Remember Ross Perot's "Giant Sucking Sound" allusion to NAFTA during the 1992 presidential debate? Well, try this... Stop what you're doing for a few seconds, be silent, close your eyes, and you may hear a giant sucking sound as wealth and power flows faster and faster towards the plutocratic ruling class, and away from you.
This is happening right now (Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 at 12:30pm), and it will happen tomorrow, and the next day, and in the weeks and months and years to come.
We are in the midst of a nascent neo fascist plutocratic state. Just like traditional economic recessions, it's hard to pinpoint exactly when the transition happened, but I think it's safe to say that the conditions for this to happen were brought about by a very focused and coordinated strategic campaign that took about 40 years, and was spearheaded by multiple corporatist organizations (acting in unison).
It pains me to observe the many caring, intelligent, and good-hearted people pointing out all the crazy things that are happening all around us. From gestapo-like "show-me-your-papers" laws, to anti-labor and anti-union laws, to legislation against women's rights, voter suppression, deregulation across the board (allowing the looting of the country), media conglomeration and the absurdities in coverage it produces, impunity in the face of the largest heist in world history perpetrated by Wall Street, revolving door between government and corporations, laws that undermine the accurate teaching of history.
The American neo fascist plutocracy is consolidating power at an alarming rate, but this was bound to happen.
My take is that history will pinpoint the period of the early 2000's (after 9/11), and 2008 as the time when the plutocrats ascended to the seat of power, where there are now (as you read this).
Although the takeover plan has been in the works for decades, what helped make it a reality were (unfortunately) the tragic events of September 11, 2001. As members of the right-wing think tank the Project for the New American Century put it in their pro-militaristic report "Rebuilding America's Defenses":
Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor.
The report was published exactly one year before 9/11, on September 2000.
That set the stage for the final takeover of the country, shock-doctrine-style. After that, not only did they succeeded in plunging America into a perpetual state of war which greatly benefits (first and foremost) the military industrial complex, it also allowed them to finish dismantling the regulatory infrastructure (something that has been in the works for decades), which resulted in the final takeover of the seat of government, and the media (an important component in their strategy).
By the time of the latest shock-doctrine event in the form of the 2008 financial crisis, the neo-fascist infrastructure had been put in place. Constitutional protections had been gutted (habeas corpus, search and seizure, privacy protections), the mainstream media media ownership had been consolidated (to use as a propaganda machine), and the entire political system had been taken over.
So again, my take on when this quite Coup d'Éta was finalized, is between 2007 and 2009.
I believe that one of the most important (and revealing) quotes of this historic period is the one reported by Ron Suskind in his October 17, 2004 New York Times article "Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush", quoting a Bush aide:
The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''
Today, Tuesday, June 14th, 2011, you will live another day under this new order in America. You'll be controlled in an ever so subliminal and sophisticated way by the most effective propaganda machine the world has ever seen: The American Corporate-owned Mainstream Media.
You'll try to seek refuge (if you watch TV) in news programs like The Rachel Maddow Show, or Lawrence O'Donnel, and yes they will do a relatively good job given the constrains they are working within, but you are mainly going to be fed pablum.
Even if they wanted, there is nothing they can do about it. Their livelihoods depend on them staying within the media framework allowed by their corporate masters (I'll be watching Rachel along with you).
You'll be distracted. Something in your psyche will make you feel that these issues are too big, too complicated, to tedious, to depressing to handle. There will also be a sense of fear. You may be worried about more pressing things, like paying the mortgage or the rent, or health issues, or your children's education.
This is exactly the objective of this propaganda machine that is the American mainstream media.
You'll feel as sense of apprehension. You know there is something terribly wrong. Depending on your interests, you may focus on problems in education, or the Republican "debate" last night, or a myriad of other issues.
Tomorrow you'll do the same, and the next day, etc. As time goes by, the neo fascist state will continue its power consolidation, and just like the way a frog just sits there quietly as it is boiled alive, you'll just learn to accept increasing levels of oppression.
As the neo fascist state consolidates power, the level of oppression will increase to an almost unbearable level, and at some point, the segment of people that have been pushed to the brink will explode in anger and you'll see some angry demonstrations, but they will be put down quickly (under the veneer of national security, and the the help of the police state that has been put in place.)
The citizenry will, with time, become more obedient and compliant, and we would have reverted to some sort of neo-feudalism which has actually been the status quo throughout much of history.
I'll try to chronicle daily life under the new American Plutocracy, in my spare time. It's nice to be able to (still) write about these things. One day I may not be able to.