Life has imitated art many times but this time could be fatal. Whether it be by intentional design or cosmic consciousness synchronicity but undeniably, we are currently living out the first chapters of the novel It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. Below is a brief synopsis of the book on Wikipedia.
It Can’t Happen Here (Signet Classics)
In 1936 Senator Berzelius Buzz Windrip, a charismatic and power-hungry politician, wins the election as President of the United States on a populist platform, promising to restore the country to prosperity and greatness, and promising each citizen $5,000 a year. Portraying himself as a champion of traditional American values, Windrip easily defeats his opponents.
Though having previously foreshadowed some authoritarian measures in order to reorganize the United States government, Windrip rapidly outlaws dissent, incarcerates political enemies in concentration camps, and trains and arms a paramilitary force called the Minute Men, who terrorize citizens and enforce the policies of Windrip and his corporatist regime.
One of his first acts as president is to eliminate the influence of the United States Congress, which draws the ire of many citizens as well as the legislators themselves. The Minute Men respond to protests against Windrips decisions harshly, attacking demonstrators with bayonets. In addition to these actions, Windrips administration, known as the Corpo government, curtails women and minority rights and eliminates individual states by subdividing the country into administrative sectors.
The government of these sectors is managed by Corpo authorities, usually prominent businessmen or Minute Men officers. Those accused of crimes against the government appear before kangaroo courts presided over by military judges.
Despite these dictatorial (and quasi-draconian) measures, a majority of Americans approve of them, seeing them as necessary but painful steps to restore American power.
Others, those less enthusiastic about the prospect of corporatism, reassure themselves that fascism cannot happen here, hence the novel’s title.
George Carlin once said conspiracies are not necessary when interests converge.
It was no coincidence that when Mitt Romney said corporations are people he had revealed the ugly nature of this convergence that exists in post 9-11 era America. More disturbing was the easy nature with which he twisted common sense into corporations being our nations gracious benefactors instead of the profiteers of our consumer prosperity.
The 1% today get that way by offloading their financial risk to the people they claim to empower with their lobbying efforts but are working toward and have reached the indenture servant state where the people only work to shop the company store that provides all their needs except social mobility.
Donald Trump is next evolutionary step into as insidious form of corporate power. This power is far more deadly than any before it because it encapsulates Fox News style narratives of government mistrust and impending terrorist attack as well as the populism of reality show culture. Donald Trump like Ronald Reagan benefits from being a celebrity with highly from decades of media exposure.
The possible outcome of a Trump presidency will be the empowerment of hate groups to crawl out from every dark corner and stake their pro-white claim on Americas soul. With open carry laws in place and their nationalist ideology stripped of any legal or moral restrictions from the highest office of power we will soon see armed patrols of citizens watch groups. The clone army of George Zimmermans who will self-righteously shoot first and remorselessly defend their actions in defense of their liberty.
Americans do not realize sometimes how little political choice they have in the grand scheme of things. It leads them to a thirst for an actual drink of that true liberty core to the American psyche that they must normally squeeze into the permissible norms of left or right allowed by the corporate state. This revolutionary thirst is used by Corpos to manipulate and weaponize the opposing sides.
Kim Davis was allowed to abuse her office of power by using her own personal religious views to deny the rights of those she personally judged as being unworthy. This was not to prevent some concentration camp slaughter but denied two homosexual people the right to join themselves together under law for their own security. Mainstream media enforced this acceptance of bigoted civil obstruction by allowing the airtime for her moment with Mike Huckabee to solidify a celebrity endorsement of traitorous behavior.
Americans who are taught to challenge authority within narrow confines in order to protect establishment unity and are now caught conflating the freedom of religion with freedom of speech.
The problem with that argument of religious dominionism is that belief and faith tries to masquerade as rational logic. Both of which are interpreted individually or typically by influential leaders instead of mass consensus leading to its easy corruptibility. It is not hard to see religious zealotry disguised as freedom of speech when it seeks to manipulate the basic rights of others based on spiritual values.
Who are our Corpos now?
They are the leaders in the corporate nationalist state that has bled our nation of sanity through their propaganda. They have worked tirelessly for their own enrichment by the elimination of governmental regulation at the expense of the public good. The most blatant example is Flints water supply which had been tainted with lead for over two years due to cronyism.
Unlike Windrip, Donald Trump will not need to mobilize his own Minute Men when those groups already exist waiting for the head nod to begin teaching lessons to the inferior. Its become apparent with Trump that every constitutionalist militia and self-proclaimed patriot group will align themselves with an authority that turns a blind eye or even openly encourages violence through biased moral argument.
These right-wing groups extend the use of legal hypocrisy to themselves that protects public servants. Except they are not duly elected except by themselves. Each of these groups with similar power-hungry agendas will temporarily align but then will compete for power once the common undesirables are put in their place.
That is where the fiction of It Cant Happen Here intersects with reality. American hypersensitivity over the interpretations of 2nd amendment rights have allowed Corpo influence to increase perceptions of violent recourse as the only option to defend this twisted version of liberty. Historically, we have seen these violent coups happen time and again under corporatist rule with the perception that other countries are somehow inferior to Americas profound and unique understanding of freedom.
But this also exists in the left as social justice warriors and special interest groups pushing themselves to head of the line. Both claim moral authority of the interpretation of the US Constitution. However there is an important difference in rhetoric between the right and the left.
While one group emphasizes the rights of a minority sometimes over the many the other emphasizes dominance of a minority over the many always. The liberal enhances rights of a minority while the conservative reserves rights for the minority. The core value of conservatism is freedom through control and it manifests that control by using traditional values while advancing tyranny through privatization and corporate worship.
Unfortunately what is little realized is that these traditional values have long been based on the feudal mentality of lords and vassals. Feudalism has been institutionalized in both government and religion hence the intertwining of the two. These mechanics of totalitarianism are what lie behind the plot of It Cant Happen Here and the lesson we can learn from it.
The democratic establishment is just as guilty of praying at the altar of Corpo religion with their message is shrouded in similar rhetoric from the other side, a control through freedom. This manifests itself in overcompensation for special interest in hopes of equalizing liberty but just creates more dissatisfaction in the short span of attention that people live under in a hyper-changing world. It is the fascism of freedom that created the politically correct paradigm much of society sees as hypocrisy by ignoring the equality of the majority.
However the third part of the equation is little discussed and that is the civic responsibility we have abandoned as a culture. In the end we are to blame for the situation through our inaction, our laziness, and our own petulant desires to let someone else figure it out. Not all blame rests on our shoulders, having to live in the bombardment of consumerism that is Corpo-Life but to begin to move forward we must examine our own duplicity in this charade of democracy.
Our voter apathy plays into the Corpo narrative that the population is irresponsible and easily manipulated when to comes to making decisions that profoundly impact their lives. Its hard to argue that point when only 10% of the U.S. population votes for the two choices of public office.
We can blame the media but in the end WE are the ones who drink the Kool Aid of petty distractions like celebrity gossip, gender bathroom privileges, and the morality of abortion. Meanwhile roads and bridges crumble, public schools are cut out of funding by private charter schools, and mental health is left as a law enforcement issue. These decisions are the ones made by others when we are not engaged in the process and instead more attention is given to voting on American Idol.
With the upcoming election deciding what appears to be yet another dark chapter in American politics we have the choice how we will need to change the future. One course is full civil war and insurrection that may never end or rebellion through the malaise of incremental change that may never occur.
It has been said that delay is best antidote for anger. While more obstructionism can only delay the inevitable, it also gives us time for the inevitable to be created.
Heres where what Bernie Sanders was saying about the revolution that must occur. Establishment liberals and conservatives are arrogant about the safety of their positions of power but that arrogance has always been their weakness and must be exploited. This masquerade of corporate dominance still covers democratic processes as it depends upon participation to maintain power.
The Corpos greatest weapon are the resources they use to maintain their political activity beyond election cycles while the rest of us are distracted by survival. If there is to be any change it will take a cultural revolution of decreased dependency on diversions and increased focus on civic engagement. That means getting off our asses and attending city council meeting, and even state congresses to get in the face of the current establishment.
This change has one crucial dependency, you.
How willing are you to become involved with local decisions that impact those around you?
How willing are you to sacrifice your time to assume civic responsibilities?
How willing are you to give up a Netflix-n-chill session?