Thursday, July 2, 2020

What is the American Nightmare? - Part 1

Yesterday it was Terrorism followed by financial collapse. Today it's local cops and global pandemics. The modern American culture is strained by a collective fear that moves through seasons like fashion. 

Many believe these are a natural course of events sweeping through American history,  while others see the concentrated efforts which are spawning the chaos being witnessed -- a spectacle that is revealing more of itself everyday. Whether we are of one belief or the other, we are further divided from our own counterparts and allies, by our disagreements on details about the order.  

In the midst of such unpredictable menace, Americans are preparing for another Independence Day celebration as July 4th, 2020 approaches. That is the holiday on which we celebrate the birth of the nation and the values on which it was founded.

Some may find it difficult to revel in traditions that have evolved into mythologies. Hot dogs, beer, and fireworks will not relieve us of the high pressure conditions that are calling us to turn our faces toward the coming storm. To spend our time and energies wisely this 4th of July, it would be valuable to reminisce about the designs of collective fear that Americans sported back during a simpler time -- the mid 20th Century. 

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History teaches us that post-war America was inundated by fears of Communism in all its forms, from nuclear attacks to philosophical infiltration. This country was tormented by the possibility of Marxist ideologies seeping in and curdling the values we try to celebrate every Independence Day.  

Schools were running drills that taught children that a protective measure against nuclear attacks was to hide under their desks, while control freaks like Senator Joseph McCarthy dominated the national political stage. (He is history's poster child of witch hunts -- a building block of the surveillance state of the time.) 

History also teaches us that around the same time, the post-war America of the mid 20th Century was riding a wave of economic success. We manufactured cars and appliances, selling valuable products all around the world. Soldiers returning from World War II bought houses and started families using the compensations they received for fighting for America.  

At home, all (socioeconomic) echelons of our civilization were experiencing comparable rates of prosperity. The circumstance of working a simple job during standard business hours, for 30 to 35 years while supporting a nuclear family, and then retiring comfortably with a pension is a relic from this era. All the while, the Cold War fumed like dry ice. 

Intelligence races raged on between us and the Soviet Union as our anti-Communist motivations led our military operations into southern Asia, and eventually Vietnam. There the Soviets were backing the north. Closer to home, they made agreements with Cuba which precipitated into what we're taught was the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

Fidel Castro developed favorable relations with the American Mafia through dealings that blessed the future of the gaming industry in the city of Las Vegas as America rolled into the 1960s. We had no idea who killed Kennedy, but challenging traditional values from the grass roots level had become the new vogue.    

The movements of the 1960s had similarities with the Progressive movement of the 1930s, in sentiment and results. Both episodes had some democratizing effects on American Society, while also expanding the size and power of Government. 

A fundamental factor in opposition to Communism is that its a system in which all supply side resources within a nation's economy are controlled entirely by the government. There are no privatized owners of goods and services, and all prices are fixed, rather than being determined by free market forces. Once Government starts growing, what incentive does it have to slow down, or scale back? 

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What is Government? A hierarchy of power structures? Committees of public servants who manipulate Policy? A collection of buildings and boarders sustained by power? Despite being centralized and having figureheads and mouthpieces at all levels, it's not easy to comprehend what it is. One thing that's certain is it's a living organism that grows and evolves to protect its own survival against threats, both external and internal. 

Given our foreign relations during this post-war era, in addition to the tides shifting from within, notorious people like McCarthy who became known for their unscrupulous methods of investigation -- they begin to seem reasonable, and rightfully paranoid. Black budget projects run by governments in the name of protecting a country and it's people are paid by the people but hidden from the people. How can the size of Government be known by the people, if parts of it are hidden? 

The ways Government interfaces with the people are primarily fixed in a mode to make collections: they take money to make money. Tax collection is not an actual earning, yet Government calls it revenue. 

At another end, it interfaces with private companies for R&D and manufacturing services (today, mainly in the industries of technology and security). A vast private security apparatus is being formed within our country, backed by the government, outside the lucid awareness of the mainstream populace.  Is the government that we know about only the tip of a dark iceberg that grows like a cancer in the dark? 

By the end of the 1970s, we began fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. This was the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. The world rejoiced at the fall of the Berlin Wall as the USSR shattered, by the close of the 1980s. Did we believe Capitalism now had the room to thrive to its full potential, since our Soviet enemies were crushed? 

The Communist Party might have lost Russia at that point, but maintained a hold on China. Mao Tse Tung made this official in 1949, yet our relationship with China ran a very different course. Was this because, despite its Communist orientation, China acted more and more like a Capitalist country on the global stage? 

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Today, nearly everything we own and use in our homes have been made in China. The virus that's keeping us in indefinite lockdown has been made in China. Ultimately, we sustained trade relations with China despite any ideological differences, and complete disregard for the nature of its government's tyranny against its own people. 

The ideas of ownership and freedom held by an American are vastly different from those that are held by a Chinese person. In the US, one of our main concerns about today's surveillance state is the depletion of privacy. When speaking to friends in China about this issue, it can be shocking for an American to learn that such a thought barely crosses their minds: to them, their government is everywhere, knows everything, and is always listening. 

China is a perfect portrayal of how Communism and Capitalism can coexist as a single organism that considers itself a god. Why were we fighting Communism if it can harmonize with Capitalism so successfully? 

We tell ourselves that it was all in the interest of protecting our Democracy, but our human liberties depleted before us, despite the fall of the Soviet Union, right within in the sanctuary of our own Capitalist state. Part of what must be realized is that we were fighting all the wrong battles throughout the mid 20th Century. 

War has exhausted and traumatized us along with countless others throughout the world. The post-war America we so fondly romanticize -- it never truly was, because war never stopped. Still, only after 911 did many of us begin to realize that war is something that is no longer declared. Like any racket, it's ongoing. 

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Whether we believe that the events which took place were naturally occurring or planned and systematized, one thing that undeniably unites us is Actuality. It transpires within our shared Reality and holds the material facts of Truth -- the data of what really happened at unambiguous coordinates of space and time. 

From those facts that unite us, we know that 911 triggered the War on Terrorism. From this we also know our depleted Democracy stands on its last legs, while Communism arises through China in a form that is stronger than ever before. 


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