Belaboring the Obvious

Friday, July 07, 2006

Musings on Getting Taking What You Want....

The past two weeks or so have been one long, extended political orgasm for the right wing in the United States, and for their enablers (anyone hear Rove giggling hysterically?). The increasingly rightward-leaning The New Republic has been in bitter rhetorical combat with lefty bloggers, defending stuffiness and establishmentarianism for all its editors are worth. The more dysentery-mouthed tongue-waggers on the right have been excoriating The New York Times, first, for a story on the Bush administration's use of international bank transfer management in its "War on Terror," and second, for a story in that paper's travel section on the rather upscale mini-mansions of Messrs. Rumsfeld and Cheney, in the latter case, claiming that the "treasonous" New York Times has provided terrorists a road map for the assassination of those icons of PNAC duplicity.

Ann Coulter ups the ante wherever she goes in promoting her latest tome on her perennial subject, liberals and the incredible damage they do to America. Republicans in Congress mull over ways to make the Democrats look stupid, such as meaningless resolutions to "stay the course" in Iraq, and the religious right continues seek out friendly politicians who don't mind a touch of theocracy in their government.

In all of this brouhaha, I wonder how many of the followers of this Brigade of the Belching Bellicose stop to consider what life in these United States might be like if they get everything they want.

They love Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. What would government by those porkers or their analogues be like in perpetuity? Well, we have had two wars in 4-1/2 years. At that rate, it would mean another forty-two wars in the remaining years of this century. Probably would mean all the countries of the world united against us, not just most of them. Defense/war spending would occupy all of the federal budget, and most of that would be paid by the poor and middle class, since tax cuts for the wealthy would be continue to made; as the economy becomes more and more devoted to using military force to chase and capture dwindling oil resources, worker dislocation will increase and, therefore, the "need" for more tax cuts for the wealthy would be required to "create jobs."

Given the past few years, along with the steady growth of technology, it would seem likely that virtually all of the country's citizens would have no legal recourse to force the administration to stop spying on them, and even if they could, giant personal data database firms such as ChoicePoint would be free to collect data that the government would then purchase for its own use, using our tax dollars, of course. Each person's daily life would be open to inspection through his or her electronic transactions, phone calls, and network activity. Even those who say, today, "what worries do you have if you have nothing to hide" would find their lives compromised by the information interface between government and private firms. The creation of national ID card systems, immensely profitable to the private firms engaged in the creation and implementation of such systems, might, for national security purposes, morph into a system of travel papers, restricting movement and requiring approval for travel, for "national security" reasons, of course. (Additionally, privatization of transportation systems in the country may make most travel exorbitantly expensive, anyway.)

Over time, because of war, declining real wages and pensions, increasing numbers of people without health insurance, the effects (particularly in the Southwest) of climate change and increased rates of incarceration for political crimes will result in shorter life expectancies, increased infant mortality and more ferocious and longer-lasting epidemics, some preventable. With the further privatization of the hospital system, premium health care would be restricted to the wealthy and upper tier of working professionals.

Corporations would become controllers of the economy, with government operating for their benefit. Eventually, these corporations would grow larger and larger through consolidation, until just a few controlled all aspects of economic life. The hated EPA and SEC would be abolished and so-called "free market" principles would become law. Corporations would likely never be punished for transgressions, because all restraints on their operation would be removed by government law rollback. The air would get worse, the water less drinkable and the number of cancers from chlorinated biphenyls and the like in the environment would greatly increase. Most tax dollars would go to these large private firms for performing government services, such as waging war and providing security. Banks would find themselves suddenly free of previous restraints and would make large fees laundering money for drug dealers and terrorists, and would find themselves in the position of making even greater fees for loaning the government money, as government spending continues to exceed the ability of the middle class to pay for ever more expensive weapons systems. Black marketeering and a barter economy will be the inevitable consequences of an oppressive taxation system.

With increased one-party power in the federal, state and local legislatures, the Christian Reconstructionists will begin to meld Biblical and civil law, at first, by censuring non-Christian religions, using methods of civil strife to force those of alien religions from community to community, and then, by use of merged church and government databases and data mining techniques, they may then begin to ferret out non-believers, non-church goers and single them out for punishment or incarceration and/or deportation. Eventually, this may extend to people whose occupations are not in accordance with Biblical principles, particularly those in the life sciences. Puritanical purges of homosexuals, adulterers and those engaging in sex before marriage will likely become common. Church attendance will surely become an everyday matter, with the homily replaced by government announcements. Women will eventually find that their uteruses can be used as government evidence against them.

Eventually, there will be internecine wars between religious sects originating in arguments over the purity of their actions and ideals, as one or the other sect seeks to consolidate government power. Over time, Old Testament notions of the way the world works will crowd out the teaching of science, and the secular arts, humanities and political sciences will be co-opted for the purposes of religious instruction and uniformity of viewpoint, especially at the college level. Some science will still be conducted, but only for defense research purposes. As science instruction declines, so will the economic power of the country, and large U.S. corporations will become increasingly avaricious overseas to absorb companies with technological skills they themselves do not possess. Over time, the United States will be shut out of more and more international markets in which it has behaved badly, thus generating more U.S.-initiated wars for resources. Slavery and/or indentured servitude, sanctioned by Old Testament law, may once again become common as economic conditions and profitability decline, and as the need for conscripts in ongoing wars increases.

All news will be effectively filtered by the government through an Office of Censorship, and any newspaper publishing information contrary to government authorization will have its staff and owners prosecuted under the Espionage Act. No news from outside the country will seep in via networks, as giant media firms are engaged by the government to employ blocking software. Public opinion conforming to government wishes will be broadcast far and wide, while dissenters will be ridiculed and punished. Elections will be dominated by government- and church-approved candidates, and official appointments will require the approval of church leaders.

Over time, the landscape will be dominated by corporate farms, ever more dependent on petrochemicals and genetically-modified agriculture to maintain production, and instances of massive crop failure due to climate change and the limitations of monoculture increase bouts of periodic famine.

After two or three generations of the right wing getting (or taking) all that they want, the country would be purged--either by coercion or persecution or law--of all liberal influence and the schools would teach what the radical Christian churches wish. Libertarian notions of free-market principles would combine with Old Testament morality to produce a nation of a few wealthy individuals blessed by God controlling a vast population of underemployed, undereducated and impoverished God-fearing subjects in ill-health and without expectations beyond daily church attendance and perhaps a Saturday afternoon stoning once in a while. An authoritarian, theocratically-bent government would find itself perpetually occupied with enemies both from without and from within. The country would find itself finally united as one white people under one common set of beliefs, one common ethic, one common religion and one-party government.

Welcome to the United State of Puritanical Feudalism and the world's next banana republic, the world's next failed state.

Be careful what you wish for--you just might get it.


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