The Real Story
2012 US Presidential Election
– the story the mass media missed altogether –
And the critical lessons from history that
we must learn now
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
“Evil can flourish only when good people do nothing.”
“Repeating the same actions and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity.”
– Albert Einstein
A recent article from the Huffington Post splashes a headline that declares that the mass media completely missed the biggest story of the 2012 US presidential election. Then the usually banal and blindly partisan Huff-Post does its usual job, and goes on to completely obfuscate the matter entirely. The article not only completely misses the point, not only further distracts the people from the real issue, the central issue, but gives yet another gloss of the 2012 election. But the important point is not the sloppy and uncritical, virtually mindless “journalism” of the Huffington Post. The far bigger issue is the complete misrepresentation of the election and the entire state of politics in the US by a compliant and subjugated mass media broadly – both mainstream and “alternative.” The bigger issue yet, the central issue, is the state of democracy in America, and the questions of a) where does real power lie? And b) what is to be done about it?
The biggest issue of the 2012 election – and overwhelmingly so – was that it was a total farce. The two candidates and the two parties share virtually identical policies on the major issues, both foreign and domestic. That is, they both 1) favour the interests of the business elite at the expense of the people and the earth – which is not surprising, because that’s who funds their elections and gets them into office; 2) They both favour a domestic policy of a police state at home – Obama simply expanded and intensified Bush’s war on democracy, civil liberties, human rights and freedom at home as well as abroad; 3) they both favour an aggressive militarism and imperial warfare abroad – again, Obama expanded and intensified Bush’s wars; 4) they are both in favour of austerity measures for the people, spending cuts to old age security, Medicare and Medicaid; 5) they are both in favour of tax cuts for the super-rich and the corporate elite – they just disagree on how big they should be; and 6) they both favour multi-trillion dollar “bail-outs” for the too-rich-to-fail who rule the country and fund their “elections.”
So the American people had fascist war monger A or fascist war monger B to choose from. That was the real story of the 2012 US presidential “election.” The real story is that for the moment at least, democracy is dead in America.
Chomsky has rightly said that “Obama is the biggest human rights abuser in the US” – yet Obama is portrayed in the media as a progressive. This is madness. Some are simply being deceitful; some are being deceived. The fact is that Obama and Romney are the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum of militarist, anti-democratic corporate rule.
“What we have undergone in this country is a kind of coup d’etat in slow motion – a corporate coup d’etat, where all the impediments to corporate capitalism have been lifted, by both of the major political parties…..And it is now incumbent upon all of us who care about those who suffer, to make the personal commitment which is required by civil disobedience to stand up against these forces.” – Chris Hedges, “Third World America”
The big story is that the American people are asleep, while their country is being pillaged and turned into a police state. That is the real story.
Fortunately however, the people are beginning to awaken. That’s why approximately half of Americans voted “No confidence” – and didn’t vote. Obama won with a “sweeping victory” we are told – ya, he got a sweeping victory with approximately 29% of the American people voting for him. In any other country, we’d call this election a sham if we saw figures like that. But not in the good ol’ USA. Here it’s proclaimed as a stunning populist victory. It’s a joke – a very bad joke.
Roughly 20% of the people voted for Romney, and 29% for Obama. Roughly 51% didn’t vote, and most of them refused to vote because they rightly viewed the election as a choice between two candidates who both work for the same ruling corporate elite who fund their elections and put them in power, demanding favours and preferential treatment in return.
It’s time to put the sham aside, and call it like it is: America has become a fascist nation, where the business elite has merged with the state. As Mussolini himself defined it, that is fascism, and that’s what America has now. Obama has sided with the elite fraction of a percent on every major issue, and at the expense of the people, democracy, constitutional rule and the environment.
It’s time we speak the truth, and stop telling ourselves lies. It’s time to face the facts. Democracy in America has been high-jacked by the corporate elite, who have thrown the people and the constitution overboard. That is the real story. Now, it is time for democratic revolution. Let’s get on with it, and stop pretending we’re living in some other reality.
The Obamaphiles are going to have to come back to earth some time. Reality will force them too, sooner or later. It’s shocking that it hasn’t yet with even more people, but it will definitely happen to the rest. The gloves are coming off, and the mask is about to slip. A class war is being waged by the 0.1% on the other 99.9% – and the class warfare is just getting into high gear. We haven’t seen anything yet – compared to what is unfolding now, and what is coming.
Obama isn’t the messiah. He isn’t even a democrat. He’s a member of the democratic party of course, but he is no democrat. Let’s try to deal with reality here. He is a corporatist – he believes in the merger of business and the state – and we can ask Mussolini what that means. Moreover, Obama is working for someone – and it is not the American people.
Where does real power lie in the world today? The United States continues to dominate the world economically and militarily, and through this leverage, also diplomatically, through sabotaging international agreements – for example, blocking international agreements which seek to create serious action on climate change.
The US empire is in obvious and rapid decline, and is crumbling, although it is still very powerful, and extremely dangerous. But real power does not lie with the elected “democratic” government of the United States in Washington. Real power does not lie with the White House or Congress. Real power resides, as it has since the National Security Act was passed in 1947, with the National Security Council, the Pentagon, and the intelligence community which dominates and controls both of these powers, as Gore Vidal, Bill Moyers and others have pointed out.
Taking the analysis further and deeper, it is clear that in turn these forces are controlled by the business elite of the country, and in particular, by Wall Street, by the financial elite. But Wall Street itself is just a junior partner in the new global empire of trans-national corporate rule. Wall Street and the entire corporatist empire are controlled by old money from Europe, as they have been for a very long time.
The US empire has now been completely swallowed by the larger, more powerful, and now globally dominant trans-national corporate empire. The bankers have taken over the world. The Pentagon, the CIA and the elected US “government” – the politicians who work as vassals and servants to the international financial masters – are most definitely real powers in the world today, of course. But these powers of the waning US empire are now simply the bought and paid for, hired thugs of the global financial elite. The game has changed. We now live in a different world.
What we are looking at is rule by a neo-feudal band of corporate and financial oligarchs that have no real allegiance or loyalty to any nation, or to the people of the earth. What is to be done in response? Certainly the response needs to be far more thoughtful and far more bold than continuing to pretend that federal elections in the United States mean anything. Local and state elections may still be relevant, and are, and much can be accomplished there. But at the federal level, elections are a distraction and a waste of time.
The two parties of the business elite continue to rule, no matter who wins. In such a situation, where the democratic process has been taken over by a small band of elites, and the democratic system is no longer functioning – other than as a charade, a mechanism for lulling the people to sleep, or keeping them distracted, docile and bemused, and a system which continues to perpetuate the anti-democratic rule of a handful of international bankers and financial elites – elections and petitions are utterly insufficient to the task, and are in fact a blood-letting: they drain away the vitality of the people which could otherwise be used for real social change, and for winning their democracy back.
In such a situation where the electoral and democratic process has been high-jacked by the richest few who have seized power and rendered democracy effectively null and void, and where, furthermore, rule by the elite is leading to the destruction of life on earth and the end to human beings on this planet, the only two remaining responses are revolution, or death. One would hope the more intelligent choice would be made.
There is no greater master of the art of strategy than Sun Tzu, the author of the Chinese classic, The Art of War. What is not widely known is that Sun Tzu’s manual is not just about war, but about peace. His first principle is that war has a horrific cost to nations, communities and human lives, and therefore, peace should be sown and sought, harmony maintained, and war avoided at all costs. What is also not widely known is that there is no better textbook on the art of strategy that has ever been written. And if we are interested in success, then we must also be interested in strategy: for if we know nothing of strategy, then we will not likely succeed – in fact, without intelligent strategy, we will almost certainly fail.
Sun Tzu shows us how we can succeed – even against what appear on the surface to be overwhelming odds. And one element of which he speaks, one element in the art of strategy and attaining victory, is becoming increasingly relevant today, in light of the accelerating global ecological crisis.
Sun Tzu speaks of what he calls “death ground.” He said that to ensure victory, place your men where they cannot retreat, and they will be victorious against all odds. When individuals know there is no option of retreat, and that the only options are to fight or die, they will draw forth tremendous strength from within. We saw Sun Tzu’s principle of death ground on the beaches of Normandy. There was no option of retreat. The ocean was behind the allies when they landed on the beaches. Men were loaded with gear and could not possibly swim back to England. Because they could not retreat, but were on death ground, they fought with uncommon courage, and were victorious in what seemed like an utterly hopeless situation. That battle on the beaches of Normandy was decisive of course, and the Nazis were defeated precisely because the allies stood on death ground, and were forced to fight or die.
In may be appalling to think about, and it is certainly horrible, but it is a fact, nonetheless: at the beginning of the 21st century, all of human kind is now standing on death ground. The basis of life on earth is rapidly being destroyed. Scientists and even the World Bank say that we will be extinct in as little as fifty years or possibly less if we do not make major changes now. And yet, it is the reigning corporate and financial elite, who have taken over both the global economy and the political process, and who have high-jacked democracy, who are now the major obstacles to the very changes we most urgently need. The long and short of it is this: we either have a second wave of democratic revolutions, and remove the corporate and financial elite from power, or we die, and humanity will be no more.
As the awareness of this new reality begins to sink in, and the people awaken to the gravity of the danger and the urgency of action, it will become clear to all that we are on death ground, environmentally speaking, and often in other ways: and we must fight or die.
Many baby boomers and people who are older, and many young people as well, remain complacent, despite the growing and obvious dangers, thinking, presumably, that they won’t live long enough to witness the extinction of humanity, so the environmental crisis won’t affect them. This is not only grossly unethical towards the nearly half of the world’s population who are children, but it is also extremely short-sighted. Unless we are stupid enough to launch World War III and destroy the planet with a bang, if we are foolish enough to allow the corporate and financial elite to continue to effectively rule over the world, and are not wise enough to make a stand now, we will go out with a whimper. And as we continue to sow destruction on the earth, we will increasingly move into a very dark time, where life is not worth living – far before we actually go extinct. So the question is not only democratic revolution or death, it is worse: democratic revolution, or slow death by self-asphyxiation and poisoning, through a short-lived but very ugly dark age.
It makes sense to stand now, clearly. Anything else is mindless, as well as obscenely unethical, disgraceful and cowardly – and anything else means a slow and painful self-destruction.
Democratic revolution is now urgently needed. And it is going to happen, mark my words. The people are waking up, and the people are fed up. The writing is on the wall.
It is time for real change.
The Normandy invasion teaches us another critical lesson as well. When the Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, and successfully fought their way against overwhelming odds, pushing back the Nazi forces, another element became decisive as well. The Nazis needed reinforcements to hold back and defeat the Allied forces, but Hitler kept a strict command and control structure, and no major troops deployments could be conducted without his direct approval. Hitler has also given strict instructions that he was not to be woken up while sleeping. At a critical moment, it happened that Hitler was sleeping when the Nazis desperately needed reinforcements sent in. But the reinforcements could not be sent, because Hitler did not ok them. The result was the turning point in the war, and the ultimate defeat of the Nazis. The Nazis were defeated precisely because they had over-centralized power.
Had Hitler not centralized power so excessively, had power been more decentralized, the Nazis would have been far more powerful, and far harder to defeat. But of course, the central idea of fascism is to centralize all power in the hands of the few. It is for this reason that fascism will always be defeated, sooner or later.
When power is over-centralized, the head can be cut off, or as in the case of the Normandy invasion, the communication between the head and the body can be disrupted. In either event, the over-centralization of power leads to the collapse of that power, as Normandy and the defeat of fascism shows.
Over-centralization of power leads to a rigid inflexibility, as well as a diminished pool of minds and creativity that are drawn upon, and both of these factors lead to weakness and instability. As the Taoist teachings say, soft overcomes hard: what is fluid and flexible can bend, shift, adapt, maneuver, and will triumph over what is rigid, hard and inflexible. And overly centralized powers are always monolithic, rigid and inflexible, and therefore doomed to self-destruction and collapse.
Great concentrations of centralized power may look impressive, but they are castles made of sand. And the people are the sea. The tide of history always erodes the foundations of such sand castles, until finally they collapse, and are washed away.
Coordination and unity are essential, but centralization of power is not. In fact, the over-centralization is a weakness. Decentralized power provides more adaptability, flexibility, maneuverability and resiliency, and is therefore stronger. For this reason, among others, the people are always more powerful than any empire or centralized power in society. The people should take this lesson to heart, and act with courage, confidence and boldness. They will triumph.
What is happening in the world today is an extreme over-centralization of power, as Catherine Austin Fitts and others have said. The trend is obvious and unmistakable. Excessive centralization of power has taken place within the US, and in virtually every country world-wide, with few exceptions, by way of a financial coup: and power is being centralized globally as well, and at increasing speed, in the hands of a few ruling global financial elites. Such over-centralization of power is not only antithetical to democracy, and completely at odds with democracy, leading to a showdown between democracy and elite rule, but over-centralization also and invariably leads to greater instability. It is like building a house of cards: the higher the tower of cards, the more unstable it becomes, until finally, it collapses.
The financial elite are busy building a ziggurat. It is the tower of Babel. And the higher the tower, the more unstable it is. The greater the centralization of power, the more assured it is of collapse. With power in the world now extremely concentrated and centralized globally, this newest of empires is anything but stable. In fact, it is ready to collapse.
We should not be overly impressed by the staggering concentration of power in the world, or the centralization of power globally in the hands of a few bankers and financial elites. It is exactly this over-centralization of power that guarantees the house of cards will fall, and this latest of empires will crumble.
The people will be victorious, for the excessive centralization of power is doomed to failure; and furthermore, the people always hold the greater power, even though their power is spread out among the grassroots – and precisely because their power is diffuse, decentralized, and without a single centre. The people will triumph in the end. And the turning point is upon us now.
Sun Tzu, the unrivalled master of the art of strategy says, “To win one hundred battles is not impressive. To win without fighting is.” Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. would agree – and for moral as well as strategic reasons.
The people and the earth are presently being defeated, and they are being defeated, generally speaking, without fighting. They are being defeated, in general, not by ordinary weapons, but by what Max Keiser calls “financial weapons of mass destruction.” They are being defeated by a global financial coup.
What is needed now is a Gandhi-style revolution. But for that to happen, first the people must embrace their power – and they do not embrace their power by continuing to yield it up to the powerful, which they are doing now.
Sun Tzu also says that it is more important to out-think your enemy, than to fight him. This bodes well for the people, since the ruling elite have the overwhelming advantage when it comes to raw force or physical power – military force, paramilitary and security forces, control over the mass media and the cultural power that yields, and also financial and economic power. But superior force does not ensure victory. Vietnam proved that beyond all shadow of a doubt.
The world’s leading superpower, with incomparably greater military and economic power than any empire in the history of the earth, was defeated by a tiny population, with almost no military or economic power by comparison.
The defeat of the greatest empire in history by a tiny population with almost no military forces, compared to the giant powers of the US empire, showed not only the victory of strategy over raw power, but the victory of the mind over the brute forces of guns, bombs and money.
This is what Gandhi called “soul force” – and it also enabled an impoverished and demoralized people, with virtually no weapons and no money, to break the back of what was at that time, the largest and most powerful empire in history, the British empire, and to claim and win freedom and democracy for the people of India. It can be done. It has been done before. And it will be done again.
Only those who are ignorant of history believe they are powerless. History shows beyond any doubt or question, that when the people embrace their power and unite, they are successful, and victorious – no matter what the opposition may be, or how great it may seem.
All empires fall, sooner or later, and this latest empire, the empire of global finance, will fall as well – and democracy will be reborn when it does. And we don’t have to wait for it, or convince the emperors to change their minds. Both responses would be foolish, and would lead to the destruction of humanity, as the earth is ravaged and destroyed, and human life is extinguished from the planet. What is needed is decisive action, and now.
When the people begin to use their common sense, and cease to shun it, as they do now, they will win, and they will reclaim their democracy from the financial and corporate elite who have stolen it. And in order to reclaim their common sense, they must also reclaim their dignity, and their power.
When the people begin to awaken to their power, and to embrace their power, they will be victorious, and they will reclaim their democracy, their world, and their future. Fortunately, that is exactly what is beginning to happen now.
December 12, 2012