Revolutionary Options in a Non-revolutionary Country
Consider the scenario: In the future, the US is no longer a democracy. Corrupt, partisan cronies have put electronic voting machines in place that allow an election to be stolen, even if polls aren't close. If a corrupt candidate is trailing, he need merely prostitute himself, then flood the airwaves with negative ads and false attacks so the vote count can be hacked, slightly in his favor. If he's behind, he can stage an incident that inflames a certain percentage of voters at the last moment, leaving everyone wondering. Then, using a small cadre of technicians, a few dozen vote compiler machines in swing states can be hacked, allowing a silent coup: the overthrow of democracy.
What to we do when a president of questionable legitimacy lies to the public to initiate unprovoked war, then wages it with depleted uranium shells that poison hundreds of thousands (including most US soldiers), a poison that's absorbed through the lungs and exits through a man's sperm, causing internal cancers for his wife, back home? What do we do when he runs at least three systems of gulags for prisoners denied the right of habeus corpus: one for "terror suspects," one for black budget songbirds, and another, reportedly, for special ops subjects who try to "break program?" What do we do when hundreds are tortured in client states for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time? What is our recourse when HE flouts the law and begins mass spying on innocent citizens, here, and then claims the right to do so because, as he says, the executive is above the law—if he says so?
What would the framers of the Constitution say about a time when the United States is no longer a democracy, but is ruled, instead, as a corrupt military empire? No habeus corpus, no universal right to trial, easy search and seizure without evidence--including the personal correspondence of political rivals and other detractors? Do we have the right to revolt? According to common sense and the framers, of course we do. It was the original intent of their Revolution. It's implicit in founding documents.
The "right to bear arms" was a safeguard against tyranny, as was impeachment--for "high crimes and misdemeanors." Have you seen high "misdemeanors" by a man whose minions lied to provoke numerous nations into war, a man who lies to the public regularly and asserts that he can intrusively monitor hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of innocent citizens without probable cause? Of course, the "arms" needed to overthrow tyranny here would no longer be mere flintlocks. Instead, they would need to be rocket launched and capable of penetrating heavy armor. However, few seem to want that kind of revolution in this country.
When US media are controlled by several large companies, allowing the most corrupt, mercenary regime to curry favor with a handful of owners in order to silence damaging exposures, what are your options? One commentator recently noted that when the United States is no longer a democracy and elections can demonstrably be stolen using relatively simple software, the only alternative is exposure and reform, and, barring that: revolution.
But is revolution possible in the most well-fed, technologically pampered nation on Earth?
Other nations, even old Soviet bloc countries, erect barricades and flood the streets to overturn stolen elections, but that hasn't happened here. In a large nation accustomed to overthrowing other elected regimes, comfort and intimidation have made some into mere spectators. But if a big enough movement arose due to high crimes far beyond the pale? Well, then there might be a rush into the streets. But when media concentration and "pack" journalism mean that the biggest crimes aren't even exposed (it's been that way for decades now), where is the spark? When petty morality dominates elections rather than issues that future historians will regard as the most important (global warming, catastrophic economic disparities, and secret government by a cabal of black budget profiteers), how do we meet the threshold for change?
Only through independent and international media, it seems. But would that be enough to provoke a revolution? In the most wasteful, self-indulgent nation on earth, mass violence is unlikely. Instead, a revolution of knowledge, a revolution more global and legal in nature, a revolution of passive disobedience and mass non-compliance is more probable. Of course, no tyrant can expect to avoid all violence. Some within the armed services, and some entire communities would risk their lives to expose and oust the offender, but the television-watching majority?
Ironically, back in 1773 the majority was also reluctant.
Revolution requires commitment and sacrifice. You can't expect to prevail without causing at least some economic discomfort for a limited period of time--if you want government to respect human needs and preserve vital resources (we would all win, in the process). But is revolution necessary?
Can we just wait out our worst violators? Will they go so far that even the most washed-out corporate vultures begin to get the faith, OR will change only come after planetary catastrophes begin to cascade, with epic, mass fatalities? It seems we must either join in a chain reaction that exposes the worst crimes of the old regime so that effective reforms are finally considered, or we simply wait until the entire planet suffers irretrievable losses and humankind is the less, forever.
When the biggest stories leak, attempts will be made to silence them, but if they achieve critical mass there's no stopping them. Right now, sitting in offices all across the country are tens of thousands of people who could flood the media tomorrow with ghastly exposures that would topple the old regime yet they fear that secret police and censors will intervene, using that most dangerous Big Brother claim--national security--to squelch them. But when "national security" is invoked to justify a long-running war on the most fundamental rights of the Constitution, when we no longer live in a democracy and when unending crimes against humanity are committed within a secret "national security" structure, the culprits are no longer protected by the social pact of government.
Treason against the people isn't protected by the Constitution. When treason controls the palace, the solution is in the hands of the people.
It may be simpler than one might think. If we prioritize ourselves as citizens of the planet, first, without compromising basic freedoms, would that be enough? If we simply said No, a tiny minority has betrayed us and we won't cooperate in any way, whatsoever, would that be enough? If, rather than threaten the comfort of industrial elites, we proposed to elevate the living standard of all to sustainable technological standard, what could they say? Perhaps the biggest danger is that a weak revolution would bring inadequate reforms, and the same contradictions would once again threaten the planet.
It may be that the converging crises of global warming, overpopulation, and multiple economic deficiencies (peak oil, weapons propagation by the spoiled children of elite estates, mass poverty and WTO tyranny) can only be corrected by an international commonality of law. An effective common basis for that already exists, by the way, yet isn't enforced, thanks to weak-kneed scoundrels like George Bush, Jr. In order to achieve an economy premised on sustainable resources, we need international courts that can first punish, then stop ecological offenders and all crimes against humanity.
Although it may feel good to express moral outrage, that isn't enough... It never was—because repeat offenders simply don't care. Lightning has yet to strike a tyrant. Instead, we need effective safeguards.
The question is: who sees the way to the other side of our converging global dilemmas? Who knows how to get us there---those who would cut down the last tree on the proverbial island, or those who have the common sense to both join and enforce the World Court, those who would (painlessly and easily) fund global education and birth control, global medicine and self-reliability?
Surely, we can do that much, but the problem is that some among us think that the nature and scope of government is a dead letter, an inspiration that only occurred momentarily—long before modern science and technology.
Meanwhile, we've evolved into a complex but more easily understood planet with larger, more effective categories of citizenship. We don't have to sacrifice basic freedoms to live by an extra measure of common sense, global justice. We don't need to tear it all down to get it right, but we need to act now--before it's too late.
We need to create a rush of crushing, bare-knuckled exposures--in independent media, timed for multiple releases all over the internet, and via emails to gutsy, risk-taking journalists. We need a chorus of hard-hitting stories to inspire the hundreds, if not thousands to leak what they know about mass betrayals in the name of "national security."
Recently, George Bush told Congressional leaders that the Constitution is "just a goddamned piece of paper." Finally, we see the tip of an iceberg that we must now illuminate. http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7779.shtml.
Don't wait for the solution to happen; make it happen. Don't let them hide and pout that the truth would cause a tremor on Wall Street. They either take their medicine now, or we all suffer in relatively short order. For the sake of your children, dig deeper, speak more widely and take risks, if and when you have to. Some, among us, will wait until they hear a rising crescendo before they report what they know about the worst betrayals in government, but the time is ripe. Go out of your way to look for, and then cultivate inside sources in those programs where the worst crimes happen. Help them plan timed releases, securely, if necessary. Stay off of Bush's electronic radar and use a "clean" computer to leak a story, if you have to. Help us get the ball rolling.
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