Yes to Revolution, No to Clash of Civilizations

Back during the Baby Bush era, Karl Rove was alleged to have said “there will be no 60′s style revolution.” This was a fairly accurate assessment of the people’s disconnect from the democratic process and the call of the declaration of independence to get rid of a government that isn’t working for them. US civil society was largely disengaged from the political process as indicated by the relatively small percentage of people that vote(d). Perhaps because they are disenchanted, disenfranchised or because they’re living in the pink bubble of happiness in the within the privileged class.

The results of this lack of engagement were devastating – for the entire world. The neo-conservative agenda went into full swing. As outlined in the document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”, the Project for the New American Century articulated their intentions to undermine the US Constitution and declare endless war putting into motion their version of the Clash of Civilizations (a manufactured ideology that they can say, arguably, came to pass (of course they engineered it as such). So, while they were at work, most of the disengaged were unaware of their intentions (though it was available for anyone to read): undermine the sole authority of the US Congress to declare war and restore it to the Executive branch (realize that this was a primary reason for establishing a democratic republic with separation of powers); gain control of the purse strings for military spending (again, a fundamental principle of a democratic republic -keeping the executive from controlling the decision to go to war and how to appropriate the peoples funds for it); to dismantle the relationship between corporation and government and, in essence, making the weapons manufacturers, arms dealers and the government one in the same – now with the power to declare war endless war and spend the peoples money).

You can imagine the results of this; you live in it: the gross unequal distribution of wealth within the US and between the Global North and the Global South (as it is called); regime change by hook or by crook in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Egypt and so on; those endless wars in some of the aforementioned states, the Orwellian rise of terrorism to sustain the endless wars via the creation of ISIS and company in the very same and dubious way that the US organized the Base (Al Qaeda) to undermine the USSR in Afghanistan to establish their place on the Grand Chessboard… and so on.

The thing about megalomaniacal psycho-sociopaths is that they are, in fact and by definition, unaware of how they affect those around them and, similarly, disconnected from how those they are affecting feel about them. They can get away with their behavior for a little while, especially with the idealistic, well-intentioned and/or naive among us. Eventually people get hip to their game and their behavior becomes unsustainable. This can be expressed in a lot of ways but I think it is most importantly, for our sake, exemplified by the fact that few military engagements since the end of the Second World War have been successful; the ultimate outcomes of such incursions was that the moral legitimacy of the indigenous peoples percolates to create some version of non-violent “armed” resistance and finally revolution: think Rose, Orange, Jasmine, Crimson, Denim revolution, think Gandhi and King and Arab Spring. For all of the successes and the relative failures what is taking place may be described, in part, as the moral arc of the universe bending towards justice, that after a long train of abuses people get smart and organize and take it upon themselves to change their situation. That was the very nature of the US revolution as much as it is the nature of the armed resistance in Palestine.

What we are witnessing today in the US Presidential Circus is a complete shift of Karl Rove’s prediction from a period of disengagement (engineered or otherwise) to a period where they thoroughly underestimated – thanks to their disconnect from civil society – the power and potential of a disenfranchised, organized peoples who were sick of the status quo (the rich stealing from the poor: the government stealing from its citizens) to stand up to the power elite, essentially spit in their face while they use every tactic in the book and even invent some new one’s, to try to shut democracy down.

If there were not a leader, Bernie Sanders, who appears to be resonating with a YUGE contingency of the American electorate, we would probably not be organically converging to Sanders’ camp. It’s good that he’s here now and whether he wins the election or not we should remember the oscillation between the “no 60′s style revolution” Rove predicted (the sleeping sheople) and the invigorated engagement we seem to be witnessing and a part of now. WE have to remember that there is a very powerful force that is always engaged in its sole purpose: to use the tools of this democratic republic to actually undermine democracy. From a Newtonian frame of reference, if we want to keep the system from slipping deeper/back into tyranny, we are going to have to be as organized and powerful a force as the establishment. If we are going to get it to move towards justice we’re going to have to organize, strategize, and work harder than they do. Their are so few of them and so many of us. Sander’s has shown, through the financial and social support he gets, that if we each contribute a little money, a little love, a little blood, sweat and tears, we can easily over power those who are working so desperately to keep us locked in the enchanted prison and likely, with the right attitude and intention, send them to the asylum where they belong.

Without a leader we may have to organize and act on our own into the future.