As usual, the United States is embroiled in an armed conflict. Since war is supposedly illegal, we no longer have them, we have police actions and special military operations and clandestine interventions, etc. The latest, that one involving the Ukraine, is a bit different, a bit more Machiavellian. The United States orchestrated it (with help from its NATO allies) and is financing it but is maintaining that it is not actively participating in it, other than through assuring and facilitating its continuance in order to weaken both the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, regardless of the cost in lives and infrastructure for the Ukrainians (the United States designated tools) and perhaps, in the near future, if its luck holds, the Taiwanese. That nuclear holocaust is a risk is irrelevant. The ends, apparently, justify the means, and narrative management will take care of all but the radioactive fallout.
Thank goodness Donald Trump was eliminated to make the foregoing possible, after all, it’s a project started during the Clinton administration and implemented by the good old troika of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden (with an assist by Hunter).
So, how is the foregoing feasible, you know, with the United Nations Charter, the United States Constitution, etc.? Well, well-orchestrated political dynamics in and through the United States certainly help. There’s the purportedly defensive “North Atlantic Treaty Organization”, now morphed into a world-wide neoliberal enforcement organ predicated on “Mafian” principles; there’s the European Union, NATO’s echo chamber; and of course, there’s the United States’ bipartisan dictatorship.
Let me explain the latter.
There are two major political parties in the United States which, between them, split almost all political offices and posts at every level. One, the Democratic Party, has under the leadership of a certain Nancy Pelosi, with the assistance of a certain Chuck Schumer, become monolithic in its voting patterns (except for two recalcitrant senators, one from West Virginia and one from Colorado, considered pariahs and traitors). The other is a strange collection of feuding caucuses under divers, would be leaders, who find it difficult to govern. Not a bad thing as Will Rogers, a noted political comedian from the first half of the twentieth century once noted when he explained that “no one’s life or property was safe while Congress was in session”. Oddly, he was a Democrat and once described that political party in terms that now apply to its principle opponent.
Until fairly recently, interestingly enough, both parties were controlled by the same people, whose artfully planted moles in the federal bureaucracy shielded their interests from any populist threats. Somehow that managed to briefly change in 2016, making formal and informal structural changes in the electoral system necessary in order to preserve democracy’s innocuousness. After all, democracy’s supposed to be just for show. The control by the unorganized but highly disciplined state within a state that some of us refer to as the Deep State was shaken, perhaps bent a bit but not broken, and it is now firmly back in place. Thanks to an artfully crafted, controlled and managed “pandemic”. A curse for many but a blessing for the privileged few who rule us.
But, what does the foregoing mean?
Well, to all appearances, it means that ideology free monolithic autocracy and pragmatism have triumphed over principles, equity, democracy and liberty, nasty things the latter, every one. Monolithic autocracy, is maintained, sustained and fueled by the hate, disdain and polarization which the Deep State, now a memeplex all its own, loves. It sets us against each other domestically by gender, by race, by nationality, by sexual orientation, by religious beliefs and then does all it can to absolutely silence dissent through censorship, censorship directly by our government (all three branches) as well as through its allies in Internet technologies and platforms, and through abuse of the criminal justice system to attack political enemies, all while loudly accusing everyone else of doing exactly what it is it is in fact doing (the foregoing phrase kind of reminds us of the famous observation, “that depends on what the meaning of “is”, is). There is a problem though. Today, only the Democratic Party is sticking to the script, although a number of traditionalist Republicans keep trying to bring the good old GOP back into line. But fortunately for the Deep State, at least right now, the Democratic Party controls all of the federal political branches (although how legitimate that control is and how it was attained is questioned by all too many potential voters; but that is irrelevant).
To the delight of the Deep State, that “Democratic” Party applies Deep State principles and tactics internationally, as well as domestically, seeking economic and political control by planting conflict everywhere which permits perpetual sowing of the profits of perpetual war, albeit in the name of peace, democracy and liberty. And admittedly, those profits are not meant to be shared, at least not broadly.
To opponents of violence as a means of conflict resolution, to those to whom equity, truth and justice are somehow relevant, GOP traditionalists are not much better than Democrats, but at least the GOP is not monolithic, there is internal dissent expressed in actual congressional debates and non-uniformity of votes, with a wing led by Rand Paul that demands de-escalation of external conflicts and freedom of belief and speech at home, opposed to GOP traditionalists like the Cheneys and the Bushes. And there are civic leaders like Tulsi Gabbard, an awesome statesperson, except for her Islamophobia, but she at least thinks for herself and is not owned by the billionaire class. In truth, there are viable political leaders everywhere, in third parties and among those who refuse to be part of political parties (which have become the self-serving sectarians James Madison promised in the Federalist Papers would not evolve. The anti-Federalists, unfortunately for us, were right on almost every point, as history has shown).
Federal elections in the United States (now a dysfunctional mess as promoters of electoral fraud in the name of “democracy” obliterate traditional norms) are set to take place in a few weeks. Elections that impact men, women and children everywhere, most of whom cannot participate as they are not United States citizens. I wonder what would happen if they could? How might all of the people in all of the countries that the United States has fragmented and looted, … purportedly for their own good (or at least that’s the story), usually under Democratic Party led administrations (think WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Yemen and now the Ukraine but that’s barely the tip of the iceberg) vote? But they can’t, at least not unless they have managed to enter the United States and surreptitiously usurp the franchise, … and vote for the Democratic Party.
The foregoing makes United States voters committed to peace and equity morally responsible for selecting world leaders who really believe in peace and in sane environmental policies and in sustainable economics and in equity and in real justice. A daunting task at which we too often fail because our choices are drastically limited to those of whom the Deep State approves. As to those who do not come up to Deep Sate standards, well, not that he was great, or even decent, but look at what happened and is happening to Donald Trump, whose main crime is that he does not believe in perpetual war and dared to suggest dismantling NATO and bringing troops back from overseas. Look at what happened to Tulsi Gabbard, the star of the Democratic Party’s presidential debates until the rules were changed to exclude her. Look at what happened to Dennis Kucinich, gerrymandered out of a congressional district by his own party (the Democrats, who with crocodile tears now constantly scream against gerrymandering, at least any gerrymandering that is not their own).
All of this is possible only because, notwithstanding the famous “First Amendment”, the United States does not have (and really, never has had) a legitimate free press but rather, only purported journalists tasked with spewing mind-controlling narrative on a 24/7 basis. There are, of course, miniscule exceptions, exceptions like the imprisoned Julian Assange and those who look up to him, but there are less and less of those as more and more realize on which side their bread is buttered, or how dangerous it is to actually investigate and honestly share findings.
So, … as elections once again approach, we, the electorate, find ourselves confused, bored, disillusioned and disinterested, anticipating results we feel are preordained. Except of course, for dedicated and either well compensated or deluded Deep State activists, some of whom, like lemmings, vote in blocks regardless of how often they have been deceived. But then, that’s what polarization is for.
Going into these imminent elections, we are once again unprepared for alternatives, either because they have been prevented from evolving or because the corporate press and social media moguls have obfuscated them. At best, once more, we can vote against greater evils, although they are difficult to identify. If only Tulsi Gabbard could run for everything, but alas, she’s not running for anything, although she has endorsed a few candidates. Still, perhaps by recently resigning from the Democratic Party (but not joining the GOP), she has provided a sort of benchmark for our personal electoral decisions.
Too many of the most decent among us will refuse to participate in what they see as a charade but that may well perpetuate the Deep State’s hold on power, and that, in turn, may well accelerate the day on which our political decisions will no longer have any relevance, as the universe may at last find itself rid of the infection posed by our species, decisions which will no longer be relevant as our, and many innocent species, will no longer inhabit this sphere we call home. Is that a depressing or hopeful thought? I guess that depends on one’s attitude towards being rebooted.
Not that there isn’t hope for a peaceful world. One where equity and justice prevail; where truth is relevant and where we are each not only free, but empowered to attain or full potential. But that requires a great awakening and a rejection of those who currently enforce de facto, if not de jure slavery over so many, either in a pretty velvet casing or through brute force. Rejection of those dedicated to ruling us through polarization and perpetual war. Rejection of those who hoard the world’s resources forcing hundreds of millions to live in abject poverty and to die or be maimed in meaningless conflicts.
There is a saying that it is always darkest before the dawn and it is pretty dark right now.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at email@example.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.