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Surrender is not an Option

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Desperate People are Dangerous People

The Bush regime knows that America's days as the world's superpower are numbered. The eclectic conglomeration (i.e. the obscenely rich, mammoth corporations, lobbyist groups, Israeli interests, the Religious Right), which holds the true power in our nation behind the facade of a federal republic, is painfully aware of its impending demise under the existing paradigm. Desperation has led them to commit criminal acts of the most heinous variety. Defying international law and shredding the US Constitution, our rogue government has made the Patriot Act domestic law, has instituted torture as a policy of the US military, has launched an illegal invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation based on lies, has increased the magnitude of our nation's egregious acts of state terrorism, is sweeping away what is left of Posse comitatus, is utilizing Jose Padilla to eliminate the right to due process and habeas corpus, has raised the nation's debt to incomprehensible levels, has increased military spending to the point of insanity, and has begun the starvation of the dreaded "welfare state". Good-bye American Dream. Hello to the American Nightmares of Social Darwinism, overt imperialism, unconcealed tyranny, and relentless state terrorism.

They Have Done It Before, and They Can Do It Again

In the past, I have written that the US government is maneuvering itself into position to strip its citizens of the Constitutional rights we cherish so deeply. The mechanisms are in place, and its will to do so is strengthening as its power wanes. It is not as if tyranny, enslavement or genocide would be a new phenomenon in America. Just ask Japanese citizens interned during World War II, Black Americans, the victims of McCarthyism, those imprisoned for their opposition to World War I, or Native Americans.

Consider the fact that the federal government and their corporate, moneyed allies have historically maintained control of the American public through psychological manipulation and economic domination. Until recently, their scheme has worked to near perfection. Interestingly, the power brokers in America have indeed allowed their "underlings" a wealth of perceived freedoms, yet as in the examples I cited above, did not hesitate to deny those freedoms to those they viewed as a threat to the sacred cash cow of unbridled capitalism and the hallowed "free market".

Days of the "Soft Tyranny" Are Numbered

Even the freedoms we seem to enjoy have been carefully regulated from "on high". Propaganda disguised as news in the mainstream media has manipulated the thoughts and opinions of many Americans for years. Corporations spend billions each year on advertising to ensure the perpetuation of Americans' obsession with gluttonous over-consumption, narcissistic worship of wealth and external beauty, and belief that amoral behemoths like Wal-Mart are benevolent pillars of "America's values". The current regime keeps men like Scott McClellan on its payroll to lie with virtually each breath he draws. Through an ongoing propaganda blitzkrieg preying upon Americans' ill-founded fears, they have successfully leveraged 9/11 to gain the American public's consent to illegally invade Iraq and to shred the Constitution. What chance does the average American have to recognize the truth when they are bombarded with lies and propaganda from cradle to grave?

Weigh the fact that the public education system provides a white-washed version of history, leaving many Americans with limited awareness of the imperialism, cruelty, genocide, and state terrorism perpetrated by our government for many years. This same educational system emphasizes rote learning over the development of critical thought. The abhorrent No Child Left Behind Act virtually forces teachers to abandon nurturing their students' analytical capacities as they drill them in preparation to do well on tests (for fear of the punitive measures imposed on schools whose students do not perform well). Automaton thinkers serve the American Empire quite well, and those skeptics who occasionally slip through are quickly discredited as "anti-American liberals", "Communists", or more recently, as "supporters of terrorists".

With the advent of the Internet, Americans have unprecedented access to information and a powerful means to network and communicate quickly. This has severely under-mined the "soft tyranny" the US government has historically employed to manipulate its citizenry. Witness the plummeting approval ratings of Bush II and the regime's pathetic attempt to bolster support for the illegal occupation via the recent staged satellite teleconference between Bush and the service people in Iraq. Given the fact that a substantial number of Americans are awakening from their slumber and seeing the sobering truth, the abstract attack on our fundamental Constitutional rights is poised to become quite concrete. Once their "soft" mechanisms of control cease to function, those in power will employ cruelty, tyranny, and brutality (which have been staples of US foreign policy for years) on their own people. Martial law, torture, an end to legal privacy, and imprisonment of "dissidents" without due process are quite likely to become stark realities for US citizens. Orwell may have been off by several years, but Big Brother is gathering momentum for his ascension to power.

We Know there is a Problem"..So Now What?

Having made the assertion that the United States is evolving into an overt tyranny, I will turn to a question many readers have asked me by email. What do we do about it?

I want to start by quoting Noam Chomsky from his latest book, Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post 9/11 World:

"We have every option open to us, and have none of the problems that are faced by intellectuals in Turkey or campesinos in Brazil. We can do anything. But people here are trained to believe that there are easy answers, and it doesn't work that way. If you want to do something, you have to be dedicated and committed to it day after day. Educational programs, organizing, activism. That's the way things change. You want a magic key so you can go back to watching television tomorrow? It doesn't exist."

Well-Armed but not Invulnerable".

Yes, we do have options, and it is time to exercise those options before the ruling elite severely limits them. As Chomsky indicated, there is no "magic key". Those of us who passionately desire social justice and peace need to commit to a prolonged effort, and prepare ourselves to endure strong resistance, threats, intimidation, ridicule, persecution and even punitive measures from the government once their "soft tyranny" mechanisms finish imploding.

Some readers have written to me that they are ready to engage in a violent revolution, and that this is the "only way" to supplant the avaricious, malevolent force we call a government. I would remind those individuals that they are suggesting that the American citizenry take up arms against the most powerful military machine in the history of man-kind. Besides the astronomical odds against victory, the notion of a violent revolution also begs the question: who or what would fill the political vacuum left if such a revolution was successful? The odds are that a tyranny imposed by the most powerful amongst the victors would arise. If a violent revolution did emerge, I would not stand in their way to help defend the abomination in DC, but I would not join them either.

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Jason Miller, Senior Editor and Founder of TPC, is a tenacious forty something vegan straight edge activist who lives in Kansas and who has a boundless passion for animal liberation and anti-capitalism. Addicted to reading and learning, he is mostly (more...)
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