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"Vichy America"

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Message Alan MacDonald
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As American people, we will very soon and very surprisingly be faced with recognizing and confronting the fact that we no longer live in either a supposedly 'exceptional' country, or even a normal country. We will be faced with the reality that we live in a virtual "Vichy America" which has been fully taken over by a guileful and disguised global Empire ---- just as France in WWII had been taken over by the Nazi Empire which installed the faux government referred to as Vichy France.

As good, honest, average, 'working class' Americans become further aware, based on perverted foreign and domestic policies, that they are living in the 'belly of the beast', in the heart of a heartless empire, and realize that this empire is not some falsely smug American Empire, but rather a disguised global corporate Empire that only wishes to hide behind that nationalistic mask, the good people of America will have to face a challenge as great, or greater, than our historical battle against empire in our first American Revolution ----- we will need to face together the need for a Second American Revolution, to save not only ourselves, but our entire world from this global Empire.

Aggressive wars by the global corporate Empire, currently controlling the U.S. (and the uniquely dangerous 'superpower' of U.S. military force), must be stopped, at all costs, both for our own sake, and the sake of our own children, but also for the sake of all people in this world.

Hopefully, (through actions like the March 17th march on the Pentagon) the Empire's war plans against Iran can be stopped first ---- and this can lead to unraveling the global corporate Empire itself, both within the country formerly called the US, and throughout the world.

Americans need to become as aware of Empire 'within the belly of the beast', as much as other people throughout the world are aware of Empire by being impaled on the point of its falsely labeled 'American' spear.

We Americans have a particular responsibility for overcoming the global corporate/financial elite Empire because it has overcome our country first -- and is using the military 'superpower' of our former country to threaten the entire world today.

I began to question the underlying issues that would allow a country like the US to seriously consider attacking a country like Iran ---- irrespective of our insane US president. I concluded that the major factor which allows a particularly aggressive president, like Bush, to seriously plan war on other countries, like Iran, and which allows a 'normal' Congress to be blind to such dangers, is that the US is actually a global Empire ---- which is not at all mindful of the wishes of its people, or the concerns or lives of other people in the countries it targets, precisely because it is entirely driven by the desires and interests of a guileful and hidden global corporate/financial elite Empire.

In other words, the actions of the US in Iraq or Iran do not really constitute the actions of a country called the US (and its democratic people), but rather are totally controlled by a hidden global ruling-elite Empire which has, quite literally, taken over the country previously known as the US --- and which is using/abusing its military superpower entirely for the goals of that empire.

While this may seem, at first blush, to be somewhat like a 'conspiracy theory' or even crazy, the proof of the pudding is that the vast majority of average Americans (and even a majority of Congressmen, once they are informed) agree that 'their' country shouldn't be doing what it is now doing to Iraq, nor planning to do what it is planning to do to Iran. Polls of American citizens and votes in Congress now confirm this fact, that average US citizens do not want their country to attack Iran.

The real problem, as I see it, is that the vast majority of good, honest, average, 'working class' American citizens (and even some Congressmen) simply do not have a model for understanding or even entertaining the fact that 'their' country is merely a superficial veneer of its former democratic nation-state, and that under this false surface, 'their country' has been fully taken over, and is being run by a disguised, guileful, and extremely dangerous global and militarist Empire.

In order for more people to even accept something as strange sounding as the US actually being a hidden Empire, I believe that people need a 'model' to make some sense of this otherwise fantastic situation. Thus, I have been using and proposing discussion of the concept of "Vichy America" ---- in which the real world example of WWII French people having a government imposed on them by an invading Empire (the Nazis) is reasonably well understood. If the American people can discuss, and entertain narrative models of a situation similar to "Vichy France", but with subtle differences, then I believe that it will become more realistic for Americans to begin to understand (and more importantly confront) the current reality that we are living in a "Vichy America".

Currently there are many fine books and articles that raise the issue of an 'American Empire' --- and there are clear connections between the PNAC/neocon project and its focus on American hegemony (qua empire). However, most of the current literature and thought is still focused on the more traditional model of a nation-state consciously transitioning from republic to empire, with the strong concept of a nationalistic and even patriotic flavor toward such traditional Empire models. This is clearly not the case with the entirely novel global Empire that has taken over the US. This new global Empire is not an 'American Empire' (although those ruling elites at the heart of this empire would like American citizens to think of it as such).

Thus, the model of "Vichy France", where an Empire 'took over' the country, and was not specifically or nationalistically French, is much more instructive of our current situation. Naturally, the current global Empire which has taken over the US is considerably more guileful than the Nazi co-opting of the French government in setting up the veneer of "Vichy France". With much more sophisticated propaganda and guileful use of the media the global Empire that took over America and covered its tracks by secretly setting up a virtual "Vichy America" has much more effectively disguised its murderous intentions by not so obviously signaling any change in government structure, but by maintaining the comforting image of government continuity --- and maintaining the façade of a two-party democracy, even while gutting the reality of such.

Most Americans, unlike the French in "Vichy France", do not currently feel that they are captives of an enemy Empire. Americans continue to feel like they are living in the America that they have always known ---- except that it seems a bit less responsive to their votes and interests, and a little less supportive of their freedoms, and a little bit less concerned with their economic well being, and a little bit less ......, and a little bit less....., etc. etc. Of course, some 'under class' people in America, particularly those living in New Orleans, are actually starting to 'feel' like they are living under the heel, and at the point of the spear, of real and oppressive Empire. But generally most Americans are still not feeling the reality and truth of Hannah Arendt's famous warning, "Empire abroad entails tyranny at home."

I continue to hope that we can stop war on Iran first, and then progressively address the issue of excising this cancer of global Empire from our own country and our world. However, I would be lying if I did not admit that I am very concerned that the continuing wars of this global Empire (centered in the US) may well continue to even more murderous and disastrous excess before the real battle with this guileful global Empire will be engaged and won by the American people and all people.

I continue to pray for the Iranian people, and for the American people. Hopefully, we will vanquish the global Empire together --- and protect each other from it.
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Retired Director of Product Strategy NEC now teaching HS part time.
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