Opposing the U.S. military empire, and the repression and inequality it reinforces requires making a choice between accepting or rejecting a comfortable false reality. The state gains the people’s complacency with endless war by drastically reducing casualty numbers, like with the Pentagon’s absurdly low Iraq War death counts. By perpetually manufacturing foreign threats, which is being done right now around Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea. By teaching white Americans, much like white Germans were taught during the moral collapse of their country, that they’re an exceptional people who deserve the world’s subservience. And by hiding the atrocities of the empire from a public saturated with vapid political punditry and media distractions.
Blacks, Hispanics, immigrants, Muslims, poor people, and active dissidents are groups that the state no longer, or never has, granted the privileges used for creating this complacency. Militarized police disproportionately slaughter people of color, who have included children like Tamir Rice. Toxins from fracking projects, oil spills, and led contamination poison the residents of poor black cities like Flint. Surveillance, police violence, and mass arrests are used against those who protest for the environment and the rights of working people. U.S. prisons, which hold more people than China or North Korea, can execute prisoners based on false charges and send them into solitary confinement for trivial reasons. The next logical phase of this American fascism involves the methods of Joe Arapaio, the Arizona sheriff pardoned by President Trump that’s detained people for their skin color, subjected his prisoners to cruel humiliations, and called his prison a “concentration camp.”
The minority of the population that still enjoys American privilege is given easy access to voting, while corporate media bombards them with propaganda in between tightly policed elections. This lets the despots ruling the country claim their operation is a democracy. The academics, media figures, public intellectuals, religious leaders and politicians that promote this operation warn about looming enemies threatening to destroy society-enemies like the Russians, the socialists, the Muslims, and the immigrants. This is to distract from how the American corporate state is the greatest threat to our future.
It’s the neoconservative government officials, including the ones in the Obama administration, that have armed and trained Al Qaeda forces to secure U.S. oil interests in Syria. That have backed the 2014 rise of the neo-Nazi regime in eastern Ukraine so that a new Cold War against Russia could be started. That have rained depleted uranium onto tens of thousands of innocents in Syria and Iraq, hideously deforming newborn babies in the affected areas. That have created a drone program which has slaughtered suspected terrorists without trial, including five U.S. citizens, while several hundred civilians have been killed by drone strikes the government describes as “surgical.” That have ignored the ethnic cleansing and illegal occupations of the corrupt Israeli government so that the U.S. can have an ally in the middle east. That have desecrated human rights agreements by refusing to prosecute the Bush architects of torture and by massacring Libyans in 2011 for gold and oil. Glenn Greenwald has observed that “It’s hard to find a more potent sign of a weak, declining empire than having one’s national ‘credibility’ depend upon periodically bombing other countries.” The business interests benefiting from that empire, found in modern times with companies like Halliburton and Raethon, have reacted to this decline by lashing out more and more violently. The Trump administration has taken into power a uniquely corrupt and dangerous war profiteering contractor called Blackwater, which has been prosecuted for sending its mercenaries to carelessly kill civilians in Iraq. The CIA, whose director Mike Pompeo recently promised is to become “a much more vicious agency,” has vastly expanded its drone strikes in the last few months while conducting regime change psy-ops against Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, Iran and Russia.
A sustained mass revolt can reverse the collapse and transform our society. But the attacks from the corporate state imperil that possibility. Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Google are partnering with their allies in the government to censor dissenting voices. The FBI has required reporters from RT, which features vital independent journalists like Chris Hedges, to register as foreign agents or else be removed from the airwaves. The media, which has grown more monolithic and power-serving than ever after decades of corporate consolidation, increasingly demonizes dissidents as Russian operatives. This makes the wars go largely unnoticed by Americans while the Deep State tries to reassert its hold on the national consciousness.
These kinds of propaganda tactics have been used to lead people toward self-annihilation. Jim Jones, the paranoid and narcissistic cult leader that got 909 people to commit suicide in 1978, prepared his followers for that act by affirming them of God’s favor for their ideology, granting privilege to those showing the most loyalty to his “People’s Temple,” and having them intensely watch and study his propaganda films. Their last instruction, imposed on all of them under duress, was nonetheless glorified by Jones as a “revolutionary suicide.” The instructions we’re getting to continue the ravaging of the biosphere, fulfill the appetite of American empire, and purify Neoliberal capitalism include similar rationales. The power structure has every instrument against our resisting these instructions, but we must resist them for our survival.