Friday, June 27, 2014

US-terror advances

Passed along in email today was this Washington Post piece about the secrecy gaining ground within certain U.S. police agencies.

Massachusetts SWAT teams claim they’re private corporations, immune from open records laws

Drip, drip, drip ... no one event carrying with it an on-going distaste, yet slowly filling the bucket with more and more of what I can't help but think of as dictatorship and terrorism.

When I was in the army, in the early 1960's, I was a chairbound, pencil-pushing spy. Our job was to listen to the political phone calls made within what was then East Germany, a Russian client state. Most of it was dull as dishwater, though occasionally the secret police or social reform might grab the spotlight.

In East Germany, like much of the U.S.S.R., there were collective farms. Many farmers would till one large area instead of individual farmers tending their own plots. The idea was to create more food more efficiently for the country as a whole.

Each day, in spring, the farmers would head to the field, often bearing bushel baskets with, say, beets to be planted. Each man had a quota of how many bushels he should plant in a day. One beet plant per hole was what was needed.

But, in order to meet their quota, in order to meet efficiency requirements, the farmers took to dumping three or four or even five seedlings to a hole. In this way they met their quotas easily. The drawback was that the beets wouldn't grow -- they were too crowded for the available nourishment. And as a result, instead of being better fed, the country was plagued by food shortages.

I wonder if there is a point at which dictatorship based on a grand plan and fired by the fear of the governed comes to a point at which everyone is so hungry that even the dictator-terrorists can no longer hold on to the grandeur once posited for themselves.

Secrecy, power, manipulation, and a wafting sense of fear. It works, but calling it "America" seems a stretch. No doubt they will protect us from "them." But who will protect us from the protective them?


  1. With the understanding that history repeats, every attempt at democracy always ended with the upper class, the 1%, plundering the public coffers, followed by a dictator to clean up the mess. Two hundred years is an average for a republic as best i can recall, so this might be considered on schedule.

    At some point an elected official will be begged to take complete power to deal with some horrific event or condition. The Homeland Security Acts, three or more of them i think, have put the legal machinery in place for this.

    It will be interesting to see if the event that prompts this will be the war on terror, climate change, or the destruction of the dollar. An eco-fascist seems as likely as anything else on the horizon.

    Of course this "hero of the people" will restructure everything and pick his own successor who will continue the program more despotically. And this despot will do more of the same, each succeeding generation becoming less effective and less devoted to public welfare. A revolution to start it all over will eventually follow, but these phases of history last significantly longer than republics, three times longer being common.

    Will technology speed it up or change this cycle? We can't even be sure that technology will survive. These despots historically turn to oppressive religions that oppress any effort at science. And if the event this all turns on this time should be economic or ecological, tech will be an early casualty.

    Technology isn't cheap, and requires a lot of people manning a lot of different industries and resource acquisition. And any of the looming events will likely results in more than a decimation of human population.

    Has humanity evolved in some reasoning fashion that might prevent this repetition of history? Not in my opinion.

  2. I might add, that while these "hero's of the people" usually come in against the property rights of the oligarchy or plutocracy in support of the common man, a liberal notion, they also tend to use the least educated to police the population in a very right winged way. I'd reference the "brown shirts" of the third reich.