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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Those that don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it - by Silence DoGood

I think it safe to say that we’ve all heard the phrase, “Those that don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” I’m talking about the upcoming election cycle, but probably not in the context in which you might be thinking. Does everyone remember how Adolph Hitler came to power? For those of you not alive during that time in history, Germany had been stripped of her wealth and ability coming out of World War I. Germany was forced to pay war reparations on the basis of, ‘to the victors go the spoils.’ Germany was in the middle of a great political struggle between a myriad of factions. And the world was heading into The Great Depression.

You may hold the opinion that there is nothing of that era that is even remotely close to things as they are today. I would like to differ with that view. An entire people had been stripped of their national identity and forced into abject poverty as a nation. There was no clear leadership and indeed, the numerous factions vying for political control of the nation were literally fighting in the streets for superiority. The people themselves had no hope and were forced into subservience. Adolph Hitler rose to power, a figurative phoenix rising from the ashes if you will, and was able to pull Germany together and give it a sense of purpose. A sense of purpose based on racial and ethnic superiority and a military economy to re-arm and re-equip the Army, Navy, and Air Force of Germany.

Today, the United States rests in the shadow of it’s former self, just like Germany prior to the arrival of Hitler. Individual and Corporate greed has stripped our ability and our status as leader in the free world, just like the Allied powers stripped Germany immediately after World War I. We are incapable of sustaining ourselves as an industrial nation.

But the coup d’tat that was to become the greatest horror of the 20th Century began as a political rallying cry from a political extremist with well orchestrated moves. The rhetoric that propelled Hitler into power was based on nationalism and fervent pride in the German people and Nation. There was no political discourse after Hitler assumed power. The only detail to be concerned with was the Nazi detail and whatever Hitler said was the way it was, in essence, might makes right. Today, rather than finding ourselves in discourse over political direction, which ideally would be slightly left or slightly right of the middle, we find ourselves locked in mortal combat as political adversaries with each other, not to accomplish the most good for the most people, but as a game of one upping each other in order to win. Just like that period of time in Germany, each faction is trying to gain political control. And as if that weren’t enough, there are factions in both mainstream parties that want to splinter and faction themselves off. Yes, the Tea Party is an example of that concept. It pays to bear in mind that America and Americans atypically gravitate toward the political middle or moderate view/stance. Few take radical or extreme stances in politics. Yet, we have this radicalization of politics and as may be elucidated in a broad and general sense, when these factions fail to succeed in one aspect, they often are willing to try another. What that means is, if they are unable to win their objectives politically, they are oft times willing to try to gain their objectives with force and violence. Take a look at how most terrorist groups grow and evolve. Born out of social strife and struggle, they fail to win or garner influence through traditional means so they turn to violence as a means to an end. Am I implying that your local tea partier will resort to violence? No, but there is that potential. To provide levity, look at groups such the Animal and Earth Liberation Fronts (ALF and ELF) that resort to criminal acts and violence in order to perpetuate their ideas on others. Who dares wins? No one seems concerned about the whole, unless it involves waving a flag and the sphere of interest encompasses that pinpoint ideology that each adheres to.

Don’t take the next few statements out of context. The only reason I use the political right is because they are currently at the forefront of the national spotlight and easy to view and assess. If it were turned around, I would do the same with the left. The political frontrunners of the right tell us that all it takes is for America to stand strong. Well, I’m all for that. It’s time we started making our own cars, televisions, furniture, appliances, machinery, and food again. But it seems the only thing that we can build is bombs, tanks, and planes. It’s time we rejuvenated our steel industry, our electronics and oil industries. It’s time we made it so expensive for those criminal corporations to off shore themselves and try to do business here that it is cheaper to hire, reside, and produce here. Now you can call that a tax, tariff, or protectionism it matters not. What it does is take away the advantage of going off shore in the first place. It protects our people, our workers, and our industries. Those that clamor for a free market economy are often the ones that stand to benefit the most. They want free markets, but they likewise want tax shelters, breaks, and subsidies paid to them. They want it all. And again the corollary shows between the US and Germany during the rise of Hitler. Hitler watched the corporations grow fat on war profits and stripped the people of the means to live, subsist, and make a decent life for themselves. And he turned the focus of the people on those corporations and demonized them. Look at the insane profits being generated at present by the corporations in the United States and held off shore. I’m not talking small business. Small business is hurting right along with the middle class.

The right or conservative factions scream that it is the fault of the current sitting president. Deficit spending, huge debt, printing money devaluing the currency, all equate to a backslide of the United States from hegemon. We have stood by and watched the protections of the Constitution erode on the basis of personal safety. We aren’t any safer than we were 10 years ago, as we approach the anniversary of the bombing really, of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. There is an illusion that we’re safer. But what happens when you feel safe, regardless of whether you are or not? You relax, you let your guard down, and bam. Sure there have been reports every now and then about this, that, or the other terrorist threat or attempt successfully abated. That is to keep the masses pacified and prevent words such as these. If these words challenging the voracity of such action do arise, then it provides ‘proof’ that the Patriot Act is working.

“Freedom isn’t Free” is another one of those terms that we’ve all heard before. And it’s true. The structure of our society is such that we have the greatest personal liberty, or did, of any sovereign nation on the planet. There are risks inherent to that concept and living that way, including the occasional loss of life. Be it through a criminal act like armed robbery or a terrorist attack, domestic or international. But the fact that our system succeeds is the testament to greatness. That the people are resolute in their will to exercise the freedoms they have, despite being bombed, slashed, or repressed. Where we fail is that we barter away our liberties a bit at a time for the benefit of feeling safe, or want of a job, or a million and one other things that are of little consequence to survival.

Because that is where we are at present folks. We teeter on the brink. The middle class of this nation has been reduced to the point that it is simply getting by. The elites of this nation and world are increasing their wealth in leaps and bounds and we are admonished that we merely have to work hard in order to succeed. That day has past I’m afraid. We must work hard now just to survive. To provide food, shelter, and basic needs, we are forced to settle for less than what we are deserving of, simply because we are in a moment of weakness and accept what is offered rather than hold out and demand what is ours by right. And you know something? We have quite literally done it to ourselves. We take what we are told at face value and give control to those who would make a mockery of our freedoms and processes. So while I brought the Presidential aspirants of the right side of the line into focus earlier, it cuts hard across both sides and all political ideologies, and that brings me back to the original premise of this piece. This nation is rife for the assent to power of a person such as Adolph Hitler. This nation is at a political low tide and feelings of desperation are pervading the population. As more and more people figure out how we’ve been duped and how they’ve been taken advantage of by those who take advantage of rules and laws they’ve had passed for the express purpose of running rough shod over a vast majority of the population, all in the name of making a buck, class conflict moves closer and a person of the ilk of Hitler taking power comes closer to being a reality.

I’ve covered quite a bit and if you’re still reading, thank you. The reason I hit so many topics is because those are general topics of the talking points we all hear on what is now a regular basis. I haven’t covered them to great depth, since to do so would increase this to something of a thesis. But look at the time and number of words used to briefly bring each into context. Now look at what the politicians are wanting you to decide on a 30 second blurb of tilted logic. We are going to hear quite a bit in this election cycle, locally as we move closer to November and nationally as primary season approaches mid 2012. I would urge and encourage you to dig deep on your selections and then choose wisely. And lastly, be careful what it is you ask for. You just might get it.

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