made safer by creating enemies, not alleviating their grievances, and talking to your enemies is seen as cowardice. In no other country on the planet are the teachings of Jesus Christ so hypocritically preached, but never practiced.

In our view, happiness is secured, not through living life, but by consuming and producing in ever-increasing and unsustainable levels. In our reality, slavery equals freedom and work will make you free. We are so happy, in fact, that we consume the most psychotropic pharmaceutical drugs in the world. Depression, stress and feeling unfulfilled, it seems, are keys to nirvana and heavenly bliss.

We continuously fall for the lies and the propaganda, the manipulations and deceit, believing ourselves blessed by unseen deities, living in a city atop a hill, showing ourselves off as a beacon of light upon the world to behold, and aspire to become. We have been blinded by a false patriotism that condemns those questioning the state while celebrating those sheepishly following its every command. We have been entrapped by jingoism and xenophobia laced in blatant bigotry and racism, thinking ourselves superior to all other people on Earth, even when we are comprised of representatives from all peoples of Earth. We are sheep, lemmings and followers, always mesmerized by talking heads, pundits and the so-called “experts”, never thinking on our own, always doing what media propagandists spit out.

We have done nothing to stop aggressive wars, the ultimate crime against humanity, resulting in the death of well over one million innocent souls, all of which we could care nothing for. Only American dead, of course, need to be mourned, counted and considered human. Only we are worthy of life, and death, and recognition. The suffering we have allowed our government to inflict is not of our concern. We have shamed ourselves in our passive acquiescence to torture, executions, gulags, extraordinary rendition, untold levels of suffering and the disappearance of thousands. We bask in indifference at the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and at countless other secret prisons worldwide.
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We did nothing in the abandoning and discarding of the Geneva Convention, the Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international law and in the trampling of the Bill of Rights. Yet the very nature of what we have chosen to ignore, to erase from our beautiful minds, is rapidly coming to our own land. We ignore what our nation has done to the majority of the world at our own peril. For the tyranny so pronounced, today and in recorded history, where America has vital interests to protect will soon reach us. We have taken the bait, almost continuously swallowing the hook cast by the corporatist world of profit and state, falling for each dirty trick reeled our way, assiduously falling for the propaganda of the corporatist media. We have allowed corporatism to run rampant, allowed ignorance to prevail and America to be altered, forever. Perhaps, then, we deserve what we get.


The New Normal


As we followed the tunes of the Pied Piper straight into the river of megalomania, as we slept through violence and destruction, as we sleepwalked the Constitution to the incinerator, as we dreamed the impossible dream, as we basked in the vices of greed and the Almighty Dollar, as we dined on denial and delusion and deception, our nation has been stolen from under our feet, transformed into a nation that has clandestinely spawned a growing police state, with a burgeoning surveillance society, becoming an authoritarian enclave, reared by indifference, nurtured by ignorance, protected by jingoism and xenophobia.

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www.valenzuelasveritas.blogspot.com

Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst and Internet essayist. His articles as well as his archive can be found at his blog, http://www.valenzuelasveritas.blogspot.com as well as at other alternative (more...)
 

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Depressing, but true.... by Bob Gormley on Tuesday, Feb 5, 2008 at 10:58:17 AM
Great Job, Mr. Valenzuela...Should be required rea... by Papawhale on Tuesday, Feb 5, 2008 at 1:14:17 PM
You have expressed what I feel with more eloquence... by Bob Tracey on Tuesday, Feb 5, 2008 at 3:02:53 PM
Well.....they won't attack you the way they do... by Amber Larson on Wednesday, Feb 6, 2008 at 12:50:55 AM