Sunday, January 14, 2007

Who are we finally?

The Pentagon has been using a little-known power to obtain banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage inside the United States, part of an aggressive expansion by the military into domestic intelligence gathering. New York Times
David Seaton's News Links
Really that is the question now: who are we? How did we get here and how do we get out? We all know the famous Herman Goering quote, You frighten the people and you take control of them. Since the beginning of the cold war we are living in the "National Security State". All those in power today are stakeholders in the national security state. This is a political construct that has finally produced something as bizarre as George W. Bush. Power is not acquired easily. Those that have it, have sought it all their lives, with all their being. Don't think for a minute that any of the candidates for president in 2008, if elected, would ever do anything fundamental to cut back the powers that Bush/Cheney are hoarding up now for their succesors. None of today's candidates would resist renouncing those powers from any special perversity on their part, but simply for the same reason that it would be difficult for you or me to unlearn riding a bicycle.

What must be done?

The only practical remedy I have seen offered by any mainstream politician so far, the only remedy that would have any chance of succeeding, is Howard Dean's "
50 state strategy". Only a major grass roots movement that empowers "ordinary people" can save the Republic from this sinister, systemic dynamic that the cold war has engendered. Why? Because ordinary Americans have the republican values hard wired in their cultural DNA. These values are as central to the US culture as cold logic is to the French or methodical analysis is to the Germans. There is no sentimentality in this, there is simply no other language Americans can speak. Even fascism has to be dressed up as democracy to be sold to Americans.

Leaders cannot reclaim democracy for the American people. Only the people themselves can do that. The leaders must be turned into followers.

Fortunately, at the same time that the new technologies make all this sinister surveillance easier,
Web.2 has placed a tool in the people's hands which makes resistance possible.

Web.2, and mass obesity, are the only two things that George Orwell did not envision in "1984". We are living in a period made for activists, not just for voters and leaders. The system has to be brought alive. Reform
has to come from the bottom up, there is no other way it is going to happen. Seen from this perspective, we may be living at the beginning of the most attractive political culture in history, one with the possibility of everyone actually being invited to do their bit to create a better world. DS

No comments: