Empire of Reason Commentary No. 5

To:  The People of the United States, June 25, 2020

The June Days

When a deplorable weakness and ceaseless vacillations become manifest in supreme councils; when yielding in turn to the influences of opposing parties, making shift from day-to-day, and marching with uncertain pace, a government had proved the full measure of its impotence; when even the most moderate of citizens are forced to admit the State is no longer governed; when, in time, the administration adds to its nullity at home the gravest quilt it can acquire in the eyes of a proud nation—I mean its humiliation abroad—then a vague unrest spreads through the social body, the instinct of self-preservation is stirred, and the nation casts a sweeping eye over itself . . .”[1]

* * * * *

The recent and ongoing drama being played out on the streets of cities across this land of instability, and for all the world to see, showcases the rickety foundation of support upon which the American Corporate State has been built.  The structure of representative government exists in name only.  Maintained by the corporate benefactors who control Democrat and Republican (s)elected officials, in choreographed campaigns which are, in the end, little better than plebiscites.  Corporate-owned media prepares the ground for popular complicity, fashioning a dumbed-down multitude that is hardly prepared to take part–in a proper fashion, that is–in a bona fide system of representative government, which, of course, does not exist.  The education system hardly instructs the young to help prepare the way to citizenship.  As well as in many families across this nation, one has to ask the question?  How many really instruct their young to know their political system and to take part?  This writer’s father, a World War II Navy veteran, made it known early in his son’s life, “If you do not control the streets, you do not control the voting booth.”

          Hence what you have been seeing as of late.  In many of the confrontations on the street, citizens are pitted against police, both militarized and otherwise.  The so-called warrior cop, as this phenomenon has been referred to by a number of writers, are actually paramilitaries for the Corporate State.  Here again we maintain the system of not using the Regular Troops in the streets, rather militarized adjuncts already in many cities across this land.  The militarization of the police was not to protect the American citizen from terrorism; rather to keep the American citizen in line for the War Capitalist State America has become.

         The memories of the Second Indochina War–AKA the Vietnam War for the uninitiated–saw the streets filled with malcontents who no longer lent credence to the plastic patriotism being sold as allegiance to the flag by the chauvinists on the Beltway.  In addition there was the Civil Rights movement and, the many of the young and academics who were questioning America’s state religion, Capitalism.

          Police facing these onslaughts were not militarized.  Though still fashioned the truncheon with ruthless efficiency as seen in Mayor Daly’s Chicago in 1968; or, the organs of security dominated by Frank Rizzo, the Joseph Fouche of Philadelphia, who is reputed to have said, “I’ll make Attila the Hun look like a fagot.” 

          Yet with the advent of the Lewis Powell Memo, August 1971, AKA, the Manifesto of American Fascism, the move towards the Right became prevalent.  With the evolution of the American Corporate State and the corporate serial wars that have developed, America has come to practice War Capitalism to maintain the American Empire.  But restrictions such as the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act forbid the use of regular troops on American streets, aspects of the Rule of Law by the previous Republic to which the current occupant of the Oval Office has a patented disregard.  This is evidenced by a refrain he plagiarized, since its mentally taxing for the dean of the dullards to come up with an original moniker, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

          The above seems to not take into account that bullets can fly in both directions.  Republicans, who cannot seem to think for themselves and who dutifully fall into line behind their pompous pied-piper of Fascist dictums, would do well to recall, that within recent memory, that several of their number found themselves in the crosshairs of a malcontent while practicing for a Congressional baseball game.  And the marksman was reputed to have been a Bernie Sanders supporter; indeed, in the coming years such efforts in political pasteurization might not be uncommon.

          And again, Republicans need to be mindful of the fact that some of their Duce’s base are from the White Supremacist, neo-Nazi, Fascist-leaning crowd such as Daily Stormer and Patriot Front, previously known as Vanguard America . . . who thrive on hostility, discord and violence, just like their beloved leader.  The potential of these groups becoming Trump’s Freikorps must not be discounted.

          On the other hand, the George Floyd phenomenon has pushed legions of blacks into the streets, together with phalanxes of whites, many of whom are young.  Popular media, in particular, seems to be mindful of Juneteenth and the long litany of police executions of people of color.  Seemingly lost in such gut-grabbing headlines is that during the recent primaries more than 1,600 polling stations were closed or not provided, adversely impacting the ability of minorities to take part in what is billed as an elective system.  Of course the polling stations in question are in the old Confederacy, once the bastion of that American Gulag which featured that concentration camp system of plantations that was the heart and soul of that Agrarian Capitalist state below the Mason-Dixon Line and, which enjoyed a shelf life in the Land of the Free to which Hitler’s Nazis could only have dreamed of.

          Yet the fan base for the departed George Floyd has thus far been providing much of the momentum.  And despite episodes of violence, many of the demonstrations have been peaceful.  For some of the organs of security, including the militarized gendarmes, be they peaceful marchers or brick-throwers, it has been open-season, including assaulting members of the press. Despite the draconian backlash, many of the demonstrators took care of their wounded and renewed the offensive.  Because in the final analysis that is all they have.  For the current occupant of the Oval Office has little regard for the people, and even less for those among the masses who are of color. 

          Congress, which is supposed to be the people’s firewall, has proven inept for years, owned as it is by the Corporate State.  As of late, the functioning branch of government has been that Corporate Tribunal, AKA Supreme Court, ruling favorably for DACA recipients and the LGBTQ people.  Showcases the plight of the masses when nine unelected judges must legislate in lieu of 535 representatives and senators who cannot seem to fulfill their Constitutionally-ordained tasks.  Small wonder, then, that the masses have taken to convene the only parliament available to them, the streets . . . the Pavement Parliament.

          Yet despite the efforts of the Corporate States’ paramilitaries, the dogged persistence of the masses to convene the Pavement Parliament caused Trump to call on the Regular Army to close down the embryo of a rival popular government; particularly in the Nation’s capital.[2]  For if he loses control of the capital, his reputation as the Law and Order Leader can certainly be called into question, especially by those among his base, which can be classified without reservation, as being the Lunatic Fringe.

          The temerity of the “ungrateful” to take to the streets was taken as a vote of no-confidence by Trump.  Seeing same, as he does as a matter of routine, as it being a slight against him personally, the hallmark of a dictator. 

          In his little world, Trump, too, cannot assert supreme control over the governors.  Recall that in dodging responsibility for leadership with the issue of Covid-19, turning same over to the governors, many of whom now have, in turn, ignored his demands for ruthless crackdowns, such as his threats to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807.  Then there was Secretary of Defense Esper, who at one point parroted the puppet master with, “The sooner that you mass and dominate the battlespace[3] the quicker this dissipates and we can get back to the right normal.”  Note the terminology “right normal,” where blacks, as dutiful second-class citizens, are to know their place, again appealing to the bigoted platform of Trump’s base.

          Governor J.B. Pritzker, interviewed by CNN, offered that “the president created an incendiary moment.”  Followed by Governor Jared Polis of Colorado and Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver, who urged caution.

           Trump wanted 10,000 Regular Troops available for taking back the battlespace.  And on June 1, 1,600 regulars from Fort Bragg were dispatched for Washington.  To raise the ante, Trump stated, “That all options are on the table.”  On the following day, 89 former Defense Department officials issued a statement, declaring their opposition to Trump “betraying his oath to support and defend the Constitution.”  General James Mattis wrote a scathing rebuke of Trump; followed by Admiral Michael Mullin with an approbation of his own.  Chairman of the Joints Chiefs, General Mark Milley, offered an apology and criticism for the clearing of protesters from in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church for a Trump photo op.  At least Trump could have held up a copy of the Constitution or Bill of Rights or The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America, especially with the upcoming July 4 anniversary; or, one of the greatest political treatises ever penned, The Federalist, as opposed to appealing to the Religious Right by holding up a book-load of religious fairy tales.[4]

          What Trump attempted was a coup.  Appreciate the setting:  he had given the privileged undeserved and unearned wealth with the tax breaks of 2017, enabling this sordid clique of tinseled aristocrats, to continue to loot the country; has applied many conservative judges to the bench to placate the Right; turned over federal lands to oil-drillers, land developers, loggers, etc.; sharply curtailed protections on clean water, air and land; gave the Military-Industrial-Financial-Security-Congressional Complex the monies necessary for the continuation of the American Empire.  Yet as a useful idiot for the Corporate State, despite having been dutiful, he is quickly proving even more of an embarrassment than he has always been.  So has Mr. “I know more than the generals” overstepped himself?  Conventional wisdom would think so . . . but these are hardly conventional times.

          From the outset, Trump was a dictator looking for a place to happen.  And with the early June Days he clearly showed his colors, which should have been evident Day One of his regime.  And it took the military to call him out as opposed to Congress.  In addition to nine members of the aristocracy of the robe to try to calm the actions in the streets with two pieces of social legislation.  The lack of a functioning system of representative government, showcased as it was in the June Days, shows America for what it truly has become politically . . . a Failed State.        

Endnotes

[1]  See pages 9 and 10, “Ambitions of Napoleon,” Napoleon Bonaparte, by Kenneth G. Crump, Jr.

[2]  Washington, D.C is the nominal capital, as opposed to Manhattan, where Wall Street is the Holy See of the state religion, Capitalism.

[3]  Note expression, “Battlespace,” as opposed to the streets.

[4]  “The first stage of this education being the schools of the hundreds, wherein the great mass of the people will receive their instruction, the principle foundations of future order will be laid here. Instead therefore of putting the Bible and Testament into the hands of the children, at an age when their judgments are not sufficiently matured for religious enquiries, their memories may here be stored with the most useful facts from Grecian, Roman, European and American history.”  See page 273, “Query XIV,” Thomas Jefferson, Writings, The Library of America.

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Mark Albertson

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