One aspect of The New America: permanent militarization of society
Summary: We are at war, a war now in its second decade. We’re increasingly mobilizing every aspect of our society to defeat the enemy. Not just the massive expansion of our military, intelligence services, and domestic security services (no longer well-described as “police”). Inevitably this militarization spreads, affecting other aspects of our society. Our enemy is America, America-as-it-once-was. We’re winning!
Militarization against enemies (however imaginary): the easy, fast way to mobilize and change a society.
Each year the number of nations we bomb increases. The police arm-up with top-line military weapons and (like the NYPD) expand their Stasi-like intelligence units. The Courts increasingly defer to ever-more preposterous prosecutions of fake terrorist plots, in those cases where the government prefers to bother (rather then rendition to some Third-World hellhole). White House attorneys write briefs justifying the “unitary executive”: the President’s power to order assassination, foreign wars, and torture.
The military and security services are our most respected institutions (details here). We cheer as the good guys on top-rated NCIS and NCIS-LA each week knock down doors, do illegal surveillance, and shoot bad guys. We cheer as pop-tart Katy Perry mans up, and trots off with her rifle to kill our enemies.
Meanwhile we’re told that the primary threat to our liberty are steps towards universal health care of the sort long provided by every other developed nation.
Millions of Americans remain in the grip of delusions, such President Obama not being a citizen — or being a secret Muslim.
These symptoms have one explanation: we are at war with ourselves. It’s a non-violent civil conflict, waged in the individual heart and mind of each citizens. We have passed the point where we can go back to America-as-it-was. Whatever the result, it will be a New America. Perhaps a new political regime — a Third Republic (an improvement on the Constitution), or Something Different.
Everybody will eventually take sides. The passive majority will be herded into the New America by the victors. Perhaps, like the Loyalists after the Revolution, many of the losers will emigrate.
“Every nation gets the government it deserves.”
— Joseph de Maistre, from letter 76 dated 27 August 1811, published in Lettres et Opuscules
What is the FM website doing amidst all this?
We’re attempting to understand these events through a combination of seeking their origins in the past and guessing about possible futures. We’re looking for solutions. We’re attempting to start the process of organizing our thoughts, and the larger task of organizing people — functions done during the Revolution by the Committees of Correspondence (the first in 1764; see Wikipedia for details).
Think of this as an aerie, a ledge high in harsh mountains from which baby birds look out at the world. We discuss events in the comments. But up here there is time for little more than civility. Amidst the crumbling destruction of America-that-once-was, discussion will be stark and impersonal.
A few thoughts about militarization
“I’m getting a little fed up with hearing about, oh, civilian casualties. I think we ought to nuke North Korea right now just to give the rest of the world a warning.”
— Ann Coulter, interview in New York Observer, 10 January 2005
“National defense through war always involves some degree of national defeat. This paradox has been with us from the very beginning of our republic. Militarization in defense of freedom reduces the freedom of the defenders. There is a fundamental inconsistency between war and freedom.”
— Wendell Berry, Citizenship Papers (2003)
For More Information
- The Military Solution for America, Tom Englehardt, 5 July 2012
- This should be at the top of the list for your daily reading: Glenn Greenwald’s columns at Salon
- The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced By War, Andrew Bacevich’s (2005)
- Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, Rachel Maddow (2012)
(c) Posts about the birth of a New America
- The guilty ones responsible for the loss of our liberties, 11 September 2011
- Fear the enemies within America more than those outside, 21 December 2011
- Some foes of the Republic revealed themselves by sponsoring the Enemy Expatriation Act, 30 January 2012
- How to Fund an American Police State (aka Weaponizing the Body Politic), 5 March 2012
- Our leaders explain that we’re sheep. Our role: to obey. Rebel sheep will be imprisoned or destroyed., 7 March 2012
- News You Can Use to understand the New America, 14 March 2012
- With a stroke of his pen President Hope and Change erased much of America, 20 March 2012
- What will replace the Constitution in Americans’ hearts? Let’s check for Fascism., 29 March 2012
- Looking ahead to the next step of the quiet coup, and a new America, 3 July 2012
(d) Some posts about the fading of the Second Regime:
- An Appalling Threat to Civil Liberties and Democracy, 8 August 2010
- Cutting down the tree of liberty, 9 September 2010 — Government secrets trump fair trials.
- Let’s gaze upon the corpse of the Fourth Amendment, 12 October 2011
- Another bill before Congress pushing the USA further into the dark of endless war, stripping away our liberties, 28 November 2011
- An important article to read about another example of the fading rule of law in America, 29 December 2011