Our leaders explain that we’re sheep. Our role: to obey. Rebel sheep will be imprisoned or destroyed.
Summary: Sharks often use the “bump and bite” attack: The shark tests its prey by repeatedly bumping it. If the prey gives no dangerous response, the shark begins its attack — biting the prey repeatedly and viciously. It works for sharks, as it has worked for our leaders. Now the bumping phase ends and the attack begins. Attorney General Eric Holder explains the new order.
Since 9-11 our ruling elites have repeatedly tested us. The irrational indignities of the Transportation Safety Administration. Illegal wars. Illegal surveillance of Americans. Illegal imprisonment of Americans, even torture, without charge or warrant. Finally they took the ultimate step: assassination of a citizen, without charge or trial. At each step they watch for a reaction from us; we did nothing. Now begins the assault.
Showing a sense of fairness, like parents playing a game with children, the Obama Administration tells us the new rules. On March 5 Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at Northwestern University’s School of Law (text here). Please read it. For the sake of yourself and your children. In it Holder explained at length that the Constitution has died, centuries of progress towards liberty erased — and that our rulers need not explain why. There are enemies out there. Enemies trivial in strength by comparison with those our forefathers have fought and defeated, but sufficient danger to scare the sheep we have become.
Our rulers know us well. Even Holder’s obvious contempt for us — for the dead Constitution — elicits no response from the whipped dogs of the American people. His lies and evasions fool only children — and Americans.
In November we have an election. We can choose between factions of our ruling elites, both of whom agree with everything Holder says. Much as Holder’s speech echos the officials during the Bush Jr years.
I fear that nothing can save the Republic now. Next comes the end game, where the decayed remnants of the Constitution assume new forms and our rulers consolidate their power. This includes marginalizing the useful idiots that made their quiet coup possible. The Koch brothers take-over of the libertarian Cato Institute is the first step of the this process (see David Weigel’s articles at Slate on March 1 and March 5).
Then comes the best part — for them — when they exploit their power. Fortunately for our pride (however delusional) it might be a few years before we watch our leaders openly mock and laugh at us on television. Nevertheless our responsibility remains clear. The First Republic, under the Articles of Confederation, failed. The Second Republic, under the Constitution, lived for over two centuries. The Third Republic lies in our future. The question is when we will awaken, and what form it will take. The road looks long and difficult.
“We don’t expect kittens to fight wildcats and win. We merely expect them to try.”
— Colonel Nielssen, Commandant of the Mobile Infantry’s Officers Candidate School (in Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein, 1959)
The first step to reform is not knowledge. Not logic. But rage, contempt at what we have become. From that other things can flow, good or bad depending on our character.
Weber points us toward Nietzsche as the common source for serious thinkers of the twentieth century. He also tells us what the single fundamental issue is: the relation between reason, or science, and the human good. When he speaks of happiness and the last man, he does not mean that the last man is unhappy, but that his happiness is nauseating. An experience of profound contempt is necessary in order to grasp our situation, and our capacity for contempt is vanishing.
Weber’s science presupposes this experience, which we would call subjective. After having encountered it in Nietzsche, he spent the greater part of his scholarly life studying religion in order to understand the non-contemptible, those who esteem or revere and are therefore not self-satisfied, those who have values …
— From The Closing of the American Mind, chapter “Values”, Allan Bloom (1987)
The next step: anger — and our assumption of responsibility for America
“Anger is easy. Anger at the right person, at the right time, for the right reason, is difficult.”
— Aristotle, in the Nicomachean Ethics, book IV, chapter 5 (lightly paraphrased)
“Telemachus, now is the time to be angry.”
— Odysseus, when the time came to deal with the Suitors. From the movie The Odyssey (1997)
And then what do we do?
Please read Five steps to fixing America, which describes the small first steps on a long journey to a better future.
A few of the many articles explaining the details of Holder’s speech
- “Attorney General Holder defends execution without charges“, Glenn Greenwald, Salon, 6 March 2012
- “Attorney General Holder Says Murder Is Legal“, David Swanson, Washington’s Blog, 6 March 2012
For more information about the quiet coup in America
(a) For all posts about this topic see the FM reference page America – how can we stop the quiet coup now in progress?
(b) Posts about America’s enemies within:
- Fear the enemies within America more than those without, 21 December 2011
- “Lawfare” – using the law to undermine the Constitution (a powerful tool in the quiet coup now in progress), 22 December 2011
- Some foes of the Republic revealed themselves by sponsoring the Enemy Expatriation Act, 30 January 2012
(c) Posts about America today:
- Forecast: Death of the American Constitution, 4 July 2006
- Can Americans pull together? If not, why not?, 29 July 2008
- The sky darkens over America, as we (the little people) are made smaller than we were last week. 24 January 2010
- Is the American Republic dying, as in the last days of the Roman Republic?, 20 July 2010
- Another American judge weakens the Republic’s foundation, 8 August 2010
- The guilty ones responsible for the loss of our liberties, 11 September 2010
- America is the new Rome. Late Republican Rome (not the best of times), 13 October 2010