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State of the Union, 2010

January 9, 2010

By Nick P

Black Sun Gazette

Last year the economy entered a free fall. Conditions that haven’t been approximated since the 1930s were the norm. It is time to take a cold, hard look at America as it exists at the beginning of 2010. It is time to look at things in a way that goes beyond the surface, bullshit analysis of the corporate media. America and the world currently stand at a cross roads. We are in the eye of a perfect storm that combines the worst elements of 1914 and 1929.

Amped Status recently did an excellent report entitled “The Critical Unraveling of U.S. Society.” A summarized version is available at Alternet and is called “15 Signs American Society is Coming Apart at the Seams.” The article outlines a number of things which could be considered alarmism on their own. Together they show a troubling picture for the future of American society. It is important to remember that the collapse of the Soviet Union (while a very different social situation) is only an obviously pre-ordained historical event standing on the other side of 1991. From the other side of history, the Soviet Union was a powerful country, the first in space. All empires fall. How they fall, be it from inertia or from change from within, is the choice of historical agents such as you and me.

America is not out of the woods, economically speaking. Things are terrible. But there is no reason to believe that they will not get a lot worse. Make no mistake about it. America does not have a divinely appointed place on the top of the world heap. New competitors on the world stage such as China and capitalist Russia not only want but need their space in the world. Vital resources such as water are becoming increasingly fought over as a world with an anarchic economy does not scientifically plan the use of its resources. This increased competition means that American capitalism must reassert itself on the world stage. In the event of a financial catastrophe, the likes of which this country has literally never seen, living standards in this country will literally collapse.

As 2010 begins, bankruptcies are sky high, there’s no money for things that you and I need, but plenty of cash for bankers to roll around in.

Six million people in America currently have no income other than food stamps. And it can get a lot, lot worse. You may have heard Barack Obama talk about the “green” manufacturing economy during his campaign. This is code for transforming America back into a manufacturing powerhouse. Unfortunately, goods cannot be manufactured in America for a profit while still maintaining the living standard to which Americans have become accustomed. The second half of this truth is expressed through Barack Obama’s repeated references to Americans “reducing consumption.” America is to become transformed into a cheap labor platform for export goods, similar to countries such as Mexico, China, and basically any other labor law free shit hole with very little access to running water that you can think of.

How is this going to happen? How are Americans going to be forced to accept a drastic reduction in their living standards and a reorientation of the American economy to something more akin to Chinese slave labor than the American way of life? The first answer is perpetual high unemployment, the most useful tool at getting the field slaves to jump when master says to. However, another, more sinister tool is waiting further down the pike.

Have no illusions on the subject of fascism in America. It can happen here. The Tea Party movement is currently beating Republicans in a Congressional election, and they aren’t even a political party yet. Fascism in America is already receiving big assists from corporate interests while their pet issues are at the forefront of American political discourse. There is also the increasing interest of certain sectors of the American military-intelligence establishment, quite open within some circles, of an end to the veneer of democracy in the United States. There is no reason to doubt that some at the top and on the far right have both the means and the motive to end “democracy” in America. Indeed, there is a clear progression- from the Clinton impeachment, to the 2000 election, to the 2004 election, to the lack of control of the current Commander-in-Chief over his own military-intelligence apparatus- away from regular bourgeois democratic forms.

Few things quiet down a restless population like mobs of formerly chronically unemployed beating the population into line. And fewer things provide jobs quicker than a massive prison economy. We are only seeing the beginnings of a fascist movement in the United States. Everything like this starts small. The question to ask is where we will be in another two, five, or ten years. As the economy continued to dive, as the Democrats continue their attacks on the working class, the mainstream Republicans fail to provide any meaningful solutions, and ultra-right wing Republicans are the only political formation even discussing the problems that effect ordinary Americans, fascism will become an increasingly relevant and dynamic political phenomenon in the United States.

Finally, there is the elephant in the room. The War. It is no longer correct to speak of a war on Iraq, or a war on Afghanistan, or even use neologisms such as AfPak to refer to American conquest abroad. As the war expands into Yemen and Somalia, the war can only be seen as a global war of conquest by the United States and its allies, primarily Germany, Britain, Australia, and Japan (and let’s not bullshit ourselves about Germany and Japan “not having a military”) on the entire world. It is a war against anywhere the United States can get away with, and on the flimsiest pretext possible.

2010 sees America on the precipice, and as America goes on this matter, so goes the world. We are about to see a replay of some of the ugliest episodes of the 20th century, indeed of all human history, but in a far more grisly fashion than anyone can imagine. I am not one who thinks that America or humanity will buckle under these challenges and hardships. As the conflict intensifies so will the resistance to it. There is no reason to believe that things will go one way or another. In ten years time we may all be dead or dutifully building war machines in a prison labor camp. But none of these things are going to happen without a fight. This fight isn’t trivial or for some small concession. It is a fight for our lives and our livelihood. The choice facing us could not be more stark. Get angry. Get organized. Fight back.

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