Cry as the Republic dies

Summary: As 2019 ends, let’s look at the condition of the Republic. Let’s cry for its decrepit condition. Then we can dedicate 2020 to reforming it.

“It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”
— John Philpot Curran’s “Speech On the Right of Election” (1790).

Liberty Leading the People
“Liberty Leading the People” by Eugène Delacroix (1830), commemorating the July Revolution of 1830.

It’s the holiday season! Americans gather in their homes, whining about irresponsible and incompetent government while watching TV and consuming their favorite drugs. Citizens on the political extremes wander lost in their minds, amidst delusions. Those on the Right fondle their guns, dream of insurrection, and vote straight-line GOP. Those on the Left read esoteric theological and philosophical tracts; they dream of Gaia oppressing the proles so they can rebuild Eden.

But a few citizens act against the regime – daring odds no sane man would attempt. Revolutions, even non-violent ones, are not begun by cool considerate men, but by those who live outside the envelope of rationally ordered lives. Revolutions take root when they later attract people of property and calculation.

How we got here

I remember Glenn Greenwald’s analysis of these events in 2012.

“Whatever one thinks of WikiLeaks, it is an indisputable fact that the group has never been charged by any government with any crime, let alone convicted of one. Despite that crucial fact, WikiLeaks has been crippled by a staggering array of extra-judicial punishment imposed either directly by the US and allied governments or with their clear acquiescence.

“In December 2010, after WikiLeaks began publishing US diplomatic cables, it was hit with cyber-attacks so massive that the group was ‘forced to change its web address after the company providing its domain name cut off service.’ After public demands and private pressure from US Senate Homeland Security Chairman Joe Lieberman, Amazon then cut off all hosting services to WikiLeaks. Sophisticated cyber-attacks shortly thereafter forced the group entirely off all US website services when its California-based internet hosting provider, Everydns, terminated service, ‘saying it did so to prevent its other 500,000 customers of being affected by the intense cyber-attacks targeted at WikiLeaks.’ Meanwhile, Chairman Lieberman’s public pressure, by design, also led to the destruction of WikiLeaks’ ability to collect funds from supporters. …

“Over the past 2 years, then, this group – convicted of no crime but engaged in pathbreaking journalism that produced more scoops than all other media outlets combined and received numerous journalism awards – has been effectively prevented from functioning, receiving funds, or even maintaining a presence on US internet servers. …

“The ominous implications of all this have been never been fully appreciated. Recall that all the way back in 2008, the Pentagon prepared a secret report (ultimately leaked to WikiLeaks) that decreed WikiLeaks to be a ‘threat to the US Army’ and an enemy of the US. That report plotted tactics that ‘would damage and potentially destroy‘ its ability to function. That is exactly what came to pass. …{T}he US government – through affirmative steps and/or approving acquiescence to criminal, sophisticated cyber-attacks – all but destroyed the ability of an adversarial group, convicted of no crime, to function on the internet. …

“But what makes all of this even more significant is the vastly disparate treatment of those who launched far less sophisticated and damaging attacks at those corporations which complied with US demands and cut off all funding and other services to WikiLeaks. Acting in the name of Anonymous, a handful of activists targeted those companies with simple ‘denial of service’ attacks, ones that impeded the operations of those corporate websites for a few hours.

In stark contrast to the far more significant attacks aimed at WikiLeaks, these attacks, designed to protest the treatment of WikiLeaks, spawned a global manhunt by western nations and, ultimately, the arrest of dozens of mostly young alleged hackers, four of whom are now on trial in London …

Raised fist of man on sunny background: revolution.
ID 5365360 © Iakov Kalinin | Dreamstime.

Remember the big picture

“Every nation has the government it deserves.”
— Dark words said by Joseph de Maistre (lawyer, diplomat, philosopher) in a letter dated 13 August 1811, published in Lettres et Opuscules.

Conditions in America have grown much worse since Greenwald wrote that in 2012. See where we are today.

  • The Patriot Act, with its immense expansion of the government’s domestic surveillance powers (including transforming much of the US banking system into a surveillance mechanism; there’s a reason your bank and broker ask so many questions about your affairs).
  • Theft by police (aka “asset forfeiture”), without warrants or charges being filed – let alone trials and verdicts. Police now steal more from Americans than burglars. Even actual outright theft is OK (e.g., this case).
  • The massive expansion of the domestic security services – NSA, “fusion centers”, etc.
  • The militarization of the police: e.g., growth of their SWAT and spying apparatus.
  • The government’s illegal powers of indefinite imprisonment and assassination powers, violating rights going back to Magna Carta (see here and here).
  • The war on whistleblowers waged by Obama and Trump. The extreme examples are the successful destruction of Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, far beyond any legal measures – making examples of dissidents. Without whistleblowers, we would know little about the doings of our government.

People sneer and laugh at Wikileaks and Anonymous as quixotic, at their foolish and vain efforts. But the government knows better, and devotes great effort to stamp out these sparks. Without wider support for them, our ruling elites will successfully suppress these movements. With our support, these can mature into powerful engines of reform.

The government crushed these rebels. I hope that more rebels will appear. With them lies our only remaining hope for reform. The Republic’s fate is their fate. What we do now, and during the next few years, will decide its future. That’s the meaning of Democracy. Its survival lies in our hands, as it should be.

Reclaiming the reins of America will require a small revolution. The longer we wait, the larger the revolution needed.

“{A} revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous.”
— Mao tse-tung in ”Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan”, March 1927.

For more information

This post changed everything: A new, dark picture of America’s future.

Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see Chapter One of a story about our future: “Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about the constitution, about reforming America: steps to political change, and especially these…

  1. Important: A 4th of July reminder that America is ours to keep – or to lose!
  2. Origins of what may become the 3rd American Republic (a plutocracy).
  3. We’ve worked through all 5 stages of grief for the Republic. Now, on to The New America!
  4. Our institutions are hollow because we don’t love them.
  5. We have forgotten who we are. Let’s remember, and win.
  6. After Independence Day, look to America after the Republic.
  7. About the coming civil war (our third) – The reasons America might suffer such a catastrophe, the stronger reason that we won’t, and the more serious threat.

Books about our growing government

The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court’s Assault on the Constitution by David A. Kaplan (2018).

The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic by Eric A. Posner and Adrian Vermeule (2011).

The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court in the Age of Trump
Available at Amazon.
The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic
Available at Amazon.

11 thoughts on “Cry as the Republic dies”

  1. This time, instead of sending the young, poor, single, childless men to war, lets send the wealthy men, their children and women to war. We shouldn’t keep using young poor men as the nations gender based human sacrifices. People won’t so readily forget that lesson, now will they.

  2. Michael J Hornbrook

    Wikileaks and Anonymous may be cultural heroes to Larry Kummer but no countries appreciate their efforts to sew dissent and conflict in America more than its authoritarian enemies.

    When the leakers start leaking Russian and Chinese secrets, or details about the fascist regime in Iran, Kummer’s apologia might be more convincing. Until then, they should be regarded as probable GRU operations, and very successful ones.

    1. So, we should applaud those in our government who use its power to prevent its citizens from knowing what is going on. I disagree strongly.

      Freedom of speech and freedom of press are uncomfortable, they make us think and reveal our actions and thoughts to others. This discomfiture is an essential part of being free.

      Ironic you consider those who fight with words more dangerous than those with arms, because you are correct, just not on the side of freedom and liberty.


    2. Michael,

      “appreciate their efforts to sew dissent and conflict in America more than its authoritarian enemies.”

      You can just close your eyes if you don’t want to know what your government is doing, and be a good obedient peon. Meanwhile, the rest of us will follow the Founders advice – and attempt to be well-informed citizens able to run America.

      “When the leakers start leaking Russian and Chinese secrets,”

      You have that quite backwards. What makes those authoritarian nations is that their people know only what those governments want them to know. Ignorance is a characteristic of subjects. That you wish to be so shows your preference to be ruled. Not everybody shares it.

      That the government declares information to be “secret” because it is embarrassing to high officials is no reason to respect that. Nothing Wikileaks etc revealed was information deserving to be secret (ie, like nuclear bomb codes or details of future military operations).

    3. OK Boomer, you are the TEXTBOOK definition of a conservatard Boomer. Muh Russia and muh Iran. The USGov is always first and to be trusted. Protip: The most clear and present danger to US Citizens is its own out of control tyrannical government not boogeymen from Russia.

      1. Apex Preditor,

        Congrats. Every single thing in your comment is wrong about the material here. Here are corrections to your lies. Go troll somewhere else.

        “The USGov is always first and to be trusted.”

        See “Our leaders so often lie, but we still believe them“, which includes the Big List of Lies.

        “Muh Russia”

        See my posts about our mad Cold War I and Cold War II. Esp see The Russians Are Coming, Again! The new Cold War as farce.

        “muh Iran”

        See my posts about our nutty cold (or warm) war with Iran. Esp see Fear Iran’s nukes, coming very soon since 1984.

      2. Was directed at Michael Hornbrook, replied to the wrong section, I must be having a Boomer moment too, LOL!

        No Larry, though I disagree w/ many of your positions you seem to be 100% on point at the danger of an out of control deep state. I thought it was obvious that I was replying to him given his comments are directly aimed at being a bit of a blind patriot. But either way, I will still troll here a bit before I move on. ;-)

      3. Apex,

        The WordPress commenting software is pretty crude, optimized for mobile (for obvious reasons).

        I suggest including the name to which you are replying at the start of your quote.

  3. Not sure if you are asking for revolution, or political engagement to stave off the need for revolution.

    Revolution has me thinking of TinTin,, a Twentieth Century creation I hope sticks around. Specifically ‘TinTin and the Picaros’, which finds TinTin and the gang heading off to Central America to help the Picaros rebels over throw a sleazy dictator ruining a Central American country. An early panel shows the gang’s plane approaching the airport, over an image of a Latin American slum, with the usual squalor, poverty watched over by thuggish soldiers/police. Tintin and friends help the Picaros to victory, and the final frame shows the gang’s plane ascending over the same slum, this time watched over by men in rebel’s olive drab fatigues- a new General’s name is on the billboard.

    A picture is worth a thousand words, here is the final panel-

    1. Ruby,

      “Not sure if you are asking for revolution, or political engagement to stave off the need for revolution”

      Potato, potahto. At some point, extreme political reform movements – even if non-violent – are revolutionary.

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